Being from England I rarely ever see a gun, let alone having ever shot one. Since I was in Kiev I took the opportunity to go to a shooting range. I have no passion for guns but being the video game nerd and adrenaline junkie that I am, it was of course on my bucketlist. We drove out to the range and as we pulled in I heard my first ever gunshot in real life and without missing a beat I dropped down in the car. Clearly my instincts where going to need to switch off for this experience.
My instructor spoke little English and took great amusement from my easily excitable attitude. I have grown up playing first person shooters with my dad and seeing those very weapons in person brought back many good memories. The first gun I would be shooting was an ak-47 (often my personal preference in a game). Even before picking it up I knew the power that it held. The instructor set me up towards my targets, showed me how to shoot and left me to experience the rest.
The only prior knowledge I had was that the kickback would be extreme and that if I didn’t support it properly with my shoulder then I would be in for a world of pain. I held on tighter than I knew I could and with my heart racing, I held my breathe and pulled the trigger. What followed is almost indescribable, the pure strength of the weapon and the piercing noise echoing out sent my adrenaline racing round my entire body. I shot another and another, with a grin taking over my face and my mind swirling. The target became somewhat irrelevant to me as I cared more about being in the moment than being a talented shooter. With the clip empty, I put down the gun and took a step back to soak everything in and of course being me, the only logical response was to giggle like a happy child.
Next up was a legitimate Soviet sniper to be shot across 100 metres. Purely it’s size was intimidating, let alone what I knew it was capable of. My set-up awaited me so I took a seat and aimed through my scope. I pulled the trigger and well…. I’d forgotten my ear protection. Being so close to that noise will stay with me for a while and not just because my ear is still slightly ringing. The shock threw me back and once my brain realised I was still in one piece, I laughed it off. I shot 9 more times and went to my target to see how I’d done and let’s just say I’m not ready for a career as a sniper.
Finally was the glock handgun at 5 metre close range. I shot away pretty rapidly in comparison to the others, realising three shots in that I had the wrong eye closed! I loved this gun most of all because it was all of the strength and none of the shoulder assaulting pain. I also learned that actually I wasn’t half bad at it, getting all my correct-eye-open shots within the nine and ten circles. It was over before I knew it and I was commended for my efforts and minor first time skill.
I was riding that energetic excitement for the rest of the day and would really recommend the experience if you get a safe chance. But mainly what I’ve come away knowing is that the natural high of adrenaline still has a hold on my heart and that in the zombie apocalypse I’m getting myself a glock.