Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Range report: Firearms safety edition

Posted by Lissa on August 17, 2009

First step is done!  Y’all, I really might be able to bring my own boomstick to next year’s bloggershoot!!

(All credit to Mike, really.  I know what I like and I like to explore things I don’t know, but as for actually looking up a) what needs to be done, b) finding someone who can get us certified within the next week, c) scheduling the class . . . thank god ONE of us is good at stuff like that!)

We drove down to Sandwich Saturday morning to take a Basic Firearm Safety Course as taught by a guy named Steve Horigan.  (Apparently he’s active in both Northeast Shooters and GOAL; anyone know him (sniperwolff99)?  He seemed to recognize Jay G and Weer’d Beard by handle at least . . . )

He had a few nice charts, a little DVD player and a packet of handouts for each of us — but he didn’t want to go over most of it until after we’d handled with the guns.  We did watch the little video from the National Shooting Sports Foundation about ten safety rules; once we got over the silly intro and the 70s hair, it was actually quite good.  Steve particularly liked the part where two hunters carrying shotguns were crossing rough terrain: each hunter in turn gave his partner his shotgun while climbing up a little bank.

Really, though, all of that was intro.  He told us flat-out that he didn’t think classroom instruction would interest us, stick with us or be worthwhile; his concern was to give us the most-basic-of-safety guidelines and then show us how guns actually work.

For this purpose he brought three pistols:  1)  a Ruger Mark 2 target pistol (.22):

Ruger Mark 2

2) a SigSauer 228 (9 mm) (sorry, no picture!)

3) a Ruger GP-100 30-.357 (did I write that down correctly?)  The pic shows it side-by-side with its baby brother, one of Steve’s carry pistols.  (Jay, he says it too kicks like the Snubbie From Hell!)

Ruger GP-100 with S&W 340 SC

He had dummy rounds for each of the three guns, which was very helpful.  One by one, we loaded each gun, chambered a round and “fired” a few times before unloading.  The most entertaining tip was how to correctly load a revolver: behold the “spiderman” grip!

Spiderman, spiderman, does whatever a spider can . . .

I had a bullet obstinately refuse to leave the chamber on the SigSauer 228.  I think at this point one would normally do a tap-and-rack, but since it was a training situation, Steve had me 1) verify that this was a “safe” situation, i.e, we’re using dummy bullets and the gun is pointed in a safe direction; 2) try to knock it down with my finger; 3) when that failed, remove the magazine, take all the dummies out, then put the empty magazine back in.  When I racked the slide, the round popped loose.  Hooray!

With the basics out of the way, he shooed us out to the range.

(Being able to take photos and videos while we shot was really useful.  We learned that both Mike and I have a tendency to arch our spines and lean back to compensate for the gun’s weight, unless we think about it.)

Mike likes the revolver

We had a lot of fun, and it was lovely being able to ask as many stupid questions as we wanted without feeling like we were taking range time away from a fellow shooter.  (I’ll list some of those tomorrow.)  In sum:

– We learned a lot

– We killed some targets

Mike's is on the left, mine on the right

Mike's is on the left, mine on the right

– We got our Basic Firearms Safety Certificate

Yay hooray!!

P.S.’s . . .

Borepatch, thanks for the invite.  I’d LOVE to meet Mrs. Borepatch!

Breda, how many guns did you try before you decided the Bersa was best for you?

Shoothouse Barbie, I know you feel that the basic triangle stance (?) isn’t actually tactically optimal.  But we have to walk before we run!  Yes, we very much want to go out to TX to shoot with you and bf . . . next March, maybe?

TOTWTYTR, you said the police chief of Lissaville (Home of the Evil Conservatives) was more reasonable than the one before him.  Do you know of anyone who has gotten a license from him?  We’re a little worried about writing our letter requests to the Chief of Police . . .

Last but not least —

Jay G, what are you doing next weekend?  Mike’s never shot a rifle!  (And, we need to figure out what our first gun should be . . . handgun?  10/22?  Help!)


8 Responses to “Range report: Firearms safety edition”

  1. TOTWTYTR said

    I know of a couple of people, although I don’t know anyone personally. I’d recommend calling the Lissaville Police and asking to speak to whoever does licensing. They can tell you what the procedure is.

  2. Breda said

    The Bersa was a compromise. It’s not really my favorite gun at all, but the size and shape plus the decent caliber made it right for on-body carry. And I shot quite a few before deciding, both revolvers and semi-autos.

    I’d really rather a M1911 in .45 – but I’d end up having to wear a muumuu to conceal it.

    And from your video, I see you’re using a teacup-type grip, which might not be the best idea.

  3. Breda said

    Check out The Cornered Cat, she has a piece on the best way to grip a handgun. http://www.corneredcat.com/Basics/grip.aspx

  4. ditto on corneredcat. I don’t know why they were having you do the teacup – it’s a very dated grip and IMO, not comfortable and also ergonomically redonkulous.

    You’re coming to texas when, now? 😉

  5. TOTWTYTR said

    I haven’t seen anyone use that grip since Angie Dickinson in “Police Woman”. 😉

  6. Borepatch said

    Congratulations on taking that first step. I envy you.

    Sunday evenings are Lady’s Night at the range I go to – lots of women there shooting. Also lots of different guns to rent, so you can try lots of different ones.

  7. Always welcome at the sooper-seekrit range lass, if you feel like making the trip.

    I think we could *something* that would meet your (& Mike’s) approval in the on-site collection.

    Good luck!

  8. Errr, that would be “find” something…

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