With loud gunshot sounds, my heart skipped a beat faster within the first few seconds inside the firing room. But excitement suddenly rushed in as we were led by one of the instructors of Stronghand Shooting Range for a brief preview of the basic firing course.
Stronghand Shooting Range is the first toxic-free indoor shooting range in the country. Not only do they have a toxic-free ammunition, the place is equipped with HEPA filter and turbine air exchanger eliminating the smoky smell after shooting. Also, the firing room is fully air-conditioned.
Before entering the firing room, we wore ear muffs and protective eye glasses. If you have personal eye glasses, no need to use the ones they provide. We used the .45 caliber pistol because their 9mm pistols were used in training. 9mm pistols are the ones recommended for beginners. A target board was also handed to us.
We were led by Mr. Randy Nanadiego. He is a member of the National Range Officer Institute (NROI) and Philippine Practical Shooting Association (PPSA). He is very much knowledgeable and even taught us some of the basic laws concerning guns. He incorporates humor in his teaching and even encourages us to ask questions.
Four Rules of Gun Safety
For our basic target shooting briefing, the four rules of gun safety were first discussed as follows:
- You always consider a gun as loaded.
- Unless you are ready to fire, keep your finger off the trigger.
- Do not point the muzzle of a gun towards anything that you do not intend to shoot.
- Be sure of your target and its surroundings.
Down Range and Up Range
Down Range is the area where you stand and do the actual shooting. Up Range is the entire area beyond the down range where target boards are placed.
Basic parts of the gun and even of the bullet were mentioned. We were then taught of the following:
- Proper handling of pistol.
- Loading the magazine with bullets and putting the magazine to the pistol.
- Right technique of firing the pistol to better hit the target.
- Sight alignment and knowing your dominant eye.
- Appropriate stance when shooting.
- Clearing the pistol.
We tried 10 rounds each at distances of 5 and 10 meters. With one foot in front of the other (if you are right handed, right foot is at the back), lean your upper body a little bit. Holding the pistol, your left hand serves as a support and should be really tight to avoid the gun slipping from your grasp with recoil.
Straighten your arms. Aiming the target, leave only your dominant eye open. As you are ready to fire, place your finger on the trigger but do not pull it right away. As our instructor puts it, never pull the trigger but squeeze it. Like shooting a digital camera, press the trigger halfway and then finally, pull it. If you immediately pull the trigger, chances are, you’ll miss more your target.
- Bring a government issued ID.
- 9mm caliber pistol is recommended for beginners (reduced sound and recoil impact).
- Remember, do not pull the trigger! Squeeze the trigger!
- You can bring your own licensed gun.
- You will be given a certification after completion of the course.
- There is a ladies’ shoot every Wednesday, 50% off on range fee and firearm rental.
- They have a café where you can buy food.
- Lockers are provided.
- Some stuff you can buy from them:
- Other Reminders:
It was definitely a blast for me! It was extremely fun. Though I felt initially nervous because it was my first time, I immediately got excited afterwards. The staff and instructors were very knowledgeable, supportive and encouraging. The facilities of Stronghand Shooting Range are also highly commendable. If you want to try this sport, I certainly recommend Stronghand Shooting Range.
Time to Go
Mon-Sat: 10AM-7PM, Sun: 10AM-5PM
Disclaimer: This basic target shooting course is courtesy of Stronghand Shooting Range. Nevertheless, I wrote this article with my own insights influenced by my personal experience.