Dodging with the idea of how to make your trip to Bratislava memorable? Wondering what to do in the city? My recommendation: Perhaps some Target Shooting!
Now I really can’t say that guns are quite my cup of tea, I mean how can anyone fancy the idea of playing with those dangerous chunks of metal, that are designed for nothing but killing people, but as it was one of the highlights of traveling in Slovakia, and Bratislava in particular, I thought “why not!”
Before you read further, please leave all your prejudices behind, and try to absorb the article in the form of a new, healthy experience, after all, I was no one is hunting people!
I think during my backpacking trip across Europe, guns were designed to feature somewhere in the itinerary. After all, you do not get to travel to a land, every now and then, where shooting, as an activity, has quite a charm.
So yea, shooting a Kalashnikov in Bratislava, was high on my list, especially because I was one of those people who had never had a chance, in their life, to hold a loaded gun in before.
The entire shooting activity included 20 shots with AK-47 Kalashnikov rifle, 20 shots with Skorpion vz. 61 (UZI-style submachine gun in semi-automatic), 10 shots with a shotgun and 15 shots with Glock 17 pistol — the kind of guns that are pretty hard to legally play with, anywhere else in the world.
Before The First Shot
The tour guide started off by explaining some basics of shooting — right from how to handle a gun to the safety hazards. Though to a newbie, it all made a little to no sense at all, and the rules were just too tough to comprehend anyway, except for the basic understanding of the fact that never, in under any circumstance, point a gun to a person or to your feet, particularly if it’s loaded.
The shooting arena had a supervisor load the guns for you and make sure you get some headgear to protect your ears since they can be super loud. But the best part was, the guns were not mounted, giving you a real feel of holding and firing them, as a hit-man would otherwise do (just kidding!).
I remember it was a pretty scary feeling before I had my first shot with the pistol, and again with the AK-47, but soon as I pulled the trigger and (almost) hit the bulls-eye the adrenaline started settling down and confidence starting boosting up. As I shot the AK-47 and the deadly shotgun, I had some reminiscent thoughts of playing 007 as a video game. This was a childhood dream that I think most guys will understand.
A Bit Of Other Mumbo-Jumbo
- Shooting as an activity is one of the most popular among travellers visiting Bratislava, as visitors from Western Europe do not have access to military weapons in their home country. So shooting Kalashnikov rifle or Skorpion submachine gun is kind of exotic for them.
- If you’re a total novice with guns, it should be no problem, as long as you can see through your eyes and lift a kilo or two in your hands. As mostly misunderstood, shooting these guns (even the AK-47) does not backfire much, which means there should be (almost) no terror in your mind that something utterly wrong can go during the practice — as long as you are not under the influence of any intoxication and are ready to take the lessons carefully.
- The cost of a guided tour (with a pick-up and drop from your hotel in Bratislava) that comes with a shooting of the same set of weapons I’ve mentioned above, costs 79 EUR per person for groups of at least 10 people and goes up to 109 EUR per person for a group of 2 people, or 149 EUR for a solo-traveller. However, other packages with more or fewer weapons are available for a different price.
- I booked my tour with a company called Bratislava Shooting Club in Bratislava.