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how was your first time at the range alone?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by silverlance, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. silverlance

    silverlance Well-Known Member

    I remember the first time I went to a gun range by myself. I was 18 at the time, the proud owner of a 35 year old Ruger 10/22 beater that I had gotten for $125 with an old weaver scope attached. I'd take painstaking care with the range rules, painstaking care with gun safety, and then - and then - take an eternity between shots, wondering all the while if someone was watching and internally sniffing disapprovingly of my aim, stance, or caliber.

    I itched - postively seethed - to rapid fire my 25-round clip, sending rounds everywhere willy-nilly, but forced myself to take two deep breaths, hold one, aim, squeeze the trigger, surprise myself with the break ...

    And when I left, I'd nonchalantly cart my paper about, wagging the 3" groups like a new passport amongst the much older, much more estabilished patrons that looked so terribly unlike me and, I feared, took my money with more than a little distate for the likes of me.
  2. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Well, I grew up in West Texas so I thought "gun range" was anyplace where there were no cows or people.........:evil:

    My first trip to an actual organized range was frightening. I had NO IDEA that people actually didn't grow up with a gun in their hands and know all the safety rules instinctively (and through repetetive beatings from grandfathers).

    I am still uncomfortable shooting at public ranges unless it's with a group of THR folks here in DFW.
  3. Lupinus

    Lupinus Well-Known Member

    Mix of great and agravating.

    Was me an a mauser model 34 pocket pistol in .32auto.

    Being at the range itself was great I have always lover shooting and doing it for hte first time in years was great. Groups weren't much of groups but every round hit the blue guy...somewhere lol. Normally somewhere in the area of the lungs (was my first time with a handgun lol).

    But on the agravating side was the gun itself. Total piece of garbage. Every mag had several failures to eject. Fired fine, the thing jsut doesn't feed and eject right. Also the spring which resets the trigger is snapped in it so after each round you have to use your finger and push it back into place.

    So good and bad, the range was good itself, but the gun agravated me.
  4. mole

    mole Well-Known Member

    I was 21 and the gun was a Ruger 22/45 stainless steel with a 5 1/2 inch barrel. I had shot a .22 rifle a few times before with gun inclined friends in their backyards, but nothing structured. It was an out door range. Light rain and high 30's temperture around 10 in the morning. A fairly strong wind that blew right into your face and cut right through my thin jacket never let up. After a few minutes I couldn't feel much of my fingers, and I completely missed the target 60% the time. It was great!:D

    The target was an 8 inch steel spinner at 50 yards, so I thought I did pretty darn well.
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Gosh~! Its been a long time, some 36 years ago; but I remember it well.
    I was at the old Lipscomb, AL dump which was frequently used by all
    types of handguners. I didn't have much money to spend of firearms
    back then, as I was newly married with a wife too support. My first
    handgun was an Arminus "Burgo" 8-shot model .22LR with 2-5/8"
    barrel; bought NIB at one of the local original K-Mart discount type
    stores for the whopping sum of $42.50 OTD. It was heavy, but did
    function flawlessly; but I couldn't compete with guys shooting a 3.5"
    barrel S&W model 27, or another guy using a Ruger .30 cal carbine
    pistol. Targets were placed out 'bout 150 yards downrange, and
    were especially made by one of the other gentleman out of air-
    craft aluminum stolen from Hayes Aircraft in Birmingham, AL.

    When I shot at the target, I could not tell if I hit it or not; with
    my gun being a lowly .22LR. But, when the magnum or the carbine
    .30 caliber pistol hit it, the target would swing back and forth
    between the trees. Boy, I was a happy camper; as I had found
    a sport that I enjoyed and was looking forward to purchasing
    a larger caliber weapon and coming back for more. That memory
    has never vanished, as my weapons inventory grew and I still
    cherish my every moment at the range.

    Long gone are the days of plinking at the old dump site, as it has
    been filled in with discarded trees, old tires, and household trash.
    But, I still shoot often using my local police department range.
  6. Arch

    Arch Well-Known Member

    Every weekday I go to my pistol club/range I am the only one there (private club, and not a bussiness).
  7. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Well-Known Member

    Despite my utter lack of skill and savvy, not bad.

    I had my mom's Nylon 66 (old Remington .22 semi rifle), got to the firing line with a 20yr old box of of my da's ammo, and realized I had no idea how to load the dang thing. So I put it back in its case and took it to the front counter, where the nice lady there showed me how to load the mag.

    Took it back to the line, loaded up, racked the bolt, sighted in, pulled the trigger... (crickets chirping). Took me a few seconds to realize that the safety was on. After that things went swimmingly. I must have taken a dozen newbies shooting in the following months, as I learned slightly more about guns and passed my limited knowledge onto others.

    I like to think that I've come a long way in six years, after Boot Camp, TBS, time in Iraq, competing in IHMSA and IDPA, and a couple dozen firearms in and out of my closet. I was pretty anti-gun until college, and only got into the whole thing because of libertarian authors. We all have to start somewhere, and I suppose I'm evidence that a newbie can stumble into the light with a little coaching.

  8. lawson

    lawson Well-Known Member

    i was 21, with my first handgun, a ruger gp100 4" stainless model. i usually always went to the range with my dad or brother, but i was in a new town, and i had just bought the ruger.

    i went through three boxes of .357 and several targets, and left with a huge smile on my face.
  9. MDG1976

    MDG1976 Well-Known Member

    I listened carefully and followed all rules. I only wish all rookies did the same thing. I get freightened at public ranges.:uhoh:
  10. Malone LaVeigh

    Malone LaVeigh Well-Known Member

    I guess it must not have been very traumatic, because I don't remember the occasion. Shooting ranges are about the least fun places to shoot, anyway.
  11. Moondoggie

    Moondoggie Well-Known Member

    My first time by myself was just before the GCA of 1968. I was sixteen and had bought my first handgun, a Ruger MK I 6" for about $40 at our local hardware/gun store. I don't remember clearly, but I think the store owner said something about having my Dad stop in sometime to sign for it. The owner was kind of a surrogate grandfather who had taken me hunting and fishing several times. I went down to his property by the Elkhorn River and used a stump in the middle of a pond for a target. Spent all afternoon enjoying my first gun. Had a headache for three days. Earplugs? Never heard of 'em! (Til I discovered a secondary use for cigarette filters.)

    I had a key to that property all through HS and had the owner's permission to use it anytime. "Down past the cornfields where the woods got heavy" describes it to a "T". Everytime I hear "Night Moves" by Bob Seger I think about fun times there. Guns, girls.....Ahhh!
  12. Demariana

    Demariana Member

    I would not know because I have not gone by myself to the range... yet. It will probably be awhile before I get to go by myself since I need to get a gun. The times I have gone with friends it has been great. I think though I will always prefer going with friends even when I get to start going by myself. I like the feedback and discussions that happen when shooting with friends.

  13. nolefan

    nolefan Active Member

    I have yet to go by myself as well. As I've only been shooting at the range for about 4 weeks, and I always go with a friend (and my Walther p22).

    The people who work at my range are SO friendly, though, I would definitely go by myself. I think they don't see young women very often, because, man, they treat us like queens there! And they are so helpful, because I do alot of stupid (not unsafe, just generally dumb...like with the safety...) stuff and they never make fun of me!! :)

    Who knew there were super friendly people in NoVA? ;)
  14. GoBrush

    GoBrush Well-Known Member

    Grew up in the West with wide open places cant remember shooting my first gun. Dad had all I needed rifles, shotguns, handguns. Bought my first 54cal Black Powder rifle when I was 12 had my mother fill out all the paper work for my first 357 when I was 16. Converted to auto's when I was 21 and got into combat shooting when I was 21. Bought my first AR when I was 21:D .
  15. Farnham

    Farnham Well-Known Member

    The first time I was on an actual range, there were several very loud men in campaign covers watching and reminding me everytime I moved incorrectly. Up to and including every wrongly timed breath. Had a great time! :D

    The first time I was on a public range alone, I was much more nervous.


  16. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

    The first range I ever shot at was the rifle range at Camp Pendleton,
    California. I grew up in southern New Mexico, and varmint hunting
    with a .22 rifle or shotgun started young and came naturally back
    then and there.
    I thought it was pretty darned decent of the Marine Corps to give us
    a marked-distance range to shoot on, with people to paste and mark
    our targets. Especially out at the 500 meter range. I had never tried
    to shoot that far, but hey, they (the instructors) told me to go for it,
    so what the heck.
    It's nice to know that in a pinch, with a good rifle and the right ammo,
    a target 500 meters out is not untouchable.

  17. Wllm. Legrand

    Wllm. Legrand member

    Reminds me of that line by Rodney Dangerfield, "I remember the first time I had sex...I was so nervous...so afraid....so alone..."

    Indoor range. First time with a new S&W Mod. 19. Boxes of ammo.

    Guy next to me (older, wiser) says, "HEY! .....DUMMY!"

    Well, maybe he didn't say "dummy" but the intonation in his voice was clear.

    He was an instructor for the county sheriff's department. He taught me about anticipated recoil, flinch, etc. Showed me to load staggered chambers (load one, skip one or two, load two), spin the cylinder, close the action and fire double action ONLY. That's how a revolver is designed to be shot, unless you're hunting or the like. That's how you become aware of your flinching habits and you can--through pure power of will--overcome it. Kind of like something Nietzche would suggest.

    Humility is a good thing. Once I accepted it, I went on to become the legend that I am today.;)
  18. aaronrkelly

    aaronrkelly Well-Known Member

    I have never been to a public range - I work for the sheriffs office and have a key to their private range. I much prefer to be out there by myself then with a group of people. Its not much but 5 lanes, 50 yards with a decent target setup.
  19. yonderway

    yonderway Well-Known Member

    I just remember being much more mindful of the safety rules and the tips I had learned, because there was no one there to correct me if I did anything wrong, and the consequences of an error could mean anything from my public humiliation and banishment from the range to someone getting hurt or killed.

    I don't think I ever got to the point where I feel like I can just slide in and relax. I'm always very aware of my environment at the range, what is expected of me, and I find myself very agitated with the people who don't follow the rules (even the very stupid ones that I personally disagree with but follow to the letter anyway).
  20. grimjaw

    grimjaw Well-Known Member

    My experience mirrors TexasSIGman. We had 650+ acres of farmland in Arkansas, which made for lots of room to shoot if you wanted. I didn't really think anything of it.

    The first time at an indoor range was kind of intimidating. I'd never shot handguns beyond .22's, and the guys at the range weren't too gentle with me. Still, I had enough fun that I kept going back.


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