Thursday, February 24, 2011

April 2011 Activity -- Shooting

Our poor target. Please note the one shot perfectly placed
between the guy's thumbs (if you know what I mean).
Amanda totally showed him who's boss.
Thursday, April 21
Silver Eagle Group
44620 Guilford Drive
Ste 100
Ashburn, VA, 20147
Cost: $70 for three people (almost 60% off regular cost through Living Social)

I ask you...what could be better than a night of shootin'? Why a night of shootin' and swingin', of course. (Class was held in Ashburn, so I am forced to make my obligatory swinger joke.)

All of the Dilettantes have some experience shooting, except Dilettante Amy. Which is unusual because she is from Kentucky and I thought that is how they hunted the squirrels for their supper. (Indulge me...I believe that is the very first Kentucky joke I've ever made...and I've known Amy and her brother/husband for more than ten years now.) Dilettante Amanda once shot an M-16 in Vietnam (true story) and Dilettante Kathleen has shot handguns, shotguns, rifles and a fully automatic machine gun on a range in Indiana (she worked for the ORGANIZATION THAT DOES NOT HATE FREEDOM for a while and it just comes with the territory). So, although we normally select activities that none of us has tried before, it had been such a long time since we've shot that we figured this counted. (Besides, if you disagree, remember that we now know how to handle firearms.)

Before class began, the Dilettantes filled out extensive release forms while sitting in a lounge area outside the range. It was outfitted with couches, coffee tables and a television set. It really felt like someone's living room, with the exception of the booming AR-16 in the next room. (That made it feel like someone's living room in Kentucky.) (I can't stop myself.)

At the gun range, you must go through a metal detector to use the restroom.
This may be my favorite picture I have ever taken.
Dilettante Kathleen used some of the waiting time to explain to the others how she had once owned a Smith & Wesson .38 Special. And that when she began dating Tim he said to her gently at one point, "you drink a lot and you're kind of moody...I think it would be best if you sold the gun." (ed. I did. You really can't argue with that.)

The class was an hour long and included an introductory lesson by an NRA-certified instructor, handgun rental, protective equipment, one target, and one box of ammo for the three of us. Our instructor, Seth, was very excited to teach our class...the noticeably pregnant Amy, the noticeably wearing-a-dress-and-high-heels Kathleen and the noticeably terrified Amanda. If ever there was a group of people that looked ready to bust a cap, it was definitely ours. (As Dilettante Amy set her purse down, I noted, "I bet they don't see a lot of Kate Spade bags around here.") Aside from two women who worked there, there was one other woman at the range. And about twenty men.

Seth was really very good and patient with us and the three men in our class while he went over safety, the parts of a gun, how to load and unload and the proper grips and stances. (No one uses the "Weaver" anymore. Duh.)  And he played along when we made comments like "okay, so loading the magazine is a lot like loading a Pez dispenser?" (It is!)

After our classroom instruction, we selected the gun we wanted to shoot (we went with a Glock .9mm - go big or go home, right?), our target, and our ear and eye protection and proceeded the range.

You'd be scared to death if you met these two in
a dark alley, huh?
We got our target up and got ready to shoot, while simultaneously flinching every single time the AR-16 a few lanes down was shot. It sounded like a cannon and was a little unsettling. Amy went first -- loading the magazine and gun and then firing a perfect bulls eye with her first shot. But the fire and the recoil and the several brass casings flying down her shirt took away a bit of the fun in short order.

(Aside: Seth mentioned that sometimes the hot casings might fly down our shirts after the gun was fired...and it happened in a disproportionate amount to our group. To our credit, we all stayed calm and kept the gun pointed down range whenever this occurred. That was not the case with the beginner men next to us, one of whom did some sort of ridiculous dance trying to get a casing out of his shirt and caused our instructor to calmly and quickly bolt over there and get the guy's gun pointing back in the correct direction.)

Amanda aiming low. (See target above.)
Amy's gangsta stance.
We all took turns shooting and loading and felt like we had all shot enough with about 35 of our 50 allotted rounds. However, our instructor good-naturedly pushed us and said that we needed to finish the box of ammo and even loaded the magazine for us the final time. So, we all took a few more shots and then Amy stepped up and popped off the last four rounds like she meant business: Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. It kind of put an exclamation point on the activity.

Kathleen getting loaded.

We followed our night of shooting with dinner and drinks at Shenandoah American Grill.

And regrettably, no swinging.


Unknown said...
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Bradford said...

Brutalism - you know of course that you have enough cousins with "experience" and "hardware" that this activity would not only be free for you, but with more variety.

Brutalism said...

Bradford - Argh. Should have consulted with "the family" first...

Perhaps Shooting, Part II? When we really mean it?

GMAN said...

"The Family" forgives you but wants an invite to shooting part II

Brutalism said...

GMAN - I believe I have some pics of me shooting with the "Family" from a reunion -- an AR-16 if I am not mistaken. We are totally up for Shooting part II at some point.

dilettante07 said...

Wow--we really look badass. Love the picture of Amy and me holding the ammo clip. We look like missionaries. Very intimidating.

Brutalism said...

Tante - You totally look like missionaries. Gunfire has never looked so wholesome.

Bradford said...

Hopefully, you got some pics of a pregnant Amy packin' heat. If she has a girl, could come in handy 15-16 years from now.

Aja said...

i read the title and it made me smile. you are 4 great womans and you are doing very good, because it makes you to smile and also to readers here ;) continue with the same ;)

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