Armed and Harmless

Heres Colin’s take on our excursion to the shooting range. There is also a video I shot in the media section.




I get a call from Tom Sunday at the crack of noon; I’m like half awake, half asleep when he starts to tell me his fishing trip was cancelled due to the crappy weather.  I was still impressed from the awesome bank heist movie The Town, which I would put right up there with Heat, but not better than. It really made me want to go look at some guns, and I’ve been tempting the idea of getting my firearms license so I can get a rifle. My weapon of choice would be British Lee Enfield 303, but the store I knew would have one is closed on Sundays. So Tom floats the idea instead of looking at some guns, let’s go shoot some down at Wild West Shooting Center.  A good idea is a good idea. 


Tom rolled over to my place at around 1:00 PM and we kicked it down to the West end which is no stranger to gun fire.  When we arrived the place was pretty busy with some curious onlookers who wanted to see the arsenal the store holds. We took a gander as well and then checked price guide for the shooting gallery. Tom knew right away he wanted to shoot .45’s, because that’s what the Delta Force guys use. Me, I had no idea what to shoot, the only ammo I know of are the 9 mm, and the .44 Magnum. Cops use 9 mm’s, and Dirty Harry uses a .44.  I figured I’d go along with Tom’s plan, but I was initially deterred by the price, you pay $26 for a day pass, then it’s between $38-$55 for a box of 50 bullets, and $2 for your target sheets. I was like forget that, but since we’re here already let’s do this thing. We signed up, paid our money, and picked the Zombie Target Sheets (you never know when the Zombie apocalypse may come, so be prepared), grabbed our eye and ear protection and walk into the firing range.


I was shocked by the pressure when a shot is fired, I’d never experienced it before indoors, I’d used a shotgun once but that was out in the bush.  We had to wait our turn while other people fired off their rounds. When our turn was up we walked over to our stalls and the guy gave us the options of the Ruger and the 1911, they were the only .45s they had. Tom was stoked because Delta Force uses 1911’s. We switched off on both of them, shooting 25 on one and 25 on the other. We did make a gentleman’s bet on who was more accurate but we buggered that one up when we didn’t switch targets between guns.  We were given instructions on safety and then on how to use the guns.


I got the Ruger first and when I pushed in my first clip I was like wow, this is it; I hold 8 men’s lives in my hand right now. Pushing the thoughts of murder aside, I drew onto the Zombies on the target, aiming for the head rather than the stupid target ring. Besides every one knows you have to shoot Zombies in the head to kill them. My first shot startled me, the reality of the gun kicked in, this thing will fuck a person up, and when you feel the weight and the size of the bullet, it will put you down.  With the first shot out of the way, I carried on bang, bang, bang, until we switched and it was my turn with the 1911. I liked this one more, it felt more comfortable to handle and I found it easier to shoot off more rounds quickly. 


I don’t know if Tom is more pro or if he was just more eager than me, but when he finished shooting I was just loading my last clip.  When I finished I was pretty stoked and wanted to shoot some more, but I reckon this was enough for a first go. With the Gun Shot Residue still fresh on my hand we took some photos and hit the old dusty trail. All in all it was a great experience and I would definitely go do it again, but talking with some folks there are other places around town to go shoot some guns for a little bit cheaper.  No lie about it, holding a gun is pretty bad ass, and it definitely makes me want to acquire my licence to do some hunting this fall with my Dad and some buddies.


-Colin Blyth


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