There are many concerns a novice woman shooter has when first learning to shoot a firearm. There’s recoil, stance, grip, and trigger control. And personally, I had a problem not jabbing myself with my nails. I’m writing this article as a follow-up to my third time shooting. There were some points I wanted to make, especially to new shooters, that just didn’t fit into the article. None of these problems last forever, and with experience, you’ll be able to handle them easily.
Don’t Fear The Recoil
The most common and unsettling thing for the novice women shooter is learning to control recoil. I’d have to say it isn’t that bad once you do it a few times. Even with the .45 ACP. The same goes for the other problems I’ve come across. It’s all about practice and having a gun that is a good fit and that works for you. I’ve noticed significant improvement in my own shooting ability every time I go to the range, and I’ve only gone three times. There is also a significant difference between having a gun that is a little smaller, for me at least, and I can’t wait to try one that truly fits my hands. Another BIG factor is proper form. It’s amazing how quickly you build up muscle memory, and learning the right habits from the start will aid in your quick success with shooting firearms.
I recommend reading the articles in this blog and Tactical Pistol Shooting 2nd Edition by Erik Lawrence and Mike Pannone. As the title says, it is written for tactical shooting (shooting in an actual situation) with a semiautomatic. However, it has detailed information and lots of helpful photos on stance, grip, shooting in different positions, how to load and unload, mindset, and a plethora of other useful tips and techniques for anyone with a handgun. I would recommend it to any new shooter who wants to start off on the right foot.
Practice Makes Perfect
The second time I went shooting I had trouble with my fingernails and said I would try cutting them. Well, I forgot about that until we were heading out the door. During my third time shooting I had nails just as long as before, and no problem. Being more comfortable with the recoil and knowing how to manage it with a better grip is what I needed, not shorter fingernails. This same point comes across into many other areas of shooting. I had an all-around better time. Since I was more comfortable with the basics, I was really able to focus and learn on a higher level. Instead of worrying, “How do I hold this thing,” or about overcoming the recoil, I could think “What did I do during that round, and how can I do better next time?” I progressed further during my third time out than I did during the previous two.
What I’m trying to say with this is that you can do it! Don’t let your inexperience or difficulties on your first few times shooting stop you from having a good time and continuing on. Practice makes perfect, and a little of it goes a long way. So does a little education. Experiment with different kinds of firearms. Learn and practice proper technique. Skill WILL follow. As with everything, we all start at the beginning. You may be a novice shooter now, but with a little effort you can learn to defend yourself and have fun in the process!