Machine Gun Ownership: FACTS vs FICTION
Jeff Zimba of Freedom Fighters and BigShooterist fame explains the facts and fiction about machine gun ownership today 30 years after the controversial and unconstitutional May 1986 Machine Gun Ban.
Jeff has been a staple in the Black Gun industry with over 20 years of writing, editing, and test and evaluation. Though Jeff gets poked fun at by the boys, he is the backbone of knowledge for the show Freedom Fighters. He is coined with the well-deserved name “The Black Gun Guru”.
Jeff W. Zimba was introduced to firearms at an age too young to remember. In his own words, “My father and grandfather used to enjoy target shooting and reloading in-between big game hunting seasons. I used to tag along with them on their many trips to the range, and as you can imagine, it was difficult to record data and focus on fine tuning with a curious and talkative young man in the midst. To keep me quiet and safely entertained, they would blow up a bag of balloons and staple their necks to a big sheet of plywood on an impact area 90° from theirs. (So we could sit together but shoot safely in different directions.) I was given a few boxes of .22LR, a rifle or pistol, and told to let the adults shoot and focus on popping all the balloons. It was an exercise I looked forward to, every trip to the range.”
Ten days after graduating from high school, Zimba reported for duty in the United States Navy at Great Lakes, IL with a dream of a career. Unfortunately, an injury quickly had him packing his sea bag and heading back home for surgery. With no plans for further education or job prospects, since all effort was placed on the military, as one door closed, several started to open. He started a retail gun shop and became an NFA firearms manufacturer. It was the largest retail NFA stocking gun shop in the state for several years. It was at that point he found a knack for breaking things from extreme use that always necessitated fixing, and occasionally improving the original system. He started keeping notes on all the data he collected and eventually started spending more time on the shooting range than in the store.
After a short stint working with Long Mountain Outfitters, a large Type 10 (Manufacturer of Destructive Devices) wholesale dealer, importer, and manufacturer, he was on the ground level in starting a new magazine (Small Arms Review) primarily covering NFA firearms (machineguns, sound suppressors, destructive devices, short-barreled rifles, shotguns, etc.) and served as the Production Manager and Staff Writer for almost 16 years, specializing in articles on the testing and evaluation of systems, both new and old. He continued to assist manufacturers in research and development on new designs, and continues to be active in the industry to this day.
His articles have been published in numerous gun magazines in several countries including Machine Gun News – USA, Small Arms Review Magazine – USA, Shotgun News – USA, The American Rifleman – USA, AK-47 & Soviet Weapons Annuals – USA, ARMI Magazine – Germany, PLATOON Magazine – South Korea, and several others.
These days, Zimba remains a freelance writer and maintains a Firearms T&E Channel on Full30 and on Youtube (www.YouTube.com/Bigshooterist) to share new information. He is the CEO of Small Arms Research, a New England-based firearms test facility, and he works closely with several manufacturers of firearms, ammunition, and accessories in research and development. He is a longtime activist for the Second Amendment on the state and federal level and enjoys his time in the Maine woods and waters as a licensed Master Maine Guide focusing primarily on providing outdoor opportunities for combat wounded veterans. He is an active firearms instructor, working with all levels of shooting, and enjoys “sharing the craft” with new shooters the most. He continues learning at every opportunity, considering himself a “perpetual Student of the Gun” with years of study ahead. In his “spare time” he appears on the hit reality television shooting show “Freedom Fighters” airing on the Pursuit Channel.
Below is a recent video that Jeff did on a very interesting takedown rifle.