With all the excitement both man and nature have provided for us outdoors, it’s easy to ignore the equally satisfying activities we can find indoors such things as bowling, clubbing, something as laid-back as simply watching movies in your own room, or something as bold as spending a session at a shooting range. Having personally experienced the first three, it was about time I tried shooting.
Being the constant adventure-seeker that I am and with very little time to go farther out of town lately, I was beyond thrilled to spend one summer afternoon with fellow writer Helen on our first shooting experience at Stronghand Shooting Range just along E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue in Quezon City. This is only a 5-minute ride from Gateway Mall in Cubao. In terms of accessibility, I’d say its location is perfect for those who consider themselves stuck within the borders of Metro Manila and longing for some air-conditioned adventure.
Entering the building, I was uneasily expecting a tough, ruggedly-styled space with guns displayed all over the walls that would have me making a run for it before I even make it to the reception. As a first-timer, I was glad to find the place softly lit and a lot friendlier to my eyes. The entire place is obviously well-maintained and generally has an non-intimidating vibe. And in lieu of real guns, I was even happier to see the corners just adequately decorated with a few well-framed tools for display and some important practical information about them.
The range is on a No ID, No Shoot policy, hence, you will first need to present a government-issued ID at their reception area and must be at least 18 years old to be allowed shooting. On the other hand, if you are 16-17 years of age, you must be accompanied by parents. While there, you will also find this shelf of books you can purchase from for reading pre or post shooting.
Before being led to the actual range just behind the reception area, we were toured around the small yet strategically occupied space where we were shown a large seminar room intended for more learning sessions. This also serves as an event area available for rental. We were also oriented about our shooting kits which contained the actual tools we would each be using inside the range: the gun itself, bullets, noise-cancelling earmuffs, and safety glasses.
We were then instructed to leave our belongings in our own designated lockers. However, we were allowed to bring in phones and cameras so we still got to take pictures of our first shooting experience.
The range is divided into three sections intended for basic, advance, and private shooting. As basic shooters, we were entitled to the Proper & Practical Pistol course, which involved lessons on the 4 rules of gun safety, proper handling, loading and clearing, and actual firing which altogether make up for a 1.5-hour session.
For our category, we were given a total of 20 bullets to shoot – the first 10 from a distance of 5 meters from the target, and the last 10 for a distance of 10 meters. Sir Alfred, one of the three range instructors, was there to guide us all the way through.
The first few shots were something we had to get used to. The guns were surprisingly heavy even with ours already being the lightest kind. A few shakes, palm sweats, and hesitations with the trigger should be normal for anyone doing this kind of activity for the first time. But whether you’re doing it for pure learning or as a recreational activity, you’re in for a definite challenge. And helping ease some of that tension for you, they also have the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Cafe just outside the range where you can relax and order up coffee, some sweet treats, and even day-long served Pinoy breakfast meals.
After it all, I was lucky enough to hit one bulls-eye out of 20. But the more important points any shooter should consider more than hitting a perfect shot are the following:
1. Consider every gun as loaded all the time.
2. Keep your finger off the trigger unless you are ready to fire.
3. Never let the muzzle of a gun point at anything that you do not intend to shoot.
4. Be sure of your target and what lies beyond and around it before you shoot.
Unlike other sports or recreational activities, target shooting represents a lifetime practical skill rarely taught and learned, yet which implications are more serious than most others. As such, Stronghand isn’t behind when it comes to prioritizing safety. They even take pride in being Asia’s first and only toxic-free indoor shooting range, thanks to their Turbine ventilation, HEPA filters, and use of toxic-free ammo. So definitely no need for you to worry about inhaling all the smoke from the firings.
Learn more about Stronghand Shooting Range’s awesome offers by visiting their website below. For reservations or inquiries, call them at 721-7174, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to thank Ms. Jinky Tallod of RMDC Inc. for organizing our first shooting session for us.
Stronghand Shooting Range
La Defense Building 1660 E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., Cubao, Quezon City
RMDC, Inc.: www. wearermdc.com