Target Practice on the Ranch on Christmas Eve

A personal story by Kyle Shimizu

I had the good fortune recently to spend a little time with Joe, a friend of mine during the recent holiday season.  He is a relative of my girlfriend.

I live in a suburban town and a “city life” is really all I know.  Joe is a rancher by trade. I am an educator and anytime Joe and I get together we always talk up a storm. So on a very nice sunny Christmas Eve day, Joe suggested we do some target shooting on his ranch. I was thrilled, as I had some minor experience with firearms in the past and had really enjoyed it. However, it had been a number of years since that time and I was excited to try my hand at shooting a few different caliber pistols.

I arrived at his place and was greeted by their three dogs. Joe came out of his office carrying a plastic case which contained the three weapons we would be shooting. Joe knew I had not shot in a long time so he began to discuss some gun safety tips which I thought was good. After about 5 minutes of briefing, we headed out to where the targets were located down in a gully about 100 yards from the house.

We proceeded to put the orange foam ear plugs that Joe had brought in our ears. Joe then pulls out the Springfield 9mm handgun and loads the clip. He fires a few rounds at the homemade targets, which he made himself, striking the metal target a couple times. I thought to myself, “This is awesome.” After Joe finished emptying the clip, he reloaded it for me. I asked him a couple questions regarding hand and finger positioning just before I began to fire my rounds. I missed the first few shots, but began to get the feel on the remaining shots and started to hit the targets.  I also got to shoot a SIG Sauer 380 and a Smith & Wesson 357 Magnum.

We would intermittenly talk and shoot for the entire afternoon. I couldn’t have enjoyed myself more as rare opportunity presented itself and I took advantage of it.

Kyle Shimizu is a third-generation American of Japanese ancestry.  He lives in Northern California and is an avid sportsman.