Category Archives: pistols

Size and Width matter.

When choosing a gun, ladies, size and width do matter.

Well at least length and width, anyway. Are you going shopping for a new pistol? If you are, you might first want to establish its purpose. Is it going to be used as a home self-defense gun or a concealed carry permit gun? Is it going to be used for competition or maybe a target practice? If you’ve watched the movies lately you’ve probably seen the glamorization of big guns. In real life, you may be better off, depending on the purpose, with a smaller gun. Women especially might consider the thickness and width of the grip as a major thing. Will it fit your hand comfortably? Will your finger reach the trigger without having to change your grip? How you grip the gun is going to affect your aim considerably. When faced with a potential life and death situation, you will want to make sure you have a firm grip and hold, ready for fast body movement. Now, the size of the gun may or may not correlate with a small or large caliber. There are target pistols whose barrel is much longer than a carry pistol, but are a smaller caliber. If you want a pistol for competition, you may want one with a long barrel. The longer the barrel, the more accurate you’ll be at long distances. If you have a concealed carry permit, you might want one with a shorter length and width to prevent printing. You may also be surprised at how large of caliber you can shoot out of a stout barrel.

So in short (no pun intended), when it comes to choosing a gun, size does matter.

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Filed under ccw, concealed carry, Firearms Safety, guns, home defense, National Rifle Association, NRA, pistols, revolver, semi auto, women

And so began my journey to becoming an NRA instructor.

I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would touch a gun much less shoot one. As it happened, one day I reached an age where I decided not to be afraid of the unknown. After all, guns were on the news every day, in every prime time show on television, in every major movie. I don’t think they can make a blockbuster movie that doesn’t have at least one woman and one gun in it. It was one of those movies that got me thinking seriously about getting a gun. No, it wasn’t a cops and robbers movie, or an international spy movie that did it, it was a movie about a world event leading to chaos in the streets and the human response.
That day, I decided to buy a gun for home defense. Seriously, me a so called liberal. I, who in college chose my debate subject on gun ownership and why I was against it! I felt like a different person with a different perspective on life. The innocence and naive thinking of my youth had changed. Sadly, I realized that we no longer live in a country where we can feel safe in our own homes. The increase in poverty and crime and the decrease in education coupled with diminished resources for law enforcement, make for dangerous times.
I used to think the media was sensationalizing crime and exaggerating it for the purpose of ratings. Now I feel that it’s the complete opposite. I think for every one story they report on TV there are at least ten others they never get to. You hear about home invasions, but only the ones in neighborhoods where there were none before. I subscribe to a crime statistics and reports website, called Spotcrime and my local City’s Patch site, where I get the real local news. This is how I know there are many more crimes than are ever reported by the nightly news.
Fast forward.
So there I was picking up my beautiful new gun, a small semi auto. I had taken the required, written test for a Handgun Safety Certificate in California. Then, I waited the required ten days after my background check cleared. I was so excited, but at the same time nervous. The feel of steel and protection in my hands felt strangely comforting. Although, I now had a means to protect myself and loved ones, I in no way felt confident enough to use my new firearm. I still needed to learn how to safely use, transport, store and maintain it. I wanted to be able to properly protect myself and prevent a tragic accident. Otherwise, if the time ever came when I needed to use it, I might not have the skills to preserve my life and my loved ones lives.
So, I scheduled a private lesson with a shooting instructor, I knew it was the only way I would feel safe handling my new firearm. Yes, firearm, not weapon. I quickly learned that safe gun handling begins with the right attitude. The National Rifle Association’s safe gun handling rules, are comprised of knowledge, skills and attitude. I totally agree, you need all three to be a safe gun owner. Whether you remain ignorant or become negligent is up to you. The result is the same for both of those, in that it may result in a tragedy. And so began my journey to becoming an NRA Certified Instructor.

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Filed under classes, Firearms Safety, guns, National Rifle Association, NRA, pistols, women

Your first experience at the gun range

indoor gun range 1So you just bought your first gun, or simply want to try out some guns out before making a purchase. If you’ve never been to a gun range before it can be pretty intimidating. To start, most ranges are full of people, mostly men. If you’re shy, you may want to take a friend with you. In fact some ranges will require that a friend vouch on your behalf before you can rent a gun. That is, if you don’t already own a gun. Unfortunately, some ranges have experienced a person coming in to rent a gun for the sole purpose of committing suicide. Maybe they think that if they come in with a friend they wont have that in mind. Whatever the reason, every range has their own rules and if you want to shoot there you must follow them. As you approach the counter area, you will be asked to read over the rules and also sign some sort of waiver. Most ranges require that you leave your ID with them, until you are done shooting and are ready to pay.

Gun range prices vary from place to place so you may want to call first. Maybe check out their prices on their website. If you already own a gun and have your own ammo you will only have to pay for range time. That varies also, since some places charge by the hour, and some by the night for each person or lane. Things can add up if you don’t have eye and ear protection which are mandatory in most ranges. Some ranges will sell them, others will rent them to you. For sanitary purposes, I think it’s better to bring your own, of course! Where it gets really pricey is if you don’t own a gun and want to rent theirs. They will usually require you to buy their ammo too, since it’s their gun and they want to maintain it in operation. Oh, and some ranges won’t let you bring your own targets, so you will have to purchase those too. In the case of outdoor ranges, which have Range Safety Officers monitoring the shooting bay, you will have to have some kind of empty chamber indicator. Phew! Now you see that it can get very expensive for a night out of shooting.

Now you’ll take all your goodies to your assigned shooting lane, after you put on your eye and ear protection. At this point, do not un-case your firearm until you are at your lane, making sure that when you do it will be pointed down range. If it’s an indoor range, the lane will have either a mechanical or an electronic target holder. If it’s an outdoor range, you’ll have to wait for a cease fire period so you can go out on the field and hang a target. Once you’re ready you can load your gun or dry fire it, while pointing down range. When shooting a new gun or an unfamiliar model always start off with an empty gun while you load and unload an empty magazine. If you have a revolver, learn how to open the latch and count the chambers.Learn how to load and unload it. Depending on whether it’s a single action revolver or a double action revolver, there will be a difference. It’s a good idea to have some dummy rounds, or snap caps in the caliber of the gun you want to dry fire.

Remember to always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, whether you are handling an empty gun or a loaded one. Always, keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you’re ready to shoot. Keep the gun unloaded until you’re ready to shoot it. Verify the guns condition by opening the action. Check both visually and physically to make sure the gun is unloaded, before stepping away from the bench, putting away your gun, or if a cease fire is called. Use a chamber flag if the range requires it.

Try loading one round at first, then five rounds and progress from there. If you aren’t used to the bang and the recoil of a gun it may make you nervous. This is totally normal. Some women will experience strong emotions and even cry at their first shooting experience. This is due to the adrenaline and anticipation that builds up to handling something so powerful. If you find you cannot continue for the night or aren’t sure of how to unload and put away the gun safely, get assistance. In the range staff there is always someone on duty that can help you. Do not worry,it happens often and no one will judge you. On the contrary, you must put safety above all else. There is no rush and you can come back another night or after some formal instruction. In most cases, formal instruction is what you need to build confidence. You will be back to the range in no time with new skills and knowledge about safe gun handling.

You may also find that once you shoot your first few rounds, you will want to come back as often as your finances permit. Once you do decide on a gun and learn the fundamentals of shooting you will need to practice them in order to build muscle memory. If a situation should arise and you need to use your gun, it would be difficult to remember the skills you learned but never used before. Do a search on shooting clubs that meet often. You can learn a lot from other experienced shooters but you can also learn from other newbies too. Most importantly, always practice the safe gun handling rules which are to; always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use, know your target and what is beyond it. Additionally, always use the correct ammunition for your firearm and learn how to maintain your gun. Use proper storage for your gun, making sure children and unauthorized people cannot get a hold of it. Study the laws in your area regarding ownership,use,storage and transportation of your firearm. You can learn more about ownership and safe gun handling from the National Rifle Association’s  NRA.org site 
For a recorded version checkout Spreaker.com below.

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Filed under Firearms Safety, guns, National Rifle Association, NRA, pistols, women

Ladies have you learned to shoot yet?

West Coast Shooting Stars

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Have you been thinking about purchasing a gun for personal defense either for your home or concealed carry? Do you know what type of pistol to buy? How you plan to use it will determine the type of pistol you should consider. Will you use it for home defense, plinking, target practice or competition?How much are you willing to spend? Have you calculated the cost of the pistol, the ammunition, ear protection, eye protection, pistol instruction, range practice, cleaning supplies
and storage? In California you must purchase a Handgun Safety Certificate which is good for 5 years.

Hand strength in women can also be an issue, since a semi automatic pistol requires you to rack the slide. This can be managed however by proper positioning of your body and using the push forward method. But this is something to consider. A revolver on the other hand doesn’t require much hand…

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Filed under Firearms Safety, guns, National Rifle Association, NRA, pistols, women