Matt Clark visits the new Holland & Holland Schiesskino shooting cinema
A buffalo is staring straight at me. I hear my heart pounding in my ears and then the recoil hits me as I pull the trigger on my Holland & Holland 500. I’m not in Africa, nor am I dreaming, I’m in Middlesex on the brand-new Schiesskino range at the Holland & Holland shooting ground.
This is the only range of its kind in the UK, although Schiesskino ranges are more common in other parts of Europe. This means us Brits can finally get in on the action that our European friends have been enjoying for years.
What is Schiesskino?
Literally translated, Schiesskino means, “shooting cinema” and as the name suggest, you shoot at a cinema screen. It took a while for me to get my head round shooting at a cinema screen with a .50 calibre rifle, or any other rifle for that matter, so here’s how it works.
- The bullets pass through the special cinema screen, the action on the screen stops and an infra red light shining from behind the double-layer paper screen is picked up by the camera immediately.
- This highlights where your shot went, giving you real-time information.
- The action on the screen then continues. The shooter reloads, shoots twice more, and then the sequence is over.
- If you are shooting with friends, each one of them will shoot the same sequence before moving onto another scenario.
The hard drive of the computer stores thousands of clips. One minute you can be hunting plains game in Africa, the next you will be shooting running boar in a snowy wood in Germany, or transported to Spain for a Monteria. All the scenarios are realistic and you can shoot anything you are likely to want to shoot.
And you can use your regular rifle and ammunition, or hire a rifle for your session from Holland & Holland, similar to one you will have when shooting abroad. There are a wide variety of firearms to choose from, ranging from a .22 semi-auto through to a Blaser R8 in .308 calibre or the Holland 500 double rifle.
Steve Rawsthorne at Holland & Holland says: “It’s an excellent way to sharpen up your skills with realistic scenarios if you have a shooting holiday planned.”
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The state of the art indoor range is climate controlled, so you are really enjoying some luxury shooting. The screen is 10 metres wide, three metres high and is 25 metres away from the firing point.
It must have cost a shed-load to build, so I ask Steve why the company bothered to invest in this facility. “At Holland & Holland we like to lead the way. More and more people are going to Europe to shoot and this provides the perfect practice environment for them. People can come here and brush up their rifle shooting skills in a safe environment with a qualified instructor, which will help them get the most out of their shooting trip.”
However, you don’t just have to go on a shooting holiday to use the Schiesskino range. If you want to shoot just for fun, then you can use a semi-auto .22 M4 carbine and shoot at an animated target, accompanied by oom-pah music. The music will stay with you long after the target practice has finished. This type of shooting is more suited for a stag party, or a corporate event and, believe me, it beats a stag clay shoot any day.
If you have never handled a rifle before, then Steve recommends a session on one of the outdoor ranges, so you have a basic understanding of rifle shooting before venturing onto moving targets at the Schiesskino range with a full-bore rifle.
A one-to-one session with an instructor, which will last an hour costs £150. You will have to pay for the ammunition used, but until the end of the year, the loan of a rifle at the ground is free. Anyone can shoot the Holland 500, but be warned, it costs £20 per round, so make your shot count.