Saturday, July 15, 2006

In the name of research

Today, in the interest of research and authenticity, I schlepped to the gun range and thanks to the untiring patience of Ray, tried a variety of handguns. This was my second trip. The first, I thought I was taking a basic 'get acquainted with weapons' class, which turned out to consist almost entirely of watching videos -- rather out of date ones, for that matter. At then end, to my amazement, I found that if I paid a fee and got fingerprinted, I would most likely (assuming a background check came out clean, which it would, since I'm such a proper good citizen) be issued a permit to carry a concealed weapon, which in this state, includes guns, knives and chains. Scary. Trust me, NOBODY wants me to have a weapon. At the end of that class, I fired a .22 and did 'very well' for a first timer. At least, all the shots hit the target.

But, the odds of one of my heros using a .22 are pretty slim, so I went down there today to try something more apt to be found tucked into his waistband as he and a heroine either stalk or evade the bad guys (haven't written that part yet). So, in turn, I shot a Glock 19 9mm, a Colt 45 ACP 1911, and a ruger 38 special. I set the targest at 10 and 20 feet, but should have put new ones up for each distance, because I can't really tell which hits were at which distance.

What I learned:

I could aim and shoot. Any bad guys, however, had better stop and wait to give me plenty of time to get ready. The recoil wasn't as powerful as I thought, but a heck of a lot more kick than the .22. My ears are still ringing. I still smell and smell like gunpowder. And, unless I've got a bunch of loaded magazines at the ready, one set of bullets is all that's going to happen -- loading the magazines turned out to be the hardest part of the whole process. Again, thanks to Ray for his patience (and for helping out when I simply didn't have the coordination, finger strength, or whatever, to get a round bullet not to slip and slide all over the one already in the magazine). The revolver was easy to load, but it had a really hard trigger pull. Between my tiny hands and lack of finger/thumb strength, pulling back the hammer for double action was tough. Bad guys really have nothing to worry about.

At least I'll know what my character will feel if she's got to fire a gun.


Anonymous said...

Hey Terry, your site looks great!

How very cool that you got to fire the guns and learn. Here are some links that might help also. Though nothing takes the place of the first hand experience that you gained. If you've already got the links then sorry to take up space...

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Very cool! That's research I'm planning to do as well, so I like knowing what it might be like beforehand :)