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Monday, February 13, 2006

Laser Guns and Other Toys

Today I got to play with a laser gun. It's been three months since I've been to the shooting range and it was thus time to bloody some cardboard. Only without the blood...or the live ammunition...or even blanks...and no cardboard cut-outs either. Today's target practice was done entirely with a laser gun. My unit has trained on the laser guns once before but I was at the disengagement so I missed it.

The shooting is done in a pretty big room, about 15m X 8m. There are ten spaces for people to shoot. At each space there is an M-16 attached to a hose in the ground. You stand about 5m from a wall, where projectors project a picture of a real shooting range. You operate the gun almost exactly the same way you would a real one. The recoil and sound is provided by the air pressure in the hose. The recoil is not quite as strong, the sound is quite a bit quieter (no need for earplugs) and there is no smell of cordite but otherwise very realistic.

We started of with ten shots in a day setting, five standing and five kneeling. We then moved onto 10 shots in a nighttime setting, again 5 standing and five kneeling. The last type of shooting was and open range shooting. The screen looks much like a video game, with buildings, cars, barrels etc. laid out in front of you. Various terrorist pop out at you and you have to kill them. You get 45 shots and in the middle you get a jam and must "change magazines". This is done by removing the magazine, replacing it and re-cocking the gun. It was like a better version of a video game. I really enjoyed it.

We (about 35 of us) finished the whole thing in just over an hour and we were back on our base in time for lunch. Much quicker then regular shooting as in regular shooting you have to wait till after sunset to shoot in the dark and there are also more safety precautions when you use live ammunition.

As for other toys, well, I lied.


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