Ellie's Training Adventure - On Target
Jul 20 2021
Last Tuesday, I participated in the second class of my training adventure, On Target. I was nervous and a little worried going into the class because I suddenly couldn’t remember what I learned in the New Shooter class. I really should have done some practice in between classes!
The instructor, Andrew, did a great job reviewing pistol parts, range safety, and the Seven Shooting Fundamentals. Although I learned these concepts in New Shooter, a fundamentals refresher was appreciated. While we did start class off with a review of the basics, it wasn’t just a repeat of what we learned in New Shooter. Instead, Andrew built on the previous instruction by focusing on information that we needed to know to analyze the target and improve our aim. Like understanding what our shot placement on our targets can tell us.
If you read my post last week, you might remember that I don’t have any prior knowledge or experience with firearms. So my understanding of topics like different calibers was almost non-existent. While we shot a .22 in the New Shooter class, we shot a 9mm in the On Target class. I didn’t realize the difference between the two until I was loading and noticed the difference in bullet size. I quickly learned that a 9mm is louder and has a more substantial kickback. The increased kickback was a bit of a surprise for the first couple of shots and gave me a bit of an adrenaline rush. Once I got used to the kickback, I forced myself to slow down and focus on my breathing, stance, trigger control, lining up the sights, and taking shots at my own pace. This class is all about accuracy and slowing down. I knew rushing through my shots wouldn’t help.
In On Target, you shoot twice as much as in New Shooter while focusing on analyzing your target and shooting longer distances. After each drill, Andrew came by to give individual feedback. For example, most of my shots were to the left and low. Andrew told me to slow down my trigger press and not clench my hands when shooting. It turns out I was clenching my whole hand when pressing the trigger and forcing the gun low and to the left. By the end of On Target, I noticed a significant improvement!
My biggest takeaway from the class was realizing how much I improved through instruction and practice. Even though I didn’t think I was ready to move on, I’m glad I did. I just needed to jump back in for the anxiousness and confusion to dissipate. I’m starting to feel more comfortable and even confident. At some point during the class, I also realized shooting is fun. I’m super excited about my next step in my journey, the Troubleshooting class!