I am what you would call a late bloomer…I shot my first gun when I was 19. It was a run of the mill bolt action 22. My guy was shooting a variety of rifles because when we took a trip to the range, it was a waste to take just one because it was so far away. While I was shooting the .22 at 25 yards I glanced over at him and he was shooting a Mosin Nagant. That looked like a hell of a lot more fun.
I will never forget how self-conscious I felt when the guys at the range saw my guy load the Nagant & hand it to me…Ignore them he said to me…Its just you and the rifle. How was I supposed to ignore 20 something men put down their rifles, step back away from their shooting benches just to see me flinch?
My heart was pounding…he talked me through what I had to do…I’ve played with this rifle in the house…sliding the bolt, aiming, etc. but never fired it before. I was relaxed with it in my hands but I was the only girl at the range that day and all those eyes watching me made me so nervous.
Nose to thumb was the last phrase I remember my guy saying to me before I closed my eyes and raised the rifle to my shoulder. It felt so natural…I remembered to breathe…I inhaled, opened my right eye, hugged the rifle a little closer, exhaled as the target came into focus and fired.
I didn’t realize how quiet & still the range was until I busted out laughing…I was hooked!