The next time when you have the desire to hit bullseye, you don’t need to go to a local fair and try your hand with an outdated air weapon.
There are opportunities in Delhi and surrounding areas to enjoy weekend shooting. With as little as R600, an enthusiast can use a high-quality weapon for over an hour at a modern 10-metre range on a regular basis.
There are at least five 10m ranges in Delhi and NCR. In Delhi, there are three ranges in Kalkaji, Dwarka and Punjabi Bagh. There is also a range in Noida and Faridabad. All of them are run by entrepreneurs with a background in target shooting.
What is heartening is that it’s not expensive. Former international rifle shooter Shimon Sharif, who runs three ranges in Delhi, says those with passion don’t need to invest in buying a weapon because it’s available on rent. “A minimum of two hours of practice would roughly cost between R600-R700. This includes the weapon, target and superior-quality pellets,” he adds.
Besides daily memberships, there are monthly subscriptions with a fee of R5000. “Under this plan, shooters are given weapons and basic guidance to handle them. The cost of pellets, electronic target pulleys and paper targets are separate,” he adds.
There is also range etiquette to prevent any unforeseen incidents, and instructions are pasted at the ranges.
Shooting as a sport has grown in the country, and it is primarily due to top shooters tasting success at the global level, including Abhinav Bindra’s gold-winning feat in 10m air rifle at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. At the Rio Games, beginning August 5, the country’s top-12 shooters will be participating.
The journey to the top, however, starts from scratch, which is weekend shooting.