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Monday, October 27, 2014

I Shot My First Gun - I'm Hooked

Researching for a novel takes many forms. Some are much more exciting than others.

Last week, my son took me shooting. I'm not a gun person, never even held a gun. The trouble is I write about murder, some of which involves guns, and I decided it was time I had personal experience firing a gun.

I was nervous. What if my hand jerked and I shot something I shouldn't? What if my aversion to guns got me so scared I couldn't pull the trigger? This research was one of those chores I knew I had to do, but wasn't sure I'd enjoy.

We drove a few miles from our farm, out beyond the last house, down a dirt trail that inclined sharply into a wash and up again, requiring four-wheel drive. A small hill was our backdrop for the boxes he'd brought for our targets.

I started with a 357 Magnum Smith and Wesson using 38 special ammo. He first taught me about the gun, gun safety and then the mechanics of firing it. I put in my earplugs, took my stance and squeezed the trigger. I nearly hit the center. Then again. Just off center. Hey, that was fun.

I moved on to a 38 Special Smith and Wesson, bobbed and snubbed. That was a fun little gun to shoot. I also shot a 22 rifle and a 20 gauge, side by side, double barrel shotgun. All fun. And my son couldn't get over how accurate and steady my aim was - first time out. I'm hooked. I didn't expect to come to an understanding of why gun enthusiasts find enjoyment shooting at a target. It's one of those activities you can't explain unless you've tried it.

A great deal of research can be done on the Internet.  I'm lucky to have done quite a bit of traveling so I can draw on that for my settings. There's nothing like firsthand knowledge to lend credibility to my writing. Handling a gun now gives me the experience my heroine might need when the villain is around the next corner.


  

10 comments:

  1. Isn' it fun? I'd never fired a gun before, either, until a few years ago, and now I'm a certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor! So cool you went out and got instruction, knowledge, and experience. I can't tell you how many books I've read (and movies I've seen!) where the firearm portrayal is so far off as to be eye-rolly :)

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    1. Wow, all the way to instructor. I'm impressed, Melissa. Yep, I hate lack of realism on things like that, even in fiction.

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  2. Hi Brenda,
    Thanks for sharing this. One of my critique partners has her heroine whipping around a 7MM mag rifle like it was nothing. So my gun savvy husband brought out his and handed it (unloaded) to her. She couldn't even lift it well enough to aim. Being the smart lady she was, she always researches weaponry now. :-) And it was a good reminder to me as well. And target shooting is fun and addicting, isn't it?

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    1. It's so much fun, Susan. Thanks for the story.

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  3. How cool! I've always wanted to go to a gun range and shoot different types of guns. I like to think I'd be good at it. ;)

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    1. Give it a try, Chrys. Good research and fun!

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  4. Wow, you did so good! I still can't hit the broadside of a barn--ok, actually, that's all I can hit :) Enjoyed the post.

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    1. Let me know when you're in the area shooting, Barbara. LOL

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  5. I love shooting. My favorite is the gun hubby bought me when I signed my first contract with The Wild Rose Press. Because it was a historical and the hero was a shootist, he bought me a replica Peacemaker. Shoots heavy duty ammo--.45 with absolutely no kick or pull. LOVE that weapon.

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    1. I haven't heard of that one, Lynda, but then I'm a newbie to the gun world. I'm amazed at how many women are into guns.

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