Full-auto shots fired in my neighborhood


June 4, 2004, 12:06 PM
So I was sitting on my deck on Wednesday afternoon, winding down from a long day at the office, when I heard a noise from through the woods: BapBapBapBapBap. "Huh," thinks me, "that sounded an awful lot like somebody shooting full-auto."[0] My wife heard it, too, and asked if it was what she thought it was. I told her, "Probably," and went back to my drink. We don't often hear gunfire from our deck, but it's not so infrequent as to be alarming. Shooting an automatic in my area is probably a bit injudicious, but there are farms nearby, and it's none of my concern if people are out having some fun.

A minute or two later, I heard another 5-or-6 round burst, and then another. They sounded like they were coming from about a quarter mile away. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law (who are staying with us) hear these bursts, and MIL started to get really nervous. She wanted to know if those were "Machine Guns". I told her that, yes, probably, someone was shooting a fully-automatic weapon nearby somewhere, and not to worry about it, because it's not illegal or anything (what with VA being a Class-III state). She was totally surprised that such a thing could possibly be legal, but since I wasn't freaking out, she didn't freak out either.

Couple minutes more, and I heard another burst, and then I heard an adult male voice screaming, like he was under extreme stress. All of this was too far away for me to see anything, across a ravine and a creek and a hundred yards of heavy woods. Because of the screaming, I decided to call the local constabulary. The screaming told me that either something illegal was up, or something legal had gone seriously awry, and they'd need EMTs at the least.

I got hold of the police dispatcher, and she told me that she already had units investigating. I thanked her, and hung up, and made sure that my AR was ready to hand, just in case whatever was happening relocated to my yard.

I looked on various news websites yesterday, and in the Prince William police blotter, but I didn't see anything about it. I'm all curious as to what went down. Any other Manassassians[1] know anything?


[0] I know that it's entirely possible to shoot a semi-auto at full-auto rates, but this burst was too...regular. Too precisely-timed to be a yahoo with a fast trigger finger. I suppose it could have been bump-fire, now that I think about it. ::shrug::

[1] Speaking of Manassassians, fess up: which one of us drives a white Geo Tracker with a "Molon Labe" bumper sticker on the spare-tire cover? I was behind you on Route 28 on Wednesday afternoon... :)

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June 4, 2004, 12:11 PM
And who was the guy on 66 in an SUV around exit 47 with the license plate "H&K USP"

June 4, 2004, 01:30 PM
"...I heard another burst, and then I heard an adult male voice screaming..."

Maybe he got some hot brass down his shirt. :what:

June 4, 2004, 01:44 PM
BP, are you within earshot of Georgetown South? :uhoh: :neener:

for non-manassholians, GS is 'da hood' in Manassas.


June 4, 2004, 01:57 PM
BP, are you within earshot of Georgetown South? Nope. I've got a Manassas mailing address, but I'm not actually in ManassasTheCity as such. I'm out by Prince William Parkway, about a mile from the Buckhall United Methodist Church and the Buckhall General Store[0].


[0] "Deli. Diesel. Bait." :D

M2 Carbine
June 4, 2004, 02:04 PM
That's why I usually call the Sheriff's office when I'm going to shoot FA on my place.
Just to save them a trip.
I shoot SA almost every day but not enough FA anymore to keep the neighbors use to it.

June 4, 2004, 02:04 PM

Do you know of any decent fishing areas around Manassas? I got spoiled when I lived in Loudoun and could fish the Potomac or the medium sized creek behind my apartment (caught a 3lb or so smallie and a 5lb catfish there!).

BTW, I AM within earshot of GS. Suprisingly, things are quiet.


June 4, 2004, 02:11 PM

check your PM.


June 4, 2004, 04:00 PM
Yeah, I hear that around here too.

My neighbor has one or more full-autos.

Yawn .....

El Tejon
June 4, 2004, 04:29 PM
You mean there are neighborhoods without full auto gunfire?:D

June 4, 2004, 04:39 PM
I'm sure you KNOW what FA fire sounds like but I had a neighbor (remote farm community) one time that didn't. Many years ago, I went out to the field behind my house to shoot my AR. After a while, I decided to relieve my tension and emptied a 30 round mag as fast as I could pull the trigger. My neighbor approached me a couple of days later, pulls me over to the side and whispers to me "were you shooting an automatic?". I had to quickly explain to him what it was so he wouldn't go off telling others that I had "machine guns" (I don't).

I did have a neighbor that is a Class III holder and occasionally you do hear a Brrrrrr. :cool:

June 4, 2004, 06:02 PM
This is an eerie topic.

You want to be able to enjoy your rights to shoot especially if you have had to pay megabucks to buy the licensed MG, but on the other hand you don't want everybody in a three mile radius knowing you have one. (IE you don't want every crackhead in the community knowing you have an expensive gun.)

I go to the range myself, even though I shoot pistol at the dirt pit behind the house.

June 4, 2004, 06:43 PM
I am curious if the crackheads, upon hearing the FA fire, would think (a) dude, let's steal that guy's gun, or (b) dude, let's not mess with that guy.

Shanghai McCoy
June 4, 2004, 07:09 PM
I have some very rural land down in Creek County Ok..We've heard full auto back in the hills many times.(slow cyclic rate and "distinctive"sound.Doubt if the locals have bothered with the paperwork for a class 3.Folks out there think that the movie Deliverance is a love story...

June 4, 2004, 07:11 PM
.."I am curious if the crackheads, upon hearing the FA fire, would think (a) dude, let's steal that guy's gun, or (b) dude, let's not mess with that guy."

....:uhoh: ..You think they can even "think"?.....:scrutiny:

June 4, 2004, 07:34 PM
Once I got out of my car at work and I heard in the near distance "phutphutphut.....phutphutphut..... phutphutphutphutphutphutphut"

I pondered for a moment. No, not as to why, I pondered what auto makes a phut sound :) I'd guess it was about 240 rounds a minute.

See, where I work I've seen maps that label the security detail's private practice range :) They also get to carry what looks suspiciously like an M4 when the "terra code" rises.

Standing Wolf
June 4, 2004, 07:40 PM
I am curious if the crackheads, upon hearing the FA fire, would think (a) dude, let's steal that guy's gun, or (b) dude, let's not mess with that guy.


Erik Jensen
June 4, 2004, 07:41 PM
phutphutphut sound?? slow rate of fire?

perhaps an M3A1 "Greasegun"?

June 4, 2004, 07:53 PM
Whatever Wackenhut would have access to.

I *may* also have been hearing in the -far- distance the Oak Ridge shooting club since I have no idea where that actually is out here :)

June 4, 2004, 08:52 PM
Ya'll make it sound like automatic gunfire and screaming and raising a commotion ain't common.

Y'oughta live in Oakland, CA. Like they say,"sirens, helicopters, gunfire, people yellin', cars peelin' out... Hell, I could be on the phone to 911 half the day."

June 4, 2004, 09:02 PM
On my first attempt at bump-firing, I did it well enough to get a lot of attention from someone at the range who thought I was shooting a full-auto.

I think if you had practiced a little, NO one would be able to tell if you were bump-firing or were shooting a full auto.

BTW, your description sounds like what happened at the range! :)

I emptied the 30 round mag and then a fellow from the other side of range started yelling at me that range rules didn't allow full-auto guns.

June 4, 2004, 09:08 PM
"Folks out there think that the movie Deliverance is a love story..."

and the reading thereof promptly led to the spitting of my soda in subdued laughter and the subsequent failure of my now soaked keyboard.

I accept Paypal...........................:evil:

June 4, 2004, 09:10 PM
I would think that anyone who was used to the sound of gunfire in their area in a rural setting wouldn't care about full auto fire. Gunfire and explosions, though, would get my attention.

Peter Gun
June 4, 2004, 09:37 PM
My last house I lived in had enough land to shoot on, but was right on the town line. It was perfectly legal to shoot, but most times I shot my sks a cop would show up because of theguy from MA across the street that thought all gun shots meant call the police. Cops told me they were getting pretty tired of him and even shot their pistols w/ me one day.

joe sixpack
June 5, 2004, 01:57 AM
Langley spooks at work;)

cheers ab

June 5, 2004, 08:51 AM
I don't alert to explosions anymore... the neighbors have been using (playing with?) dynamite for decades :)

June 5, 2004, 10:34 AM
Ah, the "joys" of living within a couple of miles of Fort Jackson, the largest US miltary training reserve.....
Hearing "Reveille" at 05:00, and being already awake.
Hearing cadence counts in the stillness of the morning.
Hearing rifle practice; never burst fire, just "crack, crack, crack," and sometimes, the crackle of many firing simultaneous individual shots.
Hearing MG practice. I can distinguish the "chug-chug" of a .50 from the other, lighter and faster shots, but still can't tell if the lighter shots come from M249's or M60's.
Numerous explosions. I still haven't been able to tell what's grenades, what's demo, and what's artillery, if any. Some are just flat "bangs," some are "booms," and some are KABLAMS that rattle the windows and shake the house. If the KABLAMS aren't arty, then someone is blowing up C4 one or two hundred pounds at a time....

It's all music to my ears....the sounds of freedom!

June 6, 2004, 10:11 AM
It seems like a few people have the idea that I was upset about the full-auto fire in my area -- I wasn't. I was busy not worrying about it and convincing my MIL not to worry about it. I had no intention of doing anything about it at all, until I heard the screaming. It wasn't a "yelling", along the lines of "hey, dipstick, you're breaking the range rules!"; it was a "screaming", like "shucks! I'm bleeding through several holes or a limb has been sheared nearly clean off and an EMT would be a useful thing to have right about now!"

I would hope that people around here have figured me out well enough by now to know that I'm not the sort to get all bunched up over a little simple recreational full-auto shooting... :scrutiny:


June 7, 2004, 12:08 AM
Full auto around here tends to spook those in earshot. I was out at a local shooting spot (most shooters on this side of town know it) and heard a steady, very quick pop pop pop pop pop pop.
One of the local gun store owners was firing his MG42 into the hulk of an abandoned car. We cautiously walked up and got his attention after he had emptied the belt. He was more than happy to give us a demo and actually showed us a nice little M1919 he had been cleaning up. Good times that day.
Oh, his 6-man troop carrier was cool too.

June 7, 2004, 12:43 AM
I can definitely tell the difference between bump firing and real full auto. Real full auto is much more "clean" and evenly spaced.

The only time I've been around when someone was doing what I think was illegal full auto was at my normal range, which is pretty rural. The guy was the only one there, and didn't see me coming. Before I walked up, he was doing CLEAN three round bursts from what looked like a mini-uzi of some kind. (I'm no uzi expert). But, he wasn't bump firing. He stopped the bursts and went to semi-only after I got there, and left not long after that.

July 2, 2004, 03:23 PM
Hey, 45King,
I too live near the Fort. Out my back door I hear the .50's and out my front door I hear FN testing the machine guns they are building. Ahh... the sound of freedom.

July 2, 2004, 04:14 PM
It's almost the 4th of July .... could it maybe have been FIREWORKS?!?!

July 2, 2004, 04:15 PM
Heck, I live in St. Louis City, near Forest Park, and I can guaran-damn-tee you that at least once this coming weekend, I'll hear someone dump a mag...

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