Friday, April 2, 2010

Bucket List: West Side Pistol Range

I met a couple of Californians living in New York last weekend, and when they heard that I might be moving to LA, they asked me what was on my Bucket List for NYC before I left.

Little did they know that I spend nearly every day of my life crossing items off my ever-growing Bucket List. In fact, I'd already booked two "must-do-before-I-die" trips in the NYC area before I even knew that my move might come so soon, one of which was a "Shootin' and Drinkin'" trip hosted by Urban Escapes to the West Side Pistol Range (and a post-shooting tour and tasting at the Chelsea Brewery).

Ironically enough, at least five years ago I'd suggested the pistol range, located in a basement on a side street between Chelsea and Flatiron, to a friend who was looking for ways to spend time together besides drinking. I think the idea of shooting guns proved to be a bit too intense for him, so we went bowling or to the mall or something instead.

Without a date to accompany me to the pistol range, I became intimidated too.

But fortunately Urban Escapes started offering an excursion there, coinciding with Edith's piqued interest in it, and so together we crossed it off my list last night.


This is me holding one round of ammunition, eyes and ears protected from the impending gunshot blasts and hot flying shells.


Eley Sport ammunition for the .22 rifles


I liked placing the bullets into the magazines. I found it meditative. Our group leaders thought that was weird.


They warn you about all sorts of things, like not pointing the guns at each other, at the floor, at the ceiling - only "down range." And you're not allowed to use targets featuring a human silhouette anymore - just the generic bullseye target like in archery or darts. 


This is Edith doing a damn good demonstration of how to shoot, first cranking the wheel to position the target as close or as far away as you'd like, then butting the rifle up against the shoulder, head cocked, one eye closed, ready to shoot.


Turns out she's a good shot.
 

This was one of my targets. I got one shot pretty close to dead center.

Now that I've gone once, I have a three-month membership that gives me privileges to come to the pistol range without a reservation, and 50% off admission. I suspect even if I move this month, I'll be back at least once.

And of course now that I've shot rifles at targets in the city, I'm now intrigued to try sport clay shooting upstate, with shotguns along a course (almost like a golf course, with different stations) in the forest, followed by a whiskey tasting. If I do move, that one is going to have to wait.

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