Shooting clay pigeons with a shotgun at Phuket Shooting Range

skeet shooting

I went to the Phuket Shooting Range yesterday to get some range time in. I haven’t shot a firearm since my initial foray with a .357 Magnum revolver, 9 mm and .45 caliber semi-automatic handguns while I was studying in Melbourne.

ak rifles guns thailand

I went quite often after that and got a license to own but I heard it’s a perishable skill – if you don’t practice often, you won’t hit the nice grouping you used to be able to do when you went every other weekend. I also…er, examined an Steyr M9 pistol while I was in Malaysia but I wasn’t interested in handguns this time and wanted to shoot a rifle instead.

phuket shooting

Phuket Shooting Range had a great package for a .22 caliber long rifle with sights for just THB 890 (about RM 90) for 10 bullets. You can get a semi-automatic or fully automatic (!!!) rifle with a scope for indoor shooting and I was sorely tempted to do this but unfortunately I only had 15 minutes since the girls wanted to go catch the sunset.

me with shotgun

Thus, I settled on clay pigeon shooting. It’s a package with 10 shotgun shells for THB 1,190 (about RM 120). I honestly don’t know if this is skeet shooting, trap shooting or sporting clays since the Phuket Shooting Range is huge and I was at a station with clay pigeons flying from two different directions and angles.

shooting range thailand

The registration process was incredibly lax – I didn’t need to hand over my passport or even prove that I am who I say I am. I just wrote my name on a piece of paper – I didn’t even sign it! You can get a variety of semi-automatic handguns from .38 caliber revolvers to shotguns and there’s even a full outdoor tactical range.

I’ve never been clay pigeon shooting before. I did see President Obama (purportedly) skeet shooting in that well-publicized White House propaganda photo as he made more restrictions to gun laws in the US though. I do know shotguns since I grew up in Sarawak (locals are allowed to own shotguns) but this is a special skeet shooting double-barreled Over And Under design (O/U) that I’ve never used before.

competition shells

The skeet shooting shells are 24 gr 7 ½ inch 70mm meant for competition – the Olympics uses the same shotgun shells. I was given a short primer (smirk) on how to follow the arcs with my shotgun and shoot. The orange clay pigeons came from two directions – a bit like trap/skeet shooting in just one station.

phuket shooting range

I pressed my cheek against the stock of the shotgun, rested it against my shoulder and waited for the recoil that I thought would hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt nothing at all! There’s barely any recoil from this break open Over And Under (two barrels stacked vertically) shotgun with this particular shell.

shotgun shell

However, I found that tracking the clay pigeons (which is automatically thrown into the air from two stations – you’re supposed to track, lead and shoot it, breaking the discs) was harder than I thought. I wasn’t very comfortable with the shotgun – I wanted to have a front pistol grip, which is absurd, that’s something for tactical use, but it would be much more comfortable. 🙂

Full video of me skeet shooting!

I liked the double barreled shotgun design though – it gives you two chances to break the orange clay pigeons and you can fire it like a semi-automatic. It has a very light trigger pull and you literally break open the stock and reload two shells when you’re done.

shooting shotgun

I would have loved to go on the shotgun course too – they had metal silhouettes that ping when you shoot it with buckshot but I was pressed for time so I could only go for this one. I have finally shot a classic break open O/U double-barreled shotgun at clay pigeons flying in the air at high speeds! 😀

break open shotgun

It was a lot of fun!

Posted: 1:28 pm Phuket time (GMT +7)

Steyr M9 semi-auto 9mm handgun

steyr m9 unloaded

The Steyr M9 is no longer in production – all that’s out there is all that’s available. Anyway, if you have a chance to check it out, you’ll find that it’s a very interesting semi-auto for a lot of reasons – very different sights, short trigger pull, unusual safety location.


The improved M9-A1 shares almost all of the characteristics though.

steyr m9

It’s made primarily of polyester like a Glock so it’s surprisingly light (slightly less than 1 kg or so loaded). It takes in 9mm Parabellum bullets. The magazine capacity is 14 rounds – this is not a civilian model. I’m not sure about the laws in Malaysia but back in Australia, there’s 10-round limit for magazines. I used to own a Beretta and a HK but I’ve never seen a Steyr before. It’s not a very popular gun.

9mm magazine

Okay, a lot of people don’t know this (coz of TV shows) but a standard 9 mm caliber bullet is lethal up to 50 meters. Most modern loads can go further. Unless you’re wearing a ballistics vest, you probably wouldn’t survive a point blank hit. Even if you are, there is no such thing as a “bulletproof vest” – you will absorb the impact (energy cannot be created or destroyed and all) which will probably result in cracked ribs (which you will die from if it pierces your lungs), organ bruising and severe trauma unless you’re far enough away that the bullet loses energy from travel.

steyr m9 safety

The Steyr M9 is a very safe pistol, all things considered. This is what it looks like with the safety on and magazine removed. The first safety works by pulling to pull the rod (the black protruding dot on the side is actually a short bar) down so the wedge with the white dot inside the trigger guard (the secondary safety) comes down. It won’t fire this way. Fire as in even dry-fire, the trigger will not engage.

steyr m9 safeties

This is what the Steyr M9 looks like loaded and with all the safety features off.
1. The manual safety set to F (Fire) – it’s default, I don’t think anyone would carry it in the S (Safe) position since you need a key to turn it. I strongly suspect you’ll be dead if you find yourself in need of using it. The wording is a bit faded but the 12-6 position is Fire and the 9-3 position is Safe. The two white lines shows where it’s at. I hear you can also use a handcuff key to twist it.
2. The wedge with the white dot is pushed up with your trigger finger so the rod goes up and disappears (see lowered wedge with white dot in the photo before this one). This is the Steyr M9 ready to fire state.

Disclaimer: There is no round in the chamber. The magazine and bullets are in the gun but I did not rack back the slide.

steyr m9 original

I only dry-fired it (meaning firing without bullets just to see how it works) and it has a very light trigger pull and travel. The Steyr M9 has very unique sights which I can’t explain. You’ll be a bit confused if you’re used to standard Beretta/H&K sights. It’s dual action (kinda like how a Glock works) – you squeeze the trigger “twice”.

concealed carry

Anyway, for the previous question – yes, in that photo it was loaded as you can see more clearly here. However, there is no round in the chamber. Someone mentioned something about the way I was standing. Very astute. That’s why my potbelly protrudes (cheh hahaha) coz I was arching my back so I wouldn’t accidentally discharge a loaded firearm.

holding steyr m9

Please be careful with all firearms.

Real or not? Guess! :D


I’m claiming this is a loaded Steyr M9 9 x 19 mm Parabellum semi-auto in a concealed carry position in my jeans.

True or false?

Not my potbelly la, that one is confirmed real. 😉

The firearm. Guess if it’s real – would love to hear your responses! 😀

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