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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Bang Bang Bang!

I had planned on going to fishing again this weekend with the family. Then I got invited to go to an outdoor shooting range and wife gave me the OK to check it out. Yippie!

The Saturday morning ride to Weld County Fish & Wildlife range took longer than I had expected -- especially since I had no idea where we were going. We passed by a sheep farm and drove through the town of Ault, which added to the list of my firsts. Yep, I had never seen sheep farm before and I had never been to Ault.

Since I had never handled guns (not even BB guns), it was a little intimidating. My patient co-worker was great as he guided us through the safety rules and how to shoot with .22 pistol, 9mm pistol, .45 pistol and .22 rifles.

The first gun I tried was a Ruger .22 MK III pistol. When I held this new gun (co-worker just bought it) at the store, it felt too heavy -- all guns felt heavy to me. The weight of the gun disappeared quickly when I started shooting though. It was nerve-wrecking for me to be holding a loaded gun. The first shot hit the paper so it was somewhat a relief for me. However, I was still nervous as I aimed and shot for the rest of the rounds in the 10-round clip.

We had stapled target sheets 10 yards away and I kept the target sheets as souvenir. Here is my first target sheet: (yep! that's a bullseye! I was pretty excited about that one!)

Here is the 2nd sheet with 20 rounds fired. It looks decent on average but it started poorly. The first 10 rounds were clustered on the bottom left. It really showed how lucky I was to hit the bullseye in the first target sheet. My coworker then corrected my shooting stance before I shot the 2nd half of 10 rounds -- and that's how I got 5 bullseyes there. I still considered it to be beginner's luck though. Nevertheless, I was starting to feel less nervous with the .22 pistol.

We then did some rapid fire shooting for fun and I missed even more on those target sheets. I didn't really enjoy the rapid fire as much as I thought I would. I always paused a little -- afraid that I would lose control of the pistol if I fired too fast...

The next pistol we tried was a S&W 9mm pistol. The bullets are bigger than the .22 and I got even more nervous. It shows in the target sheet as I always aimed too low and several bullets missed the paper. The 9mm was louder and had more kick with fire. I was not comfortable with how much the gun moved since it felt like I didn't have much control. I tried to relax but I always hit lower than the aim.

We also tried the .45 (or .40 -- i can't remember) and that was just too much for me. I had thought about not trying it when I saw the bullets but thought I probably should see what it was like. It was probably more psychological but the kick-back and the loud pops (ear-protection was used) really bothered me. I did not like shooting it at all so I only shot 10 rounds and I missed the target sheet mostly...

Then we tried a scoped 10/22 rifle at 25 yards. The scoped rifle was steady and did not have any kickback at all. It also felt safer as the bullets hit the targets at 25 yards away. I started with the 10-round magazine and then had a blast when a 25-round magazine was inserted. It was so much fun to shoot non-stop with 25-round magazine! I was comfortable with the rifle -- more so than I ever felt with the pistols. In fact, I got so comfortable that I then rapid-fired 10 rounds of .22 at the 100-yard board for fun. Yeah!

At last, we tried a Winchester bolt-action .22 rifle and it was very accurate. It's not semi-automatic so the case needs to be unloaded manually each time. I was surprised at how well this antique gun fared accuracy-wise. The gun was heavy though -- so I had to use the sandbag thing to hold and aim. The firing action reminded me of the movie Enemy at the Gates.

I had a lot of fun at the shooting range with the borrowed guns. This does not mean I will be exercising the right to bear arms any time soon though -- especially when I didn't feel too comfortable with the higher caliber guns that are supposedly better for home-defense. I liked shooting with rifle more than pistol -- maybe because I felt more detached when shooting with the rifle through the scope?

This shooting experience was certainly memorable. When I got home, RyanC ran to me shouting: "Daddy Daddy!! Daddy, where did you go?" and then he hugged me. I replied, "Daddy went shooting."

"Oh... daddy went shooting... bang bang bang!"

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At Monday, July 2, 2007 at 9:37:00 PM GMT-7, Blogger CherkyB said...

Everyone starts with either a .22 or a 9mm. You, however, should start with a .357 magnum in which you shoot exclusively .38 special until you are used to it. I highly recommend the Smith and Wesson 686+. You can pay for it in cash you saved by drinking water instead of Diet Pepsi at lunch and keep it at my house in my safe. Your wife would never have to know.

My research tells me that the .45 you were shooting was a Glock 21. That is considered by many to be the easiest shooting .45 made, though I don't personally care for the Glock trigger.

At Monday, July 2, 2007 at 10:53:00 PM GMT-7, Blogger CJ said...

Thanks for the generous offer. Isn't S&W 686+ the revovler you really liked at Sportsman's warehouse? (i.e. the one with really nice trigger) That gun does not have 25-round clip/mag though...

I need to save for more Thomas & friends trains for RyanC first...


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