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.. the mighty fall

9mm KurzStereotypes about Americans, perhaps in particular – those from the south.

Stereotype: They all eat grits. Real answer: Well not ALL, but certainly a lot of them do
Stereotype: The all drive thru everywhere. Real answer: Yes, they do actually … as per the rest of America
Stereotype: Everyone is a gun touting redneck. Real answer: No they’re not actually – and there’s a lot of people here that have never shot a bullet in their life.

Now I’d never shot a bullet in my life (Air Rifle/BB guns and Paintballing don’t count, right?) until approximately 4.30pm this afternoon when I found myself at a practice gun range in North Charleston.

I’m doing some work recording video footage – following the progress of a forty year old woman who was beaten up, had a knife held to her neck, robbed and was about to be raped when she managed to escape … and is now learning to shoot properly so that she can obtain herself a concealed firearms license and defend herself in future.

I should say first of all that I was slightly scared walking into this place having never seen a real gun close up at all in real life, and suddenly there’s lots of people walking round with protective head gear and glasses on carrying weapons. Yikes!

And so the obvious happened. After I’d been there a bit and relaxed, I asked the instructor how much it would cost me to have a go ($12 an hour – just six quid as it turned out!) – which I didn’t have to pay because he said “A british gun virgin! Come and have a go for free!”. And before I knew it he’d loaded up his 9mm Kurz pistol and is ushering me towards the range issuing instructions on how to grip the gun. A few more bullet points (geddit?) and I’m ready to fire.

BANG! “FUCK!!” I yell. That was some recoil that I wasn’t expecting.

BANG! “JESUS!” I swear. I should probably stop being a pussy really quickly and cut out on the profanities before that big black bloke firing in the booth next to me think I’m acting a bit gay.

BANG! “Woah!” I instinctively close my eyes as this time as the empty cartridge flies up into the air towards me … and lands on my shoulder.

BANG! “Ow!” I think I may have gripped it wrong this time and I squeezed my thumb somehow and hurt it.

BANG! “Wee hey!” Ok, I’m starting to get into it now, as the sparks fly from the end of the barrel.

At this point, images of Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson and Arnie Shwz swaggering about firing at will as casually as I might drink tea sprung into mind, and you realise that it’s actually not like that at all.

The fact is:


Which if you look at my combat target piece of paper (which they ‘reeled in’ and of course let me take home with me) shows that:

I shot off 15 times in all, and I was aiming for the guys fist (the yellow circled area), and the red dots (that I’ve highlighted for you) are actually where my bullets went. It’s not as easy as you think.

What was weird was that as I was firing it, it seemed to me as if the gun was pulling UP and to the RIGHT, when in fact the majority of bullets went down and to the left. And none of them where I was actually aiming for!

Why 15 shot? Well the gun took 6 bullets plus a spare one in the chamber and he let me go twice. Plus a first test shot. He was going to let me go again … but I’d had enough and I was actually shaking slightly.

So I placed my smokin’ gun down and felt like a man … well, a little bit more American perhaps anyway. Not that I have an urge to own one. Or use one in anger. But it was kinda … ‘fun’, y’know?

15 responses to “.. the mighty fall”

  1. Steven says:

    ah, B.A. Robertson – he wrote the Swap Shop theme tune as well, didn’t he?

  2. Jono says:

    I have fired:

    • Many shotguns
    • A competition rifle
    • A .357 Magnum revolver
    • A 9mm semi-auto handgun
    • A black powder rifle

    Öand some other stuff.

    When we’re both in the UK at the same time on a Sunday, I’ll arrange for us to go clay pigeon shooting. Entirely different proposition — the targets are moving, for a start.

  3. Paul says:

    Cool … I wanna come visit!

  4. Fimb says:

    ah yes, shooting a gun is fun.

    And remember guys, its not guns that kill people..

    *rolls eyes*

  5. stroppycow says:

    Now weren’t you the same person who mocked me when I winged that riffles get heavy after a bit =)?

  6. Belonging to a gun club in the UK is now something of a taboo subject. Since dunblane and the changes to the legislation concerning the size of gun that can be held. That said – there is still a large(ish) amount of gun club members.

    In the UK people seem to associate gun clubs and sport automatically with crime however it is worth noting that less than 5% of gun crime is carried out by those legally owning guns.

    Afterall, Guns don’t knill people – rappers do.

  7. Ben says:

    As Ediie Izzard said ” Guns don’t kill people….., but I think the gun helps….”

  8. Brent says:

    That’s a lovely headshot you have there…now if only you were aiming for the headshot!

  9. jj says:

    i’m proud of you, Geoff. still think you need to go shoot some more, though.

    we need to get a deer rifle or shotgun in your hands now – then take you hunting…

  10. Richard says:

    With all those shots on the left half of the traget it looks like you have a dominant left eye.

    How far away were you from the target?

  11. David - Las Vegas says:

    I saw a drive thru CVS today in Vegas!

  12. Tina says:

    A few years ago I went to a Women’s Self defence Class, and the instructor let us handle a gun. I was surprised how heavy it was; when old Brucie starts waving one about it looks really light. Never fired one though!

  13. Mark Garth says:

    It’s not uncommon for people to subconsciously move their hands in anticipation of a recoil. A good way of demonstrating this, if you are allowed is to have someone stand behind you and they can either load a round into the magazine or leave it empty. This way when they pass you the pistol, you donít know if it contains a round or not and if you still move when you fire and it’s empty, you know itís an automated response, which will help you to overcome it. That is, of course only if you want to!

  14. Joshua Curry says:

    Hey, I saw that guy at Waffle House the other night. He was pacing around mumbling about ‘that damn woman’. I couldn’t tell if he was talking about Hilary Clinton or someone else. I’m glad you took him out before he could do any damage.

  15. Geofftech says:

    In reply….

    Indeed. Perfect shot in the forehead. Except I wasn’t aiming for the forehead! If only. Heh.

    10 pts for Steven for getting the BA Robertson mention! Did he really do the theme for SS? Cool.

    I can’t remember how far away the target was … er … I’m guessing about 20 feet. The instructor said I was probably anticipating the recoil, yes. He also said that a larger heavier gun tends to move less and I would be more on target. Time to try a larger, heavier gun then!

    And guns don’t kill people, rabbits do!

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