Thursday, May 15, 2008

Again Ms Plum; this Time on Novice Firearms Use

And again, also in Two for the Dough, Stephanie is on stake-out with Grandma Mazur. The bad guy they are seeking sees them at the side of the road as he drives by.
...Kenny had U-turned at the intersection and was closing ground between us. There were no cars parked behind me. I saw the Suburban swerve to the curb and told Grandma to brace herself.
The Suburban crashed into the back of the Buick, bouncing us forward into Morelli's car, which crashed into the car in front of him. Kenny backed the Suburban up, stepped on the gas, and rammed us again.
"Well, that takes it, Grandma said. "I'm too old for this kind of bouncing around. I got delicate bones at my age." She pulled a .45 long-barrel out of her tote bag, wrenched her door open, and scrambled out onto the sidewalk. "Guess this will show you something," she said, aiming the gun at the Suburban. She pulled the trigger, fire flashed form the barrel, and the kick knocked her on her [bottom]....
...She had her hand to her forehead. "Hit myself in the head with the dang gun. didn't expect that much of a kick." ...
..."Where'd you get the forty-five?"
"My friend Elsie loaned it to me," Grandma said. "She got it at a yard sale when she lived in Washington, D.C."..."I guess I'm not so tough as them television people. "
This episode kind of summarizes how I felt when I first shot clay pigeons with my cousins on top of Badger Mountain in Washington state. I have no idea what gauge shotguns we were shooting, but the first time I fired I was knocked over. I had no idea what I was doing. The instructions went something like this. "Put this on your shoulder. Hold here and here. Then when we release the targets, pull the trigger." Since my cousins Chip and Dale had grown up shooting, they didn't think to warn me about the kick. Or perhaps they just wanted to laugh at the city girl. I don't know.

Later I fired a few rounds from various weapons belonging to another friend in Madison. I don't really remember any details about that episode. Later still I shot a bit with my husband's .22 revolver.

And finally, I got my own Bersa Thunder .380. Having a .380 caliber round in a semi-auto handgun really took me by surprise. It bounces around a bit more than the twenty-two. Unlike Grandma Mazur, I did not, however hit my forehead. But I can imagine doing so when shooting a forty-five without previous practice. Had the gun I first fired with my cousins been a forty-five handgun, I probably would have ended up with a lump front and center.

I have also learned that not only caliber, but also the weight of the gun and the length of barrel effect the kick. My husband has a 9mm Springfield XD. That one seems to kick less than my .380. I'm not sure which factors are primarily responsible for this difference.

I am still learning about all this ammo stuff. A 9-mm and a .380 have nearly identical diameters. My .380 rounds are just a hair over 7/8" long. The 9mm rounds are 1 1/8 inches. Just the bullets themselves are also nearly a quarter inch different in length. Mine say they are 95 grain and Joe's say 115 grain. I think that is the mass of the bullet itself. But I also know that different rounds use different amounts of powder, too.

In the weights of the pistols themselves, there is also a difference. My Bersa is only 23 ounces. The barrel is 3 1/2". Joe's XD weighs in at 28 ounces with a barrel length of 4".

Whatever the differences are, his was much easier for me to shoot accurately with less practice than was mine. But I like my little one for other reasons. And I have gotten better with practice. I still would like to see more improvement.

I think it would be fun to take a course through The Site or Blackwater or Front Site or something similar. I think the discipline and routine that these courses instill is something to be worked toward. But I think that will remain a dreamed about vacation for awhile yet.

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