Pam and I went out to Roush Shooting Range yesterday afternoon after church (Sunday, Jan. 20) with Paul and Sarah Neher, friends from church. It was bitterly cold. When Pam and I arrived, nobody else was there, and the office door was locked. I tracked down the rangemaster in a separate building, where he was working on something (I think target stands).
“Is the range open today?” I asked.
“If you’re crazy enough to shoot,” he replied.
We were crazy enough. “You’re really hardcore,” he told us.
Pam and I practiced with our handguns for a while, and then Paul and Sarah arrived. Paul brought two shotguns–12 gauge, and 20 gauge. We went out to the trap-shooting area, where Paul introduced us to trap shooting. Neither of us had ever fired a shotgun before. And we had certainly never tried to shoot a plastic plate flying through the air.
So Paul taught us how to load and prepare his 12 gauge, how to stand, how to step on a foot pedal to launch the trap. And we got started.
I promptly wasted several traps (if that’s what they are called) by failing to remove my foot from the pedal. One would fly out, I would fire, and then another one would suddenly launch unexpectedly. I would fire again…but nothing would happen, because I hadn’t ejected the previous shell. Another time I launched a trap without having ejected the shell, treating the gun like a a semi-auto.
But I got the hang of it. We would each take three shots, then hand the gun off to the next person. About 15 shots apiece. I think I hit one out of three every round except once, and one time I got two out of three.
After that, we moved to the regular range, where Paul let me shoot his 12 gauge with slugs. (By then, a couple other crazy person had come to brave the cold). Ummm, there’s just a little bit of a kick to a shotgun slug, I discovered. I took five shots at 50 yards, using the gun’s built-in sites (no scope). I managed to put three on the target, which both surprised and pleased me. And they made some mighty big holes.
Pam decided she didn’t care to try shooting slugs. Probably for the best.
Anyway, it was great fun. Thank you, Paul Neher, for the new experience.