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Posted: 2/19/2001 10:03:31 PM EDT
****Bullets Fly at Chinese Weapon Park****  by Kristie Lu Stout

The Chinese have long and proudly held claim to the invention of gun powder. Now they've conjured forth another supplement to the art of war: the ballistic bullet park.  Located near the town of Nankou in Changping County an hour's drive north of Beijing, the China North International Shooting Range provides a hearty menu of more than 30 heavy and light weapons. At China North, gun-shy newbies can toy with a TT Olympia sports pistol (a kiddie favorite at the park) while the trigger-happy can sublimate their frustrations with a Chinese government-issued anti-aircraft rocket launcher. No license required. No precautions demanded. Just cough up a few bucks and the launcher's yours.  

A former army barracks, the China North International Shooting Range is the first and largest public weaponry arcade in China. General manager Zhang Lianxiao says the shooting range was officially established by the Central Party Committee in 1987 "in light of the guiding policy of 'reform and opening up' and 'preserving while converting military facilities into civilian use.'" Since 1987, admissions to the shooting range have totaled more than 80,000 - attracting China's movie stars, party leaders, and Lexus-driving entrepreneurs to delight in a round or two with an AK47.  In addition to the 7.62mm type 56 tommy gun (or AK47), China North also serves up a selection of various pistols, rifles, machine guns, rocket launchers, and mortars. Hao Rui Li, a "weapons waitress" at the shooting range, says that the most popular entrees include the M16 automatic rifle, the 7.62mm type 79 sniper rifle, and the type 85 tommy gun "specially designed for ladies."  However, the chef's specialty is undoubtedly the 40mm anti-tank rocket launcher which, according to the China North's zealous guidebook, "is able to destroy a wood-mud fortification with a single shot and the explosion of the target is so thunderous and spectacular that it arouses great excitements!"  China North is seeking more "great excitements" with a slew of shooting entertainment features that are currently in the works. General manager Lianxiao eagerly anticipates the introduction of China North's shooting labyrinth, "laser confrontational war," as well as the chance for visitors to fire away aboard tanks and aircraft.

Link Posted: 2/19/2001 10:04:06 PM EDT
At only cents per bullet, it's easy for most foreign visitors to afford multiple one-on-one sessions with one of China North's many offerings. A tumble with the park's 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun, for instance, is but the cost of admission to see the latest Disney flick.  Li Ruo Kun, a 20-something Beijing-based tour guide for Malaysian and Japanese tourists, and a sharp-shooter at China North, foresees more foreign visitors at the shooting range. "Foreigners would love it here. These opportunities are few in China and after seeing all the sights and historical relics, a tourist needs to come to a shooting range."

Not only can tourists use China North to help them stomach the monotony of a tour bus trek through Beijing, but China's increasing middle class is ravenous for weekend leisure alternatives. Says Li Nan, another Beijing-based young urban professional, "Hey. It's better than bowling."  With more and more disposable income in the pockets of China's young economic elite, there is an increasing demand for an updated entertainment infrastructure that can replace standards such as the Carpenters karaoke night at the local dive bar.  "With more money," says Kun, "there should be more and more chances for people to play during the weekend. As more and more people get wealthier, China needs more amusement possibilities. Right now, there's only swimming, bowling, and disco dancing on the weekends. We certainly need more opportunities for the weekend."  Playtime in the ballistic battlefields of China North offers a much-needed weekend release that if sino-yuppie Li Nan believes is especially appealing to his contemporaries. "The shooting range is definitely more suitable for younger people 18 to 30 years of age. Just look at how inexpensive it is here. Sure, the middle-aged folks are here, the managers and execs. But they play with the more powerful - and more expensive - toys."  But even if Nan could afford an encounter with a rocket launcher, he probably wouldn't take up the offer. "If I had more money, I wouldn't come here," he admits. "I'd go shoot some animals ... but not the protected ones, though."
Link Posted: 2/19/2001 10:47:51 PM EDT
I saw a video on China showing the "all you can shoot" range about 10-12 years ago. They let you shoot full auto AK's, belt fed machine guns. sit in anti-aircraft guns = 20mm I think, and RPG's. The bullets are fairly cheap to shoot but the RPG's still cost over $100.00 each. The RPG's look much different in real life than on TV. Lots of smoke and it fires more like a cannon than the gradual "rocket" you see in the movies. If I ever get a chance to go to China, that free for all range is a must see attraction along with the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.
Link Posted: 2/20/2001 4:39:13 AM EDT
When does the next flight leave?? [:D]
We should all write to our Congressmen and ask them to open up a range like this on one of our closed down bases!!!  Wouldn't that just make HCI's day [heavy]
Link Posted: 2/20/2001 6:25:46 AM EDT
Looks like the Chinese Gov't does more to support their Militia than the US! There is NO reason that the US can't have similar Militia training installations. Which, BTW, are mandated by the 2nd Amendment!
No, Militia isn't guerilla forces, it's the pool from which soldiers are drawn in time of war!
Link Posted: 2/20/2001 7:24:57 AM EDT
Damn, looks like the commies are having all the fun.  [:(]

[uzi]        [rocket]
Link Posted: 2/20/2001 7:35:46 AM EDT
Just got back from was hiding my AW`s, now, what is all this about the chinee getting range time.
Link Posted: 2/20/2001 9:46:48 AM EDT
Sound like disney world to me...
Link Posted: 2/20/2001 9:58:30 AM EDT
i wonder if they will have a thing where you can get ran over by a real norinco made sheet metal stamped tank?
Link Posted: 2/20/2001 11:28:46 AM EDT
Q): Whats the difference between China and The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia?

A): The Chinese are allowed & encouraged shoot military style weapons, Californians are felons if they do the same.
Link Posted: 2/20/2001 11:36:09 AM EDT
Cheap ammo?  Slave labor.  I would much rather see a gun park here and pay full price for ammo.
Link Posted: 2/20/2001 11:36:48 AM EDT
I thought this part of the article was hilarious...
"...according to the China North's zealous guidebook, "(40mm anti-tank rocket)is able to destroy a wood-mud fortification with a single shot and the explosion of the target is so thunderous and spectacular that it arouses great excitements!"

Wow!! What an achievement!! A weapon able to destroy a wood/mud stucture!! My god, what are we up against?!?

Still, to promote a 40mm rocket luancher to the public like that is just too funny! I wouldn't mind taking a few shots with it myself. Sounds like fun!

Link Posted: 2/20/2001 11:39:33 AM EDT
....and for $15.00 you can take shots at a real live Tibetan Buddhist monk with the device of your choice.
Link Posted: 2/20/2001 11:56:19 AM EDT
I here they are considering a new park:

Prisoner Execution Park - Try to shoot a prisoner in the head at point blank range.  All for the price of cheap ammo.
Link Posted: 2/20/2001 1:36:08 PM EDT
ahh smoooooth!!!...they should have that here. not just gun rental ranges,but be able to fire stinger missles and law rockets [:)]
i bet shooting a stinger missle would be incredibly expensive though [:(]
i'd pay some money to shoot a full-auto aug, or a m249 saw. [:D]
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