14 October, 2006

FbL, Sharpshooter

Okay... maybe someday. But I'm feeling like I got off to a pretty good start.

[All my well-educated friends, please forgive what I know is going to be a post full of errors and improper nomenclature.]

Last Thursday I fired a weapon for the first time in my life. And much to my surprise I generally hit what I tried to! If my memory is correct, I started with a .38(?), then a 9mm, then a .45 that was described as a "combat sidearm." I also loaded magazines, but found that my apparently weak thumbs make that a lot of work!

Surprisingly, the smallest was the one that was most uncomfortable because it bounced around in my hand and knocked against the space between thumb and forefinger. The .45 was the hardest to shoot simply because of the weight, but it felt the most comfortable in my hand and seemed to have less kickback.

With only one exception, all the rounds from the .38 hit within the "kill zone" of a small target (actual distance was about seven yards, but the target was sized for 100m).

Here are the results from the 9mm and .45 (the collection of shots on the left are not mine):

I believe the distance was seven yards and more. It was described to me at one point as "the distance at which a majority of police engagements occur."

I started out very solid on the 9mm, with all but one round from the first magazine hitting center. But after a certain point, my aim actually got worse as I went along. By the end of the .45, I was consistently low--due to just plain tired muscles (aimed for the head of the target with the .45, but majority of shots hit the upper chest).

For a moment with the .9mm I suddenly felt it all click into place and knew I could solidly hit the target over and over again at will. For that moment I think I put 6 in the center of the target in about 8 seconds. But I'm still learning, so I'm not even sure what I did that put me "in the zone" for that time.

It was at that point I realized I'm hooked. I'm extremely competitive, with high standards, so something that is all about control and small adjustments that have big payoffs is right up my alley. If my hands/arms hand't gotten tired so quickly, I would've happily kept going for hours.

I also stood by as someone fired a rather serious rifle. I wish I could remember what it was (used bullets that weighed 240, I believe), but I certainly won't forget what it sounded like. Standing six feet back, I could still feel the percussive burst in the air at each firing. It looked interesting, but I think I'll wait a little before I try and cuddle up to something like that!

Still, I'm hooked. I can't wait to do it again!