View Full Version : Just my range essay.

Jessica Wellman
October 2, 1999, 08:42 PM
I wanted to write about some of the things I've noticed and learned about shooters at the range. It will be boring for those experienced shooters, but hopefully it may reach some of the wives or new shooters who frequent on TFL.
In my frequent trips to an outdoor range, I've learned there are all different kinds of shooters. Some are very humorous at times! I go to the range mainly to practice target shooting with a .22 handgun or rifle. I go several days a week -- during the early afternoon and usually stay until dark. This time span gives me the opportunity to be introduced to a wide range of shooters and their firearms. In between rounds I will frequently sit back, relax, eat my lunch or a snack and watch the other shooters.

**You have the ones who show up at the range who know nothing about guns. And unfortunately, they have not brought a trainer with them. I'm usually behind a tree eating an apple while these people are shooting.

**You will also see employees of the city, such as police and government officials. These gentlemen are usually there brushing up on what they already know. Very seldom do they give anyone the time of day. Forget asking them questions. Many of them seem uninterested in helping.

**Then you have your competition shooters and hunters, which happens to be my favorite crowd. They are relaxed and really enjoy learning and honing their skills at target shooting. They walk up to the line, fire a shot, and will wait for what seems like hours before firing again. These guys are usually quiet, but only because they enter into a "bubble zone" where nothing but their gun, their sights, and the target are of any importance. Catch them between shots and they are the best teachers. The competition shooters all seem to be overly helpful and willing to share information. I like this group, because like myself, they find shooting to be a stress reliever. Like myself, they have a passion for shooting and the art that is involved.

Then you have Mr. Rambo Man… :D :D :D
Take the two I had the pleasure of meeting yesterday. As usual, men are impressed with women who can or want to shoot. They start breaking out the "big" guns and want me to try them out. Perhaps they think I need more than my .22 target pistol or they want to see if I can handle more than a .22. I'm not sure why they do it, but they let me shoot their guns. For whatever reasons, I take advantage of the learning experience.

Yesterday, while at bat with an AR-15 (I believe that is what I was shooting), these guys are hollering…"just shoot it!! Be a cowgirl!!"
I'm slowly lining my sights like I would while shooting at any target. Carefully taking my time….
One of them bellows, "Ahhh who cares, just fire 'em off…Let her rip!!!"

:D :D :D What a waste of good ammo. :D :D :D
This is an appropriate time for the phrase, "bigger does not always mean better."

I took the rambo guys to my end of the range for some pistol target practice. Just as I figured they couldn't group with my .22.
Oh well, they were a lot of fun. Crazy.. But fun.

That is just some of what I've been learning folks. (That, and hitting the 10 pointer.) I will continue practicing groups with my 'little' .22. Maybe I'll decide soon which home defense gun I'm going to buy. Hey!! Do you think Santa will mind dropping off a Browning 9mm? Or a Glock…or a 1911…or …or

Be safe and Happy Shooting.

[This message has been edited by LadydeeJ (edited October 02, 1999).]

Byron Quick
October 3, 1999, 09:32 AM

Guess I kinda fit between serious hunter and Mr. Rambo :)

But it's not just women I want to shoot the AR-15, HK-91, and Uzi. I want anyone who hasn't shot one of these to shoot. Doesn't hurt if they are female though.

One big difference though...I can group with the black guns and group fast. Rapid fire is fun and good practice if you have the fundamentals down.

Good luck with your choice of firearms! <sigh> so many guns so little time, so many people with misplaced priorities. I was actually forced to spend $500 on clothes the other day. When I think of the ammo I could have bought :(

Byron Quick

Jessica Wellman
October 3, 1999, 10:01 PM
Hi Spart...

I was scared of the AR-15 at first. I was afraid it would knock me on my butt. :)
On the contrary, it was very sweet.
I wish I could have spent more time learning to sight with it.
Perhaps I'll get another chance one day.


The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what it is one's destiny to do, and then do it.
HENRY FORD, "Success," Forum, October 1928

October 4, 1999, 02:41 AM
I'm the Mr. Rambo
I shoot just to relieve stress.

thats not to say I don't care about accuracy, but i haven't taken the time to totally zero the sights on my ar's

I want people to shoot the AR's cuz they bring me so much joy and I want to spread the joy.

It ain't mah fault. did I do dat?

October 4, 1999, 02:53 AM
me im a littel bit of both ill shoot some rapid fire to relive some stress but im also one who will sit at a bench for hours to get the perfet zero on one of my rifles just depends on how i feal


Long Path
October 8, 1999, 12:19 AM
Lady D-- most lady shooters I know love the AR-15's because they are so light-recoiling, and some are impressive in their accuracy potential (the rifles as well as the ladies, I mean...).

Which .22 are you training with? Sounds like you're getting (or rather, have gotten) pretty good... My trainer .22 is a standard Browning Buckmark.

Browning High-Power 9mm for Chrismas? Nah-- they make for some LAZY shooters-- they're too easy to hit with! :D

Given these last two paragraphs, I sound like quite a Browning man. Hmmmmm.... never thought of myself as such. I do love those two models, though.

Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?


George Hill
October 8, 1999, 02:39 AM
I dont know how I would classify myself -
For me its not about seeing how fast I can fire my ARs or pistols...
Nor is it about getting all my 50 yard shots into a group the size of a quarter...

For me, it is all about seeing how fast I can get all my shots into a group the size of a quarter.

When I can "let her rip" and all my shots cut a nice tight ragged hole - then I am having fun!

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

[This message has been edited by George Hill (edited October 08, 1999).]

Jessica Wellman
October 8, 1999, 09:33 AM
Me too George. It takes talent to get those rapid fire groupings. Don't get me wrong fellows. These "Rambo" guys were a lot of fun. My trainer would have freaked over their techniques, but I still had fun. :D

Hi Longpath,
I'm not doing bad at the range, not bad at all. I've been told I have potential especially rifle shooting. I'm using a Ruger .22/45. It's a real gem and very accurate.
As far as a rifle, I'm also using a .22 Ruger.

I've been told that once skills are learned with a .22 they can be easily transferred to larger guns. This theory has proven itself time and time again in my case. Yesterday, I shot a Glock 19. I had tried it before and did horrible. Since I've spent so much time training and learning how to sight, I wanted to shoot it again. I had excellent groups. I was shooting the Glock a little to the left but nonetheless, still in a group.
I was really on target with a Sig, Browning 9mm, and a .357. I wasn't so hot with a .44 Magnum.

The AR-15 had hardly any recoil. Nothing like I expected. I was not on target..NOT AT ALL..but I'm not sure the sights had even been set. Those guys were not doing any better with it than I was. I had trouble getting a sight picture. The sights were a little different on the AR-15. Perhaps I'll have another go at if the Rambos show up at the range again. :)

For now, I'll keep on plinking.
Be Safe guys and Happy shooting.


P.S. Yesterday with the .22 Ruger I was shooting 5 shot groups. I shot one, two, three, four..all in the exact same hole. I was getting excited. "Concentrate, Jess, just concentrate, you can do it." I made the fifth shot a good half inch from where it was supposed to hit. Don't that just BUST YOUR BUBBLE!!! :(

Mal H
October 8, 1999, 10:33 AM
What you do with the grouping you got is to throw out the one errant shot and call it a flyer. This is called the "Ayoob grouping system". ;) You're allowed to throw out 2 shots out of every 5 if they didn't go where you want them to. This method gives you better braggin' rights. (It's cheating, of course, but in a few days you'll get over it. :D)

George Hill
October 9, 1999, 02:08 AM
I was waiting for some one to bring it up.
When I am with a group... Teaching or what not - and I check targets - they get to claim "flyers."
But personally - when checking MY TARGETS... I dont let myself have a flyer. Cheating - like moving your ball in Golf...

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

Jessica Wellman
October 9, 1999, 10:19 AM
"Commit yourself to quality from day one ... it's better to do nothing at all than to do something badly." (Mark H. McCormack)

George I believe we fall in this category. But Mal sure is offering me an easy excuse!!

:( George the party pooper huh Mal? :D


Mal H
October 9, 1999, 02:53 PM
Party pooper? Not at all. George knew exactly what I was talking about. Some folks want to claim "flyers". But, in my book there ain't no such thing. That bullet hole got where it was because of a) the shooter, b) the ammo, c) the gun. All of those pieces make up a grouping. When they are all in fine tune, the groups are small. When one or more is out of tune, the groups can get pretty large. This is what makes it a lifetime sport, trying to get it all to come together.

The only legitimate flyer is the one where someone else at the range shot at your target. Of course, luck can play a large part in all of this. But it seems the more you practice, the luckier you get.

Good golfing joke:
Golfer with ball lying at the base of a tree says to his partner, "I'm lying 3 here. Do you mind if I improve my lie?"

Partner says, "Naw, go ahead."

First golfer, "Ok, I'm lying 2 here."

George Hill
October 12, 1999, 02:17 AM
A police officer in a tense dynamic situation - or a soldier fighting for his life on some far off battle field does not get the luxury of claiming a flyer.
You have to be sure of each and every bullet. Thats why in my book - flyers count. But I will not hold anyone else to that degree.

Even if no one else knows - I still know - and God still knows.

There are things that happen that may be out of your control - like an incorrectly seated or deformed bullet... a sudden distraction... Solar Flair... No matter - those have to be factored in before you take the shot. Chance is just that. Muphy (as in Murphy's Law) is alive and well.

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

Long Path
October 12, 1999, 11:32 PM
I will allow "called fliers" in long-range riflery. This is when, at the moment of the squeeze, the rifleman knows something went off to put the shot "high and a tad right." I check through the 'scope, and, sure enough, there's a flier hovering at 1 o'clock, out of the main group. Duly noted. Keep shooting. This is just to note what the shooter is capable of of, along with rifle and load. If all shots feel equal, and the shooter could not tell me without looking at the target where the shots would land, I just smirk at "fliers." With pistol shooting, I don't see the point. Either you were on, or you weren't.

Mal H
October 12, 1999, 11:48 PM
Long Path, I sort of agree with you on called flyers but only to the extent that it was caused by an outside agent that he had absolutely no control over. Otherwise, when you think about it, should they be allowed any more than one that is a surprise? Just because the shooter knows immediately that he or she made an errant shot, isn't it still an errant shot? What else caused the flyer? Was it an act of God? George's point about a policeman or a soldier with a flyer is a very good one. Can a sniper on the field of battle call to his intended target, "Please stand still, that buzz you just heard was a flyer! Here comes the next one, and thanks for your cooperation."

October 16, 1999, 03:05 AM
Flyers - First drop of rain that falls on me is Gods fault. Second drop is mine. If Rambo's want you to waste THEIR ammo (I do it all the time - loan out a weapon with ammo and tell them to let 'er rip) go ahead. They get almost as much pleasure out of it as you do. AR's are great one's aren't they? Can't wait until my wife can shoot mine. She told me last time we went out, after trying a Thompson and a Mac-10 suppressed, that she was tired and maybe next time. BTW, she really liked the Thompson, could control it better than the Mac-10.

October 20, 1999, 04:20 AM
Just call me a frequent flyer ;). A 22/45 huh? I thought you showed a lot of class by reading your posts. The 22/45 is one of, if not the most under-rated, guns on the market. I love mine. It is the single most shot gun I own. Even if center fire ammo was free, and I had to pay for .22 ammo, I would still shoot the 22/45 more than anything else. Take a close look at the Browning Hi-Power for a center fire/defence pistol. With a set of Spegle(sp) slim profile grips, the dimentions are exact to the 22/45. The standard factory grips on the HP are a bit chunkier, but with the slim profile grips, you will find that your hand fits the same way it does on the 22/45. I have one of the Browning silver nickel HP's, and the sights are aslo very,very, very close to the 22/45. Same apeture(sp) on the rear, and same hi post on the front. Hope Santa is good to you!

CCW for Ohio action site.

Jessica Wellman
October 20, 1999, 08:32 PM
Hi Hal,
It's funny you should mention the Browning. On one of my many trips to the range a gentleman watched me shooting for a great length of time. He finally approached me and we started talking. He had a Browning 9mm and asked me if I would like to shoot it. "Of course!!" I said.

I've been shooting a lot of guns but after shooting his Browning I stopped, took out paper and pen, and wrote down exactly what type of firearm I had just used. I was so impressed with the way it felt and how my groups looked that I was convinced this was the gun I wanted to carry for defense. I can usually pick up a handgun, no matter what it is, shoot 5 rounds and then tell you if it's right for me. I either have perfect groups all on target, or my bullets scatter from here to kingdom come. An example of that would be the Snub nosed .38 that a cop handed me Monday. Ahem…they all giggled while I shot this one, knowing I would be no way near the target. I never did find my bullet holes. :D

I decided when I had the money, I wanted a Browning 9mm, or a Glock 19. Monday, my Dad brought his new gun to the range. He had purchased a Ruger P95. I picked up the gun and my shots were excellent. I liked the gun as well as the Browning. What enticed me even more was the price. I guess I should post this over in the handgun section, but what are your opinions on the Ruger 9mm's?


October 20, 1999, 09:42 PM
Ruger makes a solid gun. They always seem to go bang, and are as accurate as just about any stock gun. You are right though about posting in the handgun forum, or even the general forum. FWIW, I own 4 Rugers, the 22/45, a Mark II and 2 Blackhawks. I gave one of the Blackhawks(my first .357 Mag) to my son last year for his birthday. I have been satisfied with their performance. I do prefer a single action auto, ssuch as the Browning or the 1911 over a double action, but that is more personal preference. The Ruger P-series and the 22/45 share the same style grip, so the 22/45 can help your shooting with the 9mm Ruger. If this is to be a CCW, the Rugers are a bit bulky, but they are dump-truck-tough, and reliable. I would not feel undergunned at all with one.

CCW for Ohio action site.

4V50 Gary
October 22, 1999, 12:20 AM
Nice observations about the shooting crowd.

While I fall into the police category, I'm generally open to discussion (so long as I don't think the person is a dirtbag) and have given free assistance (either coaching, suggestions, and even armorers' work) - just like here at The Firing Line. Shooting is a sport we should all share and enjoy together.

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt

Jessica Wellman
October 22, 1999, 09:28 AM
I said "many" not "all" cops Gary. I'm glad you are able to help those that need it. One group of cops that visit the range quite frequently is a prime example of what I'm talking about. The younger cops in the group turn their nose up to everybody. The cops that have spent 20+ years on the force are always willing to offer assistance. If I'm ever able to wear a badge, I hope that I do not adopt that "air" of cockiness that some of them wear so pleasantly. I know they have to be tough, so don't flame me. I'm not anti-cop, I'm [email protected]@hole. :)

The more I'm learning about firearms the more I'm becoming interested in instruction. I've always been good at helping others, I might as well get paid doing something I enjoy. I've been checking into NRA courses and certifications. I was disappointed to find there are no courses offered in Indiana. Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan seem to be the closest to me.

4V50 Gary
October 22, 1999, 09:54 PM
LadyDeeJ: Go for the NRA certification. I've never used mine to personally profit from it, but you learn a lot, meet lotsa neet people, and have lotsa fun. Form a business and write it off as an expense and make your hobby tax deductible.

If I were in your area, I would prefer Ohio. Not to slam the other states, but Ohio has lotsa blackpowder activity and the NMLRA is based out of there. Never got to Friendship and maybe one of these days, I'll go to the big shooting match there. As a sidenote, they know I'm not a local since I pronounce Medina as May-deen-nah as opposed to their ma-dine-nah.

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt