I had my 2nd range session with my instructor last Tuesday. I purposefully waited a few weeks (it was actually a month) before going back because I wanted to gauge my comfort level and see if I would feel as nervous & anxious as I did during my first session. While I did feel a little nervous it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. So that's a plus in my book. I took a tip from a reader and doubled-up on my ear protection. I used in-ear protection along with over ear muffs and that seemed to help mask the sharpness of the surrounding gunfire. As with the last time, it was packed - all lanes were full. To my left were a couple and to my right were two military guys with a mini arsenal of guns they were shooting. At least once, can I just get people next me that are shooting small sized guns?!
The focus of this session was to review some of the fundamentals and work on my sight alignment. I started right off with the 9mm Glock 19. I was apprehensive but not scared, which I think is a big change in my overall feeling going to the range. The two areas we really worked on were aligning my sights while maintaining a slow and steady trigger pull. I also tried something new where while I'm raising the pistol to the target I'm also placing my finger on the trigger so as soon as my sights are aligned, I fire. Whereas before, I would raise my pistol to the target, align my sights, then move my finger to the trigger and pull. So this was a little weird to get used to at first and felt a little unsafe to me. This was mainly because one of the rules of shooting is 'finger off the trigger until ready to shoot' and I guess while I'm at the range, I'm taking this too literally. In target practice and in a self-defense situation, once I get my sights on target, I should be ready to fire. I realized that trying to account for all the things I need to be focusing on (as I mentioned in this post) was sort of holding me back. While in my lane and preparing to shoot, trying to mentally check off those things was taking too much time. Instead of raising my gun, getting my aim, and firing I was taking too long of a pause which basically caused me to anticipate recoil and lose sight. So my shot was off. I shot much better following the instructions of having my finger on the trigger as my sights aligned with the target.
Also while shooting I had my first experience with the gun jamming…four times! That was a little scary but I'm glad I experienced that with my instructor present. He walked me through what to do but even after the third time it still was a tad unsettling. Apparently, this really doesn't happen often with Glocks and all it needed was a little oil because it shot smoothly after that.
I shot about 100 rounds through the Glock 19 and about 80% of my shots were grouped together so that was good. I realize that this process takes time and a ton of practice. I still can't say it's fun but, after my 2nd time at the range, I don't hate it like I used to and I’m definitely not fearing it anymore. As far my personal thoughts/experience using the Glock 19, it's not my favorite but mainly because it still feels rather large in my hands and each time I shot it rubbed a part of my trigger hand (near my thumb) in a way that broke the skin. So 100 rounds later, that wasn't a fun feeling.
What I did take away and what my instructor commented on was that each time I hesitated or realized I was not doing something right, I reset my position and started again. Each time I did, I got better and better. So I'm obviously able to tell where I need improvement & recognize where I'm off so I can adjust and proceed.
One of my main goals in working with an instructor was to get comfortable enough going to the range & handling a pistol so that I can start going with the husband. I think that might be happening because the husband and I are planning to go to the range a few days after this. You'll have to read about in the next Girl Meets Gun post.