My husband and I went to the indoor range at Iron Sights again this weekend. We shot four handguns: the Smith & Wesson M629 .44 Magnum revolver (a.k.a. the “Dirty Harry” gun), the Glock 21 .45 semiautomatic, Springfield Armory XD .45 semiautomatic, and my husband’s customized Springfield Armory 1911 .45 semiautomatic. A quick word about following one’s own advice; it’s generally a good idea. One of the points I made in an earlier post that contained tips for the shooting range concerning new shooters was to start small. Needless to say, I didn’t heed that suggestion. Four firearms was really too many at once, by time I got to my husband’s 1911 .45 semiautomatic my wrists and arms were pretty wobbly and sore. Not only did we have too many handguns, but we started the evening off by shooting the M629 .44 magnum revolver. It was incredibly fun, and it kicked like a mule! It didn’t take too long to get used to, but it really made me tired after about 50 rounds. Although the other three .45 semiautomatics seemed unsubstantial after shooting that beast of a revolver, the fatigue in my hands and shoulders made it harder for me to focus on shooting them correctly. Apart from just trying to do too much, I’d say it was a successful trip. What I’d wanted to accomplish at the shooting range this time was to compare what it felt like to shoot the 1911 and a composite semiautomatic. Overall, I found that I didn’t really care for the composite handguns as much as my husband’s heavier .45 caliber 1911 or even the .44 magnum, and I wouldn’t recommend them to a new shooter who doesn’t want to put in quite a bit of shooting practice. You can read why I feel this way in more detail in my Review.
Shooting such powerful handguns has also brought up an issue that may be relevant for some of my fellow women shooters: Shooting high-caliber firearms with very long fingernails is a bit tricky. Having a proper grip is even more important. I did manage to jab myself a couple of times, especially with that .44 magnum. (I think it was more because the grip was much too big for my hand, so I couldn’t hold the revolver correctly, than because of the actual recoil.) There was no broken skin, and I figured out how to avoid doing it pretty quickly. I’m going to try trimming them down to a slightly more moderate length next time I go shooting. I’ll let you know how it goes, ladies.