A Visit to an Air Gun Range
Ever wondered what it’s like to feel like an action hero?
I always thought I’d look quite good with a gun in my hand. You know, like one of those cool hard core heroines in a zombie movie who just picks up a nearby weapon and starts firing at the living dead. I’d automatically know how to use it, how to load it, how to aim, and the kick back would most definitely not throw me across the room. In my head I am a cross between Sarah Connors from Terminator and Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.
So this weekend to put my theory to the test I booked in to Alders Farm Air Gun Range. My husband had to talk me out of wearing hot pants with holsters strapped to my thighs, which was the obvious first choice. Instead I settled for jeans and a warm jumper, which was actually a good call as it was pretty chilly in the range.
Anyway, I was met by Darren who escorted me into the range, which basically consisted of a long warehouse, which featured five plywood vestibules at one end where individual shooters fire from. This means that they can take five bookings at a time, but you still have the privacy within your own little segmented area to be either brilliant or useless, and no-one is any the wiser.
Having never been to anything like this before, Darren talked me through the rules, and just in case I had the memory of a goldfish, which I do, they are printed up on the wall as well, just in case. Pretty much the most important things though are:
- Don’t point the gun at anyone.
- Put the safety on, until you are ready to shoot.
You can choose which target you want to shoot at from a selection on the back wall. There were traditional circles, zombies, rats, pigeons and rabbits. I couldn’t bring myself to fire at a rabbit, even a paper one, but I have no such qualms about sky rats, so the pigeon was my first victim.
With the target positioned in its holder, you can select the distance you want to shoot it from on the pad on the side of your vestibule. With a press of a button the target zooms away from you to the correct position and you are good to go. It’s that easy.
I started off with a rifle, which I felt surprisingly comfortable with straight away. These are generally fired from a seated position and you rest the gun on the provided stand. Make sure the safety is on before loading the bullet, and also make sure the skirt of the bullet is facing you when its loaded. (Check me out, I remembered some terminology!) You then close it in, and when you’re comfortable to shoot, take the safety off.
Lining it up, so that you can see your target, you have to move your head backwards and forwards until you can see it clearly with both eyes open, and without a black ring around it. Once you have it in your sights, hold your breath to try and stop your hands from shaking, and pull that trigger.
And you’re off!
I was also lucky enough to try out an air pistol while I was there courtesy of my host, and I was beyond excited to learn that you do actually have to hold them exactly like you see in the movies. Standing with legs apart and both arms outstretched in front of you. Never have I felt so much like a bloody action hero!!! Until I tried to get the target in my sights that is…
By all accounts you’re either a pistol person or a rifle person, and it looked like I was leaning towards rifles. It’s not all bad though, at least you get to sit down.
So how did I get on? I bet you’re expecting me to say I was rubbish, but you now what? I was actually pretty good, and managed to hit quite a few bullseyes. Darren, obviously shocked and amazed at my gunslinging abilities started talking to me about competitions and how if I ever wanted to try sharp shooting, they have a set up where you can fire bullets at a target about ten miles away through a six millimetre hole.
I’m not quite sure I’m at that level just yet, but I tell you what, Im definitely going to be going back and I may have to invest in those thigh holsters after all!
For more details about Alders Farm check out their website here
Another fun thing to try if you have some free time are Treasure Trails. Check out my experience here
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