Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Firing New Synapses in Our Brains - Sunday, January 10, 2016

Shoot-out at the OK Corral it was not: no Wyatt Earp, no Doc Holladay, no Clanton-McLaury gang. We weren't in Tombstone, Arizona. But there was a blaze of gunfire with approximately 500 rounds being fired by ten people. It happened in San Antonio, Texas.  Thankfully it was friendly fire and no one was hurt.

What happened? For my birthday in November, Bob bought us lessons on "Introduction to Handguns" at Nardis Gun Club. This past Sunday morning we went in for our 2-1/2 hour lesson. Upon entering the gun club, we filled out registration forms and signed all the requisite disclaimers. Gun safety, philosophy, classroom instruction, handgun rental, and experience in the firing range were all included.

Bob and I had almost no experience shooting guns. When I was a around 14, my dad showed us how to use an air rifle and a BB gun. That was my only experience with guns. Bob had even less experience, I think. We wanted to take the class to help us make a decision about whether or not we would like to become gun owners.

The class was very well taught. Our instructor was very logical and thoughtful in his teaching method. First we had to know about gun safety. Do not point a gun at anyone during class, especially the teacher.

He taught us the parts of the 9mm handgun, how to cock the chamber, how to load the bullets into the magazine, how to insert the magazine into the gun, how to hold the loaded gun, how to prepare the weapon to fire, how to align the sights, our stance when it was time to aim and shoot at the target, how to re-load, and how to lay the gun down when we finished shooting. We did practice our aim at a target with a laser gun he had in the classroom.

After the 1-1/2 hour classroom session, we went to the firing range. After explaining how to enter and exit the range, and giving us ear and eye protection, we went inside where he led us in drills. We learned how to use the automated target mover and sent our target sheets out 15' from us. Then he told us exactly what to do and we got to shoot our handguns. What a trip. Even with the headphones on, it was very loud in the shooting range.

Instructor running a drill with Bob
Bob at indoor firing range
Me at firing range with ear protection
Each of us were required to buy 50 rounds of ammunition for our rented 9mm Sig-Sauer automatic pistols. On his command, we stepped into the firing booth, loaded our weapons, cocked the chamber, checked our stance, lined up our sights, put pressure on the trigger and fired. I loved it. When we finished, our hands were covered in gunpowder so the first thing we did after turning in our ear protection was wash our hands thoroughly.

My target about half-way through
My "booth" at the firing range. (Note: My 9mm
Sig-Sauer is facing the wrong way...should be able
to see into the breach when it's laying down!)
Final target after all 50 rounds fired.
Bob's final target after all 50 rounds fired.
Both Bob and I did very well. I'd like to go back to learn more about the different types of guns and which fit our grips the best. Plus I'd like to continue with our training and shooting so we don't forget what we learned. Very educational 2-1/2 hours for us.

The day isn't over yet, so stay tuned for part 2.


  1. Getting to know a hand gun up close helps over come fear of a gun. I did a similar class before we hit the road and now I forgot how to use it.
    Both of you did really good !

    1. We enjoyed learning all we could in such a short period of time. We weren't sure how we would do, but we did great!

  2. Ohhhhh - this is on my bucket list. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Do this for sure. It was very educational and rewarding, knowing we could do it. Now we have to practice hitting the target at a longer distance.


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