Monday, February 2, 2015

A night at a shooting range in Downtown L.A.!

Pour la version française de cet article, cliquez ici.

For some time now, we wanted to try a shooting range. After all, even if we are not really weapon fans, we are in the cowboys'land and it is also part of the local culture ! We will tell you here our experience and our thought !

How goes a shooting session? 

We chose to go to the LA Gun Club which is close to our home. The shooting range is located in a kind of industrial area which is probably totally sure, but sets the scene already !

Picture of the entry of the LAGC

Inside, the atmosphere remained rather "tough guys" and we were like intruders in the middle of the regulars !

Picture from the inside of  LAGC

But in fact, they are quite accustomed to beginners and so we did not feel too intimidated.

For the session itself, here's how it goes :

  • First, we are trained by a "range master" that informs us and gives us safety instructions

  • Then, we choose our weapons. Whether you want to play a cowboy with a colt or a military girlie with a pink gun, there is a weapon for you...And you can test everything ! Around us, people were all taking machine guns, but we stuck with weapons for beginners (it was hard enough like that !)
Picture LAGC

  • Next, we choose our targets (mutants, zombie, bullseye, distressed woman behind a robber, etc ...) and get our equipment (earplugs, helmets and goggles).

  • Once ready, we join our line where we finally can load the gun and practice shooting ! Well ... almost! Because, personally, the noise of other shooters was so impressive and I was so afraid to make mistakes, that I left as soon as I entered! Here's a video to give you an idea!!!

The Gun Club, yay or nay ??

Pros of the Gun Club

  • The club staff is very professional and takes time to explain how works the club and the safety rules. It is reassuring to see that they are also attentive and they are familiar with it.
  •  The experience is really exotic. We got plenty of chills!

Cons of the Gun Club

  • Although the club is very serious with security warnings everywhere, I find that the rules are too flexible. You only need to say that you have no history of mental illness and you are not under the influence of drugs to have access to the firearms. And even if you only have the right to load your gun once you are within the range area, what prevents us to come back and take over ???
  • And the lack of rigor in the regulations (californian regulation I mean, the club follows the rules) is even more worrying because there are weird people. We came across a band of teens dressed with T-shirts on which was written "I hate everybody and want 'em dead" ... well probably just jokes between them, but not super reassuring when you see them arriving with each a machine gun and do not follow the safety rules !! (pretending to shoot themselves, etc ...)
  • It's super loud !!! Even if you are warned, and that earplugs are provided as well as an helmet, it's still very loud! (Besides, you can notice on the video that I shake every time someone shoot !!!)

So, the Gun Club, does that worth it?

Honestly, the experience worth it for the scenery and the chills. However, you have still a real weapon in your hands and not a plastic toy. And so, it's hard not to overlook the damage that this object can do ... In fact, I would have loved it if it was not so noisy and if I had shot with ball guns or paint balls. I think once is enough to immerse yourself in the American culture of weapons!

For more information, look at the club website :


  1. That was an interesting post. I have been in the US for many years but have never been to a shooting range. Kennesaw, Georgia, which is about 5 miles from us, passed a law years ago that everyone had to have a gun. So we bought one and I took a course but at the Police range. But I never used it and am afraid I forgot!

    1. Thanks for your comment :-) I had never heard of Kennesaw before, that seems really strange for me !! At the range, I was so scared to make a mistake and to hurt someone : even with a training, I wouldn't be able to shoot for real ! But I was happy to try :-)