Alphabet Dating | I is for… Indoor Shooting

Alder Farm fishery and air gun range
Woman shooting an air rifle

Two dates in one day is unheard of in this house, but that's exactly what happened when we had to reschedule our trip to Blackout Rooms, due to Alfie being off nursery. Before we completed our ‘H’ date, which should have been the day before, we also fulfilled ‘I’. Ash arranged it and never in my life did I think I'd go – and enjoy – indoor shooting… but it was so much fun.

We had a 45 minute session booked in at Alders Farm, in Great Brickhill. They have a fishery as well as the air rifle range. Jim was our guide for the session, but before we could get started there was a safety briefing on a tablet that we had to read and agree to. Then it was time to go through to the indoor range.

Read more: Alphabet Dating | H is for… Hostage

There are five individual lanes and those with an air gun can bring their own – otherwise, there’s also some for hire. I had never held a gun before, let alone fired one, but thankfully Jim thoroughly explained everything to us first. From the best position to sit in, to physically picking up the gun, loading it, finding the range and obviously shooting. It was important to put the guard on, when the gun wasn’t in use (so after every shot) to avoid potential accidents. He was telling us stories of how people managed to hit the roof – and he was right, there were plenty of holes. I have no idea how that could have happened… other than stupidity.

The targets could be positioned from 25 yards out and these were controlled by an electronic keypad – all touch screen, so very high tech. It was as simple as clipping a target into the clamp mechanism and then pressing a button to send it down as far as you wanted. Jim recommended taking either five or ten shots each before swapping over to avoid constantly taking it in turns and wasting valuable shooting time. The guns fired lead pellets, so the noise wasn’t too bad and there was no backfire, or anything like that to worry about.

We started off fairly easy with a standard target, and I’ll be honest, the aim was getting it on target as opposed to landing a bullseye – although we both managed that on one of our first five shots. All the target cards were free of charge to use, and we could use as many as we liked. I believe there were seven different designs: the big target, five small targets, a robot, a hog, a rabbit, a squirrel, and I can't remember the last one – as it was so long ago. I wish I had taken photos of the cards, as I think between us, we did them all.

I was actually better than I thought I'd be, although I was pretty slow trying to line up the shots. I always thought I had it and then I’d take my eye away or move my head to take the guard off the rifle – and completely lose my position. More importantly, I enjoyed myself – and even more so on our final round, when Ash said we should have a competition using the same card and I won by one point. It may have only been that one, solitary point, but they all count.

It's a great idea if you're looking to do something a little different – and there's an outdoor range too. Whether it's a date, a session with friends or even a team building activity, you can find all the details and booking information on the Alders Farm website.

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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