Lock & Load Miami Has Brought the Heavy Artillery To Wynwood
Over the past month, there's been a lot of hubbub over the opening of Lock & Load Miami, a machine gun shooting range in the heart of Wynwood, the city's artsy neighborhood. Some locals expressed bewilderment to the Miami Herald that the range might find itself out of place amid all the cynical hipsters who make Wynwood tick. Cultist, however, recently opined the artsier, hipster crowd should embrace Lock & Load Miami given Wynwood's auteurs have already embraced gun culture in their works of art.
So naturally we couldn't pass up an opportunity to visit the 22,000-square-foot armory and test out some of the weapons on hand late last week.
As soon as you walk in, you know you're not in a run-of-the-mill gun range. For starters, the owners have hung a full-sized decommissioned OH helicopter from the warehouse's high ceiling. The chopper was used in Operation Iraqi Freedom and has a gatling gun attached to the under carriage near the nose.
It hovers over a waiting lounge where you can choose one of nine themed firearms packages with menacing sounding names like "Scarface" and "Black Widow." The packages are designed for gun enthusiasts who woke up in a new Bugatti, starting from $83 to $575.
There are 18 air gun replicas of the real machine guns hanging on a wall next to the lounge. "They look and feel like the real thing," says a Lock & Load spokesman. "You can hold these replicas to get a feel for the guns before shooting them."
Here's where we need to explain the difference between the guns at Lock & Load and firearms at other gun ranges in Miami that only offer target practice with semiautomatic guns, which can only fire one bullet at a time. All the weapons at Lock & Load are fully automatic. When you keep your finger on the trigger, the gun will continue firing until it runs out of ammo. Only active police officers, military personnel, federal agents, and American citizens who go through an expensive and rigorous federal background check have access to these guns.