Samui Wining & Dining
STRAIGHT SHOOTING
Samui’s Paragon Gun Range offers some of the best-value fun anywhere on the island!

Samui’s Paragon Gun Range offers some of the best-value fun anywhere on the island!Samui’s a sunshine island. People come here to relax, stretch out by the pool or take a dip in the sea. But even the most dedicated sun-lover needs a break sometime. That’s OK, though; there are 101 things to do – you’re spoiled for choice! There are lots of day-trips and excursions to consider. But one of the most enjoyable, and unusual, is getting tooled-up at the Paragon Gun Range.

          

Europe, and most of Asia too, doesn’t have the same kind of ‘gun culture’ that you’ll experience in, say, for example, The United States. And so a shooting range where you can try-out a variety of handguns and rifles, and even a shotgun, is a novel and enjoyable experience for a great many people. They won’t be turning up again next month to keep their eye in, but judging by the popularity of this range, there’s a non-stop stream of new visitors only too keen to give it a go.

          

And this raises a point: this place gets busy. It’s firmly on the tourist excursion map. Around 11:00 am the first of the many tour buses start to roll up with the excited day-trippers and their kids. There are a total of eight bays for the shooters, and a lot of people waiting their turn. So the best time to go is early in the morning or in the late afternoon – the range is open between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. 

          

I’ve heard people say that it’s hard to find, but in reality it couldn’t be simpler, and is easily accessible even if you’ve only got a motorbike. From Nathon, head south down the ring-road towards Lamai. The range is just about 11 kilometres from Nathon. Look out for the signposted turning towards Ban Taling Ngam (road 4170) on your right, Samui’s Paragon Gun Range offers some of the best-value fun anywhere on the island!and then continue for about five kilometres until you see Wat Khunaram, also on your right. The road opposite is festooned with signs and advertising for elephant trekking, waterfalls etc. Three hundred metres up this road there is a small dirt track forking to the right. Follow this and you’ll arrive at Paragon Gun in about another 200 metres. 

          

The Paragon Gun Range is a clean, modern single-storey building that was purpose-built and opened in 2014. And what is unique here is that, unlike others, this is an open-air range that faces the huge vertical backdrop of an old carved-out quarry. And that means there’s a full 100 metres from front to back, allowing close target-placing for handguns, yet also a realistic distance for long guns, too. It’s a bit of a challenge for a .22 rifle with open sights, but add a sniper scope to it and it’s just about perfect. 

          

The staff are friendly and relaxed, enjoy their work, and are knowledgeable about all the guns that are available. There’s a soundly representative range of these, ranging from standard short-nose .38 revolvers, through to 9mm semi-auto Glocks, a powerhouse .357 Magnum (getting close to ‘Dirty Harry’ and his legendary cannon!)Samui’s Paragon Gun Range offers some of the best-value fun anywhere on the island! and going right through to CZ .22 scoped ‘sniper’ rifles and even a .22 fullauto Sig Sauer machine gun and a Remington Tactical shotgun! 

          

Once you’ve made your choice and filtered to the front of the queue, you’ll have a personal staff trainer attached to you, and he’ll firstly go through the basics of safety, then stay close to advise you on your technique and shooting style, gently correcting your stance and positioning and helping from shot to shot. First-timers are always surprised at the amount of recoil there is with a handgun, and need to adjust to it, particularly if they opt for one of the more powerful ones, such as the big Magnum. 

          

Another point in their favour: all the guns are lovingly cleaned and oiled every night, and are regularly checked and zeroed with their sights to be spot-on at set distances, thus increasing customer satisfaction! The cost of it all is less than you’ll find elsewhere, and is priced per round (bullet) at reasonable rates – details of which you can find on their Facebook page. 

          

They are quite happy for you to take photos, and will cheerfully pose you with your targets, or even in action shooting, if you ask. They’re good, they’re dedicated and they’ve got it all together – they’re some of the ‘straightest shooters’ on Samui!

          

 Rob De Wet


 


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