Robert, Dan, and I met at Red’s Shooting Range in Pflugerville a few days before Christmas so I could get acquainted with a few more firearms. The two TTAG gurus brought a .22 Ruger pistol, a .22 revolver, a Smith & Wesson 686 .38/.357 caliber revolver and a 9mm GLOCK.
The revolvers were of particular interest to me; I’ve always had something of a crush on the gun, if such a thing is even possible. In my eyes, a revolver is the classic Cowboy gun. Being the daughter of a man who raised me on John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies, I cannot help but be partial.
There’s something alluring about a revolver. Like the proverbial “bad boy,” it’s multi-bullet spinning chamber with it’s unmistakably recognizable ‘clicking’ sound as it spins into place acts almost like a “come hither” whistle. In this scenario, I’m the unassuming good girl who is just walking by, minding her own business, interrupted suddenly and forever by the invitation to come play.
What a beauty, I thought. Love at first sight, if such a thing can happen with between a girl and a firearm.
The unloaded gun was heavier than I anticipated, more so than Ruger and .22 revolver I’d just fired (more about those later). The weight of the gun seemed to command my respect. Then I loaded it’s six chambers with .38 caliber hallow point bullets and the machine had my full attention.
The first shot rattled my teeth, as a .357 magnum should. I lowered the gun and stopped firing, taken aback by the sheer power of the thing.
Robert said, “fire again,” which shook me out of the shock-and-awe trance into which I seemed to have fallen. I lifted the gun up into position, lined up the sight, and popped off five more rounds. “Load it again,” Robert encouraged.
While doing so, I noticed that my hands were shaking from excitement. I fired three rounds into the center of the target and three into the head. I reloaded and took aim again. My arms had grown tired and my safety glasses began to fog from the heat of the moment. I emptied the cartridges, laid the gun down, and turned around laughing from the sheer excitement.
“How could shooting a gun be so much fun?” I asked RF and Dan. It was evident to both of them that I had a favorite of the four handguns even though I hadn’t shot the GLOCK yet.
After a brief tutorial from RF on how to load the GLOCKs magazine and rack the slide, I took aim once again. This time, I was impressed by the weight of the gun but not because it was heavy in my hands. Because it was so much, much lighter than the 686.
I aimed my sights on the center of a fresh target and took a shot. The recoil was tremendous, to say the least. My arms jolted up with so much force that the barrel of the gun was perpendicular to the ceiling.
I was embarrassed and flushed red. “Whoa!” I said. “That’s a really powerful gun.”
The TTAG guys chuckled — and then adjusted my grip.
Somewhat hesitantly, I lifted the GLOCK. I took a shot and the recoil wasn’t that bad. Energized, I fired off several more rounds, one right after the other, most of which passed through the same hole in the target. Dan and Robert said I was especially good with the GLOCK. I appreciated the snaps.
Robert produced a new target, this one with three different shapes drawn on it with three different numbers placed in the center of each shape. He told me that he would call out which shape or number to shoot. I was to do so as accurately — but as not as quickly — as possible. This was going to be an exercise in focus and control and I was up for the challenge.
I put myself into firing position and nodded to Robert that I was ready for his commands. One right after another, RF yelled out different shapes and numbers. With the exception of two of the fifteen or so shots I took, all went into the center of its intended target. At the end of the exercise, I felt proud of my shooting prowess.
I not-so-modestly proclaimed myself the next Annie Oakley and asked to do it again. RF advised me to put less finger on the trigger and relax my shoulders.
But then it was time to go back to my favorite, the 686 Revolver. I loaded it up again and fired several more rounds. Once I’d had my fill, we packed up the gear and headed out for coffee.
I decided then and there that Smith and Wesson 686 revolver would be my first. I acquired two holsters, a couple bottles of Hoppes and a box of .38 cartridges.
I took it home and loaded it immediately. It was a bit surreal for me to have a firearm in my home, let alone one that belonged to me that I treasured. It keeps me feeling snug and secure while I sleep at night.
In the week or so since I’ve owned the 686, I have dry fired it often, to get familiar with the gun and the trigger. When wearing jeans, I have taken to carrying it on my person in a holster around the house. I love the way it feels on my hip and the way it makes me feel to have it on my hip, like I’m ten feet tall.