Monday, November 28, 2005

The Range

Yesterday I went to the indoor range. This was the second time I had gone there, so I felt a little more comfortable with the process and wasn't as scared by the fact that everyone working in there has a gun on their hip. I totally understand why. Still, it is so far from normal for me.

I went with my friend and he decided to shoot as well instead of just helping me out. This decision was probably good, since the last time he shot, I became very afraid as I watched him. He is in no way scary or dangerous and I have no idea why I felt this way on that day. So, more exposure therapy.

Everything about the experience was different this time. I chose to shoot the Sig 9mm instead of the Glock like I had the last time. We chose the larger range room, slot number 8 against the wall. It was freezing, about 50 degrees, because there was something wrong with the heat. Still, I stuck it out and so did he. After the first fifteen rounds, my hands were so cold that it was making it hard to shoot.

The noises made me jump off the ground the first ten minutes or so, but I did adjust. A machine gun fired next to me and that sound, coupled with the dancing dirt in front of me, had me cringing a lot. The quick tensing of my muscles was making me a bit weary.

Then the Sig began to jam. After doing this repeatedly, I took it out to the guy behind the counter and he came back with me. It turned out that I was not holding it tightly enough. The Sig had been explained to me weeks ago, but I had forgotten this information. The man was nice enough not to treat me like an idiot and I began holding the gun more tightly. For the most part, it was fine, except that my hands were so cold that it did jam a few more times. Still, this gave me practice time on what to do when that happens. Good reinforcement.

There I was, freezing, holding the gun, aiming at my target, trying not to jump every time someone else fired. The taste of the smell of the fired rounds was beginning to make me sick. I was trying to remember my hands, remember my feet, pull straight back, keep arms and hands tight, lean toward the target, breathe, don't anticipate and don't vomit right now. It was a little much on this day.

So I shot and took the cold. I didn't shoot as well as I had with the glock, but I certainly experienced more this time. I cannot say that going to the range on this particular day was pleasant or fun, but it was neccessary. And I learned a lot.


Blogger carnaby said...

A nice warm range certainly helps. I've shot at the cold crappy ones, not much fun. The range I primarily go to is brightly painted, warm, and has good quality equipment ( in Bellevue).

Anyhoo, welcome to the gun blog thing, and stick with it. Try a 1911 style pistol in 9mm if you can (Para Ordnance makes a nice one). That's what I started my sister and wife with, and they liked it a lot.

28/11/05 9:50 AM  
Blogger Steaming Dragon said...

2nd time out.
Kept them on the paper.

I personaly know people rhar have been shooting for years that can't keep them on the paper.

You done good!

28/11/05 1:54 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

The first time on the range for me was scary, too. But you've got guts for sticking it out. Handling guns used to scare the dickens out of me -- I'd literally break into a cold sweat when I loaded my handgun. Now, going to the range is a great stress-buster and I can't wait to go. It really does get better with time and practice. Hope you stick with it, Christina.

And, yes, that Para-Ord that Carnaby started me with was a sweet piece! Ended up getting a Springfield Champion .45-cal with Commander slide as my first handgun.

28/11/05 3:23 PM  
Blogger Firehand said...

Ah, the joys of shooting with a freezing draft blowing on the back of your neck... NOT one of my favorite things.

My daugter's two favorite pistols are her Ruger Mark II .22, and my Kimber .45. No, I'm not giving it to her; she'll have to save up and buy her own for that.

28/11/05 7:49 PM  
Blogger Firehand said...

Be sure to check out Cowboy Blob(; ferrets and guns and stuff, Oh My!

Ok, sorry, couldn't pass that up.

28/11/05 7:54 PM  
Blogger L>T said...

Living in rural Oregon & being around guns all my life i was suprised when a new friend from L.A. leaped from her chair the first time she saw my husband & son bring out rifles(it was hunting season) she literally started to shake. I asked her what was wrong & she said it was the guns. aparently where she comes from, guns are only used against people.
I'd never thot of that before.

28/11/05 8:24 PM  
Anonymous chaos said...

I've got a lot to say here so I apologize if I take up too much of your space.

Firstly. Congrats! I am excited to see that someone who was afraid of firearms has made a 360 and is now going to the range, and it's even better that you WANT to go to the range.I am thoroughly impressed. Keep it up, keep practicing.

Secondly, I would like to apologize for not reading your blog sooner. Generally when I add sites to the Gun Blogs webring I check them out as I'm doing it, but here lately my life has just been so hectic that when I added your blog along with atleast one other I just simply added with out looking. So for not being here sooner and reading, I apologize.
Thirdly, if you're ever down in the Tucson, Arizona area, I would like to extend an invitation to you for a morning/afternoon/day of shooting. With enough heads up - I will supply firearms and ammo needed, all you'll really need to do is show up.

And lastly, I second carnaby's motion for a 1911 style pistol. Although I'm not so sure about the 9mm. .45 is just so much more fun.

Shoot straight, shoot safe and always have fun.


28/11/05 11:49 PM  
Blogger Zendo Deb said...

50 degrees is better than 90 degress - trust me...

Still, comfort is important.

I still flinch when go into a range - at least at first. (I think we are genetically programmed to react to loud noises.) This is espeically true if I haven't been to the range for long time.

And the first time was at a gun club when someone started shooting a machine gun I nearly had a heart attack. Of course it was an old Ma Duce 50 caliber at an outdoor range.

Try lots of guns before you decide what you like and don't like.

29/11/05 6:56 AM  
Blogger Firehand said...

If I'm around people shooting magnums, or just a lot of shooters on an indoor range, I wear both earplugs and muffs; makes a big difference.

29/11/05 2:55 PM  
Blogger Mr. Completely said...

You can develop some bad habits that are hard to get rid of when you start shooting too high powered of a handgun at first.

You might want to shoot a .22 semi-auto for awhile, and work your way up to larger calibers later.

.22's are fun and easy to shoot, and ammo is cheap ,so you can shoot a lot without breaking the bank. keep your targets fairly close in, and shoot for the FUN of it.

The more fun you have, the faster you learn, too....

......Mr. C.

29/11/05 7:21 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

I concur with Mr. C.
Many want to deny this, but when they finally break down and shoot .22 for a while they see themselves improve. I did, after a decade of shooting centerfire.

29/11/05 8:09 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

It's funny - all my friends I've taken shooting have complained about the smell and taste of spent gunpowder, too. I never notice it anymore.

Hopefully next time will be more bearable, and if you decide to take the advice of the knowledgeable gentlemen that suggested .22's, I think you may notice some improvement.


30/11/05 4:00 PM  
Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

You've certainly got some issues to deal with, and I hope that you can find someone to talk about them with.

In the meantime, it's probably better to write about them than to just let them simmer in the back of your head. Nothing good grows there.

If you are really as issue-ridden as you present yourself, I applaud you for your courage in finding a way to address them, if only by blogging on the internet. Many of us find this mode of free expression to be a useful technique, even if our issues are not as traumatic.

I have included your website in the blogroll on my own website, and I have also written more than could reasonably be published in your comments section.

Most of the people who have commented here before me are familiar to me. I think you'll find they are all good people who wish you only the best. If you don't abuse them, they won't abuse you. You'll always have someone of good character to talk to, if your need is great.

30/11/05 9:20 PM  
Anonymous chaos said...

I just wanted to add my 2 rounds to the .22 discussion.

I couldn't agree more with the reccomendations for a .22.

I myself have been shooting firearms, a lot more powerful then the .22 for years now. I just bought myself one purely for the facts that a) I didn't have one, b) cheap to shoot and c) they are simply fun as hell. =D

30/11/05 11:37 PM  
Anonymous PhilB said...

Congratulations on taking the first steps in learning to shoot.

Everything is hard and scary at first but don't let the fear of the unknown stop you from learning to shoot and enjoy the experience.

I agree with the people recommending a .22 as a first gun. Don't try to run before you can walk - use a .22 for a while until you are familiar with the mechanics of shooting. After all, you wouldn't want to learn to drive in a Ferrari, would you?

Everyone who shoots does it for their own reasons. Why you are doing it isn't important to anyone else except yourself. As long as you are happy shooting, comfortable with your progress and getting something out of it, carry on!

Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of guns.

1/12/05 12:09 AM  
Blogger Steaming Dragon said...

I said:"I personaly know people rhar have been shooting for years that can't keep them on the paper."

RHAR? I ment 'that'

Preview is my friend, I must use my friend.


4/12/05 6:44 AM  

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