We’re all enthusiasts at some level. Sure, some of us are more serious about competition, some of us are more serious about defensive shooting, but not a single person that’s deeply invested in our hobby won’t admit that some guns are just cool. If I had to create a simple five-stop bucket list of guns you have to shoot before you die, this would be it. Some of the guns are on this list because they’re historically significant, others just because they’re cool and I like them.
1. Thompson M1 .45 ACP
The classic. Obviously, if you’re going to shoot a Thompson, it should be a proper Tommy gun in full auto. Of all the variants of the Thompson out there, the one I’d absolutely want to shoot would be the classic WW2 variant, the M1 or the M1A1. By modern standards, the Thompson is heavy, unwieldy, and overly complex, but in its heyday it was an awesome Nazi-blasting machine. Even though contemporary subguns like the MP40 were technically better, the Tommy gun holds a special place in American history and pop culture.
2. HK MP5
The featured image in this post is an MP5, and for good reason. It is possibly the most iconic sub-machine gun ever, with the only possible contender for the title being the original Uzi. But the MP5 has been with us for ages, and in fact continues to serve across the world in the hands of police and military forces. Hollywood is still obsessed with the MP5, likely because it’s still hugely popular in cinematic armories, and let’s be honest it just plain old looks cool. The one on my bucket list is the MP5-SD. With its collapsible stock and suppressor, it’s the king of cool.
Do…do I need to explain this? It’s a Minigun. It’s 6 barrels of BRRRRRRRRT firing 7.62 NATO at rates of fire only exceeded by how fast politicians can tell lies. It’s everything that’s good and wonderful in the world, and of course it’s hard to get your hands on one to shoot one. But who cares! It’s a friggin’ MINIGUN. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
4. M2 Browning (Ma Deuce)
I realize this list is pretty machine gun heavy, and there’s a good reason for that. Most people don’t get to shoot machine guns as part of their regular lives, so getting the chance to do some full automatic thumping is awesome. Which is why the Ma Deuce is here. Unless you join the military, chances to shoot an M2 are limited to either being extremely wealthy or going to Knob Creek and paying for the privilege. If you can, you should. Because the M2 is the definitive American Machine Gun. Designed by John Moses Browning, shooting his most powerful cartridge, the M2 has been in service since 1933. It’s fought in every single war America’s been in since then, and it’s still downrange thumping out hate and discontent against our enemies to this day. That’s a record to be proud of.
5. A true custom 1911
The ultimate expression of the handgun is a true, full custom 1911. There’s something undeniably special about a custom 1911. Fit, finish, accuracy, it’s just nice. I’ve shot a couple full custom 1911s and I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve also shot a lot of 1911s that weren’t so high end, and even when a low end gun is reliable, like our Rock Island, it’s not quite as special as a full house gun.
There’s the list! How many of these have you shot? I’ve got the custom 1911, the MP5, and the Thompson all crossed off, and I’ll soon have the proper M2 crossed off. Guess I need to figure out a way to shoot a minigun…