Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On Target, Fort Worth, TX

Saturday night I was talking to my new friend Kris, and he told me about how much fun shooting a gun was. It sounded scary as hell and quite Texan, so I figured I had to do it. Kris meant getting drunk and firing automatic weapons out in the middle of nowhere, but yesterday I went to On Target Pistol & Rifle Range in Fort Worth instead.

There are 8 principles to accuracy with a pistol:
Sight alignment
Sight picture
Strong hand grip
Weak hand grip
Trigger finger placement
Trigger pull

My instructor, Todd,

talked me through the safety rules and aim fundamentals before I even touched a firearm. On the range, he watched me carefully and reminded me of each principle as I violated it. My left index finger was over the trigger guard, pushing me a bit right (#4). I pulled the trigger too quickly, pushing my aim down (#6). My finger was on the trigger at the knuckle instead of the grip, pushing me left (#5). This was all about consciousness, careful awareness of my hands, body, and behavior. I expected a thrill like bungee jumping, and got a yoga class instead.

Todd said I had "outstanding" grouping for a first-timer. You can see the strays to the left, right, and below where I wasn't following the fundamentals. The big hole in the middle and the three in the head are from a .22 revolver, and the upper chest set is from a 9mm. Most shots were taken at 7 yards. Afterward, Todd sent the target out to 15 yards and put five bullets through those four holes in the mini-target:

I walked out of there feeling calm, focused, happy, but fifteen minutes later my hands were shaking. It was a little cold, but mostly it was awesome. I drove to Austin on a crazy adrenaline high, riding all the giddy thrill that would have distracted me in the moment and ruined my fundamentals.

When I got to Austin, I rode a mechanical bull. The pictures didn't really come out, but I'm writing this today with some very sore thighs.

1 comment:

  1. I agree; there is definitely something zen about shooting guns. I shot my first with some hillbilly friends last year and I look forward to doing it again. I'm glad you're enjoying Texas (and waffle houses) :)