Adventures in East Asia

Guns in Chiangmai at the Maerim Shooting Range

For our day of tigers, snakes and elephants, we had a hired driver take us from one facility to another and along the way, he suggested going to a shooting range (in his broken English). We'd read about how these drivers try to get their tourist fares to other places in order to collect commission on any thing they buy, so we were a little wary but I wanted to have a look.


To be honest, I'm not a gun fanatic and I've never shot one but I was curious about it and thought that Chiangmai would be as cheap a place as any other I could think of, to give it a go.

We were shown a selection of guns and quoted a price for getting twenty bullets for each one, but to cut a long story short, we negotiated down to getting twenty bullets for 1,000 THB (£19.25), split between four different guns. We could even share the bullets between us.

I was a little concerned about safety, but both Linh and I got glasses and ear protection muffs, as well as an instructor each to reload and guide us.


Here's the guns we got to shoot. The three above from left to right are a .38 Smith & Western (cowboy gun), 9mm Glock 17 and a .45 Smith & Western Semi-automatic. The one I'm holding below is a .22 calibre rifle.


The instructors loaded the bullets into each gun in turn (2-3 bullets at a time) and Linh and I occupied separate booths. We were shown how to hold the guns and then shot at targets that were probably only about twenty feet away.

I was most surprised about the kick back the .45 gave, which was the largest calibre gun we shot. My aim was completely haywire with that, whereas the rifle felt like a fart in comparison, which together with a lighted sight, I found to be the most accurate. We were able to take our paper targets away with us in the end.


Linh wasn't as keen as I was to be shooting guns, but we both felt it was good to have done it, at least to know what the experience is like. With regards to safety, we were mildly shocked to find out that bungee jumps were taking place directly behind the targets.


This entry posted in : Thailand. Tourism.

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