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Old August 8, 1999, 11:10 PM   #1
Jessica Wellman
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Join Date: July 28, 1999
Location: Corydon, Indiana
Posts: 423
I had the most heart racing, adrenaline pumping experience of my life today. I shot my first set of firearms. I knew in my heart this was something I wanted to do and it surpassed all that I had imagined. What surprised me the most and also the group of guys that hovered, was my ability to shoot as well as I did. I was proud of myself today. I was finally doing something I had only dreamed of in the past.

My brother in law is the one teaching me to shoot. He didn't realize just how serious I was about firearms until I showed up at his doorstep with my notebook in hand ready to take notes. I had so many questions and was very eager to actually see the guns I had been reading about. He asked me, "what would you like to shoot?" I replied, "whatever you got." The grin on my face was all it took. He disappeared into a different part of the house returning with lesson #1.

While I'm glad we finally got the rain we needed, it just HAD to come on the day I decided to take my first shooting lessons. I had never seen so much rain! This was actually a blessing in disguise because this gave me a chance to find out just how many firearms my brother-in-law had. As long as it rained, he kept dragging out more...
Lesson #2, Lesson #3…

We discussed each gun in detail. I asked about the capability of each gun and their ages. I learned about the different distances and situations where each firearm was recommended. We talked about different ammunition and the actual anatomy of the guns and ammo.

As I'm sure you have guessed, I've never held a gun in my life. The only information I had on firearms, up until today, was what I've read in books. Luckily, I had an informative instructor who was willing to answer each question. I've always been comfortable with my brother-in-law and after today, I'm glad that I have that comfort with him. Some of my questions may have been silly and simple to him, but he treated each question as if it were of the utmost importance. While it rained, we examined every firearm he had and I took four pages of notes. I must tell you, my blood was pumping before I was ever able to fire my first shots. After three hours of discussion, I was really getting aggravated at the rain!

I got to his house at 9:30am and it was 1:00 before we finally got to shoot. By this time, I'm really getting nervous. I asked, "what exactly are we going to shoot at?"
I didn't see him grab any target sheets. "Well, he said, "I'm out of targets so how about an oil can." I'm thinking to myself, an oil can?

Hum…OK then, an oil can it will be. There wasn't much left of the oil can when I got through with it. I returned to the house and grabbed some paper plates. I drew 4 inch diameter circles in the middle of each one and back out to the field I traveled. By this time we were beginning to attract the neighbors. Each one that came was packing and ready to play along. Just what I needed, A CROWD. As if I weren't nervous enough, let's add an audience to my first day out! Luckily, it didn't take but a few rounds to realize this is where I wanted to be. The nervousness left and I was having a blast.

While shooting "my gun of choice" the guys were calling it, I could hear them snickering behind me. One said, "Oh Geeze man, she hasn't missed that plate yet." I just grinned and kept firing away. One of the guys left and came back with a proper target for me. "Let's see what you can do with this one," he said. I couldn't believe it really. I think they were having a hard time believing it too. I didn't miss a shot with this particular rifle I was using. I've got my mind set now, I have to have one just like it.

I had back surgery this past April and I am really feeling the effects of one of the shotguns I fired. I have bruises on my right shoulder from one, and bruises on my hip (12 Gauge Pump Shotgun that I had to hold at hip level. He replaced the butt of the gun with a pistol grip….Big ole bruise on the hip from that thing). I must say, I would take ten times the amount of bruises all over again. I can't wait to have another go at it.

Excuse me if any of my notes are wrong, but here's a list of what I shot today.

9mm Makarov Compact Frame Semi Automatic
9mm Ruger P89 Semi Automatic
Russian SKS Rifle (This one was heavy for me and hard to control. I didn't do so well with it.)
M1 Grand (Garand Dennis?? OOOPs)
12 Gauge Pump Shotgun (Didn't like this one at all. It left bruises on my hip)
1911 Colt .45 APC (This was a gem, I really, really liked this gun)
.44 Magnum Ruger Super Hawk with a 7.5" barrel (I was Shooting hand loaded ammunition with this thing.) This bad boy made me feel like Mrs. Clint Eastwood. I was scared of it at first, but all fear was gone when I seen how well it could be controlled.
And last but not least….

M1 Carbine Semi Automatic Rifle (the weapon of choice for me, the guys were saying anyway) It was lightweight and I really enjoyed shooting it. I had excellent control and hope to improve my target shooting with one like it.

I dragged myself back to the house at 7pm. I was hungry, tired, hurting and had used a bunch of their ammo. With promise of my purchasing the next rounds, I'm sure they will practice with me again soon.

Whew! I'm off to bed now. I'm going to use Ibuprofen as my nightcap. Hopefully it will take away the ache from all the new muscles I found. Good night all.

[This message has been edited by LadydeeJ (edited August 09, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by LadydeeJ (edited August 09, 1999).]
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Old August 8, 1999, 11:19 PM   #2
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We got another one!

A very sincere congratulations to you, LadydeeJ! You have arrived!

It sounds like you have a fine support group to sheperd you along the path of gun ownership. Don't stop!

And of course, you love your 12 gauge bruises, don't you? I love mine, each and every time!


[This message has been edited by boing (edited August 09, 1999).]
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Old August 8, 1999, 11:28 PM   #3
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Way cool and kudos!

Don't be afraid of the 12 gauge, 870 is one of my favs. I haven't been bruised since I was a little girl...just takes some practice. Lemme tell ya...rapid fire on a pump is a stone blast.
Isn't that sound when racking it just too cool?

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"

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Old August 8, 1999, 11:34 PM   #4
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Holy Toledo, LadydeeJ!!

M-1 Garand! 12 Ga pump! .44 Magnum!

You sure didn't start off slow!!! Hooray for YOU!! I'm impressed!!

If it's any consolation to you, darned shotguns bruise ME too! And after a day of shooting like YOU had (I'm really envious, by the way) you've earned your Ibuprofen or whatever you choose!

Wow. That's just super! I sat here cheering for you so loudly that my wife (in the other room) asked what was going on. Believe you me, I read your thread loud and clear!

Congratulations, LadydeeJ. Sounds like you surprised and shocked your friends with natural ability and minimal coaching. I'm betting you'll be shooting pretty often.
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Old August 8, 1999, 11:56 PM   #5
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I feel I should point out that shooting a 12 ga. without a shoulder stock is, well, above and beyond the call of duty. OK, what I really mean is, it's stupid. Shotguns are shoulder-fired weapons....
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Old August 9, 1999, 12:08 AM   #6
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Congratulations LadyDeeJ! It's always great to have another female gun-freak on TFL!

The first time I shot a 12-gauge, I also got bruises on my shoulder and hip. I called them hickies. It truly is a thrill to hear the "wchak" of pumpin' that action!

I envy you on all you got to shoot today, it's been a long time since I last shot, and I am just about to die to go! My hubby and I are plannin to go in a couple o' weeks though, when we can afford all the ammo. We've got 2 new guns we're itchin to shoot: Mine's a 1911 and his is a SIG P245. WOO HOO!


"...What will you do without freedom? Will you fight?... Fight, and you may die, run and you'll live, at least a while. And dying, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that, for just one chance, to tell our enemies, that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our FREEDOM!!!"
je suis prest

[This message has been edited by Darthmaum (edited August 09, 1999).]
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Old August 9, 1999, 12:56 AM   #7
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Ewok, I agree, but it's the stupid things that can be the most fun!

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Old August 9, 1999, 01:53 AM   #8
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Oh, well, yes; fun is as fun does! Shooting a full mag through an SMG is fun, even if it has no useful purpose! On the other hand, there are reduced power shotgun cartridges that make practice much more endurable. I have a bunch of them, which I will be bringing to the <BLINK>Western States TFL Round Up</BLINK>

[This message has been edited by Ewok (edited August 09, 1999).]
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Old August 9, 1999, 02:51 AM   #9
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Sounds like it would have made a good photo-op'.

Maybe next time?

SameShot, Different day
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Old August 9, 1999, 03:02 AM   #10
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
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Welcome to The Firing Line and to the Shooting Fraternity. Always happy to have more women join our ranks. Shooting is a sport where concentration prevails over size. This makes it ideal for folks of all ages, size, gender, physical ability. wonder I'm shooting .22 nows.

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt

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Old August 9, 1999, 03:07 AM   #11
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Sounds like you had a lot of fun. That's what it's all about.

Wish I had the chance to shoot some of those guns you shot.You have a couple on that list that I've been wanting to eventually add to my collection.

Welcome to the club. Congratulations on the new hobby, and be prepared to spend some money. (Thank goodness for Overtime! )
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Old August 9, 1999, 05:09 AM   #12
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Naw, you need #9. There is a secret ingrediant in Hoppe's #9 that removes all discomfort.

Want to feel your age?Check it out.
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Old August 9, 1999, 05:55 AM   #13
Jim V
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WOWIEEE, Ladydee], good show and shooting. Boy's (and ladies) we have a keeper here. LOL

Ne Conjuge Nobiscum
"If there be treachery, let there be jehad!"

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Old August 9, 1999, 08:15 AM   #14
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congratulations,,,,,,it sounds like a great day to me......wish mine were so good...and yep that 1911 is one fine pistol,,,,,and the m1 carbine is a handy dandy little rifle...I would avoid the pistol grip on that shotgun for next time, although who knows you might start to like, to the fraternity.,....fubsy.
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Old August 9, 1999, 08:45 AM   #15
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Congrats on the new found Hobby/Obsession !
Remember you can stop (buyin' guns) anytime you want to - Not
For a less thumpin' shottie, try a .410 guage
Not as brutal but makes nice holes.
You also have ta get a 1911 for prosterity!
And a ___ and a ___ and a

"The Gun from Down Under !"

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Old August 9, 1999, 09:13 AM   #16
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About all I can say is, KUDOS to you!


"The middle of the road between the extremes of good and evil, is evil. When freedom is at stake, your silence is not golden, it's yellow..."

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Old August 9, 1999, 09:24 AM   #17
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It's always a pleasure to see a woman discover that it is right and proper for her to be armed. You have entered into a new phase of life...a life that is so free from the fears that afflict the helpless sheeple of society, that in time you will wonder that you could endure it as long as you did. A woman armed is the physical equal of anyone. The old maxim: "Be not afraid of any man, no matter what his size, when danger threatens, call on me, and I will Equalize", is truer than ever for the woman of this age. Congratulations!

An armed man is a citizen; an unarmed man is a subject; a disarmed man is a slave.
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Old August 9, 1999, 10:04 AM   #18
Mike Spight
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LadydeeJ: Outstanding! Keep it up and welcome to the wonderful world of bullet launchers.

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Old August 9, 1999, 11:39 AM   #19
Jessica Wellman
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Location: Corydon, Indiana
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Boing and Dennis you are too funny.

Thanks everyone for your support. I think it was 3am before I finally dozed off. I couldn't stop thinking. I was too excited to sleep. I always thought driving my Trans Am fast was exciting….ha!

Ewok you are right about the shotgun. I don't think I'll be firing it again anytime soon. There was really not much strategy, that I noticed. Aim it down low and blow stuff away. (In the process leave a bruise on your hip). I enjoyed the Carbine and the .45 much better. It wasn't my instructor's fault that I shot the gun. I went there with the attitude, "if it takes a bullet, I want to fire it." He warned me that it was going to kick, but I insisted. It is my fault that I now have a mark to show for it. Would I do it again? OH HELL YES ….

Darthmaum, it is nice to have a fellow woman shooter on TFL. You know how it can be living in a "man's world." No matter how much they insist that it's ok for us to shoot, sometimes they can be reluctant to show us. I'm finding that out with my inquiries into Law Enforcement. Rob told me, "no one will take you serious until you get out there and do it."
Ok Rob, I'm doing it.

A photo shoot Same Shot? That would have been a sight and a half. I mentioned above that it rained. What I didn't mention was the MUD. My shoes were getting so heavy I could barely lift them. It was a funny sight. In addition to that, it started to rain again while we were out. I was soaked from head to toe and had mud everywhere. If someone had taken my photo, I would have shot them.

Someone mentioned the expense of shooting. Isn't that the truth? $650 for a scope on a Savage 110 FP Sniper. Geeeze! Not to mention the cost of the ammo and that 1911 Colt I'd like to have. I'm going to start saving more pennies. My problem is deciding what I want. I want to shoot them all again before I decide. There wasn't much doubt in anyone's mind yesterday, I need the Carmine or something very close to it. Deciding on a side arm is my biggest decision. The guys held up the 9mm and the Colt and were saying, "Volkswagen or Cadillac? Volkswagen or Cadillac?

I just want one that will be accurate for me. It doesn't really matter how much a gun costs, if you can't shoot it with accuracy. True? Decisions…decisions. I found out there was an indoor range 10 minutes from me. I was under the impression that there was only one around which was quite a drive. I was so excited to find out this newest bit of information. I can't wait to go.

My brother-in-law saved my paper plate from the Carbine. He told me to take it to my husband and show him. Stupid me, I went off and left it behind!! He called me after I returned home to inform me that I had left my Carbine paper plate target.

When he called he asked for Calamity Jane. LOL LOL
Calamity Jane, I am not, but I had a blast guys and that's no lie.

Still on Cloud nine,
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Old August 9, 1999, 11:39 AM   #20
Miss Demeanors
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Way to go lady d! I give you ALOT of credit for doing that! I am like you too, I have never even held a gun before. The only experiences I had were bad ones so I was a total anti! Now Im not. I also asked my BIL to take me. He said yes but asked permission from my husband and it was vetoed (because there are 'guys' there, just so evil) BUT I am going anyways with someone from TFL soon.(shh) I only hope to have as good luck as you! I have a fear so I dont think I'll be shooting any shotguns just yet . I just really want to try it. So I will think of you when I am out there and pray that I hit something Im supposed to! Congrats again!
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Old August 9, 1999, 12:48 PM   #21
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I can't add much to what has already been said. I'm thrilled for you and delighted that you had such a great attitude and (therfore) such a positive experience.

Aren't shooters a wonderfully supportive group, as evidenced by the responses you got here? It's only when one get experienced that other shooters get disagreeable and testy. How sad that is! We have a common delight and we have common goals. Attacks on one another based on choice of gun, caliber, metal or "polymer," etc. are pathetic. (Okay, stopping preaching and passing the collection plate now!).

My sincere congratulations to you, LDJ, for your attuitude and enthusiastic embrace of the sport. You're to be congratulated in your choice of a brother-in-law, also. Be sure to take a friend along as soon as you're confident in yourself at the range. We need more like you.
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Old August 9, 1999, 04:06 PM   #22
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Good for you, I am so glad that not everyone belives the biased media. For some one who has never fired a gun in their life it sure sounds like you did great.

Happy shooting!

"Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"
- Patrick Henry

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Old August 9, 1999, 09:23 PM   #23
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Congrats LadydeeJ,
I gotta give you credit, when you went for it you jumped in with both feet! Wish I coulda seen it. Next time take some pictures.

Not only do we have a new shooter, but sounds like we got us another 1911 fan as well.
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Old August 9, 1999, 10:29 PM   #24
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What you said about guys (TFL guys not included ) not wanting to show a woman how to shoot is so true! I couldn't find anyone, until my husband came along, to take the time to teach me to shoot. Most guys I'd known before thought that women had no place owning a gun. They used to joke about how funny it'd be to see me shoot a 12 gauge and fall down on my butt. WEEL, I have conquered, and tore up quite a few cardboard boxes w/o falling down!

One word about a 1911, don't get a Colt (no flames guys). There are other co's that make better ones such as Kimber, Springfield Armory, Para Ordnance. I myself have a 1911 made by Springfield Armory. It's an Ultra-Compact that will fit in the diaper bag (lol) or up against my side, when I get my Concealed Carry License. It's a mean little gun!

Another great .45 is the SIG Sauer P245. Anything made by SIG is great. I've got a P228 (9mm) and I love it. Let us know what you decide to get!


"...What will you do without freedom? Will you fight?... Fight, and you may die, run and you'll live, at least a while. And dying, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that, for just one chance, to tell our enemies, that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our FREEDOM!!!"
je suis prest

[This message has been edited by Darthmaum (edited August 09, 1999).]
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Old August 9, 1999, 10:47 PM   #25
Long Path
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Lady DJ:
Too very cool! If L.E. is your bag, you're going to need to get better acquainted with that shotgun, though. Suggest using moving targets, light trap loads for practice, some more distance, and getting rid of the pistol grip stock.

Your first lesson, is one of safety. You last is, of course, safety. I hope your brother underscored that one throughout.

I'm going to bore everyone with the Four Rules again:

1)All guns are always loaded.
2)Never point your firearm at anything you're not willing to destroy.
3)Always be certain of your target, and its backstop; know exactly where your bullet will end up!
4)Never put your finger in the trigger guard until the moment you are ready to shoot.

Finally, the ultimate safety is between your ears!

Have fun!
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