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After owning and shooting a .22 revolver (9-shot) for many years, I finally decided to step up a notch and get a 9 mm semiautomatic revolver. The trigger on the .22 revolver is pretty hard to pull with an unconditioned finger, so the relatively light pressure (~10 lbs) on the Smith & Wesson SW9VE is a nice change. Motivation for the 9 mm was primarily due to my cheapness both for the initial gun purchase and for buying ammo. Until the local Wal-Mart ran completely out of 9 mm rounds, I was able to get them for about 18¢ each. Now, I can't find 9 mm ammo (except for Russian surplus online), even in bulk, for less than about 30¢ each. Word on the street is that people are hoarding rounds in anticipation of an Obama administration crackdown on ownership - time will tell.

Anyway, Melanie and I went out to a local public shooting range in Erie, PA, to do a bit of target practice. We started at 25 yards and were lucky to hit the target (about 12" square) with the first 100 rounds or so, which included the initial sighting process. Three Marines showed up at the bench next to us and offered a few tips that resulted in more hits in the target area. A little while later, I grabbed the target and took it home to erase any evidence of the shame. There were about 28 holes in the target out 100 rounds fired (all from an unsupported stance). We vowed to do better next time.

The video below is a short clip from the second time out. Again, shooting began at 25 yards, and both Melanie and I managed to at least hit the plywood backing board with every shot. The park ranger came by and after getting a lot more good info from him, we moved closer to the target. Things changed dramatically after taking his suggestion and moving up to about 10 yards. I recorded the video below of Melanie's first two shots at 10 yards. After another dozen rounds, there were 2 more holes within the bull's eye region (total of 4).

OK, so I'm no Wyatt Earp, but in these getting-weirder-every-day times, it can't hurt to be prepared. Melanie and I will both be taking a firearms safety course pretty soon. It is an 8-hour classroom and shooting session with police officer (active and retired) instructors, so not only will it be useful, but there will probably be some pretty good story telling about real-life incidents.

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