The Slidefire (and other similar bump-fire stocks) is basically a toy when used form the shoulder. A genuinely fun toy, to be sure, but still a toy. However, I have reason to suspect that when used on a rifle with a bipod and large ammunition capacity it might actually do a good job of duplicating a true light machine gun without the cost and NFA paperwork.
(For folks who are not familiar with the concept, the stock allows the action to freely reciprocate in the stock. By holding one’s trigger finger in a set position and pulling the action forward, the gun fires and the recoil energy pushes it backwards enough to reset the trigger. By applying a constant forward pressure on the gun, a pretty steady rate of fire at 500-600 rpm can be achieved with a gun that remains unquestionably semi-automatic by law.)
As a first step in testing that hypothesis, I took a Russian semiauto RPK with a Slidefire stock to this month’s 2-Gun Action Challenge Match. The goal was to see if it showed enough promise to be worth further practice and experimentation…
…and the answer is that it definitely is. My match score was terrible, and the gun had several problems (mostly due to unpracticed handling of the Slidefire), but the potential was apparent.
One interesting thing I took away from the match was some refreshed perspective on the extra stress competition puts on a person’s skills. I am not a top-level competitor at the 2-Gun match, but I have enough practice and experience that I don’t need to devote a lot of my conscious effort to actually manipulating my guns. I can focus on things like sight picture and target acquisition and movement and such, and the basic mechanical operation of the guns takes care of itself. Not so much with the Slidefire. The extra concentration required to operate the bumpfire stock (things like how much forward pressure to apply to the gun and keeping my trigger finger in the proper position for bumpfiring) took a lot more of my attention than a normal firearm. As a result, I found myself making rookie mistakes like failing to use both front and rear sights.
I am anticipating that more practice can mitigate this issue, just as it does for typical guns. As I say in the video, I have been toying with the idea of buying a transferrable LMG for a while, because I would like to practice using one as an LMG (using a light machine gun is a different skillset than a rifle, just as effective use of a submachine gun involves a much different skillset than rifle or pistol shooting). The plan had been to find a Type 99 Nambu, for which I already have a 7.62x39mm conversion setup to allow affordable full-auto shooting. But if I can get 90%+ of the same thing for a tenth of the price by using a Slidefire RPK, that would be a much more feasible option.