HER FIRST TIME
So at some point, we all start out as virgin shooters... You might be more comfortable if I call the young lady at the range with her boyfriend for the first time, a newbie. Call her what you'll, the emotions raging in her mind the first time she steps up to the firing line may not be too different than that other all important first time.
Her - Wanting to please her boyfriend, fearful, worried about being embarrassed, feeling excited but vulnerable, unsure about technique, procedure and hitting the target. She is hoping it will be fun, and she'll be able to share her boyfriend's enthusiasm for it all.
Him - experienced, confident, with a bit of swagger maybe, wanting to brag and show off his girlfriend and let everyone know that he is the teacher. He takes her by the hand and leads her. He will show her how it is done; after all he is a hunter.
It is a nice Saturday afternoon as they drive up to the range. He opens the door for her. Aw, such a gentleman. They are greeted by a friendly range officer. She signs a range disclaimer and her date pays the range fee. So far so good, she thinks to herself.
The man behind the counter gives her two targets. They have red diamonds on them. I can do diamonds, she thinks to herself, as her mind wanders. She studies the target and wonders if she'll even be able to hit the thing, then fantasizes for a moment that all of her bullets will hit the center of the diamond. The range officer walks them over to watch a safety video on a large flat screen TV, and they sit and laugh and talk about popcorn as it starts. She listens carefully as a very serious narrator, talks about finger and muzzle control and the importance of not pointing the gun at anything that you'ren't willing to destroy.
With hearing and eye protection in place, they enter through double doors and a symphony of pistol and rifle reports loudly greet their ears. Though the ear protectors muffle the noise, her heart is racing.
He opens the case and takes out a Smith and Wesson Model 19 snub nose revolver, and shows her it's empty. He explains breathing, stance and grip. They are sharing a lane and she is excited to be there. She leans against him, trusting him. He instructs her on how to; point, aim, and pull the trigger through its double action throw. He explains proper finger positioning. They do a quick dry run through and she jumps a bit at the empty click of the hammer fall. He asks her if she is ready and with a deep breath, she nods. He loads the gun for her with .38 caliber bullets, smiles and places the gun on the bench. She looks into his eyes, then turns to face the target, picks up the gun and stands the way he has taught her. She points, aims, takes a deep breath and slowly lets it out and squeezes the trigger through its double action pull. The report echoes off the concrete walls, but she barely hears it through her excitement, the target jumps as the round strikes it. The hole is inches right of center and a little bit low, but a definite hit. A big grin spreads across her face, and she is literally dancing with excitement. She feels good!
Empowered, she looks back at him with pride in her eyes and sees he has a huge country boy grin on his face, she smiles at him and turns down range and fires off two more rounds that hit the target. He works with her as she continues to shoot. She settles into a nice rhythm, reloading the revolver herself, hitting the target and really enjoying the experience.