There is always a first time for everything – and I recently had the opportunity to go target shooting at a local indoor gun range in North Highlands.
I did not know what to expect but I was willing to give it a try when my daughter relayed the invitation. Knowing that one of the people I was with was an experienced firearm instructor – and that he was going to be watching me with an eagle eye – gave me the confidence I needed.
I did not know what one wears to a gun range – but I thought I could not go wrong with jeans, a tee-shirt, and sneakers. I was advised prior to heading out to the range that I should wear a top that came close to my neck – so I changed. Apparently spent (hot) casings have been known to find their way inside tops with more open necklines. I am quite sure I would not want that to happen to me while I had a gun in my hand.
The range opened at 9:00 a.m. and we arrived right around that time. There was already a line of people standing outside waiting for the door to be opened. This was on a Saturday morning.
Each group took a number and waited to get checked in. There were three rooms separated by a door-less opening with five booths in each.
I had received some rudimentary training in advance on the ”do’s” and especially the “don’ts” involved. At the range I learned additional protocols such as not opening the door to the range from the lobby area until you were sure that the interior door opening directly to the range was closed.
Eye and ear protection is of course mandatory. It was not until one of our party broke out the rifle that I understood just how loud (even with ear protection in place) it could get. Standing towards the back of the room I could feel the air pressure recoiling backward from the rifle blast.
I was glad that we went to the range first thing in the morning. I imagine that late in the day the A/C might have a hard time filtering the smell and smoke from continuous firearm discharges. My daughter told me our clothes would “smell” afterwards – and they did.
Our party had an assortment of guns and I opted to use the smallest – the 22 caliber. I had always been pretty good when it came to games like darts and shuffle-board so I thought that I might be a decent shot.
I took three practice shots and then decided to observe for a while. Having progressive lens glasses makes it a bit more difficult when you are trying to use the scope.
After observing for a while I decided I was ready to fire a series of shots. I was pleased with the result given that I was a first timer – so pleased in fact that I took a picture of the target.
My daughter did very well – she had a good and tight pattern. She must take after me.
I am open to going target shooting again – and would like to try an outdoor range. Next time I may try the 38 caliber.
Any suggestions for outdoor ranges in the Sacramento area? What is your favorite gun range?
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