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I'm planning a trip to Russia in October (primarily Moscow and St Petersburg) and recently I read this question and liked the idea of being able to use military equipment, specially AK-47, as this rifle was created in Russia.

I did some research and found some tours like this one, but it doesn't allow pictures to be taken at the shooting range. Other ones allow photos to be taken, but are a bit expensive like this one that advertises one price, but charges extra for photos and has a minimun amount of bullets one should buy at extra charge.

I'm looking for a tour that would be as cheap as possible (I thought of 50 USD), take like a few hours at most (lets say 4 hours round-trip time) and would me allow to take photos with the equipment. If my expectations could not be filled, I would be interested to know that also!

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    If you come to the US and make the right friends, you can do this for free :) – Michael Hampton Jul 30 '15 at 3:02
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    You don't need to go to Russia. A local outfit offers this: therange702.com I have no experience with the company beyond the fact that they have enough ads around I remembered the URL and so I checked it first. I would assume their competitors (and they do have them!) provide similar offerings although exactly what machine guns they have available is something you would have to check. – Loren Pechtel Jul 30 '15 at 3:56
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    Added extreme tag, as this is not quite usual activity here :) – VMAtm Jul 30 '15 at 10:04
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    @sharptooth Izhevsk is the city where AK-47 was created, but it a bit far away (over a 1000Km) from Moscow. I don't think I'll have enough time to go visit tha museum. – gmauch Jul 30 '15 at 14:04
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    In the US, see wheretoshoot.org – Michael Hampton Jul 30 '15 at 20:31
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The main concern you must be aware of for such tours is that you have to get details before booking it. The laws regarding such weapon are very strict here in Russia, and such shooting is allowed to take place only in shooting clubs and polygons. Quite popular tour you've linked is all about shooting in specific place (shooting club), with no outdoor experience. Yes, you can take photos, but they wouldn't be shocking. From other side, you'll get shooting experience from a real weapon.

I suggest you to search shooting clubs directly (Central Shooting Club in Moscow, Baltic Shooting Club in Saint Petersburg), without travel agencies - you'll save your money and wouldn't be limited in time or number of bullets. Even more, you can choose some other weapon, for example, in BSC:

First WW weapons

Maxim machine-gun
Maxim machine-gun
Mosin-Nagant rifle
Mosin-Nagant rifle

Second WW weapons

PPSh-41 (Shpagin's submachine gun)
PPSh-41 (Shpagin's submachine gun)

Dozens of AK modifications, even handle machine gun:

AK modification
One bullet (especially for old weapons) is up to 80 RUR, so for 50 USD you can book 20 bullets and a taxi from your hotel in Saint Petersburg. Prices in Moscow can be greater up to 20% more.

Another tour you've linked, as I think, is the similar to previous one, as they say that you'll fire from 50 meter distance, which is a standard distance for shooting clubs.

All other offers are about shooting from copies of weapons, which are pneumatic, so this can be done only for photos :) I suggest you to google the KMB(Курс молодого бойца, recruit training)-course in Moscow, it's fun, you'll take many photos, eat a real soldier's food, learn how to disassemble AKM, but shooting is made from a copy, as I said already. The price for tour I've linked is 2400 RUR, which is near 50 USD.

In Saint Petersburg you can find a popular tour for UAZ driving and AKM shooting - you'll learn how to drive a real military car:

http://spb.daroo.ru/images/data/10879_1_0910uaz1.png

More options can be found here (there are some tours for Stalin's Military Line, knife fight and even tank driving tour), but they are more expensive than you can spend :) (starting from 6400 RUR, which is near 120 USD). Tank driving near Moscow can be done too.

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    120 USD to drive a tank! Taking notes for my trip to Russia... :) – Adrien Be Jul 31 '15 at 15:13
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    @AdrienBe For this sum only car :P – VMAtm Jul 31 '15 at 16:34
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    @VMAtm Just for the records, The Baltic Shooting Club answered me saying that "use the services of our shooting center can only Russian Federation citizens, with Russian passport". Too bad for me... – gmauch Aug 6 '15 at 11:54
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    @VMAtm Again for the records, the Central Shooting Club told me that "a foreign national must have a good knowledge of the Russian language or the presence of an interpreter and must carry original passport.". Guess i'll have to go with the tours! – gmauch Aug 11 '15 at 15:31
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    Just a quick note - these are not real military AKs, but stripped down versions known as Saiga, complying with the regulations for hunting weapons. But their look and feel is quite similar to AK. And as for the real AKs, in Russia they're forbidden for any civilian use. – Vasily Alexeev Nov 24 '16 at 8:54
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If you are interesting in AK-47, I recommend you to visit Kalashnikov Museum in Izhevsk city. It's about 2 hours by plane from Moscow or St.Petersburg.
In museum you can see great exhibition of AK-models from all over the world, and other rifles. Also you learn Mikhail Kalashnikov's biography in details. And of course, here you can shoot from arms.

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Many clubs can give you a chance: for example

  1. Price http://www.strelclub.ru/ceny/odinochnye-poseshcheniya/boevoy-tir/
  2. Weapon catalog : http://www.strelclub.ru/katalog-oruzhiya/boevoy-tir/

Just google it "ак 47 москва тир"

If you have money you can even fly on Mig-29 to edge of space http://29mig.com/

  • Looks promising...Too bad this StrelClub doesn't offer an english version of it's website... – gmauch Sep 20 '16 at 20:55
  • No - I just take first what give me google :-) - you can try by yourself "ак 47 москва тир", or for St Petersburg "ак 47 питер тир" – Alexander Sep 21 '16 at 6:17
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I have been to Labyrinth. They have an English website and many friendly English speaking instructors. I don't know if they allow you to take photos in the range though. http://en.strelclub.ru/

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Have you tried these guys? www.russiarocks.me/listing/spb-shooting Give it a go, as I've tried a tour with them with some mates and everything went just perfect (I loved the hotel pickup and a return transfer with English speaking guide especially).

  • Are you affiliated with this business? – Giorgio Mar 27 '17 at 1:52
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Before coming to Moscow I booked two tours from this company http://www.moscowguntours.com/, I found it on TripAdvisor https: https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Attraction_Review-g298484-d12621727-Reviews-Moscow_Gun_Tours-Moscow_Central_Russia.html , I fired both the Ak-47 and the Makarov pistol, The instructor's name is Evgeny, he speaks perfect English and is a friendly and knowledgeable guy. He actually taught me how to shoot and cared a lot about me actually hitting the bullseye, He told me he operates in different ranges and has a variety of custom marksmanship courses.

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Visited Evgeny (www.moscowguntours.com) before Christmas, he is a really cool guy, the range we went to had a wide variety of guns to shoot from, both Russian and Western guns. Evgeny himself is a Russian-Canadian so his English is great! I own quite a few handguns and rifles myself and can say that Evgeny gave me a lot of good tips on how to improve my marksmanship! There are many ranges in Moscow where tourists can shoot but It's important to have a good instructor!

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