Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gstdog on the Range

Nothing demands politeness and courtesy like a room full of guns. My friend John took me to the gun range last week, and we had some fun with a 9mm handgun and a .22 rifle. What struck me as fascinating was how incredible polite, courteous, and down right *slow* everyone acts--the store owners, customers, everybody. Nobody makes any fast movements, everybody thinks 2-3 seconds before they say anything. A guy brought in a gun he had bought at a gun show. The owner let him know that the sighting on it wasn't worth much and he was probably ripped off. The customer just paused, collected his thoughts, and then shrugged his shoulders and said "Oh....well, can you help me pick out a new one?" Any other situation, and this guy would have probably at least been pissed enough to grimace.

Anyway, enough about gun store culture and more about the guns. First up was the Jericho, a 9mm handgun produced by the Israeli Military Industries. Let me say-wow! I fired my fair share of air guns and paintball guns in the past, but nothing prepares your for the kick of a real weapon like that. Of course, John laughingly explained that the recoil on the Jericho was light and I was a pussy just for saying something about it. A 9mm handgun is pretty small compared to a .45 caliber gun, but I'll save that for another day. My first several shots were missing to the right, which meant I wasn't squeezing the trigger smoothly. I loaded in another clip, made a few adjustments, and fired. Much better the second time. I'm not going to win any sharpshooting contests, but I can definitely hit a man in the chest at 10-20 feet (which from what I understand, is all you really need to be able to do since that's the range of any defensive gun fire in your own home).

Second up was a .22 rifle. Now that was fun. This brought me back to the days of sharpshooting in Counter Strike or Grand Theft Auto. There was zero recoil, and with the scope, I could easily put a cluster of shots in a tight range at 50 feet. I'd love to try my hand at 200 feet, but I'll have to find an outdoor range for that one. Anyway, loading the rifle is incredibly easy. The bullets just slide in the side of the rifle, and the you can fire off ten shots. Everytime I squared up to fire, a smile crept onto my face--it's just too damn fun to shoot.

This is the exact opposite feeling I had with the 9mm handgun. Everytime I picked it up, I could just feel the "death" coming off it. Now that probably sounds extreme, but I was nervous every time I fired. Heart rate up, triple checking everything, and then complete focus and no fooling around.

Of course this got me intrigued about stopping power. What's the right gun to own when it comes to defending your home? Check out this article written by the FBI on the mechanics of handgun wounding. Apparently, shooting the head is the only way to take a man down, regardless of the caliber of the gun. Something about reading a phrase like "the human target can be reliably incapacitated only by disrupting or destroying the brain." Uhh....Shaun of the Dead anyone?

So what does all this mean? For starters, I feel a hell of a lot more comfortable around guns. I can quickly check a gun to see if it's loaded and remove the magazine and any spare rounds. As far as owning a gun, the jury is still out. With kids in the house, a handgun seems so dangerous--they're designed to go off with just the slightly tensing of a finger, and that's a recipe for disaster. Maybe one day, after I get some more training on gun safety. In the mean time, gstdog will be reading up on Smith and Wesson's Tips for Firing so he can shoot the radio out of the terrorist's hand before he has a chance to call for back-up (...nothing like aiming for the hand and hitting his leg--yeah, like I said, I got better).

1 comment:

Gstdog said...

FYI, gstdog is wearing a bright yellow shirt so John does not mistake him for a terrorist.