Monday, September 20, 2010

Firing up your Fiction

Have you ever read a book where it is obvious that the writer did not do his or her research? Did it turn you off from reading further or did you get past it?

There are many editors that will do the research to verify something mentioned in a novel is fact or fiction. Even if the novel is a work of fiction publishers and readers prefer to see some string of fact in the writing. This is why we, the authors, do our research.

My latest research has engaged me in the "right to bear and keep arms" as afforded us in the Second Amendment of the Constitution. (okay...I had to look that up)

On Saturday mornings for about 8-weeks now I have been getting up and packing what can only be termed a small suitcase, and driving to Weare, NH for pistol shooting lessons with Gunnery Sergeant Mike Stevens, USMC Force Recon Retired otherwise known as 'Gunny'.

Seriously, could you ask for a better instructor?

Mike is is the owner of Classic Armorer and a no holds bar, tell you like it is instructor who is very serious about what he teaches and who he teaches.

My very first class Gunny taught me how to handle a pistol, how to tear it down, how to clean it, and how to put it back together.

It wasn't until after those first lessons of the day that we walked down to his outdoor shooting range. There, Mike coached me on 'range etiquette'.

I have to wear protective eyewear, a shirt that covers my upper body so a hot bullet doesn't hit and burn my skin, and protective 'ears' that muffle the gunshot sound but allow me to hear his instructions, and always keep the weapon aimed down range.

With the weapon unloaded, the magazine loaded with target ammo, and all safety gear in place, I walk to the 21-foot line in front of a paper target.

Why a 21-foot line?

According to Gunny and the FBI, the average distance in a gun fight is 21-feet.

With my unloaded .380 Bersa held at my side and the clip in my opposite hand, I wait for Gunny's command.

The first command is "Ready on the line." This phrase tells me to load my weapon and stand in the shooting position he taught me with the gun aimed at the target.

"What is the shooting position?"

Your feet are about shoulder-width apart, your upper body is tilted slightly forward in what Gunny describes as "arrhhhhh", and your shooting hand is up at eye-level. Then you take your free hand and place it under and wrapped around your shooting hand so it acts as a pedestal to help control the weapon. This is known as the pedestal hand. The arm attached to your pedestal hand is slightly bent at the elbow for cushioning the recoil. Your head is tilted enough to site down your shooting arm and eye the site at the end of your pistol to the target. At this point, your finger is NOT on the trigger.

Now I wait for the next command.

The second command is "Fire on the range." This phrase is the command to fire when ready and for me is usally followed by Gunny saying, "Squeeze and breathe." Apparently I hold my breath. Not a good thing as it makes my muscles bunch up and therefore my aim will be off and the recoil will not be cushioned.

How am I doing?

Shooting takes practice to be able to hit the target in a skilled and consistent manner and an instructor with integrity to teach you how to not only shoot the pistol, but to teach you how to care for and handle the weapon in a safe and responsible way. This is why a friend of mine recommended Gunnery Sergeant Mike Stevens, USMC Force Recon Retired.

Stay tuned as I continue my lessons and research with Classic Armorer.


Lori Resnick September 20, 2010 at 7:10 PM  

Nice Target!!

Emma Leigh September 21, 2010 at 8:11 PM  

Sounds like a lot of fun!

Denise September 22, 2010 at 5:23 AM  

It's actually a lot of fun and very challenging.

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