Thursday, February 23, 2006

Shooting Solo

I dropped my car off to have the oil changed and then I walked next door to the range. I was already sweating before I even pulled the doors open. It was quiet inside. Apparently three in the afternoon on a weekday is not a busy time. The men behind the counter went through the usual questions; had I been there before, did I know what I wanted to shoot. I was really nervous but the answers came out convincingly.

"I have never been here alone before,"' I confessed to the guy behind the counter handing me the Glock. He would go back with me and make sure I was ok. I'm not sure if I was relieved or not. It felt more like another layer of pressure but I couldn't tell him no.

My hands were shaking as I loaded it. I couldn't stop them. I thought, he's going to tell me to leave because I am some crazy person who cannot stop shaking before I've even fired the thing. In reality, I don't think he noticed. I held it all together and finally fired a few rounds.

He gave me a few tips on firing more slowly, squeezing the trigger and leaning in. Then he left. I was so grateful that there wasn't anyone there to watch me shake and sweat. Alone was really great. The range was the perfect temperature and I shot well. Alone.

When I finished firing the fifty rounds, I left the range area and entered the store. It was filled with male customers. "Excuse me" I said. My female voice surprised them and like the Red Sea, they parted and left me through right to the counter.

"How'd it go?" He already knew because he was watching me through the glass.

"Great" I said and thanked him for his help. I felt pretty good and he smiled. Maybe he had seen me shaking.

I opened the doors and walked next door to the garage. The guy doing my oil change wanted to see my target and I showed it to him. "Awesome grouping!" I smiled, half laughing at his response. I shut my car door and drove away.


Blogger Zendo Deb said...

When I first go to the range, even now, I start firing too fase. Especially if I haven't been in a while.

Then I usually settle down and work on the SLOW shooting.

And while I am loading my pistol for the first time, I am always jumpy when everyone else is shooting. Once I start shooting, I stop being jumpy.

23/2/06 9:02 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Keep it up. It eventually becomes a Zen-like thing. You can block out almost everything, concentrating on sight-picture and trigger squeeze.

Except the guy shooting the .44 Magnum snubbie two stalls down. ;-)

23/2/06 9:34 PM  
Blogger AlanDP said...

I once had a guy shooting a .50AE in the stall right next to me. It wasn't very pleasant.

24/2/06 2:02 AM  
Anonymous Josh said...

I AM that guy firing th 8 3/4" .44 magnum in the next stall down. ;)

I still get the shakes at the range from time to time, especially if it's crowded. Not sure why - maybe an endorphin dump or adrenalin surge or something else. Recoil and noise don't bother me so much as making sure I do everything by the book.

24/2/06 10:51 AM  
Blogger Firehand said...

When it's crowded and loud(DAMN loud in Josh's case), I use it. That nervous and noise pumps you up a bit, and that first magazine- especially draw & fire- is for score; not really close to a real 'situation', but it does have your adrenaline up.

12/3/06 9:04 PM  
Anonymous chaos said...

I've only had noise affect me once.

It was the outdoor range under one of those tin roofs which just makes the noise worse, don't know why they didn't use something else for the shade.. anyhow - a gentleman a few tables down from me pulled out the .50BMG and somehow I didn't notice. I was sitting there enjoying my frosty coca-cola when the loudest noise rang through my chest.

The gravel beneath my feet got more of my tasty beverage then I did.

14/3/06 1:39 AM  

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