A couple of days ago I went out shooting with a friend for the first time. I have never really held a gun besides a paintball gun. So, I was kind of intimidated by the idea of shooting a real gun. Luckily, once on a walk with this same friend out somewhere in the mountains, not on any well-known hike, he let me shoot his 9mm handgun. My first time shooting the 9mm, he held my hands while I held the gun to make sure I wouldn’t drop it and I was flinching the entire time. Every time I would shoot it, the barrel would go up, and instantly I would duck because I wasn’t sure where the bullet actually went. That was my real first time shooting a gun, but I didn’t actually count it as shooting because we weren’t aiming at anything and that wasn’t the point of why we went out there. After that experience, I wasn’t so sure how I felt about guns. I felt more like a bow person because I was also doing archery at the time and I was thinking to myself “I like bows, they are quiet and don’t have any kickback. I’m a bow person.” Then one day I was trying to act tough around him, and he told me “I won’t see you as tough till you can handle my guns.” Okay, challenge accepted. So, we went shooting.
This last Friday, we planned to go out together and go shooting at the pit, down by the Buttes. I had been there before for a massive bonfire with a group of friends, and I didn’t really see it as a place to go shooting. I hadn’t really noticed the shells in the sand because it was dark out, but during the day, you can tell people go shooting out there A LOT. There were also pumpkins and random junk that was left out there to use as target practice. When we drove up, we found an old wooden pallet and a metal box to prop the pallet up on. My friend had a box of orange ceramic discs, about the size of a fist, that we placed on the pallet as targets.
For me personally, I love shooting at targets because it tests my aim. I’ve done archery and paintball, and if I don’t have a target I’m trying to hit then I get bored quickly. Having the discs up there excited me because they were tiny, and it was a challenge. And also, I am super cocky, so I wanted to hit one of those and be a bit of a showoff. When we loaded up, I started off with a 22 revolver, which became my favorite. I just enjoyed the loading and unloading. Also, the kickback was little to nothing but according to my friend that was because it was a 22. If the gun were a 9mm, it would have had more kick back. The revolver isn’t efficient for self-defense, but it looks really cool, and I had fun shooting it. Surprisingly, I was able to hit one of the ceramic discs. It only happened once though, and after that, I was ricocheting bullets off the metal box.
The next one I tried was a rifle, I forgot what kind of rifle it was, but it was intense looking. It was one I was a little scared of because I had to prop it up on my shoulder and I was thinking “oh crap it’s going to be like a shotgun, I’m going to dislocate my arm.” Not that I’ve ever shot a shotgun, but I’ve heard those things are mean. Luckily this one wasn’t like that. It was comical though because my friend had to stand behind me to keep me from being pushed back by the gun as I shot it. The rifle was a lot more accurate than the revolver. The first shot, I was able to hit one of the ceramic targets. However, I don’t think I would have been able to do that had my friend not been there to help me hold the gun. The longer I shot with the gun, the more the nose would droop because I have little to no upper body strength.
The last gun I shot was the 9mm handgun which I had shot on our walk a few months back. It’s efficient and would be one of the best guns to defend yourself with if you needed to, but it was my least favorite. I would have to shoot with it a few more times before I warmed up to it. The thing that’s the hardest for me to get past is how it’s difficult to load, there’s a lot of kickback, and the grip is kind of like holding sandpaper. After shooting it, I kind of wanted the revolver back. However, I definitely could see getting the 9mm handgun because you don’t have to cock it every time you want to shoot, you’re not limited to six rounds, and it is more accurate than the revolver. It’s a more dangerous gun, but it is far better for self-defense. I also didn’t flinch that time while shooting it. Even though I wanted to because its recoil scares me.
I would go shooting again. I really enjoy trying out different guns and how they feel. I love testing my aim and challenging myself which is something you can really do with shooting. Between archery and shooting, I think archery is a bit more difficult just because with a bow your arms are doing all the work. Gun’s tend to take the stress off your shoulders, and all you have to worry about is aiming. I love archery though, and before Friday I didn’t expect to love shooting, but I really enjoyed it and could see it becoming a new hobby for me.