Every Mother's Day, the women all go out for a spa treatment. When Eri asked what the men wanted to do for Father's Day, I didn't have a ready response. The only testosterone-laden activity that came to mind was shooting.

They found us a shooting range: Hot Shots in Daytona. We actually had a lot of fun!

Dad brought an old handgun his mother had purchased for protection. We rented two guns and an hour of range time. They allowed us to swap the guns out whenever we felt like it, so we started with a .22 revolver and a .22 semi-automatic pistol; we bought 150 rounds for them and 50 rounds for Grandma's .25. We also bought a few circle targets and a couple of Zombie Osama targets.

Grandma's .25 was difficult. I overloaded the clip, causing a jam, but Dad had a jam every time he tried to fire it. It was tiny, which made it difficult to hold, and the slide was likely to scrape along your hand and pinch the webbing between your thumb and index finger. Worse yet, the slide wouldn't return all the way forward, so you had to keep pushing it into the proper position before you could fire again. And the clincher was its terrible accuracy.

The .22 revolver was excellent. Besides good accuracy, its muzzle flash was directed almost entirely forwards. The .22 semiautomatic was less accurate (in my opinion), it blew fire out the sides (very distracting), and it would sometimes eject the casing into your eyes.

When we were about 3/4 done with the .22 ammo, Nathan traded the semi-automatic for a 38 special revolver and bought 50 rounds. The .22s were loud enough to make you happy that ear protection was provided; the 38 made you understand why it was required! I liked this revolver best out of everything we tried: besides good accuracy, it felt powerful enough to be really useful without overwhelming you.

When the .22 ammo ran out, Nathan swapped guns again. He brought back "Dirty Harry": a .44 Magnum revolver. This gun made you realize that your ear protection was actually inadequate. The shooters in the far lane commented, "It's like they're firing a (expletive) cannon."

The 44 was just too difficult to handle. It left a big hole in the target, when it hit. The muzzle flash was amazing. It kicked like a donkey; Nathan and Dad were both rocked backwards by the thing. (Dave and I were forewarned.) I imagine, with some training and wrist exercise, it could become manageable, but I'd rather just use the 38.

When we ran out of 38 ammo, I swapped it for another 44 revolver. This one had a longer barrel and a more comfortable grip. Otherwise, it had exactly the same drawbacks as Dirty Harry. We quickly ran out of ammo.

Luckily, Nathan had kept four rounds in reserve. He had also cleverly purchased four small circle targets. Nathan proposed a wager on the results of a single shot each, but we turned that down in favor of just shooting. (I think the 44s had us all a little intimidated.)

Dad went first, but pulled high and left. This was surprising, since he'd been the most consistently accurate all day. He was the only one who managed to hit the 5x circle of the police target, and he placed 3 out of six shots there, with a fourth just a little outside!

I went next, but we couldn't see where my shot went. Nathan's shot was closer than Dad's, but outside the black. David took his time firing, but we couldn't see where his shot landed, either.

As we pulled back the targets, we found that my shot had landed in the black, and David had (apparently) whiffed. Nathan declared, "Okay, so loser pays, right?"

We decided to split the bill evenly, which worked out to $57 each. That was more than I was expecting, but Eri assures me that their spa treatments cost about the same.

All in all, it was an interesting way to spend a Father's Day. Maybe next time we'll try a rifle.