Florida Holiday - Shooting Guns

rickmcfc

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Thinking of Florida in July and i was wondering as a UK citizen, can I go shooting for the afternoon at a firing/ gun range? I would want to try a different range of weapons from pistols, to automatic weapons. Can this be done? I will be travelling all over Florida so can fit this in anywhere it's possible.

Thanks.
 

andyhinch

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rickmcfc said:
Thinking of Florida in July and i was wondering as a UK citizen, can I go shooting for the afternoon at a firing/ gun range? I would want to try a different range of weapons from pistols, to automatic weapons. Can this be done? I will be travelling all over Florida so can fit this in anywhere it's possible.

Thanks.
My mate that I go hunting with does a lot of err work over there, he's on holiday but I'll ask when he gets back. Sorry didn't read it properly, don't think you'll have a problem on a range but I'll check
 

ChicagoBlue

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Not sure of the law in FL (if there even is one!) but in IL, you need to have a FOID card (Firearms Owners ID) when you sign in, or be with someone who has one. However, I doubt this would be an issue in FL, especially if you do not have your own weapon and want to "'kick the tires' on a few different guns before making any decisions."

Doubt you will face an issue, but make absolutely certain you have some photo ID on you, because NO-ONE likes to hand over a weapon to someone without having their photo ID in their own hand first!

I just checked a few ranges in FL for you. MOST will rent guns to you IF you are a "member." That usually requires you to pay a small fee to become a "member." One I checked in Sarasota charges $12 (£7) to become a member, and $15 (£9) to rent a semi-automatic handgun from their selection. Usually, the most expensive part of a trip to the range is the bullets, which run about $20/50 (I shoot .40S&W caliber, which are sometimes a tad more expensive than 9mm).

If you are looking to shoot a 9mm Glock, for example, you can probably buy ammo at the range for less than $20/50, and you will probably not put more than 100 (150?) bullets through the weapon before you get tired and/or lose interest. When I practice, I usually take 150 with me and stop when I get sick of reloading the magazines (at 12 bullets per mag). I have 3 mags, so load them 3 at a time, which runs to 36 bullets. Doing that 5 times is usually at least once too often!!

By the time you are done (ear plugs-$2, ear protectors/cans-$2 rental, safety glasses-$2rental, targets-$4, bullets-$60, gun rental-$15, and membership-$15), I expect you to be in for roughly $100 for about an hour or so.

If you have never done it before, then it will be a great £60 experience (kinda like a trip to the Etihad, pie included!). Keeping the targets (or someone else's!) will also give you lots of tall tales to tell at the bar!

Have fun, I know I do!!
 

Churchill123

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10 Apr 2012
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I've been to a firing range in Washington, they looked at my UK driving licence for all of 5 seconds and then asked me what my weapon of choice for the afternoon was!
 

bgblue

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"My mate" has been there, just take your passport and a few dollars and bobs your aunties best mate
 

Essembe

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rickmcfc said:
Thinking of Florida in July and i was wondering as a UK citizen, can I go shooting for the afternoon at a firing/ gun range? I would want to try a different range of weapons from pistols, to automatic weapons. Can this be done? I will be travelling all over Florida so can fit this in anywhere it's possible.

Thanks.

I have a couple of recommendations that will make the experience more enjoyable.

First of all, go to an outdoor range. The indoor ranges, especially for people unfamiliar with firearms can be loud and quite unnerving.

I think taking a lesson is a good idea as well. Sure, you can hack round a gold course your first time around but with guns, learning some basics like grip and stance, as well as safety and range protocol will be the best use of any spare dollars you have.

Remember the 4 rules of gun safety :-

The gun is always loaded.
Never point a gun at something you are not prepared to destroy.
Always be sure of your target and what is behind it.
Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.

The great thing with the internet is that you can educate yourself before you go. I recommend going to youtube and viewing Hickok45s' channel. There are a lot of other gun channels but I think for most Brits, his laidback style is less grating than the "tactical" ex-military types who use abbreviations more than complete words.

You will be limited to the variety of guns that each range has available to rent but here are some pointers. You mentioned automatic weapons. More than likely, you will not be able to rent fully automatic guns. Full auto means you press the trigger once, hold it down and the gun continues to load and fire more rounds. Semi-automatic guns you will be able to shoot. Once you have shot one round, semi-autos place the next bullet into the chamber ready for you to fire but you still have to pull the trigger each and every time to fire. Pistols (hand-guns) and rifles can be semi-automatic. The most common SA rental pistol is the Glock. The most common SA rental rifle is the AR-15.

Things that I wish I had been told when I started out include:-

Revolvers are fun. Most ranges should have a revolver for rent. Do you best Clint Eastwood.
Bolt action/Lever action rifles are a lot of fun too, and somehow bring out the inner cowboy in all of us.
You will find that pistol shooting is not like the movies and is a lot harder than you imagined. For short distances only is it any good.
You will really like shooting rifles. You can have a sharp learning curve with these things and they are so rewarding.
Shotguns. Are powerful. 12 Gauge will leave you shoulder sore so don't go clay pigeon shooting for 2 hours.
Ammunition is getting more expensive. You will have to buy your ammo from the range to use with their rentals. No ifs, ands or buts. For the SA pistols, go with 9mm. It has manageable recoil allowing you to concentrate on improving your accuracy. 40 or 45 calibre will be too much, but are still fun as you get to realise just how incredible these tools are.

Etiquette.

When you show up, you should act a certain way. No range officer wants some idiot ruining his business by messing around. Always act calm and in control of your emotions. Sure, you are there to have fun but guns command a great deal of sobriety and respect. Whenever there are some people messing around at my range, or some dude is acting all tough in front of his girlfriend, I always leave, as that is when accidents happen.

Hope that helps...It really is a great hobby and a hell of an experience. Whenever my brothers visit from Blighty, we always go to the range.
 

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