During our recent visit to the Defense and Sporting Arms Show at SM Megamall last weekend (see this post), my son had an opportunity to be instructed on and actually fire a real live handgun. It wasn't a real real firing, in the sense that only simulated rounds were used, but for all intents and purposes, it was close enough to the real deal.
After watching of couple of newbies (most of whom were actually small kids), my son asked me if he could try it himself. After asking the range officer some questions about how the firings were conducted, I concluded it was safe enough for him to try.
The handgun, as far as I could tell (I was watching from a distance) was a six-shot .38 Special revolver with a 4" barrel and a stainless steel finish, presumably made by Armscor.
The simulated ammunition consisted of real brass cartridges and real gunpowder. The slugs however, were made of wax, somewhat similar in consistency to that used in crayons. The amount of powder was also probably reduced to lower muzzle velocity and felt recoil. Indicative of this deduction was the report of the ammunition being discharged. It sounded more like a .22 LR than a true-blue .38 SPL.
The wax rounds and reduced gunpowder charge notwithstanding, I have no doubt the velocity of the slugs was still significant, given the amount of damage it was inflicting to the soft plywood targets. While it doesn't seem to be lethal, I certainly wouldn't want to be hit with one. No doubt it'll sting like hell.
After paying a relatively inexpensive fee (P100.00 for hands-on training and 18 simulated rounds), my son and I sat in the holding area as we waited his turn. I gave him a few pointers while we waited, about the proper stance and grip, and generally what to expect when he squeezed the trigger. The irony is that in retrospect, I have never actually fired a revolver. I've shot a variety of pistols in varying sizes, calibers, and actions before, and I even had training in combat rifles, in particular the 5.56 mm M16, thanks to my ROTC days. But a revolver? Strangely enough, I seem to have missed that one. However, knowing full well that revolvers are significantly easier to use than self-loading pistols, I didn't expect my son to have any problems operating one.
After a brief wait, his name was called up. Here are a few pictures:
Being given a short lecture on the parts and controls of a revolver.
Learning to use the sights.
Learning the proper stance.
A few adjustments here and there.
Fire in the hole!
Hopefully, through this experience, my son will have an increased understanding and respect for firearms.
Remember, when firing a gun, always follow range rules, and always keep safety in mind.
I'm seeing just how far my son can go with a digital camera in hand. Here are some of the photos he took during a recent visit to the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center:
A shot of the man-made lagoon.
Obviously, he has a thing for cats. Actually you can find a lot of cats in the Parks and Wildlife center. They seem to have it quite easy there.
Did I mention that he likes ducks too? I like ducks myself. As long as they're done Peking style. :-)
I walk a lonely road...
Chiaroscuro/claire-obscure. A contrast of the setting sun's reflection on the water versus the dark foreground, with the silhouette of a kid playing by the lakeshore. I also took a picture of this scene, but my son's shot seems a lot better. :-)