Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lock, Stock & Two Sore Shoulders.

A good friend of mine has finally decided to tie the knot and on the weekend, he had his buck’s day to celebrate throwing in the towel. Most buck’s days start with a manly sport that usually involves a level of skill, pain threshold and/or performance while intoxicated. Activities such as golf, golf buggy racing, skirmish or go-karts are normally on the agenda, however, this weekend had something a little different.

Living in Brisbane city, there are not many people that can say they have shot a gun. Don’t get me wrong, the chances get higher, the closer you get to the Gold Coast but for most, firing a rifle is only something that you see on television. So when I found out that we were heading out to Brisbane Sporting Clays to shoot stuff, I was pretty excited.

Sporting Clays is a type of clay target shooting that was designed to keep hunters in tip-top form during the off seasons. You use a shot-gun to shoot a range of clay targets that are designed to mimic real-life animals such as the target that floats along then dives down towards the ground like a bird or the target that skip across the ground like a rabbit. Unlike most real-life animals, the clay targets are also painted fluoro orange so you can see them more easily.

Unlike most target shooting disciplines, Sporting Clays are more challenging (allegedly) because the targets are random. They come out at different angles and speeds every time so that it is never the same. This way, the shooter can never anticipate what is going to happen.

We each got to take 25 shots from 4 different stations with the most skilled shooter taking home a booze voucher. I wasn’t worried about winning, I was more worried about coming last. On a buck’s day, you are surrounded by a sea of testosterone and the last thing you want to do is publicly suck at a man-sport in front of everyone. It’s a dog eat dog world.

After the first round, I was confident that I wasn’t going to come last. Years of Playstation and xBox have paved the way for shooting things in real-life and although reloading wasn’t as simply as shooting outside of the screen my hand-eye coordination was better than I expected.

Despite this, there was one thing that threatened to dampen the spirits of a few shooters. It seems that a 12 gage shot-gun can pack a bit of a kick when you fire it and if you don’t have it perfectly positioned in your shoulder, it can cause some slight discomfort. At the end of the 25 shots, I could barely lift my arm and after receiving some comments about my distinctive cyclist’s physique, I revealed some nice bruising on my shoulder. 24hrs later and my arm is still hurting. I have a new respect for Rambo and Chuck Norris.

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