Last week, my wife surprised me with a birthday treat to Machine Gun America, the shooting range in Kissimmee, opposite the Old Town fun fair.
I didn't know what to expect but I was signed up for a 3 gun deal via Groupon for $150.00 with 25 bullets for each gun.
The doors opens at 10am and there were a few tourists coming in to enquiry about prices.
I had to provide my UK driving licence which was held until the end.
I was shown a tablet with 2 menus of 12 guns. Each contained pistols, sub machine guns and assault rifles.
There was a greater selection of guns here than on the current web site and several WW2 guns like the Sten, MP40, etc. I could not see a AR15 or M16 so selected MP5, M4 Carbine and AK-47 as my choice.
I then had to read the terms and conditions on the tablet and signed at the bottom.
A few moments later, an instructor came to meet me and explained what would happen.
She bought a paper poster target, ear protectors and eye protection.
All the staff wore side arms.
We then enter the range threw 2 locked doors. The magazines for my 3 guns were already waiting.
My instructor then went to collect the guns.
She then explained how to hold a gun, positioned the target on the range (like in Lethal Weapon) and loaded the MP5. She then explained a brief history of the gun including how the UK police use the MP5 and was then carefully handed the loaded gun. I carefully took aim and squeezed the triggered whilst the instructor stood behind me holding my right shoulder. The recoil was not so bad and I tried to keep to single and 2 bursts shots, but the guns are set to semi or full automatic so the magazine was quickly emptied. I squeezed the trigger down the range to make sure it was empty and handed the gun back.
I hit the bad guy on the target a few times.
Next was the M4-carbine assault rifle as used by the US military. It had a red dot sight, just like in Call of Duty. The bullets were slight bigger so there was a bigger recoil. Again, as I fired, a second or third shot would fire and with the recoil, the bullet would hit the target higher or miss.
Finally, I fired the AK-47. This has larger bullets and the kick was very noticeable. The instructor was
holding my shoulder steady.
I managed not to hit the hostage on the target (just).
After firing all 75 bullets in about 5 minutes, the instructor asked if I wanted to shoot again now and offered another 75 bullets for $60. I declined politely after an expensive week.
I asked for some photos, and the instructor took 3 photos of me holding each gun.
I also asked if I could keep 3 bullet shells and was allowed and was advised told to clean and put them my suitcase for the flight home.
Then I left the range, handed back the safety equipment and the instructor signed my target.
I found the experience very thrilling and would do it again, although it was expensive and lasted about 25 minutes in total.
There are other shooting ranges in Orlando and Kissimmee which I will check out in the future.
These seem cheaper but don't offer the choice of guns as MGA.