Working on our assassin skills at a shooting range!

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I’m staring down the barrel of a 9mm gun made famous by the James Bond movies. Because I could no longer stand the anticipation, I volunteered to be the first shooter in our group. Now as I stand there, legs staggered, upper body leaning forward, arms outstretched with a slight bend, my heart begins to race as I struggle to steady my sweaty hands to aim at the target ahead.

The first shot is exhilarating and frightening.

The sheer power generated by the relatively small object in your hands is phenomenal.

I finish off my round of 10 shots, the vast majority of which hit the target, and put the empty gun down on the table.

As my long-time friend, Matt, gets prepared to shoot his first round, and I attempt to take his photo I realize just how much my hands are shaking.

And we’ve just started! This is the smallest caliber gun we’re shooting today!

As a prototypical male who played plenty of shoot ‘em up video games and incessantly watched any movie involving Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’ve always wondered what it was like to actually shoot a real gun. Of the numerous items on my bucket list, the attainment of “shooting skills” has been something I’ve been obsessing about for the past 2 years.

Today, armed with the company of Marina and a long-time friend my wish was finally coming true.

After Marina nervously finished off her rounds with the James Bond gun, I was up again to try the .40 caliber Glock – the most popular gun among police officers in North America.

As you may be able to appreciate by the above video, I really liked this gun! And my accuracy wasn’t too shabby either; I managed to put 6 rounds through the head of the target!

Peter and Matt smiling because they shot their targets and not themselves!

Next we shot off a bunch of rounds of a .223 rifle similar to the one used by the Swiss army. This thing certainly had some power, but due to its larger size, it felt much more comfortable and stable to shoot.

Next up was the manliest of weapons – the shotgun. Right after we both realized just how much kickback a mere 9mm pistol could generate, Matt and I both became a bit nervous at the prospect of shooting the 12 gauge Remington shotgun we naively decided we should try. The hardest part of shooting a shotgun was aiming – not that aim is terribly necessary when you essentially spray your target with fragments.

See below video of Marina with a shotgun:

Although we were all very satisfied after successfully handling the beefy shotgun, we had forgotten we had also ordered dessert! The finale of our shooting spree consisted of 5 rounds on the sniper rifle – complete with scope and all!

The sniper rifle finale

We all had an absolute blast – we were giddy as children and couldn’t stop exchanging high fives after successfully handling each weapon.

In total, the three of us went through 125 rounds, 5 different weapons, and many paper targets. We were there for a heart-pounding 2 hours and paid approximately $80 each.

If you live or are visiting the GTA, and have even a passing interest in shooting a gun, I’d certainly recommend you give Target Sports Canada a try.

What a rush!

Peter

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Our long-overdue engagement photos

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Those of you who were following our adventures throughout South America last summer may recall that I wrote one sappy post on love that began with the following quote directed at Marina while on a train through Bolivia:

“I’m uncertain about many things in this life, but I am absolutely sure about one thing: I love you.”

What I failed to document on the blog was that soon after we returned to Canada, Marina and I got engaged. We have yet to plan our wedding, and due to our nomadic lifestyle, this is not likely to happen in the immediate future.

In the meantime, while we continue to refer to one another as fiancee we thought some engagement photos might be fun. They may be nearly a year overdue, but who’s counting?

Lucky for us, one of our good friends from Kingston, Rob Whelan, is actually a professional photographer. Since Rob was visiting Montreal on other business, we thought it would be a great idea to do an impromptu photoshoot. So we did exactly that and had a great time.

Below is just a small sample of the wonderful photos Rob took of us goofing around in the plateau area of Montreal – where we’ve been living for the past 4 months.

For more information on Rob’s photography and to find out how you can book him to shoot your engagement, wedding, or other special event, please check out his website.

Thanks again Rob!

Peter

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