Back when I was about 17 my much older brother, actively competing on civilian shooting teams, bought me a 22 semi-auto. When I produced the predictable six or seven target hits out of ten, he generously suggested that the sights needed adjusting. He put the next ten rounds in a 2-inch group, as a lefty holding my right handed grip no less. I got pretty discouraged and gave up on ever getting any good at it.
Five years forward, the Air Force decided I needed to learn how to shoot the M16. I never got a marksman award, but I qualified every year, except for my last year, just before I got out, and too soon after returning from three TDYs to Vietnam. I fixed electronics systems on cargo aircraft, but still the thought of someone I’ve never met and probably never will meet wanting me dead was slightly unnerving. I decided I had no use for a gun.
Forward fifty more years, with all the mass shootings in the news, I got paranoid to the point of signing my wife and I up for an intro course at a local range. She was better than I was but she wasn’t really interested in it. I did feel good about both of us knowing enough about guns to handle them safely so it was money well spent. If I was going to take any advanced training I’d need a gun of m own, but which one?
Many hours of reading and watching online videos later, I decided on a Ruger SP101 snub nose revolver. No switches or buttons to fiddle with, just draw, aim and shoot. Most of the online pundits recommended that I shoot 38 Specials instead of the 357 Magnums it was chambered for, and keep a small box of 38 +P hollow points for defense. Good advice, it seems.
I used to wonder why anyone would own more guns than they could carry. Now I find myself in exactly that situation. When I told my local FFL guy that this was the last one I’ll ever need, he smiled and said that’s what he tells himself every year or so.
I doubt that I’ll ever need the protection offered by the USCCA but it’s better to have it than not, and these forums are a wonderful place for a newbie like me to learn from more experienced members.
Happy to be here!