This is really a tough task. I don't know that I'll do it again, unless the grid goes down and I have to.
I went to a shooting range with my husband and his sister and her family. I posted about this on Facebook briefly, but I wanted to show a couple of pictures I brought back from the shooting range. Here is Adam giving me a couple pointers on how to shoot a .45 H-K:
Here I am putting the advice into action:
I felt quite intimidated by the experience. First of all, it's incredibly LOUD. You get a noise-canceling headset, which is about 50% effective. I still felt like jumping every time other people were shooting, especially those shooting bigger guns (including machine guns). My SIL went and got some earplugs for herself and for me, and that PLUS the headset was a lot better. I could still hear plenty, but it wasn't startling.
Second, the gun itself was fairly heavy, and shooting it was tremendously forceful. You could say, well, DUH. Yeah, I know, but it's one thing to guess at this, and another entirely to experience that. The kickback was not as big as I expected. But I felt like I had a profoundly powerful and dangerous force in my hands, and I was keenly aware of not really knowing what I was doing or feeling comfortable. I also thought I would prefer not to be comfortable enough with it because I tend toward the cavalier attitude, and this is not a thing to be cavalier about.
I couldn't help thinking about all the cop and spy shows and movies I have seen over the years, the hundreds of guns and gun toters I've seen, how NONE OF THEM ever made it look like there was anything to it. It's not "no big deal," it's a huge deal to have this killing force in your hand. I feel shocked at how different the reality of shooting a gun is from what I have seen on TV.
I have to admit, I was delighted that I have good aim, that I got good shots right away. My dad was a sniper in the Army and a part of me would like to think I got something of that from him. I was pleased that it wasn't totally frustrating to try to hit the target.
I did quite well, so Adam challenged me to a grudge match - ten shots each, whoever scored best. He shot first and got a 90; however, he can't see, because he is too vain to get glasses. I'll take any advantage I can get. Anyway, I went next and got this:
If I ever do it again, I'd like to try shooting with a rifle, to see what it is like to do distance shooting. Also, my coworker was telling me about skeet and trap shooting, and that sounds like a fun challenge as well. But honestly? I could probably go the rest of my life without ever shooting a gun again, without any regret.