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Ladies Forum A place for our female Calgunners to discuss, share and interact without the 'excess attention' sometimes found in online forums.

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  #1  
Old 01-02-2010, 9:57 PM
britbird britbird is offline
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Default Wet behind the ears!

I am new to the forum and just wanted to say "Hello". I know very little about guns, but my husband is very passionate about his hobby (he posts on this website all the time) and I want to show an interest and him to involve me a bit more. I hate to admit it, but I am actually very intimidated by guns and am quite nervous about being around one. Probably has a lot to do with the fact that I grew up in England and the police did not carry weapons in the small town where I lived, so I have not been exposed to them. I just haven't had the opportunity to get over my fear, but I do want to share this interest with my husband, so I definitley want to educate myself.

I have fired a 9mm, a 45 acp, an HK 94 and an AR 15 - but they all scared me and seemed so explosive when I pulled the trigger. But I have tried!!

My question is, does anyone have any suggestions about how I can get over my fear and where to possibly take classes - we are in the Fairfield area.

Many thanks for your help!
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:00 PM
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Welcome to the forum. I started off my nieces with a .22 rifle until they just got used to the noise and intimidation of the gun. Then they simply got bored and moved onto my centerfires.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:13 PM
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Hi britbird

I'm new to calguns and new to gun-guns too, and I completely understand the fear element. I can't recommend any classes or specific models, so I'll simply tell you what has been told to me: shoot a lot of different guns until you find one (or more) that "fits" -and then practice and enjoy. Target shooting really is fun, and I think it's great that you're willing to dive in and share this sport with your husband. From one newbie to another, Welcome!
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Old 01-03-2010, 5:42 AM
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Welcome to CG's BB! These both these suggestions are good advice to getting started shooting. I started my lady with shooting a small caliber like a .22 and when she got used to the noise & was comfortable with it we went to larger calibers. She is still not used to big calibers but is slowly getting there. Good luck, be safe & patient.
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Old 01-03-2010, 8:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by britbird View Post
My question is, does anyone have any suggestions about how I can get over my fear and where to possibly take classes - we are in the Fairfield area.

Many thanks for your help!
Hey, welcome! I have to laugh at your question because it's exactly what I was asking my husband when I started shooting. You know what helped? Shooting more often. It's just like anything, you just have to get used to it. It takes time and exposure. Also, find a good instructor to help you. If you know the basics, it will help you out tremendously.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2010, 8:52 AM
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Thanks so much for the "words of welcome". My husband did start me off with a .22 years ago, and I remember liking that. For some reason, he didn't do much shooting for a while and then when he came back into it he started with the more powerful weapons, which were obviously too much for me.

I think that maybe I should go to a range and check out a .22 and familiarize myself like you have all suggested.

Cheers!
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Old 01-03-2010, 8:53 AM
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Hello and welcome!
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Old 01-03-2010, 7:58 PM
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Alright, I have another question for the girls/Mum on the forum. How do you feel about your children being involved in your shooting hobby? How old was your child when you first started teaching them about guns? And how did you introduce them safely?

The reason why I ask is because we have a 7 year old little boy and my husband wants to take him shooting. I am TOTALLY against this right now, because I think that he is way too young. I am sure that there are people who disagree with me - if you do, please tell me your reasoning and help me to understand your point of view. The reality is, my husband is kind of pushing me on this and doesn't try and understand my point of view and my fears, but I just feel that there is plenty of time for such a mature and potentially dangerous sport.

Please don't get me wrong, I do not want our son to have the same fears about guns that I have, so I do believe that it is important he learn about weapons and how to be safe around them, I just really don't want him handling one at such a young age.

Like I said, in the title of this thread I am obviously "wet behind the ears" about this subject, but I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to their point of view.........please share yours with me!

Many thanks
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Old 01-03-2010, 9:58 PM
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i have a 8 year old daughter that i started out with an airsoft pistol just to get her into muzzle discipline. that will tell you a lot about their maturity level

on the other hand i had a 10 year old girl that attended a class they i helped teach who might have been the safest person on the line. the head instructor had me working with her because she had different issues than the other shooters...can you say "fingers too short" to reach the mag release button on a Sig 225. she was a great student by the end of the day her draw and fire were excellent and her mag changes were very smooth.

yes i am a miracle worker
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Old 01-04-2010, 9:24 AM
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i have a 8 year old daughter that i started out with an airsoft pistol just to get her into muzzle discipline. that will tell you a lot about their maturity level

on the other hand i had a 10 year old girl that attended a class they i helped teach who might have been the safest person on the line. the head instructor had me working with her because she had different issues than the other shooters...can you say "fingers too short" to reach the mag release button on a Sig 225. she was a great student by the end of the day her draw and fire were excellent and her mag changes were very smooth.

yes i am a miracle worker
LOL!!! Although that made me laugh, in all seriousness, you were able to get me to stop flinching and shoot far more accurately in one lesson, so I'd say you have a valid point!
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  #11  
Old 01-04-2010, 9:38 AM
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Double up on ear protection -- use both plugs and muff.
A lot of beginners are more frightened by the noise than the recoil.
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  #12  
Old 01-04-2010, 10:43 AM
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Welcome to Calguns. You'd probably have a lot of fun starting off with a .22 pistol or rifle. Ruger MKIII pistols are a great choice for beginners, as well as the Ruger 10/22 rifle. Cheap, fun, accurate, and ammo is dirt cheap compared to centerfire ammo.

Familiarizing your child with firearms at an early age will vastly reduce the chance of accidental discharge at home. Until a child actually shoots a gun, their only concept of guns is what they see on television. In a child's eyes the Hollywood version of guns looks like glamorous "power givers" that good guys have fun with while making bad guys go away. Once a child actually shoots a gun it puts it in a perspective that they can easily understand that guns are not toys and lets them grasp the concept of how devastatingly powerful a firearm can be. As long as they're under strict supervision, it's a good way to instill the concept of acting in a responsible, clear-minded, focused way, while following directions from the parental figures.

Also, most of the young kids I see at the shooting ranges with their parents are having a great time.
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  #13  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:53 AM
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Welcome to Calguns!

As NorCal and 9MM mentioned, start slowly and practice, practice, practice!

On the topic of kids, I am the Mean Mom and very strict when it comes to firearms training for my kids. I've raised six in my time -- two girls and four boys. With the exception of the younger boys, we've shot as a team in various pistol competitions.

To prevent bad habits and to allow for understanding of the sight picture, I agree that shooting Air is great and inexpensive. I laughed when I was first approached by the match directer at Chabot; he suggested I take up Air -- after all, it is an Olympic event. It really helped me with my follow-through and trigger squeeze. It has carried me through to the slow fire stage of .45 and learning to control the recoil while maintaining the sight picture. Shooting offhand is not as easy as it sounds.

If my kids could demonstrate the patience and discipline for Air, I gradually moved them up to live fire with a .22 target pistol. My girls were better focused, while the boys had better arm strength. It all worked out -- safely -- which is my No. 1 Priority.

I understand your anxiety, so don't feel bad. Our babies are our most valued treasures, so we need to be vigilant about instructing them correctly.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 01-08-2010, 7:20 AM
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Welcome i too am fairly new, and like you my better half is a frequent user of this site. my advise would be to try attending an outdoor shooting range, through my experience i have found that indoor ranges are waaaaaaay louder and a bit more uncomfortable. I think at an outdoor range you will feel more comfortable and a bit less intimidated by all the people around you.
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Old 01-08-2010, 7:43 AM
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Hi Britbird -I sooo feel for you! I think it's so sweet that you're trying to take an interest in your husband's hobby and I totally understand the "being scared" part. I've been to the shooting range a total of 1 time so far. There must be some part of a guy in me, because I did have fun shooting, but there was a guy there with a shotgun and I was scared and didn't like it ever time he would fire. It was just too loud and everytime it seemed to just shake my entire body. I also wouldn't even try to shoot anything bigger than a "9", which already was a little scary for me to fire.

Everybody here keeps recommending you the 22. I'm not sure if you know... I just learned, but that is the caliber, and it is a tiny little bullet, about the size of your pinky nail. There is absolutely no kick when you fire that and it's so quiet. I couldn't even really hear it being shot with my ear protection on. I really hope you don't give up on this and think it's a power all women should at least master. I wish you the best!
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Old 01-08-2010, 8:17 AM
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Hey Britbird, WELCOME!! here's something to help you feel more at home:

Cheers!!

first off, my mom is from Hounslow, and i have family all over England (though mostly in/around London) where are you from?

I can definitely understand why you don't like guns. my mom is the same way. i doubt we will ever get her to use one. however, the fact that you're showing sincere interest in learning is great! My wife was scared of guns when i first started getting into them too but now that she's been out with me and she knows how to be safe around guns, she lets me have 3 loaded ones within reach of the bed (hey, we've got a small apartment, the kitchen is almost within reach of the bed! ). the most important thing to do is learn how to be safe. control your muzzle (the end where the bullet leaves the barrel) by ALWAYS knowing where it's pointing and you'll be fine.

I would definitely suggest starting out on the lower end of the calibers (excuse me, calibres ) by going with a .22 and then working your way up from there. If you find that you can't shoot a .40 or .45....thats fine!! not everyone can!!! you need to find what the largest bullet you can handle is and work up from there. perhaps it's a .380 or a 9mm, whatever works is what you should use. play around (not literally) with different guns in each caliber too because they all feel different. My brother's .40cal kicks way harder than my .45, and my friends little .22 revolver is so loud it'll scare you to death the first time you shoot it, while i can shoot my .22 pistol without earmuffs....it's just the way the guns are.

as for your kid.....i think 7 is a perfectly fine age to introduce shooting.....what concearns me is what he's being taught. the younger they are the more impressionable they are and it's very easy to teach them life long lessons of safety, or teach them bad habits that they'll never get rid of! i too would suggest an air rifle rather than a "real" gun. they make great .177caliber "bb" guns that are in every other way similar to rimfire and centerfire rifles, but not as potentially deadly. It's a great way for them to learn the basics about safe gun handling and for YOU to guage their maturity level so you'll know when they are ready to move on to "bigger" guns.

There are plenty of things to learn so be patient, and KEEP COMING BACK HERE!! this forum is a great tool to get all your questions answered and get support should you need any. feel free to PM me too if you have more questions. remember, learn the safety, find something that feels comfortable, practice, practice, practice, and then try something new, and repeat. have fun!!
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Old 01-08-2010, 4:35 PM
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Thanks to everyone for all of your comments and especially for the cup of tea!! Do you have any digestive biscuits to go with that?? (ask your Mum Irish Pirate LOL). Just to answer your question I am actually from North Wales originally, but I have been over here for 15 years. Still have the accent though, which is good, because I would be in big trouble with my Mum otherwise!! It's funny because people comment on it every day!

Everyone has made some good comments (doubling up on ear protection, persevering with it, starting off with something not too powerful, ie a .22 etc)and I know at this point I probably just need to get out there, get on with it and start getting used to the idea! My husband is probably NOT the person who should be teaching me, he doesn't have the best of patience for a novice like me. All of this is second nature to him and he has a hard time taking it back to basics. But like I said I do want to be part of his interest, so hopefully this will be something thst we can do together at some point.

As far as our son is concerned, I feel that I need to learn first and then maybe I would feel more comfortable if he was involved. Mummy bear is super protective of him and if I am in a situation where I don't feel particularly comfortable then I am going to be a nervous ninny!!

Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement!
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Old 01-08-2010, 6:53 PM
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Hi Britbird. I'm new here too, though not quite as new at shooting...

Liberty Firearms Training in Elk Grove is an excellent place for you to get training. They are very female-friendly, and have dealt with many, many students who have a fear of firearms to different degrees. One of the best things about the basic pistol class is after handling multiple weapons and learning about gun safety, I was MUCH more comfortable at the end of the day. The interesting thing is one of the gals in our class was REALLY afraid of guns at the beginning of class ended up being the best shot out of all of us!!

I dont' recommend your husband teach you how to shoot. There are so many other factors that come into it when you do that, and you'd probably be more likely to take criticism more personally than you would in a professional instructional setting. Plus, if he's been doing it awhile and you end up being a "natural," he's not likely to take that well

Along the lines of teaching your kids...I have 3 boys who have done the airsoft & BB thing for quite awhile, and someone gave me a suggestion that I thought made a lot of sense. While I don't want my kids to be "afraid" of "real" guns, I do want them to have a healthy- VERY HEALTHY- respect for them. And one concern my friend had was my kids were SO comfortable with shooting their "toys" (not that someone can't be hurt by airsoft or BB) that they needed to CLEARLY understand the difference. So this friend recommended we go somewhere outside to shoot (we live part time in NV, so we didn't have to go to a range necessarily) and shoot something besides targets (watermelons, pumpkins, an alhambra jug with liquid in it, etc) so they can see how much more damage is done by a real gun. I will say they were a little surprised- and that was a good thing. They need to understand that guns are NOT toys. At the time my youngest was 6. And I would also agree that it depends on the maturity of the kids involved. My youngest might have only been 6, but he is not only mature but has 2 older brothers...

I hope you keep working through things and find enjoyment in your new hobby!
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Old 01-08-2010, 7:48 PM
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Default another thumb's up for LFT

my wife and i took a class at LFT. here is their website:

http://libertyfirearmstraining.com


i wish their website was less political. and it's a bit more fear-driven than i prefer.

but their class was excellent. class was very small and we got much more than we expected for our money's worth. in fact, we were the only people in the class. i assume that a few more students is more typical.

class was in the impeccably decorated proprietor's home, and shooting was at the bright, clean, airy, and female-friendly Gunroom range a couple of miles away.

i think the class was more expensive than some offerings that you might find somewhere else, but no regrets here.
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Old 01-08-2010, 7:58 PM
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Welcome , its good to see we have some fans from across the pond (yes i know you are here now )
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Old 01-09-2010, 6:11 PM
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If you haven't noticed the thread started by NorCal, a group of us girls from Solano County are heading up to meet NorCal and 9MM at the Sac Valley Range. If you're free on the morning of Jan 16, you may want to go shoot with the rest of us.

I will be introducing three of my GFs to the Calgunners, so you don't have to feel like you're the only new person. They're beginning shooters too.
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Old 01-09-2010, 8:37 PM
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as a bonus, i'm offering stance, grip and trigger control tips during this get together.

hopefully it won't conflict with anything any one else there teaches
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:55 PM
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I just read that thread, thanks for pointing it out to me. I might try and get some one on one instruction before I meet up with anyone, it's mighty nice of you to ask, but I think I would be a tad overwhelmed, sounds like you guys have got some major shooting planned!!! Hope that you have fun!!
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:09 AM
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Thanks -- hope to see you at the range some time!
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:02 PM
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I just read that thread, thanks for pointing it out to me. I might try and get some one on one instruction before I meet up with anyone, it's mighty nice of you to ask, but I think I would be a tad overwhelmed, sounds like you guys have got some major shooting planned!!! Hope that you have fun!!
Oh do come! Seriously, it will be tons of fun. Now, correct me if I'm way off base Steryl, but from the sound of it, you have a girlfriend coming who is fairly new to shooting as well? Likewise, I have been shooting literally 9 times at the most in my entire life. So I'm basically as new as it gets. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a little (lot) intimidated by some of those who are coming, but you know what I found, those who are experienced WANT us newbies to come because they want to help us out! I really hope you come. If nothing else, you can absorb by watching, dry firing, working on all the aspects of shooting without actually firing a single round.
Definitely come, but if you absolutely don't want to, that is totally understandable.
You mentioned one on one instruction, contact 9mmepiphany and talk to him. I don't want to speak for him, but he gave me a lesson and it was fabulous! He's great and will make you very comfortable...

Again, I hope you come! Don't let your nerves get the better of you. Remember, you don't have to shoot!
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:38 PM
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I agree with NorCal -- if you can swing by with the rest of us, please do so -- although I don't mean to pressure you. 9MM is graciously offering his services.

First of all, I have shot matches in the past, but that doesn't mean I am the best at anything. I try to be open to everything since the discipline I shoot isn't regarded as a spectator sport (Bullseye). Watching grass grow has more excitement unless your competing.

However, aside from my prime objective (meeting Calgunners and putting faces to the names,) I'd like to see the range. The match director of the 2700s there is one of the guys I run into at other matches. I'd like to see his home range and participate in some of his matches.

And yes, my two other girlfriends are not "seasoned" shooters. One has had a firearms safety course and has plinked a little, but nothing formal. The other joined the Napa Academy and has some instruction, so I guess she would be at the intermediate level. My last GF is like me, married to a cop, so I guess that's explanation enough as far as experience goes - lol

NorCal, please don't be nervous... this is what was told to me the first time I walked onto the line, surrounded by Masters and Experts. When I was done, the guy who won the match and not just his class very kindly told me that without Marksman (the lowest rank for beginners) there would be no Masters. We all have to start somewhere.

Unless it's storming like mad, I'll see you folks in a few days!
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Old 01-12-2010, 1:51 PM
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Along the lines of teaching your kids...I have 3 boys who have done the airsoft & BB thing for quite awhile, and someone gave me a suggestion that I thought made a lot of sense. While I don't want my kids to be "afraid" of "real" guns, I do want them to have a healthy- VERY HEALTHY- respect for them. And one concern my friend had was my kids were SO comfortable with shooting their "toys" (not that someone can't be hurt by airsoft or BB) that they needed to CLEARLY understand the difference.
I just wanted to make sure this was reiterated.

Air guns are a fine way to learn shooting, but do NOT simply let your son have at it. Make sure he follows the same safety rules he would follow with a firearm.

I started with BB guns around 5 or 6, and quickly moved on to a .22lr rifle. My father was always very sure to hammer the safety points home every time, regardless of what I was shooting, and it paid off very well.

As for the age of your son, I would agree with others that maturity level matters greatly. Do you feel like you can trust him to make good choices? If so, I think he's at the perfect age to begin. By starting him early in life you eliminate both the stigma and awe of firearms. He won't have to be afraid of them and won't feel an urge to play with them because the mystery and wow factor isn't there. And should he come across one at some point, he'll be able to better manage the situation.

As for the safety aspect of shooting in general, I know the "mother bear" instinct is strong. But you have to understand that this instinct is being brought to bare based on misinformation. You find guns somewhat offputting and scary, and you're projecting that. When done properly, shooting is a very safe activity. He's more likely to get hurt (gods forbid) riding his bicycle. The majority of shooting enthusiasts will shoot their whole lives and never get injured. Not trying to be preachy; just offering a viewpoint.

Welcome to the site! Hope you stay a while.
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Old 01-12-2010, 4:27 PM
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I try to be open to everything since the discipline I shoot isn't regarded as a spectator sport (Bullseye)
quite a gift for understatement there

i can almost beat that, back in high school...in San Francisco yet...i was on the ROTC small bore rifle team and went out for the Fencing team too.

Fencing is even worst than Bullseye, there's a lot of very fast action...you just can't understand what's happening because of how fast they move
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:04 PM
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Britbird :
I started with all the wrong inputs - family used to argue over guns in the house (get rid of that jamming rifle), dated a cop who took me out for 'training' to get over bad association and used big caliber (hey a revolver is simple), had a subsequent guy take me to a busy public range ( guns and muzzles all over the place- let's LEAVE!) -- yet managed to get past that.

Use the good hints from here, and I'll add a few from my scared and quaking beginning:

Find an instructor who can go soft and slow at YOUR pace.
I liked going somewhere that was quiet - few people shooting.
An outside range might be nicer for that, if not busy.
Yeah, I wish someone had told me to double up on ear protection!
Start with small caliber and don't move on until you are comfortable.
(Barrel length is immaterial -rifle or handgun, start light caliber.)
Have an experienced teacher (not your date/spouse) look at your hands and body and begin with something that fits you. Try several brands in the same caliber to find something you like ( like shopping for anything in your wardrobe).

Feel welcome in a group that says - come along, watch, talk, dry fire, shoot or nothing. I learned a huge amount just sitting on the periphery and watching to find who I would be comfortable to go shoot with. That's called window shopping!

If you don't care for a member of a group or school, shop around.
Be willing to voice your own mind, limitations and preferences.

Keep asking questions. Sort through the chaff and you'll find kernels of
wisdom and recognize them. This is not tough, and the calguns group is hugely supportive.

I got motivated to learn to use the handgun that was left behind by a roommate, when my town became crummy enough that I was unhappy being out at night. I travel all over California for work (and pleasure). I sought training with the handgun I had. Over a year's time, and training, I decided that I wanted to invest in a better tool for that job.

Now I have a concealed carry permit, and have resumed traveling where and how I wish, with awareness and preparation. I have found along the way that I enjoy my target time and practice drills. Through the sampling of guns available through friends, acquaintances, rentals at ranges, I now have
what some folks would think was an arsenal - the original, plus two that suit me very well.

I am done shopping. But I will enjoy practicing my skills, reading and learning, and occasionally meeting new folks who share my views.

Please do consider joining the outing in NorCal. They sound like a nice, low-key group. It is a low pressure, low expense way to keep dipping your toe in the pond and nibbling down the fear factor.

Have fun and take it at your pace.

Cindy
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Old 01-13-2010, 7:37 AM
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Originally Posted by 9mmepiphany View Post
quite a gift for understatement there

i can almost beat that, back in high school...in San Francisco yet...i was on the ROTC small bore rifle team and went out for the Fencing team too.

Fencing is even worst than Bullseye, there's a lot of very fast action...you just can't understand what's happening because of how fast they move
Cool -- you must know Errol Flynn! Did you go to Lowell?

When I was at SFSU, it crossed my mind to take fencing, but I ended up in raquetball -- yikes!
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Old 01-13-2010, 7:55 AM
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CindyAsk, are you outside of the Bay Area then?
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:14 AM
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Cool -- you must know Errol Flynn! Did you go to Lowell?
too prepy for me

i went to Washington...our graduating class was only 80% Asian
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:42 AM
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too prepy for me

i went to Washington...our graduating class was only 80% Asian
Small world... I would have gone to Washington too, but my mom decided to have me "incarcerated" at Pres. I used to date one of the guys on the Lowell rifle team -- and that's when I discovered that pistol shooting was more my thing. But you know, Lowell, at that time, was pretty much 80% Asian too - lol
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:00 AM
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i know...that's what caused the imbalance at Berkley

small world...so you're a Pres girl
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:04 AM
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i know...that's what caused the imbalance at Berkley

small world...so you're a Pres girl
Yep, I still have nightmares about the ugly plaid skirts - lol My husband enjoys reminding me that it could have been an orange jumpsuit instead!

I took him to my 20 year reunion... it was somewhat of a culture shock to him. I think he left the event thinking that all those movies about girls' schools were true!
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Old 01-13-2010, 6:59 PM
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I think he left the event thinking that all those movies about girls' schools were true!
they're not
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Old 01-13-2010, 8:12 PM
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Alright - I want you all to know that I sooo appreciate your encouragement and kind invitation, and I am considering coming, I really am. BUT I need to think about it some more and get used to the idea, I am really intimidated by the whole thing.
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Old 01-13-2010, 8:21 PM
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I'm glad you're at least considering the whole thing. You know the door is open and that there are Calgunners available to answer your questions whenever you feel comfotable enough to proceed.

If Sac Valley doesn't work out for you, just remember that I'm roughly 20 min away from you in the same county. We have plenty of ranges in our neck of the woods too.
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Old 01-13-2010, 8:24 PM
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I don't know why, but for some reason i think I would prefer an indoor range. It just seems less exposed? Might sound crazy. My husband doesn't have any .22's right now, do you know of an indoor range where I could go near
Fairfield, rent a rifle and get some instruction?
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Old 01-14-2010, 7:38 AM
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On the indoor ranges, there are two public ones in Vacaville: Guns & Fishing and Center Mass. The first rents handguns, but I don't think they have rifles. I haven't been there in over a year, so you may want to check their site or give them a jingle.

Center Mass is just getting started. When I was last there, they hadn't gotten any guns in for rental. Again, I don't think they have rifles available. However, I tend to favor them only because they don't have as many crowds and are very friendly. When I'm there, I'm really practicing and not plinking -- I appreciate less distractions.

IMHO outdoor ranges are pretty regardless of the weather. But then, I fish in all sorts of weather. As NorCal mentioned, the noise and air quality are a bit better outside. As long as there is good range supervision at either an indoor range or an outdoor range, you're going to be ok.

Hope I answered your question sufficiently. If not, feel free to drop me a note -- and best of luck!
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