On our recent trip to Budapest we were able to tick a major wish off our Bucket list and fire a live weapon… and not just one, we got to shoot Pistols, Revolvers, and AK47, Shotgun and a sniper rifle!! What an experience, and something which felt something we could only get away with whilst abroad!
Shooting a gun is something I have wanted to do for a long time, don’t get me wrong I don’t think guns are necessarily a good thing in most situations, but damn it, they are cool!! The computer games geek in me, as well as the tom boy, just had to have a go with a real gun one day! I always figured it would be a really hard thing to get the chance to do, training, licencees, health and safety etc… but that was before I visited Eastern Europe!
When considering the trip to Budapest shooting wasn’t something which entered my head to be honest, what I thought of was beautiful buildings and strolling along the Danube on a wonderfully sunny afternoon… not emptying a magazine full of bullets inside a slightly dodgy looking basement! But this is where it pays to do your research and I came across a place called “Celeritas Shooting Club” which had some great reviews. You can see more on their website here if you fancy going www.celeritas-sch.com.
After my failed attempt at posing with a decommissioned AK47 whilst visiting an old cold war bunker in Moscow in 2012 I was keen to redeem myself, and this was finally my chance!!
So as I continued my research I found out a little more about this place and what packages they offered and what the prices were like. I was pleasantly surprised that for what you got you didn’t have to break the bank, fair enough when you are in Eastern Europe it is usually cheap, but for what it is I was expecting to pay a lot more. For the basic package it cost around £30 each and then we payed about another £6 to add the Sniper Rifle too! All you have to do is sign a disclaimer and away you go!
Guns included in the Basic package:
Ruger Mk III GLOCK 17
Ceska Zbrojovka Grand Taurus 86
Kalashnikov (AK-47) Remington 870 (Shotgun)
Dragunov (SVD) (Sniper Rifle)
For us the basic package was enough plus the Sniper Rifle but there are so many to choose from, WW2 packages, Gamer ones, Red Army etc. One thing to bear in mind if you want to come here is that it is advisable to book ahead and put a deposit down on your space. They tend to allow around 15 people in the room at once, so yes, you will be shooting in front of other people. Thankfully I didn’t manage to show myself up, some of the other girls had to have a support up when using the rifles, ain’t nobody got time for that!!
As the time got closer I will admit the excitement was turning slightly to nerves!! The place isn’t the easiest to find and is around a 1 hour bus ride from the city centre, with the BBK this is no extra cost either. There are a few different routes you can take to get there including using the tram/ bus or train so it’s best to check on Google maps before you set off.
We got there a little early and had a wander around, this area of town is really residential and quite different to the centre, it was pretty cool to explore somewhere a little different in Budapest and see where the normal everyday people live too.
The thing that really stuck me at first was the noise, I don’t know why but honestly I never expected it to be so loud, even the first gun we used as a warm up was loud enough, no wonder we had to use ear protection!! Once I heard to noise I started to realise a little the reality of shooting live rounds!! The instructor was also going through all the safety and how to hold the guns and it became clear that shooting guns in real life is a little different that how it is depicted in the movies!! (No holding it on it’s side like a gangster!!)
Once I had shot the first gun I felt a little better, I managed to hit the target pretty well and got to grips with how it felt. The weight of the guns is also something you don’t think about, but even some of the pistols and definitely the Taurus revolver were really quite heavy on the arms. It’s also hard to get the feel of the trigger too, some feel like they need hardly any pressure whist others such as the revolver feel quite hard to push, switching between weapons doesn’t help with this one!
So then came the time we had been waiting for, the AK47, I was both excited and nervous as the AK was the gun I was really keen to have a go at. In the end I did pretty well with it but it is quite heavy and holding it up for a few minutes aches the arm a bit, but overall I was buzzing with having actually shot an AK!! The kick back is something I was a little worried about too, fearing I would end up getting a black eye, but the key is to make sure you have your face pressed against the gun and keep your shoulder strong behind the butt.
Then came the shotgun and instead of the usual targets we had to aim at a large hanging metal panel down near the floor. The shotgun was so much fun and as the range is so wide it was a lot easier to get on target. The kickback is quite violent though and is hard to keep down, also as it was a pump action reloading in-between each shot is also not always as smooth as it is made to look on tv!!
Next it was time for the Dragunov (SVD) Sniper Rifle, which is an absolute beast! We were the only ones in the group using this extra weapon so there was a little bit of pressure in front of everyone! The bullets we used were absolutely massive and looks like it could do some major damage. I actually found the SVD quite easy to use and managed some good hits on the target, maybe I have found my calling!!
Then, we got the play with the guns… not sure this is exactly in line with health and safety regulations but meh, who cares!!
So there you have it, another tick on the Bucket List and an unforgettable experience! We have already been looking at some more ranges in Krakow for later on in the year. Going to a range is something I would definitely recommend, it really shows you the power of these weapons that gets lost in films and on TV.
If you want to know more about our amazing trip to the beautiful Budapest and have a look at our guide to the city then here is the link: Budapest Guide and Report.