This weekend marked the grand re-opening of Hook, Line, and Sinker, Oakley’s gun store. We met the former owners, Gene and Michelle Buchholz, last year when I was president of the Oakley Chamber of Commerce. We had heard all kinds of things about the Buchholzes before we met them, but once we did meet them, we found out they were actually down-to-earth, sensible people.
We bought a .22 rifle from them, which Stefan pimped out impressively (you can see it on his blog), but which neither of us has ever fired, because we haven’t had a chance to take it to a gun range.
Gene and Michelle went out of business in December…or started to. Three days into liquidation, they found a buyer, who ended up hiring Gene on as general manager. The whole plaza has been renovated since Ace Hardware bought it. The new owners of Hook, Line, and Sinker renovated the inside of the store at the same time Ace renovated the façade, adding vaults, pressure-sensitive windows, and other security features.
One feature of the grand opening was the mobile indoor shooting range provided by Hammer Stryke. A 10-minute session cost $10. We had to wait in line for quite a while after buying our tickets, but that proved to be its own form of entertainment, as we were seated next to a former Antioch police officer and ran into our electrician, John Pike. Both recommended 40-caliber weapons.
Eventually our turn came. I explained that I was a hopeless n00b who had never fired a gun. The instructor tested my hand size and grip and we settled on a Glock, which I could get a good solid grip on. It was very lightweight, straightforward to load, straightforward to aim: line up the little prong in the little U-shape. (I did have to close one eye sometimes because I need to get glasses and the eye protectors are not helpful that way.) Hold the gun with both hands. Keep your thumbs to the side. Keep your finger off the trigger: it takes less time to put your finger on the trigger than to decide whether someone is a good guy or a bad guy.
It’s a little weird to shoot in a simulation where you are firing at people–not so much when they are shooting at you, but when they might not be. (I shot one of the wrong people in one of the simulations. It’s frighteningly easy to do.) On the other hand, that’s good training: closer to any real-world situation you might have to use a gun in than just firing at a target, though firing at a stationary target may help improve your posture and aim.
All in all, it was tremendous fun, and easier than I expected. I’m relieved to know that I can hit what I aim at. And I liked the Glock a lot. No recoil to speak of, even given my delicate little wrists and total lack of musculature.
Stefan did a very proficient job shooting with the same gun, but then, I expected him to. He’s used a gun before.
So I guess we’ll be putting a Glock .45 on the wish list, but it will be a while before we can afford one. They cost more than .22 rifles.
Watch a video demonstration of the simulation software: