Today I had one of the best experiences ever – it was my first time shooting a real gun! The shooting range is located in the basement of The Gym in Sofia and I was lucky enough to go and check it out today with some friends. Firstly, in case you’re wondering, you don’t have to be a member of the gym to use the shooting range and secondly, they provide you with everything you need and you simply pay a small fee for the gun (about 15 leva) and then you pay per bullet! So easy! The cost per bullet was 50 stotinki (25 cents). There were four of us and we shot around 70 bullets between us. We took it in turns and were there for around 2 hours.
On arrival you can each choose your gun and how many bullets you’d like. I opted for a Glock 17 – 9mm semi-automatic to start with as I was told this was appropriate for a beginner. The shooting range itself is quite small and as there were four in our group we had the place to ourselves. Once in the range, before you can start you’ll receive a full safety briefing from the expert. She did the briefing in English for us and told us absolutely everything, how to hold the gun correctly, how to stand, how to load, how to aim. We each had to put on our ear protectors and then one by one we took our turn. The paper targets can be positioned up to 25 metres away, mine was 15 metres and after shooting your round they are pulled in for inspection.
Now, I’ve shot a pellet gun at ranges twice before and I enjoyed it so was expecting the same thing but let me tell you, if you’ve never shot a real gun before it is very different and quite scary! When I was handed the gun and the 9mm bullets the first thing that went through my mind was that this was not a toy. This was in fact very, very dangerous. I had to steady myself as my arms were a little shaky to begin with. The second thing that I wasn’t prepared for was the sound and power of the gun. When you pull the trigger for the first time and hear how loud it is, even with your ears covered, it’s quite a shock. Then there’s the power of it from the recoil that knocks you back a little as it fires, for an expert it’s nothing but as a beginner you really feel it. After my first five shots we pulled in the target to take a look – apparently I’m a natural! All five hit the target, two of which were in the centre! That’s it, I was hooked. My nerves improved and each time my turn came I was more and more excited!
I also opted to try a Ruger .22 which was slightly lighter and had less recoil. It was good too but I think the Glock was more for me! Once I got used to it I actually really enjoyed the sound and power of it!
I’m definitely going back to do this again and probably very soon. I think this may even become one of my favourite hobbies!
Have you tried it yet? Let us know below!