Shooting **repost from eatingelpaso**

Yesterday I went to a shooting class! It was with the United States Rifleman’s Association and was for women only. It was an introductory class to show us how to shoot and handle different types of pistols safely.

It was pretty fun. We had to be in Alamagordo by 9, so we had to get up earlier than I like to on Saturday mornings. I was kind of grumpy for about three hours after I woke up.  Ken was one of the instructors.

 

First we learned about how to make the weapon safe. We learned how to unload it and put the safety on, if the gun had a safety. Then we learned how to hold the pistol to fire it without having it fly out of our hands or letting it smack into our foreheads. We fired five shots without instruction, to give us a baseline so we could see how we progressed by the end of the class. I didn’t take a picture, but my shot group (how far apart my 5 shots were on the paper) was 5 inches wide by 14 inches tall. That’s a pretty big variance! Here is our friend J. telling me that I needed to lock out my right elbow more.

 

There was a decent variety of women.

 

I think the oldest was in her mid to late forties, and the youngest was a young teenager. Here’s the teenager getting some instruction on her form.

 

The instructors were SO nice, and didn’t get impatient with us at all. They were really encouraging and all in all, I’d say they are *really* great teachers.  I’d say this even if one of them weren’t my husband though, haha.

 

I think I fired about five or six different pistols, including my own- a pretty little XD Subcompact.

 

It was good for me because I was actually afraid of revolvers before yesterday. I can’t explain why exactly, they just seemed scarier than semiautomatics. I still prefer my own gun but I’m not afraid of revolvers any more, and would consider buying one to wear once I get my concealed carry permit. Here’s the one I used for most of the day.

 

This was the last of the close-quarters shooting. I was trying to fire J’s gun and having a hard time. It had a really difficult trigger to pull and my tennis elbow was bothering me from shooting all morning. I think I made the worst shots with this gun. I do like my stance though.

 

Then breaktime happened, yay! The head instructor told us a little about some Revolutionary War history, and how one person with the right equipment can change the world. I fail at paying attention because all I remember is that the single person was named Charlie and that he had some special double-shot rifle that was considered “different” back then, but he shot some English guy and if he hadn’t, it could have changed the way the war went for our side. I count it as a successful story because I remembered the gist of it

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Then we moved the tables back and fired another ten rounds at a long-distance target. I didn’t do as well as I would have liked, but I’m still learning.  Here is the table I was shooting from. The revolver closest to the bottom is the one I was firing.

 

The middle was a mom, and the end was the teenaged girl. Apparently she shot something pretty big, but when people start saying names of things that have numbers my brain sort of turns off.  I think it had a 4 at the beginning of the number though, so if you know of a pistol that fires something that starts with 4, I think that’s it.

I think I was shooting either a .357 or a .38 but honestly? I have no idea. I only know that it may have been a .38 because I took this artsy picture of the rounds during the break.

 

The last part of the class was the most fun, at least for me. I’m sure you’ve heard of the loon in Aurora, CO who shot up a movie theater. Our scenario was that we were in that theater, and the guy had body armor on. Our only chance to “take him out” was if we got a head shot, and we only had five rounds.

This is what the target looked like. The ones with the K are mine.

 

After I shot, Ms. W shot. This lady was about my age, I think, and when she introduced herself to the class (we all had to at the beginning) she said that she was working on conquering her fears and that guns were one of them. The first time we fired, she was literally shaking so hard she only got one round into the target board (*not* on the target). She had never even touched a gun before this day. Here she is making her five final shots.

I didn’t take a picture of the target after she fired, but one of her shots was dead center. This was a lady who never even TOUCHED a gun before! This is basically why I love taking classes with this group. They make a friendly, calming atmosphere so that even terrified people can learn.

 

 

The USAR gives classes in many states around the country. You can see if there is a charter near you by visiting their facebook page here, or at their website at www.usrifleman.org.  Although individuals were talking politics a little while we were there, the instructors said clearly that the organization is apolitical. I am not your average Democrat, liberal, Republican, or conservative. I wouldn’t even consider myself a Libertarian. Regardless of labels, I like this group and think they’re doing a good thing for our country and I recommend the organization and their classes to everyone.

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Nice Monday