Where a 19 year old can shoot an AK47 for fun – only in Texas!

Now I can’t say that guns are my really my cup of tea – how can anyone love these noisy, dangerous chunks of metal, designed to kill people? But as my husband was in the military and my oldest son William is in the university army corps, I suppose that on our trip to Texas, guns were destined to feature somewhere in the itinerary. I know that Americans jealously guard their right to bear arms and in Texas the hunting and shooting culture is about as strong as you’ll find anywhere. Here’s my son William’s account of our trip to a gun range in Texas;

Shooting at Reds Indoor Range, Austin Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Shooting at Reds Indoor Range, Austin

William’s shooting experience

During my recent visit to Texas, one item on the tick-list of things I wanted to do on the trip was to go to a gun range as this is not possible in the UK. So during the trip we Googled gun ranges, plugged the address into our sat nav and were off to Reds Indoor Range on the outskirts of Austin. We had to pay 10 dollars to rent each gun and then we bought the ammunition from the shop. In order to rent the gun and use it on the range we had to fill out a quick form and leave a photo id behind the desk, so within minutes of arrival we were shooting an AK 47 – only in America! We also shot a Browning 9mm pistol but this wasn’t as fun as the AK 47. Going to the gun range was the highlight of my trip, because it is an experience I will not be able to replicate and something you can only do in America.

Guy’s shooting experience

The gun laws in Texas are very strict indeed and there was never any doubt in my mind about the professionalism and controls at Red’s Indoor Range. These included a range warden on duty behind the firing point, the insistence on the wearing of ear defenders, audible warnings and a target system that allows you to send the target to the required distance within the indoor range and recover it without putting others or yourself at risk.

Notwithstanding it was unnerving to be able to hire and use a weapon that you would only see in a UK museum. I should add that Wiliam and I have spent many hours shooting and have been trained to handle weapons correctly.  We found the Browning pistol a little tame and we had a stoppage that I had to sort out – not that easy in a small booth with three people. So we just had to get on to the rifle, and what a rifle it is! The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle,  developed in the USSR in the 1940s  by Mikhail Kalashnikov and popularly  known as a Kalashnikov, an “AK”, or in Russian slang, Kalash. Even after six decades it remains the most popular assault rifle in the world and is used by armed forces and irregular forces worldwide, because of its durability, low production cost, and ease of use.

Once we had set up and applied the principles of marksmanship we got about our business it became the usual Dad and Son competition as we engaged the targets at 50 and 75 meters with the Kalashnikov but I think that William had the bragging rights that day.

Shooting at Reds Indoor Range, Austin Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Shooting at Reds Indoor Range, Austin

Tips for Shooting at a gun range

  • If you are on holiday in Texas or the USA and want to experience shooting on a gun range, you can do an internet search for Gun Ranges, to find any locations near where you are staying.
  • Normally the website will give you most of the information you need such as opening times, minimum age, whether they hire guns and whether they offer any coaching or classes. Once we had identified Red’s Indoor Range we gave them a quick call to check a few details. You will need to take some photo id with you such as a passport.
  • If you have military experience or are familiar and comfortable with handling guns then you should feel confident going onto the range where there is minimum supervision. The range warden is there primarily for safety rather than instruction, although he will help you out, for instance if you have a stoppage.
  • If you are a novice around guns, then you would be best to check with the gun range whether they offer any classes or whether they can arrange an instructor for an extra charge.
  • The cost of my husband and two sons to rent the guns and buy the ammunition for 30-60 minutes of shooting was about $80

Other things we enjoyed in Austin, Texas

Check for the best hotel prices in Austin and book here

More things to do in Texas (that don’t involve guns)

Postcard from Austin, Texas
Reflections on the illusive South Congress Bridge Bats – in Austin, Texas
Houston we have a problem! – At the Space Center Houston

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Subscribe to Heatheronhertravels Don’t miss out – subscribe to Heather on her travels

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Picosa Ranch - a luxury ranch with a slice of Texas history | Heather on her travels
    May 29, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    […] Picosa Ranch for hosting our day on the ranchMore fun to be had in TexasA Postcard from San Antonio Where a 19 year old can shoot an AK47 for fun – only in Texas! Postcard from the Texas Hill Country www.flickr.comheatheronhertravels’ Picosa Ranch, […]

  • Reply
    Sherry Ott
    June 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Wow…I honestly had no idea how easy it was to shoot an AK47 in the US – and I lived there!! This was fascinating to me Heather. I shot one in Cambodia and that was also pretty quick and easy…but it’s Cambodia!!
    How much did the ammo cost – I”m curious how it compares to the price I paid in Cambodia.

    Also – I love that you got your husband and son to write about it…bravo!
    Sherry Ott´s last blog post ..Angels Around the World

    • Reply
      June 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      @Sherry I think my three boys paid aroun $80 for their shooting experience and about half of that was probably the ammo, the rest being range fees and hire of the weapons

  • Reply
    Living like a local - our home from home in Austin, Texas | Heather on her travels
    July 25, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    […] we sought out a gun range on the edge of town where my 19 year old son was thrilled to be able to shoot an AK47, making the highlight of his trip.Things to do around town in Austin, TexasWe paid a visit to the […]

  • Reply
    Living like a local – our home from home in Austin, Texas – video_Go Time Travel Blog | Go Time Travel Blog
    July 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    […] year old son was thrilled to be able to shoot an AK47, making the highlight of his […]

  • Reply
    The best of Texas - finger-licking BBQ and a slice of pie | Heather on her travels
    November 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    […] Tales from our Texas Road-trip Where can a 19 year old shoot an AK47 for fun – only in Texas! Postcard from the Texas Hill Country Our Texas Road Trip – tips for Europeans driving in the […]

  • Reply
    July 14, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Awesome tips and great advice! I’ve always wanted to shoot at a gun range but it is difficult to find one and to know all of the basics and instructions! Thanks so much for sharing, great article!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Congrats to William for doing so well. A dad and son competition sounds fun.

  • Reply
    Andrew Miller
    April 25, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    He is of legal age he can shoot whatever he likes as long as its in a safe environment.

  • Reply
    Michael Case
    May 1, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Only in America. Only in Texas.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    It’s always interesting to hear citizens of other countries talk about American shooting ranges and their opinions on guns. Thanks for the range tips as well, very helpful!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2017 at 6:33 am

    It’s better to be prepared with a gun than to end up in a life threatening situation without one.
    http://www.machineguntours.com´s last blog post ..2018 Veterans Day Sale!

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      November 15, 2017 at 9:34 am

      @machineguntours I know that many Texans and Americans do value their right to own a gun, however my personal view is that the prevalance of guns in the US and the readiness to use them creates too many life threatening situations.

  • Reply
    Richard @ Gun Safe Able
    November 16, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    With different areas in America and even all over the world, the art of shooting gun varies from one place to another. This might prove daunting for visitors, but despite that, it is a very good chance to explore gun shooting out of your comfort zone, and to learn something new about Texas. It is always interesting to walk with the author as they share their experience inside the range, thus giving you a feel of the gun shooting process.

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge