Monday, June 13, 2016


Last week I had the opportunity to cross an items off my bucket list.  I got to shoot a gun.

Several days before the big event, I made an appointment with an instructor at a nearby indoor shooting range.  When I arrived for the session John was waiting for me.  I signed a waiver while he picked a pistol from the rental selection and put it inside a soft sided case.  He added a box of ammunition to the case and asked me to follow him.

Before I could enter the range, John walked me through the fundamentals of safe handgun handling and shooting procedures. First I learned about the rules of gun safety:
  • Always assume a gun is loaded
  • Always keep the gun muzzle in a safe direction
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until the gun sights are on the target
  • Always be sure of your target and what’s beyond it
Once he was sure I understood John introduced me to the Smith and Wesson M&P 22 semiautomatic compact I was going to use.  He demonstrated how to grip the gun (emphasizing the importance of keeping my thumbs out of the way of the gun recoiling slide), how to line up the front and rear sights with my dominant eye, and how to squeeze the trigger.  Next he showed me how to put the gun magazine in, take it back out, and put ammunition into the magazine. I learned how the ammunition feeds into the gun and where the brass comes out. 

After each section John asked if I had any questions, telling me that if I forgot anything when I was in the range area he'd be there to remind me. When he was sure I was ready he told me to choose my target from their selection. Many of the pages featured zombies or silhouette body torsos (which looked too much like a person to me), so I picked a sheet with six classic bulls-eyes.

It was time to enter the range area.  John said that my prescription glasses were adequate eye protection, but we both donned electronic ear muffs (so we could hear each other talk).  The range was behind two layers of doors.  When I entered the large room there was a faint smell of burnt powder. John set me up in a shooting lane, attaching my target to a hanger and moving it back seven yards.  Even through the gun magazine could hold ten bullets, he told me to start with five.  My hands were a little shaky as I loaded the bullets in the magazine and put the magazine in the gun.  Then John told me to go ahead and fire.

Not too bad for the first day
For a millisecond I wondered just what I thought I was doing, then excitement kicked in.  I did my best to hold the gun the way I had been shown, lined up the sights, took a deep breath, and slowly pulled the trigger.  There was a "bang", the gun recoiled against my hands, and then I could see a hole on the paper.  I did it! 

Two out of my first five rounds hit the target area.  Based on my results, John gave me some pointers and I'm happy to say that the second time all five hit the target!  I got better each time. By the  fourth round John had me putting all ten bullets into the magazine, and by the time my box of 50 shells was gone I even had two bulls-eyes.

When all the ammo had been used John showed me how to clean up the spent shells and where to dispose of them.  Before we left the range area he asked if I wanted to take the target home as a souvenir.

Of COURSE I did.

Five years ago today: Your Presence Is Requested


  1. You are amazing, well done Kathy.

  2. Sounds like you enjoyed yourself.

  3. Yep that was my question too, would you do it again. My husband took me to the range along time ago. He asked me if I would wan't to go back, I said, "Nah, I'm good."

    1. I wonder what it says about me that I had so much fun? :-)