I needed a break, I had a good-sized time gap between tasks, and the stars aligned. I packed my kit into my vehicle and went to the range.
One PM-ish on a weekday is a good time to go shoot. There are few or no other people putting holes in paper, so I’m not restricted to what I jokingly call “revolver corner,” the far right end of the row of bays. I don’t mind that slot, but I prefer to be elsewhere. Not with my back to the door, but elsewhere. I often get that slot because the guys shooting semi-automatic pistols don’t enjoy being pelted with their own rebounding brass as it hits the wall and comes back to visit.
My usual target was sold out, so I tried a slightly different one. It is still four pair of little bulls-eyes, but is simpler. I like the small, multiple targets, because it forces me to use a slightly different stance for each target. Better to shoot a more difficult round in practice than get surprised if I ever have to use my firearm in anger (rabid dog or other animal, for example.) I got my pistols and the ammo out of the range bag and stowed it in the proper shelf, mounted the target and sent it out to 4 yards, triple checked “eyes and ears,”* and started work. After observing my problem of the day (pushing, so my shots went a little high and to the left), I dug in to work. Two shots and check, two shots and check, two shots and check and reload.
Nothing existed except my hands, the pistol, and the targets. As I grew more tired, I shifted to a pistol with less recoil. I hurt, I was tired, and slightly hungry. In other words, not in perfect condition. That’s realistic, especially the wrist pain. I’d deliberately left my brace at work, because Murphy’s Law says I’ll be tired and sore if a rabid animal ever gets close enough to be dangerous. Shoot, study, adjust. Shoot, study, reload, start over.
I worked for almost an hour. When I called it a day, my right wrist hurt a great deal. I was tired. I had no tension in my shoulders or neck, because I’d been thinking about nothing but shooting. Things improved as I put holes in paper. I can’t think about anything else and shoot safely. I’m aware of my surroundings, but I don’t worry about what’s going on outside of the range. It’s almost a form of meditation, clearing my mind of anything except what my hands and body, the revolver, and the rounds are doing.
It was a good day.
*”Eyes and ears” means eye protection and ear protection. The range prefers full muff hearing protectors when we’re shooting, although I think the smaller, noise-cancelling ones might also be OK. The point is safety from loud sounds and flying brass (or worse).