I never knew that I could think of my guns in a similar way to how I think of my own children. But, wait—before anyone jumps to the conclusion that I’ve completely lost it and somehow LOVE my firearms as much as I love my kids, that’s not at all what I am trying to say.
See, many, many months ago, I had just brought home a new gun: my Springfield Armory XD-S 9mm. We already had an XD in the house, and that’s the one I’d been most used to drawing, aiming, and shooting. With Laser Ammo’s SureStrike Laser Training Cartridge installed, I’d hit just about every candle, doorknob, and light switch in our entire house. So I was rather excited to get the feel of my brand new firearm.
My husband took the unloaded pistol out and got it ready. I was changing a dirty diaper and getting a bottle prepared at the time. But he saved the first, official, laser “shot” for me. I proudly and anxiously readied the gun at a paper target taped to the fish aquarium and pulled the trigger. Oops. The red light blinked way far to the right. Hmmm.
“The sun was in my eyes,” I mumbled, jokingly.
Yes, I was kidding, but that’s always the first excuse that comes to mind in situations such as this. I pulled back the slide and made a second attempt. Far to the right. And low. Darn! I scrunched up my face in disgust and almost pulled one of my 4-year-old son’s favorite excuses when things don’t go his way. You know, the old “I don’t feel like playing anymore” routine. Nevertheless, I tried several more times, but all with a very comparable result.
Frowning, and feeling a bit defeated, I passed the gun along to my husband and muttered, “It’s not sighted in correctly… or something. It’s hitting too far to the right.”
To my surprise—and to my relief—he had a similar experience. His bright, red dots blinked far to the right, as well. He studied the gun, and his stance, and his grip and tried several more times, hitting the bullseye on a few occasions. “Hang on,” he said. He returned with the XD and showed me his findings. My new, smaller XD-S had a heavier trigger pull. And we were jerking the gun to the right, every time.
“Sheesh… now I have to relearn everything I thought I knew about shooting a gun!,” I reflected. But isn’t that part of the fun?
Getting a new gun and figuring out how to use it is kind of like having another child. They won’t all be exactly the same. The techniques and tactics that work well for one may not work at all for another. There will be things you love and admire about each one. And there will be those little idiosyncrasies and aggravations that may drive you crazy or that may, eventually, endear to your heart. In some ways, your overall effectiveness may lie in your ability to adapt, and to accept, and to simply take the next step, whether backward or forward!
Ah, parenthood and gun ownership…ultimately, it’s all about a little trial and error, a LOT of patience, and the sensible, responsible appreciation for every opportunity to learn.