Bourjaily: A Dream Job for Gun Nuts?

“Heard about a van, loaded with weapons, packed up and ready to go.” Talking Heads, Life During Wartime. Shooting all … Continued

“Heard about a van, loaded with weapons, packed up and ready to go.” Talking Heads, Life During Wartime.

Shooting all day every day has to be the greatest job in the world, right?

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I met the two gentlemen pictured above last week, on my tour of the Rock River Arms plant. They are Joe (left) and Donny (right, everyone calls him”Lucky”). It’s their job to shoot every single rifle before it leaves RRA. These days, that’s a lot of guns.

They load the van full of rifles – it holds about 20 – then drive it across the street to … … an outdoor range. They sight in every rifle that has iron sights, then test fire it for function. With full auto guns, they empty a couple of magazines to make sure everything works.

“One week when we had a bunch of full-auto rifles to get ready for the DEA, we went through 60,000 rounds of ammunition in five days,” said Lucky.

After they fire all the guns in the van, they go back to the plant for more, driving back and forth from the factory to the range all day.

RRA’s Stever Mayer says being an AR 15 test shooter isn’t the dream job everyone thinks it is. “These guys are out here every day, rain, shine, heat, or cold,” he said. Last January, while the company brass were all basking in the warmth of Orlando at SHOT, temperatures in the Upper Midwest fell to -31.

“I asked the boss if I should call back to the plant and tell Joe and Lucky to quit testing rifles,” says Mayer. “He said, “they know enough not to go out in the that cold but you may as well call them anyway.”

“When I called the plant, they had already been out to the range and back once,” says Mayer. Still think this is a dream job?