Red Oktober: Comic-Con Meets Machine Gun Shoot

Las Vegas, NV -( A few months back, Jeremy Deadman of XTech Tactical asked me if I would like to attend Red Oktober and bring Gun Owners of America with me.

Red Oktober is the largest AK shoot in the country. Competitors and spectators flock to the Nevada desert outside Las Vegas every October of what I can only describe as Comic-Com meets machine guns. Rifle Dynamics hosts the event along with co-sponsors XTech Tactical and Apex Gun Parts. The who’s who of AK companies are there to show off their products and meet people in the community.

The price for a spectator at the event was $10. That included being able to shoot machine guns as well as the ammo, but before I get into the event, I need to talk about the AK culture in general.

AK culture is unique. It is a culture that doesn’t take itself too seriously. People who go to events like this realize they are in a niche. They don’t want their rifles to be the “go-to” semi-automatic long gun on the market. They embrace being the oddball at the range.

AK culture is unique.
AK culture is unique.

Rifle Dynamics held this year’s Red Oktober at the Pro Gun Club outside of Las Vegas in Boulder City. They decided to change the location from last year’s site of St. George, Utah. The organizers believe this change is better for the people coming in from out of town. It gives the people from out of town a more extensive choice of hotels, restaurants, and events. I think it was the right decision.

I flew into Vegas on the Thursday before the event and took a cab directly to Rifle Dynamics to meet with the crew. I met with the company’s owner Mark Flinn and his director of marketing, Eric Tsou. They walked me through the process of how they build their rifles and explained what set their AKMs apart from others on the market.

Their AKs come with adjustable gas blocks, which is uncommon for the AK market. I was able to shoot a few Rifle Dynamics rifles at the range and the adjustable gas block does make a difference in the recoil for the rifles. Their AKs feels more like an AR regarding the recoil. If I could afford one, I would go with this system on my AKs, but their AKs are a little out of my price range. One cool thing I found out about RD is that the company buys every employee membership to GOA.

After meeting with the crew over at Rifle Dynamics, I took an Uber to my hotel for the night. I stayed at New York New York on the Las Vegas Strip. I was able to explore the main tourist attractions like the Bellagio fountains and all the hotels. It was good to do some tourist stuff in Vegas, at SHOT Show and other events in Vegas, I never have time to explore.

On Friday, I was picked up at my hotel by Aiden and Matthew from Gun Owners of America. We hit up a buffet before heading out to Pro Gun Club to check out the setup and get a feeling as to what was going on. It was GOA’s first time at the event as well.

When we arrived at Pro Gun Club, we were amazed. It was the most massive gun range we have ever seen. We drove by the on-site restaurant and a taxi with the saying, “Blow me up! Inquire At The Club House.” We knew we were not at a typical gun range.

When I say that this place is massive, I mean it. People take golf carts between lanes. Driving up the road to the clubhouse, we passed people running drills at each range. Most were in tactical gear, but a few had more colorful costumes, such as someone dressed as a rice farmer.

We walked into the clubhouse, and once again, Pro Gun Club blew our minds. The clubhouse consisted of a pro-shop, a lounge, and a full-service bar. When a shooter signs in, the range gives them two bands. One is for the shooter to be on the range. The bartender will cut off the other band when the customer has a drink.

The next day we got to Pro Gun Club at around 7 AM. I rode in with the guys from GOA. It was a beautiful desert day. Pulling in, I saw a guy dressed up as a gnome with an AK slung over his back. At that point, I knew that this was going to be an exciting day.

As GOA and XTech set up their tables, I noticed a Humvee with a Turret set up in the middle of our lanes. It wasn’t there when I left the day earlier, so I inquired what it was doing there. Jeremey Explained that it was going to be part of the charity course designed by Navy SEAL, Ryan Everett

I noticed a Humvee with a Turret set up in the middle of our lanes.
I noticed a Humvee with a Turret set up in the middle of our lanes.

Ryan was a former ordinance guy for Team Two. He was also staying at the XTech house, so I got to talk to him the night before. Ryan is a solid guy that was willing to share his wisdom about life. He was incredibly chill.

The course cost $50 to run. $25 would go to a vet with stage four cancer, and the other $25 would go to GOA. The winner would get a golden mag courtesy of XTech Tactical. They would also get a Masada pistol from IWI.

The course consisted of rolling a weighted barrel followed by loading five ammo cans filled with rocks to the top of the Humvee. The competitor then had to climb into the turret of the Humvee and fire on some steel targets. They then had to run to a set of barrels and shoot from concealment.

Then the competitor had to belly crawl to a position and fire from the prone position on more targets. A dummy grenade toss into a tire followed these shots. The competitor had to run back, load a magazine with a single bullet, and try to get a headshot on another target. The final activity was a tire drag.

It was a daunting course, but it wasn’t impossible. The most impressive thing I saw the whole weekend was a woman in her 50s who was not in shape run the course. XTech created a spirit award just for her.

From pro shooters to amateurs attempted the course. The winner was a guy who never competed and never shot an AK before. He was in great shape and is training to try to become a Green Beret. He beat Mario Avadium from Lee Armory by four seconds.

A while back, I reviewed the Lee Armory M10 AKM, and it was a great rifle. At the event, I got to fire a full-auto Romanian Military Classic AKM by Lee Armory. I love shooting full-auto anything. The guys from Lee Armory couldn’t be more helpful. I got a chance to talk with the owner of the company about how she came to own the company.

While I was shooting machine guns suppressed by OSS suppressors, I met a gentleman dressed up as Crocket from Miami Vice. His wife dressed up in a Viet Cong outfit. It was a little surreal.

The OSS suppressor did a great job pushing the gas out of the front of the rifles instead of the shooter’s face. The current generation of suppressors is a hell of a lot better than the company’s first generation. I am glad they got rid of the over the barrel design. I have a first-gen for my AR, but it wouldn’t fit on my SBR. I was disappointed, but I like their current offerings.

I also checked out the latest offerings from IWI. Their Masada pistol was fantastic. It was a tack driver. I also loved the full-auto Galils they brought to the show.


I got my hands on some Dead Air Silencers as well. I shot everything from machine guns to pistols suppressed, and it was great. I was impressed with the build quality of the suppressors.

I got my hands on some Dead Air Silencers as well. I
I got my hands on some Dead Air Silencers as well. I

That night I attended a party at the XTech house with some of the sponsors. It was an excellent time to kick back and enjoy some of their stories about the companies. Lee Armory and XTech have a family feel to them.

The next day started just as early. I spent most of the day talking to the spectators and competitors. These interactions are where the AK culture shines. Every person I spoke to was willing and happy to speak of AKs. The competitors were all sharing tips with each other and even cheering each other on as they competed.

Towards the end of the day, Mark from Rifle Dynamics found me and had a surprise for me. He brought out the STG44 (MP44). It is a German World War II gun that pre-dates the AK. It is my all-time favorite gun, and I never thought I would get a chance to shoot one.

STG44 (MP44)
STG44 (MP44)

I was able to fire the first-ever assault rifle on full auto. I did a mag dump and put the gun on the table and started walking away with a massive smile on my face. I was in heaven.

Mark stopped me and said, “Oh, you aren’t done yet! Load up another mag!”

Who am I to argue? I loaded another mag and let it rip. Then, Mark, had me load another mag and then another mag. It was a great way to end a day of shooting. Bucket list item complete!

After all the competitors ran their stages, it was time for the awards. Everyone stored their guns, and Pro Gun Club handed out the beers. People received their awards, and comradery continued into the night.

The next day I flew home with a greater appreciation for the AK culture and a lot of new friends were made. I will be there next year, and if I were you, I would be too.

I want to thank XTech Tactical, Rifle Dynamics, and Gun Owners of America for making this trip possible. I love my job!

About John CrumpJohn Crump

John is an NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at

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Now THAT was a really good article and, have to admit, made me put you on my “no Christmas card list” for not inviting me to go with you!