The other day I was invited to shoot some targets with my girlfriend’s work chums, an intriguing offer indeed. I was told her colleagues liked to shoot Airsoft guns at targets in the seminar room. upon hearing the word Airsoft, my thoughts immediately turned to one of my friends back in Ireland. He’s a big fan of all things guns, and owns his own rifle, actual rifle, not Airsoft….although he does/did have a large Airsoft arsenal. I remember he showed me his “cupboard” in his old room a few years back. It was a cupboard alright, your average run of the mill wooden cupboard. However there were no clothes in it, nor were there cups. There was however a gun-rack! Complete with multiple Airsoft replica firearms, he’ll correct me i’m sure, but I believe there was an M4 Carbine, a G36, a Steyr Aug, one or two pistols and a few boxes of ammunition. The ultimate boys cupboard really.
So this is what I was expecting to greet me when we met up with them. However this was not the case…
They carried with them two rugged cases that looked like they may contain a Dremel multi-tool or electric drill. We entered the practice room, a long brightly lit office with a table fit for many an animated conference. On the far wall there was a large white board, which two of the guys promptly removed. On the wall by the door was a wall to wall glass cabinet containing numerous books and papers. My girlfriend had previously remarked that on her first attempt days before, she had missed the target and shot the wall. And sure enough when the whiteboard was removed, there were two rather conspicuous dents in the wall.
The cases were placed on the table and opened up. What the bejaysus?……..was my initial thought. The guns looked like wood planers we had used in Junior Certificate Technology class. Pistol shaped with foam like handles and black metal barrels. Their appearance was highly unexpected. I was expecting to see something akin to my previously mentioned friend’s replica rifles. These particular tools were far more refined and…..kick ass looking.
So what are these contraptions? Well, it turns out these are air pistols used in target shooting competitions, the kind you’d see at the Olympics. And that’s just where these chaps are hoping to go. The guns have “Made in Czechoslovakia” embossed on them, so they’re not exactly new. And the target board isn’t exactly ISSF standard…But big things have small beginnings. Michael Jordan was cut from his high-school basketball team and he developed into a pretty decent basketball player if memory serves me.
I have to be totally honest and admit I didn’t even know of this sport’s existence before the other day, but now I’m absolutely intrigued. I hope to keep checking up on these guys and their efforts and I’ll keep you updated on their progress. Reminds me a little bit of Cool Runnings and I look forward to following their exploits if they’ll allow me.
So they let Sinead and I have a go….
If you’re as intrigued as I am, you can read more about the sport here