“I have a very strict gun control policy: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it.” Clint Eastwood
Last week we embarked on a new and unusual family activity, a trip to the Caracal Shooting Club. Myself and the menfolk of the family (teenager left at home on this occasion) went to the range to have a go at shooting 9mm pistols.
First stop was the safety briefing room where we found out much to my surprise (shocked and a little scared actually) that we would be using live ammunition, not sure what I thought we would be using but I hadn’t expected that! We were given the gun safety information, guidance about stance/position and advice about the basic principles of marksmanship. Briefing and initial gun handling passed we moved onto the range, cue surprise number two, just how loud it was. Just like a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster the range had retractable targets and the floor was littered with empty gold bullet cases. The other half was quite vocal (a common occurrence) convinced he was going to beat us all and in his words “Smash it”. Let the family male competitiveness and banter commence.
So we were ready, ear defenders check, safety goggles check, 9mm pistol check and live ammunition (arrrgggggg) check, adrenaline check and nerves CHECK! Under strict supervision (I got told off for taking a photo with my phone pre-shooting…..ooops) we had one test bullet each as a practice to line up the pistol and target and I literally jumped out of my skin as the other three fired, so my shot went somewhat off target landing somewhere to the bottom right of the paper which made my instructor giggle.
Magazines fully filled, it was time to get serious. The eldest finished first, peeking a bit soon firing all his twenty-five bullets in quick succession resulting in random shots, mostly in the right zone. Next to finish was number two son who fired erratically (got my genes apparently) followed by me with random bullets holes spaced on (not many near the bullseye) and around the edge of the target, more in a pretty pattern (maybe he was right about the gene pool). It was not too bad seeing as I was shaking like a leaf and fearful of the kickback from the pistol after each shot. The other half finished with all his shots on target, either in the bullseye or the adjacent circle, cue lots of banter and distinctly boastful like behaviour. He would only answer to ‘Magnum’ for the rest of the evening! It didn’t help that the instructors asked him several times if he was sure he hadn’t shot guns before! Credit where credits due, he did smash it as predicted (annoyingly).
It was a good fun activity, lots of competitive family banter and if nothing else I have a great new Facebook profile picture. Would I go again? Yes, most definitely and try to be a bit braver and more accurate too!
The Caracal Shooting Club is a 25m range located at the Armed Officers Club in Abu Dhabi. (www.caracalsc.ae)