Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stay on Target....

Tonight, TOTALLY rocked! I got to shoot guns! I shot 8 rounds with a semi-automatic pistol like the one on the right and two shotgun shells (out of a shotgun - of course).

On the left is my target from the pistol shoot. We were told to aim for the chest and try to get our shots within the square. Five of the eight are within that square and three are damn close. I was thrilled. And yes there are five inside - that hole in the upper right has a little hole just below and to the left.

It was such a strange experience to shoot a weapon because I've never shot any kind of firearm before. None. I've used a bow for target shooting but it is completely different from what this entailed. I was expecting more kick than I experienced because I expected to have sore wrists after, but I didn't. I also didn't even notice the discharge of the shells as I was firing, even though I expected to notice that process. The interesting thing was that after the class was over, I had sore knees. I wasn't at all sore where I expected to be (wrists and shoulder).

As I fired, my hands started to shake a little bit and I think the more "wild" shots were shot later as reaction started to kick in. Sighting the weapon was pretty easy. However, they had us shooting from pretty darn close (5-7 yards), so that could be why. Their rationale for placing us close was that most shots are taken at close range, so we should learn what that's like. Also, they probably wanted us to actually hit the target and if we'd gone further back we might have missed. Still, they seemed pretty impressed with the class because I was definitely not the only one who did well.

Then they asked if we wanted to shoot the police shotgun. The three guys in the group weren't enthused because they were all hunters so it wasn't a big deal to them. Me though, I said I wanted to shoot. They loaded two shells, a buckshot shell and a slug shell.

The results were interesting. I've heard horror stories about people who've fired shotguns and them having huge bruises on their shoulders and the pain lasting for days, etc. So frankly, I was expecting to be in a world of hurt after doing it, but you know what? I wasn't. I must have done it right because the ONLY bruise I had was a couple of tiny lines from the shirt I was wearing which had a ribbed neckline. The edges where the stitching was left two slender lines on my shoulder, but other than that...nothing. My shoulder didn't even hurt.

I mean, I'd scheduled a chiropractor appointment for the next day and everything. But all for naught!

So on to target assessment. On the right is my shotgun target shoot. We shot from 10 yards out. The little holes in the middle are from the buckshot shell. Pretty damn good, even if I do say so myself! The slug shell - not so hot. Now the big hole on the right was part of the slug - the wadding. But the shell was below the target... dead center and just below the target. Basically, the perp I shot would have gotten it in the groin. I looked at that and kind of groaned to myself. It's entirely possible the officers may have groaned silently in sympathy too, but they praised my ability which was really nice of them.

Seeing where the slug went reminded me of the movie 9 to 5 where Dolly Parton tells the scummy boss that she'd change him from a rooster to a hen with one shot. This woulda done it.

Still, it was a very cool experience to shoot the weapons. The firing range instructor was knowledgable, enthusiastic, and a genuinely nice guy. I have been totally impressed with all the officers I've met. I think next week is evidence processing. CSI, here I come!!!!

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