My first time – Tales of a true gun noob

Posted on February 18, 2013

The following story comes from a friend of my sister's who recently took a trip to the range for the first time. She recounts her experience here. - TJ

By Rebecca

To be clear I would like you all to know I am not a stupid woman who lacks common sense (even though this recounting does make me double check that statement); I am a 36 year old successful business owner with a good head on my shoulders.  I am also not complexly ignorant of guns and how they work, and by that I mean I have held a revolver and a Glock, I know where the trigger is, and which end is the business end of the gun.  I have however never shot one…until today that is.

To set the stage you must realize I am in no way afraid of guns, so I do not handle them timidly or with trepidation and due to recent events my boyfriend Joe and I have discussed the purchase of a firearm for myself as he has weapons of his own.  He explained to me that I should go to the local Firearms dealer and range to try out a few of their rentals and get the feel of it,  the feel had to be “Just Right” I was told.

Today being a free day for me I popped the address into my GPS and off I went to shoot for the first time.  Another person might have thought twice and made sure that they were prepared and dressed properly for an outing like this, but then that person would not be impulsive like me.  In fact the thought of wearing a floor length low cut sundress with more than ample cleavage popping out and flip flops didn’t even occur to me as being improperly dressed until I was half way there… oops..

Anyway, like I said before though I am not timid around guns the idea of what I was about to do was a bit nerve racking and not something I ever thought I would be doing, much less alone.  When I arrived at the shop I gathered up my Mickey Mouse Disney purse along with my courage and in I went!  I am not sure what I was expecting exactly but I can tell you it was not the throng of senior citizens around me as I patiently waited in line to be served.  When it was my turn I walked up to the counter and informed the gentleman that I would like to buy a gun, however I thought it would be good idea to actually shoot one first.  When asked what kind of gun I was looking for I replied “One that will fit in my tiny hands” With a chuckle he showed me a Smith and Wesson mp22.  It felt light enough, and the grip seemed small enough so I was in.

After a brief explanation on how to properly load, hold, and fire the gun I was instructed to hang the target.  Have I mentioned yet that I am 5’2” and I would swear the clips were 6’ tall, but hey I can do this so up I go on my tippy toes and got the thing hung (if a bit crooked).  After firing off a few rounds, a pat on the back, and a “Good Girl” from the instructor I was left to my own devices.  I can tell you from the very little I know of weapons, the grip was nice, the kick was gentle, and I was able to hit the target most of the time.  After about half a box of rounds (which I now know I was supposed to fire them all) I go in to try the next size up, after all I was told to work my way up.

My next gun was the Smith and Wesson MP 9mm, this one seemed much heavier and the grip larger but I figured why the hell not! Now one would have thought since I got instruction with the first gun I would get instruction with the second. Not so much, in fact I had been left alone to try and figure out how to get these much larger rounds into the much tighter clip and for a while I stood there, looking from bullets to clip, staring at them from many angles before I decided I knew what to do. Taking the clip in my left and the bullet in my right I proudly loaded my first round, but something just didn’t seem right.  

Scratching my head in confusion I turned to the kid in the stall next to mine (by kid I mean he was probably 20) and held up my clip asking if I had these in right.  The poor thing… I have never seen a man so visibly afraid in my entire life.  With eyes as wide as saucers he slowly shook his head in bewilderment, so I asked “Are they in backwards?” my response being an equally shocked nod…. HA! Problem solved, I flipped that bad boy around as if I hadn’t just made a huge mistake and fool of myself and finished loading the gun. Now I know I should have shot more than 7 of the 50 bullets that came in the box but to be honest the room was getting smokey, the gun was heavy, my hand was getting sore from the kick, I had just narrowly missed having a cleavage full of spent casings,  and lets face it.. I pretty much scared the crap out of every grown man around me so I decided to pack it in and call it a day.

Feeling as though I had accomplished a lot I decided to call Joe on my way home and tell him I had picked the type of weapon I wished to purchase. After all it was all about the feel right?  Apparently not, because I was then told that the perfect little 22 I found just didn’t have the stopping power, and if I can’t stop a large man or a heavily dressed man coming to hurt me then it pretty much defeats the purpose (face palm).  I guess it is a good thing I don’t discourage easily because the first thing I did when I got home was message my friend Stephanie , tell her about my awesome yet somewhat embarrassing day, and suggest a girls day out… at the firing range.

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