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Amazing Skills and Inspiration

July 21, 2012

I’m amazed by the range of skills I see at the shooting range.  I struggle to hit a target the size of a quarter with a rifle from a rest at 25 yards.

Olympic pistol shooters do it at 50 meters.  Yes, I said over twice as far while they are using a handgun.  I appreciate their skill and dedication all the more because I don’t have it.  The great news is that many people have wonderful skills.

This morning I was working with someone on defensive pistol shooting.  She had a lightweight 38 revolver she’d never used.  I wasn’t eager for her to shoot it.  She was easily startled by the loud gunfire nearby even though we were outside.  We moved away a few paces, but I didn’t even try to show her a 9mm or larger handgun.  She started with a 22 pistol.  She shot onto brightly colored paper so she could clearly see the gun sights.  The target was about 6 yards away so she could see her success.  Time and again she placed her shots within a few inches of the center of the paper sheet.  Then she knocked down a few bowling pins and hit a swinging target.  Whether this was out of boredom or confidence, I can’t say.

I had her take rapid shots at a new paper target.  She raised the pistol and fired as quickly as she could while still hitting the target.

“This is hard.  There isn’t a dot to aim at.”

Real targets don’t come with dots.  “You’re doing great, ” I said, and she was.

She released each shot in seconds and kept her shots near the center of the target.  She was almost as accurate shooting quickly as she had been when she took her time.  She had excellent natural point of aim!

She dry practiced with the 38 revolver about a dozen times.  There was a lot for her to get used to, but she easily landed her shots on target when we loaded live rounds.  Sure, she needs more practice, but I’m amazed by her rapid progress.  Later she tried a larger 9mm pistol on her own.

There were some young people at the range with us.  Some of them became bored with shooting at targets and bowling pins.  They started to knock down the distant pins by aiming at the narrow heads.. with a handgun.  Sigh.  Kids.

They all inspire me.  I wonder how I could ever teach pistol shooting when I see so many new shooters who are more talented than I am.

Maybe I need a category for inspiration.


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