We have machine guns and high caliber rifles a plenty. It’s just what we’re used to. But have you ever wondered how guns have evolved throughout the years? Or perhaps, what early versions of guns might have been? You may be surprised to find out that guns have been around for nearly 800 years! Here, we have a short timeline of historical moments in the history of guns.


This outlaw has earned his place in history as one of the most notorious cowboys in the West… But how much of it is true?


Legendary Billy The Kid

The Legend

You may have heard the story of Billy the Kid. He’s the unstoppable outlaw responsible for killing 21 men, train robberies, bank robberies, etc., right? The young gun with a short temper who killed his first man at age 12?

The story goes that Billy the Kid, born Henry McCarty, was born in New York City on November 23, 1859, to a single mother. Following the death of her husband, Henry’s mother Catherine took her son and moved to Indianapolis where she met William Antrim. They soon moved to the New Mexico territory to start their new lives. Henry was 15 when his mother died.

The crime started shortly after when McCarty famously stole laundry, a notably minor crime for such a notorious character. This landed McCarty in the spotlight as a first time wanted man.This led him down a path of stealing horses and small petty crime that would soon escalate even further.

Over the course of his outlaw career, Billy would solidify his reputation as a cold-blooded killer who would end your life for so much as looking at him funny. He only lived to be 21 however, but many believe that his death was a hoax and he would live to be much much older. So, how much of this is true?

The Truth

There are a lot of myths surrounding The Kid, a lot of which have been put into films and literature. These stories have been told again and again, so you might be surprised to find out the truth of Billy the Kid.

Not only is most of the story inaccurate, but also the truth is that most of it is a mystery. The problem is that most of it has no historical proof.

Here are some of the most commonly believed myths of Billy the Kid:

His kill count

Probably the most polarizing discussions of Billy the Kid involves the grizzly matter of just how many men he killed. A very popular myth is that he killed 21 men (one man per year he lived). It didn’t help that he was part of a vigilante group known as the Regulators whose collective kill count spilled a little into his.

The truth is that Billy was only solely responsible for four deaths—Frank Cahill, Joe Grant, James Bell and Bob Olinger. Two of which were self defense situations and the other two were from one event of escaping from prison. Hardly seems like an outlaw when he’s just defending himself.

His intelligence

Many people believe The Kid to be illiterate and uneducated. Possibly due to his age and the environment of the south western territories at that time was a bit baron and didn’t have a lot of resources.

The fact is Henry McCarty really enjoyed reading as a small child. Although he didn’t have a formal education, people around that time considered him to be bright young man. He was also fluent in Spanish.

His left-handedness

It’s a classic quirk the legend is known for. It’s another very interesting thing that makes him stand out against all the other outlaws of the time.

The truth is actually more interesting than that: he was ambidextrous, which is far more impressive than being a lefty. The misconception began when a picture of Billy was found where Billy had his holster and revolver on the left side of his body. However, after observing a Winchester rifle in the same photo, it was revealed that the picture was flipped, making the right-handed gun fighter look left handed.

His family

A lot of stories go around that he had a younger brother named Edward. There’s also a lot of non-clarity about his birth mother and step parents, how they died, where they’re from, etc.

Billy had a younger brother named Joseph… not Edward. It’s unknown where Edward comes from.

His Temperament

Probably one of the most widely believed things about Billy is that he would shoot a man for simply looking at him wrong. There are countless stories of people being afraid to even approach the Kid, as they were afraid of what he’d do.

According to testimonies of his closest allies, Billy was one of the easiest going people they came across in a time of the wild west. As stated earlier, he only killed four men, and it was out of self-defense. Billy was, apparently, a kind-hearted caring soul.

The Truth about Billy the Kid, Summarized

Billy the Kid is a legendary cowboy who went down in history as a ruthless brute, but the truth is a bit far off. He was, in fact, an intelligent, easy-going and sober-minded individual who gets a rep for evil-doings and maliciousness. Obviously, it goes without saying that he may not have been the shining example of how someone should be, but the truth is still far more interesting than legend.

Be Legendary

There are lots of legendary cowboys who are experienced shooters and adventurous souls, but those are all just legends, right? There’s a lot of truth in these stories of famous gunslingers, but only experiencing guns can set apart fact from fiction. So, test your gun firing skills in an authentic environment and experience what it’s like to fire real guns!


Throughout history, some guns have made a name for themselves. Even fewer hold up as well as the Spencer Repeating Rifle. Since its production during the Civil War, the Spencer Repeating Rifle has become quite the collector’s item.


And with good reason. If you love historic american firearms, this one’s for you.


Spencer Repeating Rifle

Christopher Miner Spencer was a 19th century inventor, famous for being a sort of jack-of-all trades in terms of inventing. He could invent whatever it was he wanted from cars to rifles. Spencer has many patents under his name, most of which were gun related.


On March 6, 1860, Spencer knocked out another patent, this time on a lever-action repeater.

The rifle

It was revolutionary. In a time of muzzleloaders, the Spencer Repeating Rifle surely stood out as ingenious design. Simple to use and reliable, it would soon out-shine everything else on the market. Working the gun was quick to learn and didn’t take much: insert cartridge nose first, put hammer on half cock, lower the lever, chamber the round, cock, aim, and fire.


Its most brilliant and revolutionary feature is the rotating block, something no other gun at the time had and what makes the repeater so special. The device allowed the gun to be fired quickly and more frequently than the standard rifle. It was also popular for its sleek design.

Usage in the war

During the Civil War, muzzleloaders were ordered by the hundreds, so switching rifles wouldn’t be cost effective. However, after demonstrating the rifle to officials, Spencer got an order from the Navy for 700 rifles, plus another 300 after he convinced them. Some soldiers, preferring Spencers rifle, purchased them on the side and Lincoln himself was so impressed, he ordered a total of around 230,000 by the time the war ended. By mid-1860’s, it had become the second most widely used carbine.


A rifle’s influence

The Spencer Repeating Rifle has its place in the hearts of historic american firearm collectors, but as far as repeaters go, they became obsolete. Repeaters were a costly and resource draining production, so by the time another war came around, America had moved on to more efficient ways of combat. Still though, nothing at its time was anything like the Spencer Repeater and for that alone is enough for it to go down as one of America’s great historic firearms.


Check out Machine Gun Experience today!

At Machine Gun Experience, we give you the opportunity to fire an arsenal of unique guns. Semi to fully automatic, we have the rifle you want. Come visit our range today and experience our one of a kind range.


Learn more about the experience.

Like many popular weapons, the Ruchnoy Pulemyot Degtyaryova, or RPD Machine Gun, gets its name from the person who invented it. Vasily Degtyaryov created the powerful handheld RPD machine gun in 1943. Though the machine has been revamped several times during its life, it is still in use today. You can test one of them out at the Las Vegas Machine Gun Experience, but before you choose this as your experience, here are some of the specs of the RPD machine gun.

RPD Machine Gun


In 1943, three Soviet Union engineers were challenged to submit ideas for a new handheld light machine gun. Degtyaryov’s design replaced his previously designed Degtyaryov machine gun. The original weapon was chambered for 7.6x54R rounds while the new one was chambered for M43 7.62x39mm round. The new invention wasn’t set for production until after World War II.


The handheld RPD machine gun is described as:

  • Simplistic: Two hidden belts feed rounds into the machine in a drum, attached to the bottom of the receiver. It can also be loaded by a loose belt.
  • Powerful: A gas operated long stroke piston system fuels the RPD.
  • Efficient: The chamber and bore are protected by a chrome lining, which is used to lessen the likelihood of jamming and corrosion.
  • Groundbreaking: Unlike previous Soviet machine gun models, the return spring is nestled inside the butt.

The largest disadvantage of the RPD machine gun is the accessibility of the drum magazine. It becomes unstable in dirty conditions and can get jammed with dirt, dust, or other elements relatively easy.

Try an RPD Machine Gun out Today

If you’re looking for a machine gun experience off the Strip where you can try out a historic RPD machine gun, visit us online.


colt single action army revolver

When people talk about the days of the Old West, they think of cowboys, adventure, and the days of the new frontier. No gun represents the wild, unpredictable nature of the days of the Wild West than the Colt Single Action Army. The Colt single action army revolver, known today as “The Gun that Won the West,” is the epitome of an Old West six shooter.

The Gun That Won the West

Even with the single action army’s reputation as being an icon of Wild West cowboys, it wasn’t even the most popular pistol of its era. Still, even faced with deep competition from the now lesser-known pistol by Harrington & Richardson, the single action army possessed a powerful advantage that would carry the pistol onwards to icon status. Traveling shows, plays, and short novels all featured heroic tales of cowboys defeating bank robbers and getting into fights at the saloon and all the while, they did so carrying the Colt Single Action Army.


The United States adopted the Colt single action for military service in 1873, and it would continue seeing use as a service pistol until 1892. Over the course of the next couple of decades, the popularity of the single action army would fade along with the rise of double action revolvers and semi-automatic pistols.


At the close of the Second World War, a renewed interest in Western films lead to the rediscovery and revitalization in popularity of the Colt single action army, more commonly referred to at this point as the Colt Peacekeeper. Once carried by outlaws and lawmen of the Old West, the Colt single action army is now mostly found with gun collectors and Old West re-enactors.
Make a little history for yourself and fire off some rounds with a few of the most amazing machine guns from around the world. Book a gun range package at the Vegas Machine Gun Experience today.

The M3 submachine gun (SMG) is a popular World War II era firearm that is most commonly known as the Grease Gun. Originally developed in the waning years of the Second World War, the Grease Gun would eventually end up seeing most of its notable service during the wars in Korea and Vietnam. The idea behind the M3 SMG was simple; create a cheap, easily manufacturable firearm that could get the job done, and the Greaser did just that.

Time for Change

Towards the end of World War II, the United States was scrounging for ways to save on costs and decided it was time they replace the tried and true Thompson SMG. While the Thompson was effective and reliable, it was also costly and expensive to manufacture. The resulting M3 SMG proved to accomplish many of the goals, but it was far from perfect.

Making of the “Grease Gun”

Stemming from its purpose of being cheap to produce, the M3 Grease Gun earned its name from the way it resembled a cheap, mechanic’s tool. While the M3 succeeded in being cheaper to manufacture than its big brother, the Thompson SMG, it was hardly as precise. Both firearms were chambered for .45 ACP ammunition, but the extra care that went into the Tommy Gun’s creation clearly showed in practice. Still, the M3 was hardly a pushover, and being second-best to one of the best guns in American history is hardly a bad thing.

If you’re a true gun historian looking to experience these firearms first-hand, you’ll definitely want to book a D-Day gun range package at the Vegas Machine Gun Experience and see what the Grease Gun has to offer.

Perhaps no single gun is as well associated with a single time period as the Thompson submachine gun is with the Prohibition Era. Originally developed by General John T. Thompson in the waning days of the First World War, the firearm that would go on to reach legendary status as the “Tommy Gun.” Once a popular choice for criminals and law enforcement alike, the Thompson submachine gun’s legacy continues today through its use in popular media.

Historic Beginnings

John T. Thompson was a general in the American military during World War I who saw the number of American casualties rising quickly. In an attempt to try and rectify the situation, Thompson set out to create a gun that was lightweight but could provide greater firepower to the individual soldier. The resulting firearm would become the first submachine gun in history, the perfect balance between the portability of a handgun and the firepower of a machine gun.

The Tommy Gun

Given its combination of power and maneuverability, the Thompson, affectionately known as the Tommy Gun became extremely popular during the Prohibition Era. It’s this era that is most well-known to the general public, with the Tommy Gun featuring in nearly every crime film depicting this era. Whether a classic mob film from the time, such as the 1931 classic  “Little Caesar” or a modern film set in the period like 2009’s “Public Enemies,” you can almost guarantee that a Tommy Gun will make an appearance, often loaded with its signature drum magazine.

If you’re a true gun historian, you’ll definitely want to book a D-Day gun range package at the Vegas Machine Gun Experience and feel the power of the classic Thompson submachine gun for yourself.

The history of guns in America has a timeline as rich and diverse as the country itself. At the heart of this history, is the flintlock musket from the 17th and 18th century. The musket is an early, shoulder-fired firearm that became one of the most famous guns in American history due to its heavy usage during the 1800s. Let’s take a look back at one of the most historic American firearms that helped it turn into the great nation it is today: the musket.

A Truly Historic American Firearm

As far as the evolution of guns goes, the musket that many people recognize for its use during the American Revolutionary War traces its roots back to the European arquebus from the 1400s. As with many early firearms, the arquebus had its shortcomings, namely that it didn’t pack the type of power that an infantry unit was in need of. The arquebus was eventually developed into the musket, which started out large and cumbersome but eventually became lighter and maneuverable, effectively replacing the arquebus.

Charleville Musket

The gun many people picture when they hear the term musket is the Charleville. This .69 caliber flintlock musket was imported in large numbers from France during the American Revolutionary War and served as the backbone of America’s first infantry units. The Charleville muskets were lighter and easier to carry than previous models, but still retained the power that made them such popular guns both on the battlefield and as target shooting guns.

Ammunition: Musket Balls

One of the muskets most well-known characteristics lies in its signature form of ammunition, the musket ball. These musket balls were simply round balls of lead that were loaded into the musket through its muzzle. Given the simplicity of the musket’s design, however, numerous types of ammunition could be loaded and discharged from the firearm.

If you’re wondering to yourself, “Where can I learn how to shoot a gun in Las Vegas?” or “Where is a target shooting range near me?” wonder no more. Book a gun range package at the Vegas Machine Gun Experience and shoot some truly amazing firearms and maybe even learn some cool new target shooting range games.