Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ladies Basic Pistol Class

I promised to tell you about my class experience, so grab a cup.

silly boys

The class was advertised as a class for ladies that had little or no experience with guns and may be uncomfortable around firearms.  The class was free, the waiting period was 6 months to get in.   It was at a Rifle Club taught by NRA instructors.

You may recall I purchased my first gun, a shotgun, last summer.  It took me a long time to muster the courage to buy it.  I hemmed and hawed for a long time.  I knew it had to be done, but I was scared.  As a kid I was around guns every summer.  My Grandfather taught all of us how to shoot.  It never bothered me.  It was just a part of life like learning to drive the jeep.  No big deal.

Well, somewhere along the way my subconscious must have bought into all the liberal blather about guns because I became afraid of them.  When Tim and I married I didn’t want any guns in the house.  Poor Tim, he was raised on guns and loved to hunt.  It wasn’t until after Obama was elected, and the whole world seemed to be going to hell in a hand basket, that I began to feel the need for self defense.  The need grew stronger and stronger until I finally told Tim I was ready for a shotgun.  I no sooner finished the sentence than we were at the Gun store!  He must have been sure I would change my mind (again).  So, off we went with the neighbors to do some target practice and learn how to use my new gun.  Even the neighbors were amazed I actually bought a gun. (Everyone we know are hunters).  Anyway, after spending an hour or two in the hills target practicing, we came home, cleaned the gun and put it away.  That is where it has stayed because I cannot find a range that will let me shoot a shotgun.  I have to go back out in the woods if I want to practice.  Anyway, I’m getting off course here, sorry.

After I bought the shotgun I still had a nagging feeling that I needed a pistol.  Something small enough for me to handle quickly in an extreme case.  Again I pushed it to the back of my mind.  When I saw the class that was offered I thought it would be the perfect way  to find the right gun for me, so I signed up.

Going into the class I was a bit nervous.  The instructor was great and in no time at all I was having a blast.  We were told we would not be actually shooting until the 3rd and 4th classes.  That night I came home and couldn’t wait to tell Tim everything I learned.  I even went to work the next day and told all the guys. (I work in an office with 4 men that carry.  I always feel safe at work!)

When the second class came around I was getting ready to fly to my folks house in California, but I worked all the packing, etc. around going to the class.  I was pretty excited about finally finding a gun for me.  That class turned into a big FAIL.  Sadly, it was one crazy thing after another.  We were informed that “tonight” we would be firing pistols in the indoor range.  I got nervous, but was still excited at this point.  Then we were told that after shooting we would have gun powder on our clothes and we would have to go home and wash everything we were wearing. Now I’m thinking frantically about the TSA and flying to California, and having to stay up all night doing laundry.  This did not make me happy.  With a little advanced notice this would not have been an issue.  I could have worn other clothes.

Then the instructor went over the motions again on how to load a semi automatic pistol.  He used the same type he had used last week.  I was ready!  He split the class in two groups, revolvers and semi-automatics. Then we all filed out to the “indoor range” (that was approximately 26 degrees because of the fans that replace the air with outdoor air every so many seconds). I ended up with a gun I had never seen before.  It was not like the one he showed us and I had no idea how to use it other than putting the magazine in it.  But worse than that – there were 12 ladies and only 10 headsets for ear protection.  Two of us had to use foam earplugs alone.  I could not get mine to seat properly in my ears. 

So there I am, in my good clothes, freezing, holding a loaded weapon I knew nothing about, and everyone else starts to fire.  Every shot sent a violent jerk-reaction through my body.  It was a reflex that I could not control.  I could feel the tears coming when a female instructor touched my shoulder and asked if she could help.  I swear she had a halo above her head!  Anyway, She showed me how to load the gun and how this particular type worked, but I could not stop the violent jumping whenever someone else fired.  After a few minutes she came back with another headset for me.  Then  I could hear the shots being fired but the volume was such that I could handle it.  Unfortunately, by this time I was a wreck and just wanted to get out of there.  They knew I would be missing the next class because of my trip, but I would be back for the fourth and final class.  When the time came I could not force myself to go back.  I just couldn’t do it.

Now I am back to square one and feeling like a failure.  I still feel the need to have a pistol and someday I would like to be comfortable enough to carry a concealed firearm.  I am still a ways off but I’m not giving up.  I heard the female instructors taking about their self-defense classes, so maybe that’s where I need to start. I was pretty discouraged about the class not working out for me, but at least I tried.

 This is how a scared girl shoots when her body is jerking from loud noises!


Next. . . ! 




  1. It's funny...I don't have a gun (Hubby doesn't want them in the house) but if I did I'd rather have a shotgun than a pistol. I wonder if it's a female thing?

  2. Get your husband or someone who is well versed to give you some 1 on 1 instruction in an OUTDOOR location. You will be fine and having fun in no time.

  3. I'm taking the Basic Pistol class tomorrow - I'm ready to put my fear of guns behind me. If at first you don't succeed, try again. Don't give up - you KNOW it is worth it - and next time, you'll know what pitfalls you faced the first time.

    From one redhead gun newbie to another - you can do it!

  4. I have to tell you...Don't give up, don't be discouraged...and if nothing else works...come on down to Texas where we can go shoot all day! Any type of gun you want to! We have a few or more...LOL! I also want to point out that your target practice would stop a bad guy with no problemo. It's not about such a tight grouping in a perfect 2 inch diameter...It is about as many shots to the center of mass to stop a lethal threat to your safety. Your doing just fine my friend!

  5. I just wanted to drop you a note of encouragement to keep on keepin' on...

    I'm an instructor too, and I hope your experiences improve... because this will hopefully be the first in many training classes you take over your life time...

    I teach NRA courses, Ohio CCW courses, and 4H Shooting Sports... which we just started again this past Saturday for this year with 102 eight to eighteen year-olds on our roster.

    I wrote a post early in my blogging that might give you glimpse at another gal's experience in her first training course... although the situation is slightly different:

    Good luck and keep moving forward...

    Dann in Ohio


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