I had a great experience a couple of weeks ago that involved shooting, knives, guys and gals. With those components (in the right environment), you’re bound to have a good time and learn something.
It started out when I got my wife interested in doing a little more pistol shooting which led to us signing up for a Practical Pistol course. I had mentioned this to another friend and she decided to join us. When we got to the course there was one other guy who joined our little group rounding the number out to 4 shooters and an instructor.
Our group was interesting in that it not only included an even gender mix, but the age range was….. wide. It went from 21 to 71. That’s a big difference in reaction time on the firing line! But I’m proud to say I held my own with the ‘kids’.
Most of the course was spent working on the FBI Qualification Course. We didn’t focus as much on the time it took to shoot the course as the mechanics of drawing and shooting. All of us would be considered novices so just learning the drill of drawing and firing from concealed was the primary focus.
Some of the time was spent on targets that required you to think, select the right target and make several magazine changes during the course of shooting. The target below is 23″ x 25″. When the instructor called for “Squares” you put 4 rounds in the blue square and 6 rounds in the yellow. We were limited to 7 rounds in our magazines so a mag change was required. There were a number of different calls made for the shooting order. It was both fun and challenging. AND the objective was to complete the ‘call’ in roughly 1 second per shot. Ten shots, 10 seconds.
The course focused on close-up, defense style shooting. Most of the shooting was done inside 9 yards but later in the day we moved back to 15 yards to shoot a few steel plates. Punching paper is great but the satisfaction of hearing and seeing that bullet hit steel is gratifying. And of course, you had to put three rounds into a playing card.
The other female shooter in the group is seriously into self defense. It was pretty interesting when she showed up and started showing us the 4 different methods of ‘carry’ her outfit allowed. Small of the back holster, under the arm, side and belly holsters. What was impressive is they all worked and concealed extremely well. She had done her homework.
She was also interested in a knife as a backup weapon. I had taken along a number of options and she found one that she felt would work. It’s great to know women interested as well as prepared to defend themselves. Some women might find it intimidating but learning can be a lot of fun and a great confidence builder.
We finished the day with each of us having fired around 350 rounds of 9mm. Everyone had so much fun I lined up an advanced class for the end of July. This time my wife’s nephew and wife are joining us but we’re losing the young guy from our first class. We’ll have 5 shooters with the ladies outnumbering the guys. This time we’ll shoot laying down, from behind obstacles, more rapid fire drills and speed. And I’m already looking to the next class beyond that.
I’ve enjoyed shooting over the years but haven’t spent a lot of time on the range of late. It was fun to get back into it. While I’ve never done a lot of practice involving defensive shooting this was an eye opener. Not only was it challenging but it was a bit sobering. I’ve never taken carrying a concealed weapon lightly. When you have an instructor laying out possible shooting scenarios that can occur inside the circle of ‘safe distancing’, it brings a whole new level of serious to the table.
It’s great to see the younger generation and more women get interested in shooting. Our instructor said he’s seeing more women signing up for training which I think is good news. It’s a lot of fun and if things get ugly, it’s good to know you have the skills to take care of yourself.