Like many kids in the Midwest I grew up hunting and shooting with my dad. Similar to most kids, my experience was limited to shooting .22s and my dad’s 30-30 during hunting season. While I know my dad owned a handgun, I rarely got the opportunity to shoot it. Recently I expressed to my partner an interest in purchasing my first handgun, and seeing as I have little to no experience he decided we should go and try out some different options. This would be my first time shooting anything other than a rifle, and I was nervous!
My partner is an instructor, and has a lot of experience teaching. I was very excited to share this part of his life with him, but I was anxious to have him as my teacher. We talked about how other men have struggled to teach their wives or girlfriends how to shoot. I prepared by humbling myself to take in his knowledge, and reminding myself that he loves me regardless of how poorly I might do. Still I worried about completely missing the target and making a fool of myself.
The day of my partner considerately took me to an outdoor range so that I could focus and not be completely overwhelmed by the loudness of an indoor range and having other people around. We started with me following him around as he set up, and unpacked all of the guns. I think he brought twelve different things for me to shoot, I had never seen so many guns in one place before.
First thing my partner re-established some rules of firearm safety, and showed me how to hold the gun. We started by using his carry gun with a red dot sight [Editor: Glock 34 with an Aimpoint ACRO]. He loaded one bullet in and told me where to aim. He did this to give me an idea of the feel before we added more rounds. Then he took me through his "new shooter 50 round confidence course". I shot with both hands at varying distances, then right handed, left handed, and finally against the timer. By the end my arms were tired, and my brain was feeling a little overloaded. It was difficult trying to remember all the fundamentals, and focusing on the target. We tallied up my score and I didn’t do too bad for my first time.
We took a short break, and then I shot some of the different guns he brought. I enjoyed trying different guns out, including a shotgun and an AR-15, and figuring out what I might be interested in purchasing in the future. Being incredibly new to this lifestyle I couldn’t tell you what all we shot, or even what my favorite was. I do remember enjoying one of the revolvers [Editor: Smith & Wesson Model 19] because in my peripheral I could watch the hammer come back and better anticipate when the loud noise would happen.
All in all I had an enjoyable time! My partner is an incredible teacher and he made sure I stayed comfortable with everything we did. The worst part of the entire day was when I broke a nail while my partner was adjusting my grip. I can't wait to go again and to improve my skills.