Have you ever asked what makes hard guys smile? Well, there are actually a few of things, but one of it is making some loud noise.
Like in the case of Daniel. Daniel is the drummer of a local band called Entrails Massacre. They play some serious hard Grindcore (a form of metal, where you play as fast and as loud as you can; Hard to describe better watch the video). Although it’s a local band, they have toured through the U.S. and Brazil. They regularly play at festivals all over europe, like the “Mountains of Death” in Czech Republic or “Obscene Extreme” in Switzerland. So as a drummer, he is used to producing some hard, loud noise, but we had a different challenge for him. To make noise louder than anything he ever could do with his drums: of course, shooting real guns.
So he asked us whether my father and I would take him with us when we went training again. Daniel had some particular wishes: he only wanted to shoot modern guns, no WW I or WW II guns. Fine with us, so we rented the 100m range at the Sportpark Gehlsdorf and the 25m steel plates. So while my father built up the falling plates, I went with him and his girlfriend to the 100m range. You could see that he was quite nervous but, we started with small caliber pistols and worked our way up to the high caliber ones.
At first I explained him about my Beretta 92 FS, a 9mm Pistol in , famous from movies and TV (for example Bruce Willis used a Beretta 92 ind the Die Hard trilogy).It is in the standard caliber 9mm.He seemed really excited, so I loaded the magazine with 5 bulllets, and made the pistol ready to fire. He started asking if it kicks hard or if its handable. I asured him that its easy to handle and he wouldn´t have to worry. Then he took his first shot with it. He turned around smiling to his girlfriend “Awesome, really really cool, take a picture of me”.
He couldn´t stop smilling “Steph, you have to try that one out”. Slowly she stepped forward and finally agreed. I loaded just 1 shot in the magazine and then explained her how to hold it best and how to manage the recoil. After the shot she also started smiling “cool, I´d like to do a few more.”
I think they would also have had fun if we didn´t take any other guns with us, but variety is the spice of life, so we unpacked a revolver in .357 Magnum. It’s a Smith & Wesson Target Champion (Target Champion = model with modified trigger weight and improved iron sights)
When I took out the ammo for it, he started loughing out loud “Oh god, what kind of a round is that?” I explained him that it was actually an old western caliber, but a revolver isn´t absorbing any of the recoil in relation to pistols. Because pistols use the recoil for ejecting the empty case and transport the new one into the barrel it absorbs a bit of recoil, depending on how heavy the frame and how strong the springs are; with a revolver, you have to do the whole transport part by yourself by spinning the drum and cocking the hammer. He was taking his shooting stance, I gave him the hint not to hold it with stiff arms and better try to absorb the recoil by letting your elbows relax. He fired ,and a nice fireball came out of the barrel. Smilling all over his face, “that´s great, I expected harder recoil, and I also think it´s much easier because you don´t have so much movement of the gun itself”. Steph didn´t want to shoot it; looked a bit too hard to her. Daniel took 20 more shots with it, and even hit the target quite well for an beginner.
I told him that we have one more Pistol, a real beast of a gun. He looked seriously at me “ok let´s rock”. I unpacked it and the ammo for it. It is a Desert Eagle mk. VII in caliber .44 Magnum, or like Clint Eastwood said in the Dirty Harry movies ,“this is a .44 Magnum, the strongest handgun in the world”. Well back in the 70´s and 80´s, that was right, but now there are some higher calibers for pistols.
I gave him the empty gun, “Wow that’s a heavy one” (it weights 2,5 kilo empty, the Beretta weights 700gr empty). After instructing him, how to hold it the best way and how to deal with the recoil, I gave him the magazine.”I guess the slide stucked.” “No you just have to push the slide catch down a bit harder!” The slide rushed forward, locked and loaded! He slowly moved the weapon upward towards the target, slowly moved his finger to the trigger, suddenly he putted the gun down again. ”It won´t break my wrist, will it?” I smiled at him “Not when you hold it like I told you!” He took the gun back up, aimed and finally shot. The huge fireball left the muzzle, the gun went up to 45° angle. He looked at me and then started laughing out loud. “Wow, Steph take a picture of me!” He seemed to have a lot of fun, otherwise he wouldn´t have wanted to take 9 more shots. But the last one he made a small mistake, he didn´t hold his wrist as stiff as possible and the gun punished that little mistake immediately. Luckily his wrist wasn´t broken, it just hurt like hell; strangely, he didn´t want to go on shooting it.
We told him that we have a rifle too, so if he would like he could also take some shots which at least wouldn´t hurt him that much. He agreed, so my father unpacked his pump gun, a Mossberg mod. 500. “Wow that looks cool” Yes it does and even better is that you won´t need a scope to see where you hit because it makes such big holes that you can easily spot them from a 25m distance. We explained to him how the gun works and what he had to do. First five shots: “It feels like being in a movie” We took a look at the target. “Wow nice holes, look I can put my fingers trough them without even touching the target. Steph you have to try that one.”
She disagreed, she wanted him to do a few more shots. “Ok, but you have to film me while shooting”. After he finished, she looked curiously, we loaded one shot for her. “Ok I´ll do it, but only one” She was a little nervous but after the shot, she had a smile all over her face.
Then our booked time was sadly up, and we had to pack everything. Sadly we couldn´t go for the Steelplates because others had rented the falling plates, but we still have something for the next time. We went to have some coffee to talk a little about the experience. Daniel couldn´t stop smiling. “Really great fun, when will we go next time?” My father and I looked at each other. “What do you want to shoot? Most of the weapons you used today were modern; is it okay if we take some world war stuff with us next time?” He smiled “So you have more?” “Of course, but be aware that the most of them will kick a lot harder than what you shot today”. So we made our way back home with Daniel and Steph smiling, and my father and I laughing about his fear of the Desert Eagle. After arriving home, Daniel started uploading his pictures and movies and showing them to all of his friends. “You have to try it out, it´s such a great fun.”
And I guess that’s the best sentence to end it. “You have to try it out, it´s such a great fun.”