Shooting Range, Good Instruction Help New Shooters Enjoy First Experience

Getting to the shooting range for some practice is fun, but it’s even more fun when new shooters can get in on the action.

A few weeks ago at our headquarters in Wisconsin, two of our team members, Stephanie Lombardi of New York and Alicia Capetillo of Cincinnati, accompanied Corey Graff and Jim Schlender of Gun Digest to the range for a couple of hours. Graff and Schlender are veteran shooters. Lombardi and Capetillo never had shot a gun before.

Here are their thoughts:

Stephanie Lombardi with the Glock

Stephanie Lombardi with the Glock

From Stephanie Lombardi:

I had no idea what to expect. Growing up in an East Coast major city, it was engrained that if you saw a handgun, something bad was about to happen. I had never even handled a handgun before. After watching video of shooting competitions, spurred by seeing an online Glock video ad, and spending some time with women in the shooting industry at the SHOT Show, I knew I wanted to try it.

Corey and Jim from Gun Digest were great instructors and I think had just as much fun teaching us the basics as we did shooting. They may have been smiling even more than we were (which was a lot). I’m not sure it happens at other firing ranges but there was a lot of clapping and high-fives going around.

I think my only thought after the first shot was, “wow.” I was surprised at how easy it was to control something so powerful. I’m sure that came from the good basic safety and form instruction we received.

We got to try a Glock 19 and the Kel Tec PF-9. The recoil from the smaller Kel Tec was intimidating because of the loss of grip so I chose to fire the Glock most of the time. I got comfortable with it pretty quickly.

Range practice is addictive. No doubt I’ll be shooting again and hopefully sometime soon. I’m certainly open to invites!

From Alicia Capetillo:

Alicia Capetillo overcame her initial nerves, which many new shooters have, and enjoyed the session.

Alicia Capetillo overcame her initial nerves, which many new shooters have, and enjoyed the session.

Stepping up to the shooting range, my hands were definitely shaking more than I’d like to admit — part nerves, but mostly excitement. By the time Corey told me that I was ready to pull the trigger after assuming the position and lining up the shot, the shaking had migrated all the way to my wrists and I was pretty sure everyone could see my knees knocking together.

But then I pulled the trigger and, wow. I totally and completely missed the target, but the feeling of the kick and the power was pretty awesome!

Shooting was always something that I was cautiously curious about but never really took the initiative to try out on my own. Having a great instructor who went over the safety features, stance recommendations and calmly dealt with my initial nerves really made a huge difference. Corey made the experience one that I’ll always remember (and probably brag about) and his minor stance adjustments and advice throughout our time at the range really improved my aim and ability by the end of the day.

Most importantly, I was able to hit the bull’s eye a few times and maybe impress my new co-workers.

They both were impressive, and we’re happy to have been able to introduce two newcomers to shooting. Take a friend or help someone at the range this summer!