Today I finally shot the rifle with which my husband would like for me to be proficient – or at least safe and effective.
I don’t enjoy shooting guns, but I do want to be able to help protect my family, if needed.
Today’s lesson was with a Magnum Research 22 mag rifle.
My husband set us up with three magazines of 9 shots each. We each have earmuffs that have battery-powered thingies that suppress other noises and allow you to talk with them on.
The first thing I learned was that the earmuffs made me too warm. The rifle was a little bit too long for me, and weighed more than I would like. I also had the distinct problem of my eyes. I’m right-handed and left-eyed. This really causes a problem when trying to use a rifle scope.
We tried having me stand with one hand against the corner of the shop, balancing the rifle on my hand. That was great except I couldn’t see ANYTHING through the scope! No matter what I did, I couldn’t see anything but black. I tried holding both eyes open, but that didn’t work, either. I decided I was simply going to HAVE to hold my left eye shut while trying to find the target – a paper plate clothes-pinned to a hanger sticking out from a pole in front of a big pile of shale or chat to the side of the shop and in front of our square foot garden.
After I tried and tried and only got frustrated, we moved to stand in front of the target about 75 or 80 feet away from the plate. My arms got tired and I still couldn’t see anything through the scope.
Finally, my husband brought a plastic barrel over. I put the rifle on the barrel and bent over, but still wasn’t having any luck with the scope. He put a wooden box on top of the barrel. That was better, but the real difference came when he put another box on top of that.
With the rifle basically at eye level and held up by the boxes, I could concentrate on shutting my left eye and finding the plate.
EUREKA! I FOUND IT!!!
I then had to learn to load the rifle. The magazine is small, even though it holds 9 rounds of ammo. It has to be put into the rifle EXACTLY level while jiggling another part. Once it is in there level, the other part can then go into place, holding the magazine securely. Then you have to cock the rifle, pulling a lever back and letting it shoot forward, making you ready to shoot.
Once I could finally SEE the plate and the rifle could rest on the boxes and the barrel, it was easy. I shot the ammo, one shot at a time, until the magazine was empty. We went up to the plate between each shot, and I was doing pretty well for an old broad, putting them all on the plate in a reasonable grouping!
On the second magazine, my husband told me to find the target, shoot, and then as quickly as possible, try to shoot it again, over and over. He was impressed that all of the shots were pretty close together and done reasonably quickly.
The third time was the easiest.
Of course I need a lot more practice, since this was my first time with the rifle, but I have confidence that I know how to load, unload, and use it safely, and that I’m a pretty good shot!