by Paxton Delany - Monday, November 9, 2015
Anyone ever played the 21 questions game? Well my third session went a little bit like that game.
Once you have taught me something and I see you are a wealth of knowledge, I will pepper you with any question that pops into my head. Literally ANY question. There is no filter, if it comes into my head its coming off my lips. Here are some of the questions I recently asked Debbie Crews, who has been coaching me for each of my session:
Why do we learn with rubber bullets?
WOAH! That was loud! What is he shooting?
How can I strengthen my fingers so they don’t get tired?
What was your first gun?
How many do you have?
Why does he hold his hand on his chest like that?
What’s your favorite gun?
I’ve only shot a couple rounds, why do all my muscles feel so tired?
What type of gun is this?
What caliber am I shooting?
Up to this point I’d been learning to shoot on a Glock 19 with 9mm bullets and that was a walk in the park compared to what coach had in store for me next. After I asked those last three questions, coach abruptly left to grab her Glock 22 from the safe and a box of .40 cal.
“Load and make ready,” she said with a smile. Immediately I was suspicious, but I always do what coach tells me because she knows what she is doing and she doesn’t mess around. I loaded the gun and made ready, one bullet in the magazine.
“Nothing is different, just a bit more recoil this time,” she explained. And with that my mind went to that bad place , where intimidation takes over and my nerves become super. I wasn’t sure if I could handle the jump in caliber so when I didn’t make a move to to shoot from my shooting stance she laughed, “You got this. I wouldn’t let you do something you weren’t ready for.”
I picked up the gun as coach calmly said “Just remember everything we have been working on. Good grip, good stance, align those sights, slow and steady trigger pull. Let the gun do what it is supposed to.”
I fired a shot, released the magazine and put the gun down to display that it was empty. Wide eyed I turned to look at coach, “WOW,” I mouthed. Now that was a caliber, and if I had started out learning to shoot with .40 that would have made me pee my pants and forever scare me away from ever wanting to learn about firearms again.
Which brings me to Lesson Two: It’s best to learn how to shoot with a small caliber bullet.
So if you learned how to shoot using 9mm then you had an excellent instructor or coach. 9mm is a superb caliber to start with and continue to learn with. But if you haven’t felt the kick of a .40 caliber bullet then I would consider giving it a try. Not only will it allow you to feel out your comfort zones in shooting but in doing so it will also allow you to gain insight to the difference of power and recoil.
I went back to my 9mm because I feel more comfortable and more in control. There's nothing wrong with it. But, when you're ready, put on your big kid pants and go out and try a different caliber, because the more you practice, the more you learn, and the more you will know. Until my next lesson...