Tossing brass; that’s what they had called it on the range, with a smile and a chuckle. To be honest you don’t think about how utterly frivolous that is when you are learning to empty an MP5 on a nice, sunny, outdoor range, with your anti-flash glasses on and the smell of sunscreen mixing with the fresh waves of cordite as you and eleven other raw recruits pull the trigger on another cardboard gang-banger.

Not so funny now, crouched behind a stack of wooden packing crates, filled with steel refrigerators. Lucky because I was hoping for something that could stop bullets. It was supposed to be a simple buy-bust! I’m in here with nothing more than a Sig; I’m playing the part of a drug dealer. It’s the bad guys who are ‘tossing brass’ like it’s this year’s summer craze. I’m pretty sure that the guys with automatics were toting Steyrs, so that’s sixty rounds apiece; I lost count at around thirty. Weirdly my ears have already shut out the bangs, all I can hear are casings hitting the concrete, like metal raindrops.