David Thorpe Photography

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Landmarks and Memories

While we (Simon Weston, Patrick Hill, journalist, John Mann, writer) were on the Falklands the Falklands Defence Force arranged an afternoon's shooting for us on their range on the cliffs. They had a formidable array of pistols there (now known, unaccountably, as hand guns). Here I'm shooting a Smith and Wesson .45 magnum. Ridiculously powerful for a pistol and with quite a kick.

They also had Lugers, Brownings, Colts, Berettas, all sorts. Firing all these pistols was enormous fun, a real boys' afternoon out. Nothing you'd ever get to do in the UK, of course, especially nowadays. The FDF force range was ultra safe, since any stray shots went over the cliffs and out to sea. In a place the size of Wales with a population of 2000, there was little chance of anyone being in the way! One thing I did learn was that these high powered hand held weapons had a weight and kick that made marksmanship with them quite a feat. I really though, from my experience of air guns in the UK since I was a kid, that I'd be a reasonable shot. But in fact, nothing prepared me from the noise, kick and sheer violence of these guns.

I've never forgotten that afternoon. And how many jobs give you opportunities like that?
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