Monday, February 18th, 2010, my boyfriend GB took me to the gun range for the first time. I had planned to do the vacuuming, the laundry and then to head out to partake of my favorite hobby: shopping, but a little bird put the words “gun range” into GB’s brain and once he got started, there was no stopping him!
I had a terrible time deciding what to wear! Typical woman problem, I know.
We packed up the car, in the process almost giving GB’s dog GP a heart attack. The poor dear thought GB was moving away! GB tried to get the .22 case in the trunk of my car, but couldn’t, so he laid it diagonally across the back seat. I employed my packing expertise and GB’s assistance and managed to get the .22s in the trunk by laying down the backseat first, positioning them and then putting the backseat back up.
Once we were packed and GP’s anxieties were sufficiently plied with treats, we began our travels, first stopping off at my favorite restaurant, In-N-Out Burger, for some grub. GB warned me to eat up because I’d be super-hungry after shooting.
When we were finished munching, we began the drive out to the Washoe County range, but when we got there, we were met with a sign that said the range was closed to all shooters unless they were with law enforcement. We turned around and went back to town.
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I suggested we stop in at my mom’s work because her boyfriend and coworker shoots as does her boss. I figured they could tell us where we could go. Mom and another coworker told us that her boyfriend and coworker and boss shoot at Clay Hill Sports, but they only do trap shooting, so that was a no go. The other coworker also recommended a little place out Mount Rose Highway where people often go to shoot, but it was lightly raining here in town and up there it was snowing. I didn’t want to go out in the snow to shoot and GB got a big snippy with me because he thought I didn’t want to shoot at all, but I did.
We decided to go to the brand new range here in town called Safe Shot Lead-free Indoor Range. GB was reluctant to go because they require shooters to purchase their lead-free ammo and it is expensive! Their range time fee was also double the fee at the Washoe County range. But he was desperate enough to pay those extra costs and off we went to the indoor range.
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It was very easy to find. The building was huge and had a lovely paint job: two different firearms painted on the side of and a sight painted on the center of the largsafe e, clear lettering of their name. Parking was sufficient.When we walked in, it was clear the rage was brand new. The walls inside weren’t yet finished, and the stairs to the second floor were bare plywood, not yet carpeted. When we walked in, we were greeted by one gentlemen standing on the unfinished stairs and by a woman manning the counter. We filled out our waiver forms, showed our ID, checked our bag, racked up our account with our range fees ($15 first shooter, $10 second shooter), their lead-free ammo (30 rounds for $20) and their targets ($2 each). Their target selection was limited, about 6 to choose from and one was sold out, but they were exciting! I imagined the plain concentric circle target as my target, but I ended up with something much more interesting: a Nazi zombie. The other choices included Osama bin Laden, a girl zombie and a left handed shooter trouble-shooting target.
After getting us in the computer, the woman placed our handgun in a plastic tub with a zip lock back of 30 rounds of lead-free ammo and lead us to a double doored room which lead to the indoor range. There were 10 lanes, 40 feet long and 3 or so feet wide. She put our plastic tub down on the lane counter had us read their 10 Commandments of Gun Safety which were posted on the side of the lane. She talked about safety as a first-time shooter and told some stories of a first-time female shooter who had come in earlier and who had to be told not to turn around and to always keep her finger off of the trigger. She hung up our target and showed us how to manipulate the controls and the lights. After a little encouragement, she left us alone in the range. None of the other lanes were occupied.
GB and I put on our eyes and ears and GB moved the target out to five feet. He loaded the Hi Point 9mm with one round which he shot to show me how loud it was going to be, then he turned the lane over to me. I fired one shot and put the gun back down on the counter. GB showed me how to eject the magazine and from then on when we switched I ejected the magazine and placed it on the counter with the gun. GB moved the target a bit further out; it was just shy of the 10 feet mark.
We alternated back and forth one shot each, then two. I asked GB what I should try to shoot next, and he suggested a cross on my Nazi zombie target’s uniform. I sunk both shots into the center of the cross. The range lady, who had seen my shooting from her counter on the other side of the glass window into the lanes, knocked on the window and cheered for me through the glass. For the last bit of ammo, I loaded the entire magazine and emptied it. Just before I shot the last two cartridges, the woman came back and offered us more ammo and told me I was doing well. GB agreed and told the woman I shot better than he did. He says I am a scary good shot. I hit what I aimed for and I had a lot of fun.
After we were finished, we returned our plastic tub to the range lady and checked out. The total was nearly $50! Yikes! The woman showed me several different types of ears that they had for sale because she noticed that although my ears kept my ears covered, the headband part liked to slide down towards my forehead and back to sit on my pony tail. She didn’t seem anxious to up-sell me and continually focused on ones I could afford. She even showed me pink ones!! We went upstairs to check out their guns and gear. GB said that their prices on guns were pretty good. They had half of a dozen pink guns and 2-3 clothing racks for female shooters. Between the pink guns, ears, clothes and a female employee, I felt the range was very welcoming to female shooters in general, but definitely to me as a first time lady shooter.
I didn’t have the really hungry and tired sensations after shooting that GB had warned me about. I felt ready for some shopping! haha. We went and I was all ready to buy me a little first time shooting reward, but I didn’t find anything at the stores that I wanted. Darn.
GB says he’s noticed that I am more comfortable handling the firearms we have at home now that I have gone to the range, but I don’t feel any different. I’ve noticed that he treats me a lot differently now though! He had shared with me his experiences as a CHL holder who interacted with police officers and how much kinder the officers were to him since he began concealed carrying. I feel like I am experiencing a similar phenomenon: my boyfriend is kinder to me, helps around the house more and is more affectionate to me now that I’ve gone shooting with him. LOL. Shooting itself is fun, but the GB rewards are a great bonus– hehe. I hope we will go again soon.