Saturday, January 27, 2007

100 rounds a week

My day of shooting started well and ended well. I took my newly-acquired rifle and shotgun to a local gunsmith's shop. The .22 rifle is in great shape for not having been fired since before I was born. It only needs a cleaning and inspection. The .410 shotgun, though, is a special case. In addition to a basic cleaning, it'g going to need some tightening up and some polishing to get rid of the rust that has attacked the barrel due to it being left uncased since... probably whenever Dad first received it. This gun will need a lot more attention than the .22. I'll also need to use light loads for it. No medium-game slugs for the .410, strictly rabbit and snake loads. In a week or so, I'll have my guns back and ready to be shot. I can't wait to take them out for a spin.

Until I bought my XD40 in December, I had no gun to call my own. I'd only shot a few months earlier, which was the first time I'd fired a gun since April of 1996. One-day shooting sessions once a year does not exactly give you much practice with any kind of firearms. In the "shoulda coulda woulda" category, I should have bought a rifle while I was in the Air Force and gone out on with others to practice in my off hours.

Regardless, I haven't had as much shooting training as I'd like, so I go out and practice on my own. I'm still pushing the gun down (anticipating recoil) and putting too much of my fingertip on the trigger. I also noticed I tend to slap the trigger which sends me low and to the right. Thankfully, one of the guys who works at the range I use gave me some good advice. I'll have to put it to use. The biggest revelation to me is that I may be right-eye dominant. For most people, this isn't a problem. I'm left-handed, so naturally I shoot left-handed, too. If you shoot left with right eye dominance, though, it becomes very difficult to shoot well.

So, now I'm going to try to learn to shoot right-handed. I'll grab two boxes of ammunition every week from now on to put this knowledge to use. That's 100 rounds per week to get used to shooting right-handed. It will certainly be different not having to wonder if a hot casing is going to make a jump for my shirt collar. That happened twice today. Who knows, maybe this will take me from a marginal shooter's level to an average shooter's level? I'd like to be able to put all my shots on target, even if they don't all go into the bullseye.

The better of a shot I become, the more fun this hobby will be. While I doubt I'll do any serious hunting, you never know when the skills and body control needed to place a perfect shot will come in handy. Keeping calm while aiming is important and with luck will carry over to helping keep calm when the people on the other end of my phone are losing it.

100 rounds a week will keep me in good practice, I think. At least it will for now.

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