I went pistol shooting for the first time a couple of weekends ago, at an outdoor range not far from my house. This was inspired partly by the notion that being minimally proficient with a firearm is, like knowing first aid, a useful life skill in case of emergency, and partly out of curiosity. Specifically, I was curious whether I could hit the broadside of a barn. I won’t bore you with the various things that are wrong with my vision, but they are many and varied, and I was by no means confident I could even land a shot on the target.
The range loaned me a Taurus PT92, a Brazilian version of the Beretta 92F/M9 pistol used by the US armed forces, and I ran a box of 50 rounds through it. All in all, I was pretty happy with my first time out. Most of the time I was shooting from about 10 yards, and as you can see from the picture, I was indeed hitting most of the time. The key seemed to be that while the target was a good distance away, the sights on the pistol are only inches away, and its the forward sight, not the target, that you need to focus on to aim accurately. I was a bit unprepared for how loud the gun was when it fired; 9mm rounds are a lot louder than .22s. I know I’m flinching, and I found the muzzle was climbing to the right. I’m sure I have all manner of bad habits, though I did enough research before I went to know at least roughly how the gun should be held, what propers stance should look like, and so on. I could do a lot worse than get a few lessons if I keep at this.
I’ve been back a couple of times, including once with my Dad, and I seem to be getting better. All in all, it’s been fun, and challenging. I may just have found myself a hobby.