ohl #34 : shoot a gun

Last week, on separate occasions, Claire and I (Jennie) both got the chance to shoot guns. Here's our experiences...

Before Thoughts:

c: I have always wanted to learn how to accurately shoot a gun... well I guess that is obvious... since it is on my list. Not only did I think it would be cool and fun... but I thought that experiencing the power behind a firearm would give me even more respect for guns. Not that I didn't have respect for guns before... but I don't think you can even imagine what it would be like to be shot until you shoot a gun... there is just so much power.

j: I put this on my list because I thought being familiar with a gun was a good skill to have, even though I was (and still am) very intimidated by them. I didn't have much time to process what I was going to be doing until I got there, and that's when I got nervous. I think it was the unknown, and the fact that I was going to be in control of something with so much power.

The Company:

c: My friend Maile asked me a few weeks ago if I wanted her to teach me how to shoot. Of course I said YES... but then I asked how she knew I had a desire to learn. She told me that she was just reading the One Hundred List... more specifically my list... and saw that shooting a gun was something she could help me accomplish... and this got her excited. Now... you may be thinking... who is this Maile and what qualifications does she have to teach someone how to shoot? Well... without going into too much detail... Maile is one of the most hard core people and has had extensive firearm training (among other things). Thanks Maile :)

j: I went with a big group, consisting of some of Tristan's co-workers, and Tristan, Jyl, and I. Most of us were newbies, so his co-worker Visuki was nice enough to teach us the basics.

The Weapons:

c: I shot three guns... two 9 mms and a 45 glock (or something like that).

j: I shot four guns...a 22, a 9mm, a 45, and a revolver.

The First Shot:

c: Now... I was really excited about the who process... putting on my eyes and hears... getting to our stall/lane... learning how to hold the gun correctly... and how to load the bullets. But... then it came time to actually pull the trigger and I was nervous. I think I was most nervous about the "kick-back" even though Maile shot the gun first and told me it was pretty mellow. So... I pick up the gun... get the grip right... take a breath... bend my knees... take a breath... learn a little forward... get the front site in the center of the back sites (or however you say this)... put my finger on the trigger... take a breath in and slowly let it out while pressing the trigger. Then BANG!!! Then I immediately put the gun down and turned to look at Maile. I couldn't believe I not only shot the gun... but actually hit the center of the targets torso. Not bad for a first shot.

j: I think I was more nervous about loading the gun than I was about the first shot. that, and the fact that i didn't want to shoot the clip and lose $10! I aimed the gun as best i could, and pulled the trigger. I was just thankful that i hit the target. Right in the chest. After that it was like a weight was lifted off me, and i felt much more comfortable knowing what to expect.

Tips for novice shooters (because we're such experts now, right?):

c: The biggest thing is not to anticipate the shot. You should be surprised by the gun going off each time.  This will help ensure you hit your target... other wise you will pull the gun a little just before you think it is going to go off. I had a hard time with this... but what helps is to take a deep breath and slowly let it out as you pull the trigger... slow and steady does the trick.

j: I think the best thing I can say is to go with someone who knows what they're doing; someone that will take the time to stand with you and teach you what to do. It really helped having someone so knowledgeable that I could ask questions to, and tell me everything I needed to know before we even went inside. The other tip? Just relax. It's hard not to tense up when you're about to shoot, but it really helps when you just relax a little.

the proof:

Jennie's action shot.

here's Jennie's target. not too bad for a first-timer, right?

claire's target... well... all the shots except those in the head... those were Maile's.

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