Recently I was fortunate enough to come across a Groupon voucher for DVC Indoor Shooting Centre. I have always wanted to try shooting but trying to do it back in the UK can be a nightmare and really expensive due to British gun laws. In Canada things are much easier and you don’t need a licence to fire a gun; you just turn up, pay your registration and prove your age, get a safety lesson and away you go.
The voucher I found covered handgun rental and 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition for 2 people. The range is out in Port Coquitlam. It’s quite a trek from Vancouver city where I live, but I wasn’t fussed, I was more excited about getting to put another tick on my bucket list.
Once getting to the range you have to queue, it is on a first come, first serve basis so it can take a whole. You have to be in groups of 2+, no lone shooting allowed. I went with my girlfriend who was visiting and we had to queue for about an hour and a half. This place is very popular and wait times of over an hour are not uncommon. Queuing is unfortunately outside but it is covered overhead so the wet is kept off if it’s raining. On the day we went we got into the range just before the rain started and while we were in there the range staff ordered pizza and coffee to give to people as they came in to warm up. It was a really simple and nice touch.
Upon entering the premises you fill out a liability waiver, show your ID (must be government issue and valid) and pick your weapon of choice. One thing I really liked about the range was although our voucher only covered handgun rental we had the option to add-on different guns and different ammunition. Often you find places that rigidly stick to the voucher and don’t allow extras to be added.
Excluded from the voucher is the cost of the targets but at $1.50 per target that’s no issue. There’s a great selection of targets from Hello Kitty through to a typical human shape target, zombie and minion, and you can pick as many as you like. Next is the safety briefing for anyone who has never fired a gun. In the range you are firing live ammunition so it’s important to know what you’re doing before being let loose.
Post safety briefing and the fun begins. Goggles on, ear muffs on and away you go. Your weapon will be set up for you and clips laid out after each clip is emptied. Having never fired a gun before the first thing I was really shocked by was the recoil. After a few shots I got settled into it.
As my girlfriend and I were firing together we had 2 handguns which we swapped halfway through. This made for an interesting experience as you really get to feel the different changes. What’s really good is if you have picked a gun and you then don’t like it you have the option to switch it mid-session so you can hopefully find something more comfortable.
One thing is for sure 5 clips of 10 bullets disappeared in no time but it was so much fun. Doing rapid fire through a clip was definitely a big kid moment for me although I’m sure that’s when most of my bullets went off target. Overall the experience more than lived up to expectation. I will definitely go back again, I just need to find someone to come with me as there are no single shooters allowed.
Here are a few photos from our session: