Friday, January 15, 2016

Getting to Grips with a Gun

On Saturday Bill and I attended a Basic Pistol Workshop taught by NRA instructors. I've had my gun about 2 weeks but haven't fired it, let alone had the ammo in the same room. I've been reading instructional manuals and watching YouTube videos so now I knew how to hold the gun, how to dismantle it and I'd also changed the magazine release from being right handed to left handed.
There were about 15 in the group, 4 of us women. We were supplied with a training manual, plenty of pistols and revolvers to inspect and we got straight down to business.
We were allowed to bring in our own guns as long as our ammo was left in the car.
Above is the first thing to learn about gun ownership, responsibility. This was emphasized throughout the class, drummed into us repeatedly, and I relaxed as I soon realized that everyone in the class was a responsible person. For some reason, probably due to negative media, I had been petrified before attending as I'd been concerned about having a ISIS wannabe in the class. But looking back in hindsight, any persons purchasing a gun and not giving a damn about responsibility wouldn't be likely to bother attending this class in the first place. I really wish this class was law before anybody could buy a gun.
We learned about single action, double action and striker actions in revolvers and pistols, swapping guns with each other as we tried out and learned the various movements and working parts of each individual weapon.
The workshop wasn't too fast paced and I welcomed that it was so visual and hands on. We had the literature in front of us in a book or on the wall but every nugget of information was shown to us first hand.
We even learned how a bullet worked and I was fascinated to understand the workings and see what these lethal nuggets contained. I had known nothing about centerfire or rimfire primers and absorbed the facts eagerly, wanting to understand all aspects of what I would be handling. I found an excellent website that explained it fully here.
My desk from above. I kind of liked how it looked, reminding me of a crime scene investigation!
After a morning of class I felt a lot more comfortable about my gun. We had covered everything needed to understand the workings and the handling of it. We had even been shown how to clean it properly. To finish the morning we were given a test and I was rather pleased to get 48/50. Apparently if anybody got more than 5 wrong it would be an issue but since none of us did, I never found out what would happen in that event.
We ran to grab a quick lunch and then drove to the firing range, which was on a local farm. Some primitive targets had been set up, and once again I became anxious at the thought of making errors when getting my gun ready for firing. But first we had to shoot from .22 revolvers to show we'd learned how the action worked.
That was fun and helped to relax me, each bullet that popped into the target released some stress. I wondered if I was the only one that had been feeling a little frazzled due to beginner's nerves.
The instructors had brought the guns from the class with them for us to try. I wasn't too bothered about any of the 9mm since that was what mine was, but I did want to try out the two 45's, a 1911 and a Glock. Bill is shooting the Glock above. I wasn't too keen on this gun, it felt too small and didn't fit into my hands snugly like the 1911 did. Both had a kick when fired and we all agreed the 1911 was the better pistol.
The instructors' guns above, for our use if we wanted to try any. I wanted to get mine out so asked an instructor to show me the correct manner in which to do this. I had already loaded 2 magazines with bullets but could only get 15 in each. They hold 17 but my thumbs simply weren't strong enough to push them in! And so for the first time I fired my Sig Sauer P250. It felt awesome, and sat comfortably in my hands. I was a very happy bunny as I pumped and reloaded. The paper target in front of me was soon completely riddled with holes, from me and others, so after 80 rounds I decided to stop since I couldn't see where my bullets were going. But now I felt assured that I knew how to handle my gun correctly, holding, firing, loading and packing away.
One of our group had brought along his latest acquisition, the Vepr 12, based on the AK-47. A couple of us jumped forward eagerly when asked if we wanted to fire it, video here of one of us having a go.
 And so our class came to an end. I had been very impressed at how it had been conducted and at how professional the instructors were. Every question had been answered and I had left without any doubts nagging at me. I felt assured that I could now be a responsible gun owner and handle my pistol in the correct manner.
And of course that meant that as soon as I got home I cleaned my gun. I had all the correct equipment necessary and because it was my first time, and I was on my own, I took photos as I dismantled it, so I could put it back together again correctly. 20 minutes later I had a spotless Sig Sauer in front of me and it wasn't until everything was cleared up and locked away that I treated myself to a cold beer for a day very well spent!

No comments: