Chances are, you’re probably familiar with Iraq Veteran8888.
With close to 2.5 million subs, he’s a bit of a powerhouse in the guntube community – putting out historical firearm content and sometimes firing guns until they literally destroy themselves multiple times a week.
What you probably didn‘t know is that he also hosts one hell of an industry party – and we were lucky enough to receive an invite!
What is Range Day?
IV8888’s range day has become something of a Mecca for content creators.
It’s a great chance to meet and greet with folks who run channels both large and small – if you can manage to hold a conversation over the nearly non-stop full auto mag dumps.
With little idea what I was getting myself into, I flew my West Coast, avocado toast devouring self all the way out to beautiful Blakely, Georgia – completely unaware of the tropical storm that was preparing to turn Arena Training Facility into a muddy, soupy mess.
Trail runners were not an ideal choice of footwear.
Alas! Thanks to the support of a handful of manufacturers and individuals alike, the IV8888 Range Day includes a ton of machine guns.
Sounds like a good time, yeah?
We’ve got a rundown on our favorite gatpieces from the celebration below!
Best Guns From IV8888 2019 Range Day
1. CMMG Mutant
While 7.62×39 AR hybrid platforms that take AK mags aren’t new – it’s not every day that you get a chance to run a mag through a full auto, SBR variant like this CMMG Mutant.
Good lord this thing is loud. 7.62×39 out of a 10-something inch barrel is pretty damn punishing to be around, and it was incredibly obvious when the Mutant was throwing lead downrange, no matter where in the facility you were. But also: HELL YEAH 😎
We’re told that this is the same Mutant that CMMG has been taking to shows all over the country for the past year or two – with an estimated round count somewhere north of 100k at this point.
It’s also only had minimal upkeep and repairs performed during that time period, and although it broke a firing pin during the IV8888 event, it continued fire with occasional failures to feed before CMMG had realized what happened.
Bursts of full-auto Soviet intermediate cartridges is a hell of a way to start your dreary day, but we’re certainly not complaining. The Mutant is, well, a beast.
2. OSS’ Suppressed AK-104ish Thing
While we didn’t catch what exact AK build OSS Suppressors was using to demonstrate the baffleless design of their cans, it’s got a carbine-style front end and a triangle side-folding stock similar to those found on the AK-74 series of rifles, although this particular bad boy was chambered in 7.62×39.
So it’s… kind of an AK-104. Sorta.
Alas! The gun isn’t so much the important part here, compared to the absolute joy that shooting the gun suppressed produces.
As is briefly discussed in the video, OSS’ suppressors utilize a unique design that not only captures escaping gas, but gas that would eventually wind up being spewed out of the ejection port (and into your eyes) as well.
AK’s are gassy guns in general anyway, and suppressing them only exacerbates the issue. However, the OSS can definitely does its job and saves your eyes from that fun, stinging watery sensation that occasionally comes from suppressed rifles.
In short, HELL YEAH 😎
3. OSS Suppressed H&K G28
Another rad piece from the OSS booth – the H&K G28! It’s not often that us plebs get a chance to handle any of HK’s signature mustard yellow bangsticks, but the experience was an awesome one.
The G28 is the US Army’s new designated marksman rifle, and after some budgetary concerns that plagued the CSASS program that spawned the rifle, it appears to be set to replace the older Knights Armament M110s.
Notably, the Army’s contract includes an OSS suppressor as part of the package! As a bit of a small arms nerd, it’s pretty damn neat to be able to get some rounds off through what’s about to be an issued rifle.
The G28 is a damn smooth shooter, and I found myself wishing we had the opportunity to really stretch the rifle’s legs out on the 1,000 yard range just up the hill. Considering that my last experience with anything chambered in 7.62×51 NATO was during our review of Springfield’s M1As, the G28 left me with a resounding, inner feeling of: HELL YEAH 😎
4. Select Fire DSA SA58 / FAL
The FAL is one of the world’s first battle rifles chambered in 7.62×51 NATO, and has seen extensive use in conflict regions globally.
Colloquially known as the ‘Right Arm of the Free World’, militaries both equipped with the FAL occasionally clashed with one another as well – as was the case with Argentina and the UK during the Falkland Islands conflict.
While the British had restricted their L1 / FAL pattern rifles to semi automatic due to the generally uncontrollable nature of fully automatic fire with the 7.62 NATO cartridge, the Argentinian FALs remained capable of select fire – leading to persisting rumors of dubious authenticity about commonwealth troops ditching their Sterlings and L1s for captured, automatic Argentinian FALs.
All of that to say this: While DSA had their full line of American-made FALs available to play with at the range, y’all know I had to give the original, enormous full-auto FAL a try!
If it wasn’t obvious from the video, that first burst definitely catches me off guard.
The recoil impulse on this piece of history is pretty gnarly, and it’s immediately obvious why the L1 series of rifles were restricted to semi automatic – that muzzle wants to climb skywards pretty hard! My second couple of trigger pulls are a bit more controlled, but all in all?
HELL YEAH 😎
5. Faxon Full Auto .458 SOCOM AR
Originating from frustration with 5.56 NATO’s stopping power against drugged-up combatants in the aftermath of the Gothic Serpent / Blackhawk Down incident, .458 SOCOM was an attempt to develop a harder-hitting cartridge that could be fired from an AR-type platform with minimal modification to the rifles themselves – namely an upper receiver swap.
Despite the name, the cartridge never actually made much of an in-roads with the special operations community, and is essentially relegated to an interesting footnote and one helluva range toy.
We were originally a tiny bit apprehensive about giving the SOCOM a go considering an overheard conversation regarding the gun’s charging handle – which had apparently started reciprocating along with the bolt due to the power of the cartridge. We’re not sure if that was actually occurring at some point or not, but by the time we got our hands on Faxon’s little monster here, it ran great!
.458 is surprisingly not as overwhelming in full auto as one might initially expect – especially out of a barrel that short!
Final verdict? HELL YEAH 😎
We were stoked to receive an invite to such a wild event, and although the weather was a little bit wild, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
Compared to a lot of other industry range days we’ve been to, we really enjoy the more niche and historical guns that show up at IV8888’s events – and appreciate the ability to geek the hell out on different styles of bakelite Vz.58 furniture with the dudes from Century Arms.
If you’re a content creator of any kind within this community and you’ve got a potential in – take it! Who’d turn down an opportunity to play with suppressors and machine guns?
Lastly, a huge shoutout to Ammoland for handling our video captures for us!