Shooting Range Visit

Thoughts from my second shooting range visit

On Halloween I ended up with the evening free to myself.  I could have gone to the gym, watched movies, or even eaten candy.  But instead, I decided on an indoor shooting range visit since it was over a month since I had been there.  Plus there was a great deal on at the time that I couldn’t resist.

As you may have read, my first visit to the shooting range was a real eye opener.  I came out of it with both confidence and respect.

Below I report on the firearms I used and my thought on each for this shooting range visit:

Glock 17 (9mm)

Just like on my first shooting range visit, I started out with a 9mm pistol, the Glock model 17.  On the last visit I also fired the CZ 75 9mm, but this time I only used the Glock.

It felt great, and my accuracy & handling abilities definitely improved.

Though I did find that the thumb of my left hand somehow cause the slide lock/release to hold the slide open after a shot, even though the magazine wasn’t empty.  Either that, or it was some sort of malfunction – not the fault of Glock, but the fact that this is likely the most used 9mm pistol in the entire building.

It’s likely that your first handgun experience will also be with a Glock 19 (or the compact Glock 19 or possibly even the tiny sub-compact Glock 26).  Don’t be afraid to go straight to the 9mm round.  Sure the .22 is much less shocking and loud, but anybody interested in firearms should be able to handle the 9mm right out of the gate.


Remington 1911 .45 ACP

Ahhh the historic 1911; I’ve been waiting anxiously to try this gun.

Designed in the late 1800s and in service since the First World War, this gun has stood the test of time.  The sidearm of choice for the US Military until switching to a NATO standard 9mm round in the 1980s.  This handgun functioned flawlessly.

The steel frame causes the 1911 to be much heavier than the Glock.  But the operation is it’s strong point.  I was more accurate with the .45, but perhaps because I had warmed up with the box of 9mm.  The trigger is smooth and I had no problems finding the re-set point, instead of taking my finger totally off of the trigger.

Once you feel comfortable with the 9mm, definitely try out the 1911.


.22 Pistol

After firing the .45, the .22 was extremely mild.  The first few rounds were actually the most difficult and I definitely caught myself starting to compensate for the higher recoil of the 1911.

The best part of firing a .22 pistol is how inexpensive it is; a box of 50 rounds is less than 1/4 the cost of the .45 – this means that owning one of these pistols would allow you to do some target practice a lot more often.

Another bonus is that this takes the same rounds as you Ruger 10/22 or Savage .22LR rifles.  A .22LR rifle is one of the first firearms that you should purchase.  I know that it is on my “to buy” list.



Remington 870 Shotgun

I fired a few rounds of birdshot through the 870 the last time I was at the range.  This is likely the highest fun-to-cost ratio activity that you can do at the range.  Who doesn’t love firing a 12 gauge and then shucking a new round into the gun.  Even loading a shotgun feels cool.

Though the bird shot isn’t much of a load, you can’t tell too much of a difference on the target.   And 25 shells costs about the same as 5 slugs.  However,  the kick on the slug is at least twice that of the bird shot.  Follow up with a tube full of buck shot, and you have had a good time at the range.

A shotgun is most likely the first gun I buy after I get my PAL – but since the range I go to doesn’t have a Mossberg 590, I’m not likely to pick up the 12 gauge on my next range visit.  But I will have to try out a Mossberg somewhere before I make my purchase.

Here is my 12 Gauge research if you are in the same boat as I am in deciding between the two guns (even though you can’t go wrong with either of them).


My To-Do List for next time

Even if they don’t end up on my firearm shopping list, I want to spend some time exploring and firing revolvers.  I did let of a few rounds of the big S&W 500 last time, but that was just for fun.

Loading and sending a few cylinders of .38, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and trying out a .454 or .460 sounds like a good day.

Yes a revolver is a possible unit for me to own, but likely after a 9mm pistol and some long guns.  But I think a day of firing theses iconic handguns.

The other plan I have is to side-by-side compare a 1911 .45 ACP with a Glock Model 21 .45 ACP – This should help me decide if either units should go on my shopping list.

Also, a nice comparison of the Glock 17, Glock 26, Smith&Wesson M&P 9, Springfield XD, etc. will help me decide which of the 9mm pistols feels with best to me in form and function.  This is because a 9mm is the most sensible caliber for my first pistol.  Trying out all of the different units is money well spent.  Between reading the reviews, and what I feel at the range, I should be able to decide what I will be getting.


I hope you enjoyed my report on my second shooting range visit.  I will be going again and will make notes of my next few visits.

Do you have any questions or want to share any of your own experiences?