For several years now, clay pigeon shooting has always been something that I have wanted to do; and thanks to my loving mother giving my brother, father and myself (AKA the men of the household) a 50 shot experience for Chanukah, yesterday was the day where we got to play with some guns.
The shooting range wasn’t too far from our home, and so after a short 15 minute drive (it would have only been 10 minutes if it were property signposted) we arrived to the noise of guns being fired.
As we arrived in plenty of time, this gave David, the perfect opportunity to talk to a dog with an Irish accent as we waited patiently for our turn.
The first thing you notice about holding a shotgun is that it is rather heavy. We were told that these guns weigh just over 4kg (9 Pounds in old money), which in itself isn’t a lot, but when you consider your arm is outstretched, and this weight is pushing down on the tip of your fingers, you start to appreciate how heavy 4kg really is.
Very brief safety talk over, and David was the first to take aim and fire, (as you can see by the pictures below) his face was quite a picture when he first pulled the trigger, not knowing what to expect. He managed to hit a few clays before it was dads turn. Naturally dad knew what to do (thanks to target practice in our back garden several years earlier) and so wasn’t quite as nervous as David and I were, and he to managed to hit some clays.
Then it was my turn, being the only right handed member of the party, I felt I had something to prove; however from watching both David’s and Dad’s attempts a few moments prior to taking up my stance, it was clear that it was not as easy as the professionals make it look.
With the gun loaded in my hand, and not knowing what level of kick back was to be expected I held on to dear life and said the all important words ‘pull’ (a cue for the trap boy to fire the clay).
Ill be honest, I didn’t hit the first clay, or indeed the second, but I did manage to fire the gun, which I suppose now qualifies me to be a bank robber.
After the time went by the three of us managed to hit a few clays each, which out of fifty each was bound to happen. The main thing was that we enjoyed ourselves and had fun. Yes we didn’t master the skill of shooting, but what do you expect, we were complete beginners, and so hitting any target hundreds of meters away, the size of an ash tray, travelling at over 25mph (whether or not it was down to pure luck) was quite an achievement.
As I write this blog post a day later, with my arm only aching a small amount and contemplating would I do it again; yes I probably would. It is an expensive hobby, however many years from now I can see it being one that I will enjoy, provided that I am good at it. If I don’t improve, then I suppose I will have to find another hobby for me to enjoy into retirement!