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When I walked onto the gun range that I was going to join, I got to say I felt a little nervous and quite excited at the same time! The smell of the gunpowder had been permanently embedded on the walls from years of well-respected gun owners passing through. The sight and smell hit me and it felt like home. I knew if I asked any question off the top of my head, the crew would be gracious to answer my questions.

I shook the hand of one gentleman who had worked here a long time and I expressed interest in joining the range. He asked for my gun permit, a had another volunteer kindly explain all the rules and regulations to me. He showed me the range and how to sign in when I arrive and all the usual stuff like renting targets and stands.

I rented out one of the stands for a paper target I bought and picked a spot to shoot. I was then left all alone with my gun on the table and it felt really good! Even though no one else was there, I still had to call out “CLEAR” in order to walk down range. I set up my target stand and walked back to load my first Remington rounds in my first Smith and Wesson Sheild.

As I was walking back there were bullet shells everywhere. Some were made from a corrosive metal and were totally covered in rust while the others were just plain brass. One spot on the ground had a huge mound of shells. My only guess was they were being collected for recycling. They couldn't be used for reloading because they were covered in rust.

And so I pulled out both of my magazines, put one in the gun and pulled the slide back with the gun facing down range. I took a moment to think about the freedom that had been given to me and thanked God for the right to enjoy guns in a free country. I took aim and fired till my mag ran out! I was really surprised as to how little recoil the M&P Shield barely had!

I removed the empty magazine, locked the slide on my gun and walked down range to inspect the target. I was really surprised that I actually hit the thing! I began to take aim and start shooting closer and closer to my desired hit which was center mass on the paper target. After about 160 rounds of ammunition, I called it a good first day.

My goal was accomplished and I am now a proudly responsible gun owner!

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