Who said girls can’t shoot? This Girl Reporter is here to tell you all about the Girls on Target event with the Lucerne Valley Lions Club shooting range. During my visit there we got to learn how to safely deal with many different kinds of guns and even got to shoot a bow and arrow!Everyone, there was very careful to make sure we were all safe and comfortable with our gun before shooting. They also made sure each girl knew how to load, arm the gun, and turn off the safety on each gun. The instructors also taught us cool code names for certain actions. For example, when we were shooting they would yell that the range was “hot” and when no one was shooting they called it “cold”.
Before we got to shooting we all gathered in the main building where there were delicious breakfast options. After we were all accounted for, we got to learn a little bit more about the club and that they have the range open on certain days for people to come and shoot. After a little bit of history, we received the very important safety talk and learned how to find our dominant eye. To do this simple yet important task all you have to do is make your hand into a triangle and use both eyes to focus on something far away and then slowly let your hands go to one eye. This is how to tell if you’re left eye dominant, right eye dominant, or cross-eyed dominant. Then Mrs. Mary gave us our safety glasses and earplugs or as they would call it your, “eyes and ears.”
We were then split into groups by color, and I was lucky color green! The first activity my group got to do was the handguns activity. They made sure we all put on our, “eyes and ears” seeing as the range was “hot” and the since the other girls already started shooting. Durin our course, each girl got her own mentor to help guide her. Hailey, my mentor, showed me how to remove the magazine and put bullets in my gun. After learning how to do that, she showed me where the safety was and how important is to have it on until I’m ready to shoot. Now, knowing how to work the gun and reload it, she showed me how to hold it and let me shoot. It was very exhilarating until you had to reload it again. Each girl got the opportunity to shoot 50 rounds. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do pretty well for only my second time shooting.
At the next station, we learned how to shoot bow and arrows, just like Merida! Once we were down there, the more experienced girls went first – mostly because they actually knew what they were doing. Shortly after they finished, it was my turn – oh no! Since I was left-handed, they used a completely different bow than what the other girls were using. My bow was called a “trigger bow” meaning I had a little latch attached to a Velcro bracelet in which I could grab, pull, and release with my “trigger.” It was a little more than advanced for me and I didn’t hit the targets, but it was a great learning experience and made me only want to know more.
Next up: Black Powder Rifles. If any of the guns were going to be intimidating to me, it was this one. When we got up to the black powder station they took us to the side and gave us a very interesting background on the black powder rifles used in the old wars. Did you know that soldiers were required to learn how to reload and shoot a black powder rifle 100 times in one minute? Crazy, I know I couldn’t do it. After the interesting but brief history we went over to our stations and meet our new mentors. My mentor Matt, showed me his old style black powder rifle and then jumped into teaching me how to load it. After watching him do the 6 steps in loading his gun he let me hold it, showed me how to shoot it, and let me get comfortable with it he put the cap on and let me shoot away! Out of all the guns, this one ended up being my favorite to load and shoot by far. I found the process of loading very fun and interesting.
The last station we got the opportunity to partake in was the modern rifles. We all received a 1-1 mentor and our own rifle to shoot. My mentor, Chuck, showed me his rifle and explained how to load it, as it was much different than the other guns I loaded that day. He let me get familiar with it then let me shoot my targets. I didn’t do so well with the rifle as I would have liked to, but now it just makes me want to improve even more. After shooting out rifles we had the chance to shoot a 45 semi-automatic gun. He let us shoot the yellow targets he had out and then gave us a bullet to take home as a souvenir. After they told us the range was “cold” he took us out to the targets and helped us find “nickels”. Nickels itself, are what is left when the bullet hits the metal target and squishes itself into a flat nickel like form. It was really cool seeing how this flat object was a big bullet a couple minutes ago.
In the end, I had an amazing time and learned so much about guns I didn’t even know existed. I believe every girl that wants to or has a passion to shoot should go visit my friends at the Lucerne Valley Lions Club Shooting Range. It is definitely a good place to go if you’re a beginner or even if you’re advanced, they have a lot of variety of guns for you to shoot. It’s also a very family friendly and safe place for families to go shooting together. So, go pay them a visit and tell them a Girl Reporter sent you!