For Father’s day 2017 I surprised my dad by bringing him to a local shooting range. I had only shot a couple rifles in the past when I was younger, but never a semi-automatic or handgun.
Walking into the place was intimidating for sure since it seemed almost everyone there knew what they were doing besides me. The man behind the counter was gruff and the sidearm holstered on his right hip made him command respect.
Mr. gruff asigned us shooting lane 8, handed us two targets, made us watch a one minute safety video then gave us a crash course in how to use our first handgun.
“trigger, safety, chamber, clip, good?”
After putting on the mandatory ear protection and safety glasses we stepped into the shooting area. With about 20 lanes and a half dozen shooters actively pumping out rounds the scene was something I was completely unfamiliar. Loud pop, pop, pop and the smell of gunpowder immediately made me think of what it would be like to actually be in a dangerous situation with a live shooter.
Continuing on to lane 8 we began loading a clip to the first handgun, slapped up the target, and released it down the lane 15 feet away. When it was my turn to shoot I inserted the clip, loaded the first round into the chamber and removed the safety. With my hands shaking I brought the handgun directly in front of me, looked down the barrel and shot the first 9mm bullet!
Holy crap that was fun!
Still shaking I emptied the rest of the chamber into the target, puncturing shots much more center that I had thought I would.
After taking turns with a couple handguns, my dad and I eventually got our hands on an AR-15 with and loaded it with 20 rounds per turn. Placing the target completely down the lane was more of a challenge, but we both were able to get relatively close to the target, but both seemed to aim a bit high.
With about 45 minutes under our belt and 100+ rounds shot, it was time to head off.
I was glad to have this experience since I had never shot a handgun and it made me feel much more comfortable with them by the end of the hour.