There’s nothing quite like “the first time.” First kisses, first time driving alone, first-time spending the night at your friends. You never forget them no matter how old you get. So when my husband told me that we were going shooting I was very excited. We dropped our son off at Grammie and JaJa’s to spend the night, and we had the day to ourselves. We got our gear together and headed over to Iron Sites, our local indoor range.
At the Range
By the time we got there my adrenaline was flowing, and I was a little shaky from the anticipation. Walking into a gun store with an indoor range is not like walking into any other store. One of the first things I noticed is the smell. Leather, plastic, solvents, and burnt gunpowder combined to create a fragrance that, in my opinion, rivals Chanel No. 5. People are hustling and bustling and talking about firearms. And all the while you can hear the “Boom, Boom” of the firing range.
There was a bewildering array of firearms to choose from. Revolvers, single shots, semi-automatics, and long guns. The number of choices was a bit intimidating. After talking with my husband we decided to rent a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver and a 1911 .45 semi automatic. When I asked him why these two particular guns, he told me that he wanted me to experience the difference between a double action revolver and a single action semi automatic.
Shots Fired on Lane 13
When we got our assigned lane, my husband started me off on the revolver. At first the gun felt heavy, and my hands were sweaty and shaky. I was afraid I’d drop it when it recoiled. I was also very tense and was gripping the revolver too hard. I lined up my sites and I fired. It kicked, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as i’d expected. after a couple more shots i was having too much fun to notice!
As I shot more I began to relax. The recoil was no longer intimidating, I’d loosened up my death-grip on the gun, and I was more able to focus on the things I was learning. Once I had the basics on how to fire the weapon I could then concentrate on my stance, holding the gun comfortably, and aiming better. It also became easier to just slow down, which gave me more control. My husband and I took turns shooting, until the revolver ammo ran out.
Now it was time for the 1911. I was a little nervous again. It kicked a lot harder, but it was the frame being much larger that made it more difficult for me. It was just too big for my smaller-than-average hands. It was still a lot fun, but it took more concentration because it was more complex. Although, with some practice, it certainly is faster to shoot and is very accurate.
When Can We Go Again?
Overall my first time shooting was a thrilling experience and a great confidence booster. It was gratifying to “hit the mark,” and it left me with a sense of accomplishment. I’m more comfortable with the idea of self-defense and shooting as a whole, as well. The idea of recoil was intimidating to me, but now I know that even a larger gun is very manageable. I also know that I could fire my husband’s gun if I had to and I wouldn’t be hindered by trying to figure out how it works. In fact, It’s now easier for me to see how any gun functions.