17 June 2009

Never Thought I'd Say This...

...but I went to a shooting range today, and shot a gun. Two guns actually: a Ruger 10/22 (a common, inexpensive .22 caliber rifle, the sort of thing a hunter might use to shoot rabbits), and a very pretty six-shooter that belonged to a nice gentleman down the line a bit. He saw us taking turns with the rifle and asked whether we'd like to try his six-shooter. He's been part of a cowboy quick-draw group for a few months now, and I guess he likes showing off his weapons, or he liked the look of us, or something. I didn't see him make the same offer to anyone else.

I didn't do that well with the six-shooter. It had a significant kick-back to it that surprised me every time (I shot it ten times), and I think I was nervous handling what was obviously a very nice and very expensive gun. I wasn't exactly shooting wildly--every shot made contact with the paper target, at least--but only two of ten shots were in the orange center-section of the target. This was at pretty close range.

The Ruger was much easier for me. It has almost no kick, and with a scope it was a piece of cake to aim. I shot about 80 rounds through it, at both a paper target and some metal targets placed at different distances. At the larger metal targets at 50 yards I landed about 7 out of 10 shots! I got about 4 out of 10 shots at larger targets at 65 yards. Not at all bad for my first time--in fact, I did slightly better than my husband, who has Boy Scout badges for both rifle and shotgun, and has been shooting on a couple of occasions more recently.

I'm quite pleased with myself, a bit surprised at how well I did and how little afraid I was. I'm also pleased that everyone at the range was really nice and normal. I think because of what I've seen on television or in the media, I grew up with a notion of gun-owners as oddballs, and shooting ranges as potentially very scary places. Well, the Angeles Gun Range isn't any scarier than anyplace else in Los Angeles, and the people there aren't any weirder than anyplace else in Los Angeles. I've discovered something new that I'm pretty decent at, and I had fun. I'll probably go again.

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