Heading to a gun range is not a normal tourist event in Canada, but you can do it in Langley BC. My goal was to conduct research for some fiction writing I’m doing.
The Range is on 201 Street, Langley, not far from Highway 1. It’s important to note that if you just want to fire guns at their range, you either need a completed Canadian Firearms Safety Course or at least one other person in your group. I brought a friend with me.
Prior to this trip, the only firearm I had fired was a 22-calibre rifle at a cottage decades ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I entered, but a young attractive professional lady greeted us. I guess I was expecting bikers. (He showed up later.) Once we had chosen our firearms and how much ammunition we planned to fire, we had to take the safety video. A young fellow who was very clear and professional explained how everything worked. The thing I remember most was to keep the business end of the gun down range. I.e. don’t aim at anyone, dipshit.
The guns we fired were 2 hand guns (Shadow 2 and Glock 17 – both 9 mm) and a Remington 870 shotgun. The other options were frankly petrifying-looking and too close to things they use in mass shootings. You will note that in Canada unrestricted firearms are mostly simple long guns and shotguns you’d find at the farm for hunting or killing varmints. The Shadow and Glock are both restricted. You can take both the unrestricted and restricted training course for about $250. The Shadow is the more expensive gun at about $1400 whereas the Glock is about $800.
In the gun range, there was someone down the hallway firing something that sounded like a cannon. Hearing protection is not optional.
The reason I picked the Shadow, which was heavier and metal, was because they said it was more accurate. The Glock was plastic more popular and its name is immortalized in film and TV.
The target I shot at (just circles – the outlines of humans creeped me out) was fairly close and the instructor was right. The Shadow was better to shoot. I didn’t much like the shell casings bouncing off my head. Oh, eye protection is mandatory too.
The shotgun was kind of cool because the ejecting of shells felt and looked just like on TV.
The total cost with tax for 2 people sharing 2 handguns and 1 shotgun plus buckshot and two clips of 10 bullets was $138.88.
As we left, our instructor said we shot well. I asked if it was beginner’s luck. He said that what made the difference for us was that we followed instructions. Too many people were taking Hollywood’s advice, not his.
As we left, I noticed a free bumper sticker you could take home. White letters on a red background said, “Make Trudeau a Drama Teacher Again.” I decided to amend the expression “Never Discuss Politics or Religion in polite company” with or at the gun range.
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