The Spring 2000 Knob Creek Belt-Fed Competition

By Vince Oliva

The American Class 3 Association sponsored and put together a Belt Fed Match. Tony Gooch, President and Chairman of the American Class 3 Association molded and put forth a new event that will be a regular feature at KCR.

The rules of engagement were that any belt fed machine gun of less than .50 caliber may be used and fired only from a mount. The mount for the gun may be a tripod, quad leg mount, sled or wheeled mount.

The gun shall not be mounted to the mount until the crew has entered the “bunker”. The bunker in this scenario was square bales of hay stacked to create a wall with a port hole.

No tracer or incendiary ammo was allowed. Belt length restrictions were that the first belt must contain no more that 50 rounds and no less than 25 rounds and there shall be one mandatory belt change. There were no belt length restrictions after the first change.

Two separate classes of entries were set up for this match, Tripod and Bipod. Bipod had the same rules except for the mounting portion.

The scenario for this event was to have a crew (3-person max limit) from the starting line (about 20 feet from the bunker) have their ammo, gun and mount separated. At the signal from the range officer the crew would enter the “bunker” area, set up the mount, gun, load the ammo and begin firing. A 10 minute time limit was imposed.

The targets were of 18 different colored helium filled balloons set up in 3 separate sections of 6 balloons per section with 2-3 feet of sting tied to a base. If a shooter cut the balloon string it was a “lost” target. The amazing part was that most competitors completed the course. Have any of you ever tried to hit a balloon at 100 yards especially when the balloon is bobbing up and down and waving side to side due to the wind. Let me tell you that it was a very breezy day and the competitors had to really work. I especially commend the tripod shooters. The gunner had to work the T&E constantly. One amazing thing that was observed by this writer and other spectators, during an engagement of fire a balloon would jump to the side caused by a near miss or shock wave of the bullet. Thus making the target even more difficult to hit.

Tony set up a separate class for the bipods. The bipods had a very big advantage due to the maneuverability of the weapons. The resulting scores display the big difference in set up time as well.

A separate and special plaque award also went to the most authentic appearing gun crew of the competition.With only one entry, the most authentic appearing crew, the Russian Red Army, went to Bob Raymond (Gunner), Randall Raymond and Sue Bennett. This crew did it right. With an M1910 Russian Maxim and a shouldered PPS41, dressed in the proper period of military garb it set the stage for a very colorful event.

This writer believes this new belt fed competition will be an ongoing event and as the word gets out more entries for the most authentic appearing crew will materialize. With the 1919MG one could be wearing WWII, Korean or Vietnam period uniforms.

All in all the competition was a great success and fun was had by all. Looking forward to attending the next belt fed competition this fall shoot. Any one who would like to attend this event can contact Tony Gooch AKA mguntony@yahoo.com


83.1 Seconds, Gun - 1919A4
Team: 2 man crew
Keith New - Missouri
Steve Reece - Missouri

193.4 Seconds, Gun - 1919A4
Team: 3 man crew
Joe Carrere - Tenn.
Bill Ownbey - Tenn.
Paul Winters - Ky.

194.5 Seconds, Gun - 1919A4
Team: 3 man crew
Bill Ownbey - Tenn.
Malcome Davis - Alabama
Matt (Mongo) Bright - N.C.

233.1 Seconds, Gun - 1910 Russian Maxim
Team: 3 man crew
Bob Raymond - Tenn.
Randell Raymond - Tenn.
Sue Bennett - Louisiana

666.4 Seconds, Gun - 1919A4
Team: 3 man crew
Mike Bergmann - Ohio
Drew Kretzschmar - Ohio
Ed Beyer - Ohio

No score, Gun Malfunction, 1919A4
Team: 2 man crew
Tim Hakenwrth - Missouri
Mike Klos - Missouri


58.82 Seconds, Gun - Stoner (.223)
Team: Single man team
Mike Homberger - Illinois

117.9 Seconds, Gun - MG42
Team: Single man team
Dave Wright - Illinois

165.2 Seconds, Gun - 1919A6
Team: Two man crew
Joe Carrere - Tenn
Paul Winters - Ky.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V4N2 (November 2000)
and was posted online on November 28, 2014


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