Guns Over Normandy

The World War 2 weapons experience

Have you ever fantasized about firing a Thompson SMG? Maybe the iconic British Bren gun? How about a US Garand rifle where you experience the signature ‘ping’ as the empty clip ejects?
Or what about the Sten gun – loved and sometimes hated by British troops and Resistance groups all over Europe?

If any of this is on your personal ‘Bucket list’ then Guns over Normandy has the two day break made just for you!

Stay with us at our 16th century Manor in rural Normandy – and have the greatest World War 2 weapons experience in Europe!

About us

Based in Normandy (our title sort of gives it away) we are a British born couple who run this unique experience of live firing historic weapons. We are in close proximity to the UK with ease of access by either ferry or train from the UK, Ireland and Western Europe.

The Guns

What you get

Our two day events provide the following:
Two nights stay at the Manor with all meals and drinks
One day at the nearby club range – firing the Bren gun, Garand rifle, Thompson SMG, Sten gun, Garand rifle and the 1911 pistol. Also available on request are the SMLE 303 and German Mauser.
This is followed by a half a day on the Manor’s range firing black powder weapons – including the cannon.

Arrival.
Guests usually arrive early evening, get settled into their rooms and then come down and blow off some of the travel dust with a glass or two of something or other by the blazing log fire.

Ben will show you the armoury with its display of WWII memorabilia and weapons and before dinner we ‘meet the weapons’.

Here you will get to know the weapons before we go to the range the next day and we also run you through how to load the magazines, strip them etc. All weapons have their own idiosyncrasies and we’ll go through each one that evening.

After aperitifs we have dinner, with wine and in fairness the conversation tends usually to be gun/history related and – so to bed.

Day two
Breakfast is at 08.30 and consists of coffee/tea/hot chocolate with, fresh from our local bakery that morning, croissant, pain chocolate, juice baguettes etc.

After breakfast – the Briefing.
Here we discuss range matters – safety being a high priority and you will be issued with your ear defenders.

To the range
A short drive brings us to the range we’ll set up the targets and with headsets on – the fun begins.
We decide who’s going first and then each guest (everyone has their own target) takes a turn with the selected weapon – the other guests get to watch as the shots are fired before they take their turn at their firing point.

We break for a lunch (coffee/tea and sandwiches) at the range before starting the afternoons firing.

By 4 pm we have completed the shoot and it’s home for wine o’clock, dinner and that log fire!

Day three
Breakfast is followed by a briefing on the niceties of shooting black powder. Naturally something of a different experience to the previous day. Flintlock and cap and ball weapons need a totally diverse approach to the modern weapons – and can take some getting used to. But the end result is usually large smiles – and oddly a lot of laughter!

Lunch is taken at the Manor and guests check out after that for their return home – taking with them their targets and one – with his or her ‘Winner’ certificate for best overall shot.

Costs

Total cost, per person, for a two day, two night all inclusive shooting experience is 400 Euros per person.

Some frequently asked questions

How many rounds do I get to fire?

The table below shows the initial allocation of rounds per shooter. However if you really are enjoying firing a particular gun extra magazines or clips can be purchased at the range. This is shown as PPMC (price per magazine or clip).

Each visitor gets to fire:Total roundsNumber of magazines
Bren LMG303
Thompson SMG303
US Garand rifle .30-06243
Auto Ordnance 1911213

Czech and other eastern European shooting events only allow you 45 rounds – we’re a LOT more generous in our initial allocation at over 100 rounds per person.

Also we believe part of the firing experience is actually changing magazines and so whilst the Bren, Sten and the Thompson are 30 round magazines you load just 10 rounds in each – so you can experience the ‘fun’ of changing mags at least 3 times per weapon.

Additional magazines/clips can be purchased (prices are for 10 rounds):

Bren LMG (.303)Thompson SMGUS Garand rifle .30-06Auto Ordnance 1911
€12/Magazine€6/Magazine€12/Clip€4.2/Magazine

Who can shoot?
We allow persons with a minimum of 13 years – accompanied by an adult up to… well any person that has a pulse, can see and safely hold the weapon.
All safety equipment is provided by us – ear and, if required, eye protection.

When are these events held?
Events are held between October and May – on demand. We offer these shooting events with arrivals:
Mondays – departure Wednesday p.m. after lunch at the Manor
Wednesdays – departure Friday p.m. after lunch at the Manor
Fridays – departure Sunday p.m. after lunch at the Manor

How do I book?
Complete the contact form below with your intended numbers and projected dates you’d like to visit – and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Are these fully automatic weapons?
Fully automatic weapons in France are banned so whilst all our weapons were originally capable of firing full auto they now legally can only fire semi-automatic – but it is still a hell of a ride!