My First Time, Part II
Thanks to everyone who posted kind words of support in part I of my post. Your messages were conveyed throughout the day and it meant the world to me. Thank you!
This afternoon, we went to my Father In Law's house in a very rural area. As his nearest neighbors also have a gun range in their side field, he didn't think they'd say boo if we squeezed off a shot or two. Here is the side yard. We set the target up next to the forsythia. You can see the rolling fields behind; nothing behind my target but fallow field.
I was nervous and excited as we set up to shoot. I think anticipation got the better of me, and thinking about what was going to happen had my stomach a little flip floppy. I trust my husband, I knew I am safe, I knew I was following those "4 Golden Gun Rules"...but I was still nervous.
Unfortunately, my Father In Law went inside to answer a phone call just before I actually started shooting, and he had the camera. I did not notice him leave; I was concentrating too closely on the instruction. FIL took 2 pictures before he left the area. These are when I was practicing holding the gun, and simply feeling the weight. Hence, no eye protection, no ear protection ( yet ). I assure you, I did wear both.
Though the .22 is bulky, my husband had me start with an odd duck of a gun, his Savage Model 501 .22 LR. See the bolt action? I'm left handed, and found it a little odd to work the bolt.
My husband had me shoot this gun for one main reason - it has no recoil whatsoever. It is relatively quiet, and he thought a perfect gun to shoot first. I liked the way I held it in my hands, and the relatively soft noise and no recoil made me feel instantly comfortable. I was eager, however, to get to a hand gun.
Next, I fired the Smith & Wesson 9mm. I liked the feel of it in my hand. It was compact, and relatively light. I had a good experience with the .22, so going into the 9mm, I was confident and feeling capable.
It was loud - louder than I expected, even with ear protection. It was powerful. I could feel the bullet leave the chamber. I felt the more pronounced ( but definitely controllable ) recoil. I felt comfortable squeezing the trigger, and did a respectable job hitting my target. This is what is at the center of the foam target, in the practice pics above.
My husband was very pleased with how well I did, and handed me the .45 Kimber. Heavy sucker!!
I looked at him dubiously, but raised the gun as he showed me, and fired. Power. Recoil. Decibels. I instantly realized after one shot that I was over shooting for my experience level, and handed it back to him with a smile. I imagined hearing "Don't do that again until you are ready" whispered in my ear ( Thank you, North! ) and demurred on firing it again. I think he got caught up in the moment as I did well with the S&W. I got caught up, too.
I wasn't scared. I didn't freeze. I was confident after my initial trepidation - serene and collected. I shot a gun - several guns - without incident. And I mean to do it again.
North is the reason I came to be in this place. Challenging me to overcome my fear and move past it. I would have kept myself cloistered from guns were it not for his guidance, support, and gentle shoves in the right direction. I truly appreciate your confidence in me, North!
( These pictures belong to Maura
- North )
Posted by Maura at 4:30 AM