I didn’t realize there were gun competitions that ran on a course. Competitions that take participants through different scenarios and guns with a prize at the end. Had no clue. While watching one of the outdoor channels on a sleepy Sunday afternoon I was glued to the tv watching clips from previous competitions. Asking the soldier about it lead to hundreds of videos of 3 gun competitions online and women participating. He smiled and clicked on the first video. “You could totally do this babe.” We watched, and watched for hours. I was hooked.
Training started with light stuff. Why light? I have only shot a few guns, rifles, pistols… I could count them on two hands the amount of times I have shot them all total. So starting light is the best option. Nothing to scare me or scar me just yet and to get my procedures and body mechanics right.
My first trip to the gun range with the mission of TRAINING was exciting. Work couldn’t end soon enough, rushing out of the office sending a text to The Soldier “on my way home ~ load up the truck”. Getting home I ran through the house changing clothes and dodging dogs. Licks and barks from 3 very happy dogs who of course were hoping to be with us for this outing, no luck this time. I had rifles, eye/ear protection and a smile. We were off.
The gun range was cold 35 degrees, outdoor and quiet. It was only 2:00 in the afternoon. One other person was there with a contraption just in front of him down range, I’ll figure out the name of that thing later. The Soldier had me all set up and pointed to my first task. Hanging Targets, 25 yards out, I thought it was too close and too easy. His motto “Lets set you up for success” He wants me to find consistency first and then go for farther shots.
I sat down to my first Rifle. A Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 and a drill. Picking up the rifle, no magazine in place, finger off the trigger, safety on and pulling back the charging handle, observe the chamber through the ejection port, Weapon’s Clear, release the charging handle.
I just cleared my first weapon. Exciting stuff to a newbie.
We repeated this until The Soldier would say ok ready and he noticed I was checking safety 100% of the time before moving on to the next instructions. To be sure I have the Safe/fire switch ingrained in me we dry fired the M&P several times. Ready, safety check, safety off, looking through my iron sight, fire and safety back on. Once I was doing this without a reminder The Soldier handed me a 30 round Magazine.
At this point I was feeling good, comfortable and knew MISTAKES were not going to happen.
What safety drills did/do you practice? Did you have an instructor, like I have The Soldier (my husband) or your father/friend? Who taught you how to be safe with any gun?