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Posted on Jun 20, 2013 in Dear Diary | 22 comments

Gone Shootin’

From the girliest post you’ll ever read, to… the second girliest. Hahaha, we’re talking about guns today, y’all!

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Fact: Firing a gun was singlehandedly the most terrifying experience of my life.

Of course, that being said, I can’t deny the fact that there’s something about the act of shooting a firearm that does something to you. People say it makes you feel powerful, and it does. Sure, it’s a baby-rabbit-with-a-false-sense-of-bravado kind of powerful, a FEARFUL kind of powerful, but powerful nonetheless. Despite all the safety rules that both the technicians AND my boyfriend were drilling into me (always keep the barrel pointed downrange, never point a gun at something you don’t intend to kill, finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot, etc, etc), it was still a sobering experience to hold a gun in my hands. And
the moment my finger actually pulled the trigger and I felt the snap of the pistol and the vibrations that shook my whole body and I finally opened my eyes again (okay, not really, I shot with at least one eye open at all times… probably)… well, you get the idea.

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So all of you who have been shooting guns since you were in diapers are probably rolling your eyes at me right now. “What a drama queen!” I know, I know. But try to step back just for a moment to the first time you shot a gun, and tell me you weren’t just a little bit scared, too. That’s what I thought. Granted, I may have reacted just SLIGHTLY more desperately than most of you… I mean, most of you probably didn’t cry your first time you went to the shooting range. But still!

Yes, I cried. (Are you really all that surprised?) But TO BE FAIR, it was (primarily) in specific reaction to the blazing hot shell casing that flew up out of the gun and DOWN THE FRONT OF MY DRESS, rolling all the way down my body and leaving me with two painful burn marks. Because 1) evidently it didn’t occur to me that wearing a dress to the shooting range might be a stupid idea, and 2) that is exactly the kind of thing that would only happen to me. Le sigh.

ANYWAY. Let’s talk deets.

So, listed by the amount of terror they induced in me, the guns I shot were as follows: a .22 pistol (my favorite of the bunch), a 9mm handgun (shocking, scary, and surprisingly hard to shoot – especially given it’s the most common kind of handgun), and an assault rifle. Actually, if I”m being honest, the 9mm was the one that was scariest — I seriously think I was better at shooting the AR than the 9mm. It just took a lot more effort to pull the trigger than I thought it would, and that first shot kicked back so much (esp. in comparison to the .22) that it really freaked me out. I know, I’m a pansy.

The .22, on the other hand, was actually fun. The gun itself was nice and felt light (actually it was fairly heavy, but it barely had any kickback and was the easiest for me to control). Buuuut, alas, Sean tells me that a .22 bullet wouldn’t be enough to stop a crack-enraged crazy person and/or zombie from charging at me — in fact, it might just make him (or her — I’m all for equality hahahahaha) more mad. So I shouldn’t get too comfortable with this lady pistol. Which is a shame, because I actually feel like I was getting pretty good by the end!

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Being that this was (obviously) my first time at a shooting range EVER, I don’t have any basis for comparison, but I think it was a pretty good first experience (burn marks aside). Next time, I’m coming with a screenshot of The Walking Dead to do some target practice on though. I mean, I figure if I’m gonna be shooting guns (it is Sean’s favorite hobby, after all), I can at least make sure I’m prepared for the zombie apocalypse!

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So, even through all the fear and the tears and general dread that surrounded the experience, it may surprise you to hear that I’m not completely put off from the idea of shooting again. Like I said, the .22 was actually kind of fun once I got the hang of it, I just don’t think I was prepared for the actual feeling of what it’s like to shoot a heavier gun. It’s serious business, y’all — it actually takes quite a lot of effort to pull that trigger all the way in. I imagine I’ll need just a bit of time to recover from the experience since I am obviously a complete and total wuss, but I’m pretty interested in continuing to learn how to handle myself properly. Plus, Sean’s a pretty great teacher. (Aww.) And hey! Maybe one day I’ll even find myself with a pretty pink gun of my own, hahahaha.

Ever been shootin’ before? Paint me a word picture.

22 Comments

  1. Word picture, you say? DON’T MIND IF I DO.
    http://armypantsandflipflops.com/2012/08/20/he-didnt-like-the-miso-soup-either/

    Also this post is further confirmation that we’re the same person trapped in half-different-race bodies. Jonathan says I look like a big pansy for saying I couldn’t handle shooting his 9mm, but I say I have freakishly small hands and try to avoid loud noises whenever possible, so maybe he should just let me have this one.

    P.S. If those burn marks turn into scars, I suggest flashing strangers and then detailing a zombie apocalypse story to them. You could get arrested for indecent exposure, but you’re a badass now so that doesn’t scare you.

    • “I enjoy your use of caps and italics…”
      “I like Paul because his brain is made of cheese and I’d like to eat it.”

      XD You get the weirdest comments!!!

    • “…further confirmation that we’re the same person trapped in half-different-race bodies.”

      LOLS FOR DAYSSSSS. But also, yes, true. Except I don’t have the excuse of having delicate, tiny hands. I’m just a wuss.

  2. Colt .45
    no ear plugs
    aimed at a beehive.

    I think redneck runs in my family at least a little because that was my experience with my Uncle in North Dakota. My ears rang for DAYS!

    • Jeebus. The loudness was my least favorite part of the whole experience (well, slightly above the burn part, hahaha) and that was with earplugs AND the headphone things!

      • (Sorry for the delay, my spam folder ate your reply)

        Gosh! The noise was so bad that my ears were ringing the rest of the weekend. Womp womp.

  3. I’ve most certainly been shooting. The husband loves shooting, so I’ve gone along with him and am signed up for a firearms course to get my license so I can go by myself and shoot my own guns. I really like it! Love the 9mm, but the .45 is just a bit too big and scary for me right now. My fave is my .22 rifle, it’s so little and cute πŸ™‚

    • Oh man, I don’t think I could ever handle a .45 – oy!

  4. I can so perfectly picture your reactions to shooting, I love it (and you)! And look at you using “y’all” πŸ™‚

    FYI, I think there’s a pink hello kitty gun out there somewhere…

  5. What a coincidence! I shot a .20 shotgun last weekend for the first time…and hit MOVING targets in the air! My boyfriend was so impressed. I also shot a glock…but I think I prefer the shotgun despite the shoulder bruises!

    • That IS impressive! Sean wants me to take on a shotgun next…

  6. Ah! I had the same issue with a 9mm vs .22! My brother was all “I understand why you like this one more… but it’s like pointing your fingers and saying pew pew pew at the bad guys”

    Which range did you guys go to? The one I went to last almost didn’t let someone shoot because she had on a low cut shirt.

    • We went to Silver Eagle Group out in Ashburn. My dress wasn’t that low cut, and nobody said anything, plus I was wearing a cardigan (which I obviously buttoned all the way up after the incident, haha). I think it was just a bunch of bad luck for me!

  7. i’ve been taken on two separate dates by two separate guys to the gun range.

    i’m not sure what that says about me.

  8. I went shooting for the first time in October! We were in Florida on vacation and the boyfriend had dutiful done EVERYTHING I wanted (including buying me a wand at Ollivander’s in Harry Potter World) so I figured this was a good way to pay him back.

    It was kind of awesome in all honesty. I grew up around firearms and was always scared and uncomfortable around them. Shooting a firearm was great though. I have gone twice total.

    My favorite was definitely the AR .22 and the AK. I have also shot the Walther PPK (James Bond’ gun- SO FREAKKING COOL), a revolver and a glock!

  9. I love going shooting! I actually learned to shoot a rifle the summer before 6th grade at a camp where I lived in a treehouse =) Rifles are my favorite but I really enjoy 9mm and .40s. The first time I shot a .40 it literally knocked the ear protection right off my head!

  10. Hubs came home from our last joint trip to VT with THREE new guns. I got a quilted, stuffed turkey, in case you were wondering. I’ve been to the range with I’m before and it it sort of a terrifying thing. Going to the range growing up consisted of sighting in shotguns in our backyard with a pizza book on a stake! But I do believe if we have guns in our home I should know ow to operate them. Ps he also got a gun safe for Christmas to keep those babies locked up. I try to respect his hobby and the sport of shooting…but I don’t really get why people need to own some of these guns I’ve seen at the range.

  11. I’ve never been shooting-shooting (like at a range), but when I was in high school, I was in this play called “The Murder Room,” and I was the villain. I had to “shoot” the guy playing my husband, and the gun they gave me was a 9mm with blanks in it. I couldn’t even cock the thing to get it ready to shoot, so my costar and I worked up a Looney Toons bit (the play was a farce) where he cocked it for me.
    I always made sure to shoot toward his left, backstage. I was paranoid the blanks had been replaced with real bullets.
    I would like to go to a shooting range sometime, and get my own gun. I picked out a pretty pink one at Cabela’s (Outdoor Store) a few months back. Yes, I am THAT girl! πŸ™‚

  12. I have never shot a gun! Just not my cup of tea. Although I can definitely see the whole fun/powerful aspect to target practice. We always had guns in the house growing up (country Midwestern girl, represent), but they always just made me nervous. I just tried to pretend they weren’t there.

    People tell us all the time that we “need” guns now that we live out in the country. I’ve yet to figure out why, but I guess if a stampede of meth addicts and coyotes come our way, I’ll be wishing I had something to defend myself.

  13. I’m not criticising because I’ve done clay pigeon shooting a fair amount but I’m sure I represent the majority of people here in the UK when I say it is SO WEIRD when Americans talk guns. I was reminded recently how big the cultural difference is when at the pub with an American who mentioned his handgun – cue deafening silence and shocked looks from everyone at the table until sometime asked in a shocked whisper “you own a gun?!”, I kind of felt bad for him! Anyway, I was just reminded of it by this post, sounds like a fun if not scary day though.

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