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Everybody here go BANG! - I am the fountain of affection
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September 2016
Fri, May. 24th, 2002 04:21 pm
Everybody here go BANG!

So I shot a gun for the first time last night.

And then I shot another, and another. Heh.

I went with rmd to a friend's birthday gathering, which was 9 of us (including tcb) shooting on a shooting range, and then dinner at a brew house. <irrelevancy>All of a sudden "brew" looks very odd to me. Brew brew brew. I mean look at that! Yeah, yeah.</irrelevancy>

So we got a lane and a weapon each (I think... the last couple to arrive may have shared one, not sure). There being only 10 lanes, we pretty much filled the place for an hour. We got shown guns so we could choose, and several of us chose "I've never shot before--would you recommend something?" which the guy was pleased to do.

I hope I've got the terminology right. I rely on those who were there to help out if I goof.

We all chose a variety of semi-automatic handguns, except that rmd chose a revolver and J chose an AR-15, with holographic sights. This is one of the intimidating-looking black rifles that was in the vague set of "AK-47s and all that" in my head. It's the rifle in the policeman's left hand in this news story. I said "okay, I have small hands and I've never shot before... whaddya think?" The guy said, "well, small hands, but you look strong--how's this?" and pulled out a Beretta .380. He had me try the feel of it ("finger along the barrel, not on the trigger; point it into the corner and see how it feels in your hand"). It felt heavy, but not uncomfortable, so I went with that.

Once we'd all chosen weapons, they each went (with magazines sitting separately) into baskets we'd later carry into the range. Then we got ear protection (earplugs and/or headphone/earmuff things) and targets (most of the array were free, but for $3 you could get an Osama target--I was tempted, but didn't). We all started off with a basic target with two orange dots something like 18" apart, and then could choose another--most of us went with "head and torso" body outlines for the second. All of this, and a half hour of range time, was part of a package that cost $35 - $55 per person, depending on the cost of ammunition for the gun you selected.

Then we went to the range. It was indoors, behind a sound-buffering airlock room. Have your ear and eye protection on (oh, yeah, they offered that too, but I have plastic-lens glasses which are sufficient), open the outer door, go into the padded room, close the outer door before opening the inner one. So we did that. And I loaded up the magazine (8 rounds), slid it in, flicked... hm. The slide switch? Closes the slide with a full magazine in. And I set up the target, sending it out 25 feet to where the first row of lights was, and aimed for the center of the target. "Don't look at the dots or other marks on the sights... just line up the *tops* of the front and back sights." So I did. And put the bullet roughly where I wanted it (down a couple inches, but well-centered).


I managed fine with the always keeping the gun pointing down-range part. The part about "don't cross your left thumb over the webbing of your right hand, because when the slide pops open, it *will* take flesh", that took a little longer. Thumb over thumb. Thumb over thumb. After 3 or 4 shots I tried hitting one of the target dots instead, and did.

I was very aware when I was on the last round, because I wasn't quite sure how it would feel when the slide popped back. Not a big deal. I released the magazine very gingerly... I didn't know whether to expect heat or anything. Loaded up again. Forgot thumb-over-thumb again. Was reminded. Decorated the area around one orange dot with a halo of little holes.

The guy suggested I swap to the other target so I did, firing all chest shots on the torso. I moved the target out to 50 feet and still had fair accuracy, but I wasn't sure until I brought the target back in because I need new eyeglasses. I could make out the target shape and the color gradient just fine, but picking out individual bullet holes was a bit trickier. rmd and I traded off, and I tried the Smith & Wesson revolver. There's no slide to worry about there, but the guy encouraged me to get in the habit of the thumb-over-thumb grip anyway, so I did. The revolver didn't seem to me to have quite as much recoil. I fired 10 rounds there and swapped back to my original lane. rmd had been doing head shots while I was doing chest shots. Heh. I tried a couple head shots and went back to chest.

(I guess somewhere in here rmd looked to see how I was doing, and the guy gestured toward me and said, "she's good". *preen*)

I traded lanes again to try a 22/45 Ruger. (If I understand correctly, the ammo is 22 but the grip and all is adapted from something that fires 45s.) I liked its lower recoil. I fired a few rounds there, then finished off in my own lane and returned the Beretta. rmd had just returned the revolver.

Everybody else was still inside, though, so we went back in. After rmd, I tried a few shots with the AR-15, setting it against my shoulder and bending my head down to the sights. "Don't look through the nearer sight," the guy advised, "just look in here," pointing to the actual display. Next to the "pop" of the handguns, it went "boom", though J says it was nothing. I'm aware there are levels of boom. ;-) Still, it was deeper and louder than anything else on the range at the time. The holographic sights were neat... a little red glowing targetting circle that looks almost as if it were a laser indicator glowing on what you're pointing it at, but it's all just inside the sights instead.

After about an hour everyone was done. I kept my targets, rolled up as a souvenir, and we adjourned to meat and potatoes and beer. Such appropriate fare. I had a caesar salad, don't tell anyone. ;-)

And check that out, we can close lj-cuts now. Heh.

It was neat. I was nervous (when it came the time to explain my gun in particular, I made the guy go over it twice), and I stopped after the first half hour because I was getting less accurate than I had been to begin with. I don't know if it was fatigue or adrenaline or just the repeated recoils, but I figured exhausting the 50 rounds that were part of the package was enough for the first time (give or take swapping lanes). But I'll do it again.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: Great Big Sea (Consequence Free, but don't read into it)


Lady Diana
Fri, May. 24th, 2002 02:52 pm (UTC)



Liralen Li
Fri, May. 24th, 2002 08:43 pm (UTC)

Hee. rmd is great at introducing a girl to guns. *grin*

Sounds like it was fun and educational and a cool experience, all in one. Neat.

The Hebrew Hammercock
Fri, May. 24th, 2002 09:41 pm (UTC)

Keen! I'm actually hoping to get CZ to take me shooting sometime. Perhaps it's a bit unorthodox for a date, but hey. :)

Some Dude
Sat, May. 25th, 2002 10:55 am (UTC)

Congratulations! Shooting is an awful lot of fun. For the record, the AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16, which is what I carry, and with which I happen to be an expert. if you'd ever feel like you might want to learn it, let me know.

Sat, May. 25th, 2002 07:59 pm (UTC)

Oh Claudia, I think you're joining into the right family to learn guns by, first thing dad did when he married carol, well perhaps the 2cd thing, was to make her get her liscence to carry. i remember as a kid a double-barreled shotgun in corner of my closet,and later when i got old enough to drive, always having to pull guns out of the car before borrowing it. in seattle where rmd used to live, the local shooting range had a 'ladies night' special where the women got free bullets, but around here guns aren't as popular. i've always wanted to learn to shoot correctly and with aim, one of these days i'll meet a bf who can show me. coming up this fall is parent's 20th, we want them to go to vegas and redo the vows with an elvis impersonator preacher, and dad has said he wants me to take him to this place outside vegas where they let you shoot machine guns, maybe i'll hang a pair of my dungarees as a target, it'd be nice to learn how to shoot first so i can at last hit the target once or twice per 100-bullet round before the recoil tears my new breasts off from the backfire.

ReplyThread Parent
Some Dude
Sun, May. 26th, 2002 08:13 am (UTC)

I'll teach you to shoot. I love to shoot. If you want to learn the finer points of firing a medium machine gun, I can teach you that, too. I was a SAW gunner for a year, and qualified as an expert with that, too.
The important thing with a machine gun, in fact, with any firearm, is keeping the weapon as still as possible from shot to shot to maintain consistency. With machineguns, it's rather difficult. Just hold on tight. Fire short bursts of 3-8 rounds at a time. Hold it hard to your shoulder. There should be little recoil, as most of the energy that would be recoil in a bolt-action rifle goes in to cycling the weapon. Your right hand goes on the pistol grip and trigger mechanism. Your body is squarely behind the weapon, and your shoulder is solidly against the buttstock. Your left hand crosses in front of your chest, under your chin, and grasps th narrow part of the buttstock, and pulls it back against your shoulder. That's the basics.

ReplyThread Parent
Wed, May. 29th, 2002 09:20 pm (UTC)

Thanks! I'm unlikely to start off with big scary rifles, but you never know. ;-)

ReplyThread Parent
Some Dude
Thu, May. 30th, 2002 03:38 pm (UTC)

The M-16 is great to learn on, and that's what it was designed for (among other things) There's almost no recoil, because of the way the action was designed, and it's horrendously accurate for that sort of rifle. It is, for instance, entirely within the realm of possibility to keep every shot in a man-size/shape target at five hundred meters. Other than that, it really is fun to shoot.

ReplyThread Parent
Mon, May. 27th, 2002 05:40 pm (UTC)
Where is this place?

My birthday is coming up soon; sounds like fun.

A few years back, I took an introductory class with AWARE; I think my favorite gun was the Ruger 22/45, too. I also prefered metal targets instead of paper; it was easier to just listen for ping or no-ping, rather than trying to squint to see whether I made holes in the paper.

Glad you enjoyed yourself.

Wed, May. 29th, 2002 09:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Where is this place?

This was at The Boston Gun Range in Worcester. Don't judge them harshly by their website... their expertise is in guns. ;-)

ReplyThread Parent