By Robert G. Segel
Wikieup is an Indian term for shelter. It is also a place, located in a small unincorporated community located on US Route 93 in the western part of Arizona. Just north of Wikieup is the home of the bi-annual Big Sandy Shoot put on by MG Shooters, LLC, billed as “The Largest Machine Gun Shoot in the U.S.”
Wikieup is the place to shoot whatever you may have, or may want to shoot or see. From suppressed pistols to artillery, antique to modern and just about everything imaginable in between, it can be found on the quarter-mile long firing line. The Big Sandy shoot typically has around 200 registered shooters with some two million rounds being expended. Shooters, vendors and guests all get to experience the camaraderie of the event.
The Big Sandy not only hosts a large machine gun shoot but they have many specialty events held simultaneously that include Thompsons and other submachine guns, BARs, Service pistols, and Garand competitions, as well as “bloop gun” (40mm) and belt fed exercises and a long range artillery shoot.
Due to the remote location, radio-controlled aerial targets are provided and present an exciting and different challenge to the shooters. Additionally, over 1,500 reactive targets are set up for the shooters to test their skill on at varying ranges.
The night shoot is truly something to behold. Tracers, star shells, reactive targets and RC airplanes with lights on their wings produce an awesome light show extravaganza that is second to none.
In the spirit of civic mindedness, they hold a raffle at the shoot with half the pot going to and benefiting the local Owens Whitney School in Wikieup.
New this year is the First Annual Cannon Shoot and Swap Meet. Scheduled for September 29-30, it is sure to be a hit with cannon lovers and owners with new artillery, old artillery and odd artillery and everyone will be sure to have a “booming” good time. Competitions will be held for muzzle loaders and modern cartridge guns. Awards will be given for the oldest gun present and the most unusual.
The autumn 2007 Big Sandy Shoot will be held on October 19-21. Call them or check their website to confirm dates and details.
Under the watchful eyes of Ed Hope and Kenton Tucker, Wikieup is a safe and professionally managed range to see and shoot Class 3 and DD weapons, particularly for those people living in the western half of the US. Whether you are a shooter or spectator, Wikieup is the place to be.
MG Shooters, LLC
P.O. Box 5672
Scottsdale AZ 85261
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V11N1 (October 2007)|