I have finally graduated from water guns, pellet guns, and video game guns. It’s time to take things a notch higher and finally try target shooting!
My family and I visited the Stronghand Shooting Range in Manila, Philippines and we were well-accommodated by Peachy, one of the licensed shooting trainers, who lectured and guided us all throughout our shooting experience. I liked the look of the place. It was very clean and it was air-conditioned.
During our training in a conference room across the shooting range, Peachy mentioned some important points that everyone with a gun should remember.
There is a misconception that guns are bad but the reality is, it really depends on who is behind the gun. After all, the gun does not do the thinking, right? A gun holder should be educated (in terms of character and mindset), safe (one who takes others into consideration), and responsible (he should be accountable for any consequences after the gun has been fired).
THE FOUR RULES OF GUN SAFETY:
1. Consider all firearms always loaded
2. Don’t point at anything you don’t intend to shoot
3. Keep your trigger finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot
4. Be sure of your target– what is behind it, around it, and between you.
Peachy further explained to us MARKSMANSHIP being the art or skill of hitting your target where you intend it to be. This term also goes by the phrase “Calling the Shots.” The factors affecting Marksmanship are your stance posture, point of aim, grip, sight alignment, sight picturing, and breathing control. The trainer will demonstrate and teach you the proper way of holding the gun and shooting it. Training is VERY important before you try shooting–I cannot stress that enough.
We were given our own shooting sets–eyewear, ear protection, gun, and 20 bullets. The headset was quite uncomfortable but it’s good that we could still hear Peachy talk with it on hence he was still able to guide us and train us well even (and most especially) inside the shooting range.
We were briefed about the scoring system of the target and how to properly aim at the red dot. Peachy told us to practice shooting without the bullets first so that we could get the hang of it and be comfortable. On my first try, I already hurt myself when I pulled back the slide–my skin got caught in it. Ouch.
After a few minutes of practicing, it was time to load the bullets and shoot. I’m not going to lie, it was a bit scary to actually hold a gun and to shoot especially that I haven’t slept at all that time so I wasn’t sure how I was going to fair in that experience and I was hoping I wouldn’t screw up and hurt myself more. I didn’t, thankfully.
On my first set at 5 meters, I missed the red dot (bull’s eye) but all of my shots were within the inner most ring which I thought was good enough for my first try. Peachy told me that I’m cross-dominant meaning, my dominant hand is my right and my dominant eye is my left so I had to position myself in a way that my left eye and right hand should align. On my second set at 10 meters, I still missed the red dot and only got 8 out of 10 shots inside the target and 3 of the shots went inside the same holes I shot on my first try–I might not have hit the bull’s eye but I have been consistent in my target at least!
Okay, so I wasn’t the best at it but for someone who had zero sleep, I’d say I did fairly well. I’m definitely going back to give it another shot soon and I won’t stop until I hit that red dot!
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