Fully Automatic Fridays

Fully AutomaticStanding in a dark cubicle with an actual 1928 A1 Thompson Submachine Gun — or as Hollywood calls it, a Tommy Gun — you feel like you need to be in a sharp pinstriped suit with a jaunty fedora sitting cockeyed upon your head and a fat cigar hanging off your lips like a curse.

It’s a nasty gun, loud with a burst of fire out the end, and it kicks up like an unbroken and angry mare. There was a reason why Al Capone and other famous gangsters favored this fully-automatic machine gun. It hit hard and sprayed wide. “In 1934, the government passed the law on machine guns because of this gun. Whenever you think of old gangster movies, this is the gun they used,” said Steve Hazelwood of Cold Hand Arms, a class 3 gun shop in Edmond.

That A1 Thompson is the granddaddy of the other fully-automatic machine guns being shot at Heartland Outdoors, 1444 N. Kelly, in Edmond, on the first Friday night of each month. The smell of burnt gunpowder, sweat and oil — not as unpleasant as it sounds — permeates the gun range as veterans, gun enthusiasts, beginners and even youth try out what very few civilians can try — shooting fully-automatic weapons.

Full Auto Fridays are a speci