As a Brit the closest you normally get to shooting guns is playing the latest release of GTA so imagine our delight when we were told about a shooting range in Sofia where we could shoot some handguns. The prospect seemed too good to pass up.
With a few hours left before we were due to board our night train to Belgrade we found ourselves in ‘VIP Shooting Range’, a small 5 lane shooting range in the outskirts of Sofia.
On arrival we make our way down into the basement and approach the man behind what I can only assume to be bullet proof glass. We handover our passports, fill out a simple form and we’re good to go. That was surprisingly easy.
“Which guns do you want and how many bullets?”
The glass table in front of us has about 20 different handguns inside it. We glance at each other feeling excited but somewhat hesitant at the same time. Having no clue what we were doing we ask for some advice. The guy behind the counter looks at us like we’d just insulted his mum and tells us to pick whatever we want.
We take it in turns to pick a gun and decide upon 15 bullets for each gun, giving us five shots on each gun before swapping to try each others guns out. Mike picks up his chosen gun and starts fiddling with it trying to work out how to release the magazine clip.
He finds the button and sends the magazine down onto the glass cabinet below, luckily the only damage is to Mike’s dignity. Again we receive a death stare from the guy stationed behind the counter.
With the guns and bullets in our hands we are good to go, there is only one slight problem, we still don’t know what we are doing. After asking very nicely, the guy behind the counter gives us a very quick tutorial covering the absolute basics of how to use the guns. With us now “fully instructed” he walks out and we are left to our own devices.
We carefully load our guns and in turn check each of us is ready with guns loaded and ear muffs on.
The first shot echoes around the room, this isn’t like the nerf guns my brothers and I used to play with, this is real.
Even after watching numerous YouTube videos of people getting hit in the face from the recoil of a gun it still catches me somewhat by surpirse each time. We’re only shooting small 9mm handguns, I can’t imagine the recoil from a Desert Eagle.
After shooting our first five shots we reload our own guns, swap and take another five shots! By our third gun we’re improving quickly and are almost consistently hitting the target.
We head back out to the foyer with renewed confidence, hand back our first three guns and get three different ones. This time we choose a slightly more interesting guns including one which reminds me of a James Bond film. The man behind the counter is still as uninterested as ever.
Our trains departure time is getting ever closer so after finishing shooting we pay up, a total of about £10 each (charging is done per bullet), and make our way back to reality.
One more thing ticked off the bucket list and something else I never would have thought I was going to do when I left England 2 weeks prior.
For those who are interested in the sofia shooting range details are below:
Google Maps Location: www.google.co.uk/maps….