April 27, 2007

on another personal note

I will be back to more or less regular blogging soon. I passed my shooting test on Friday (not brilliantly, but hey, who asks for the results! I passed!) There were 16 of us and it started at the indoor shooting range, first with full-bore rifle shooting at the 100-meter range. We got five bullets and the minimum requirement was three hits in the rings. (This is only a very approximate likeness of the target.) For those interested, we had the choice between two Blaser R93 repeaters, one with 222Rem, the other with .30-06 calibre, both with a red dot rifle scope. I chose the 222Rem because of the recoil, respectively the relative lack of it, as did all the women participating.

The second discipline was the running hare at about 30 meters. This is the best picture of such a range I could find online. The hare silhouette is made from steel and topples over when hit. (The effing thing is travelling pretty fast!) We had the choice between several guns, I chose a Brno (Czech) "over and under" gun. All the guns were not choked and we used regular hunting shot. Again we had to hit a minimum of three out of five shots.

The third discipline was the "running boar". Again this is the best picture of such a target I could find online. Here, two hits out of five bullets were the minimum for passing the test. The "boar" isn't travelling as fast as the tin hare, but the shooting has to be much more precise. Again for those interested: The 222Rem calibre wouldn't be sufficient for real boar hunting. One would have to go for a bigger calibre.

In the afternoon, there was the trap shooting at a different range. I had the same Brünner gun. We had to hit a minimum of 4 clays to pass the test, two shots for each clay. After I had hit 5, the examiners mercyfully pulled me out because I could hardly stand on my feet anymore. I was neither the oldest, nor the only woman doing the test, but at an age where other women are taking their grandchildren for a walk, it was pretty tough. The best of the guys hit 14 out of the 15.

Next week I will have to pass the written and oral examination and then I'll hopefully be the proud holder of a German shooting (what you Americans call hunting) license.

Why did I do it? Because now I can work under rules with my terriers and, should everything go right, build up a little pack for boar hunting and thus let them have the life they need. Boars have become sort of a pest here, so we will be even quite welcome. And maybe, just maybe, I will get a Weimaraner puppy later (the smooth coated variety whose specimens are killed in America when they -- the gene for the smooth coat is passed on recessively -- turn up in a short coated litter) and Weims, at least Weims from respectable breeders, are only sold to people with a hunting/shooting license here. And, again maybe, he will be as wonderful as my Bracko was, a castoff from a hunter who had no room in his life for the old dog anymore and thus gave me one of the best things I ever had.

But hey, I am rambling. I guess it's some post-stress thing.

11 comments:

Stephen Renico said...

Shooting is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. :-)

Congratulations on passing your test.

The_Editrix said...

Thanks!

And well said! :-)

I might take it up again once I have passed the entire test. The only thing that dampened the fun was the pressure. Without it, I'll enjoy it enormously.

Will try to get an affordable gun next, or better, after the obligatory and prohibitively expensive firearm safe, which one needs here even BEFORE one acquires a firearm. They are doing anything here to discourage people from taking up shooting/hunting.

The_Editrix said...

By the way, you have a fascinating blog. I, personally, find knives much more frightening than firearms, on a gut level, although I don't know why. Maybe because it's so much more difficult to learn how to use a knife competently and effectively.

Stephen Renico said...

Editrix,

Thank-you. :-) If you like, I'd be happy to exchange links with you.

As for the using a knife, I don't claim to be an expert at what I practice. I have had experience with both judo and kickboxing, and, in light of learning the Filipino Arts, I'll never do anything else. It's head and shoulders above anything I've ever practiced.

One of the best things is that you don't have to be in Olympic-level shape to learn the knife, either. It's more about movement and timing rather than strength and conditioning.

If you're ever interested in learning this art, there is a gentleman in Germany named Uli Wiedle who teaches in Reutlingen:

http://www.pekiti-tirsia.net/
Zaisental 71 - D 72760 Reutlingen
Tel: +49 (7121) 300 931 - Fax: +49 (7121) 371 124

I've never met him, but my teacher has met him many times and has very good things to say about him.

The_Editrix said...

Stephen, thanks! I will gladly exchange links with you.

However, I will not start practising the use of a knife (other than for cooking purposes), interesting as it clearly is. I am damn glad I managed what little I had to learn about the handling and use of firearms for that effing hunting license. Believe it or not, I basically disapprove of women carrying arms, as I strongly disapprove of women soldiers and firefighters. For a feminist whim, countless men are harmed and killed. This is an excellent opinion piece from my website (not blog). I think I am allowed to say so without appearing immodest because I didn't write it.

Tell me what you think!

romanreb said...

I am so proud of you Dear Editrix! and, as an American, I am so ashamed of how we take our Right to Bear Arms for granted...I'll be praying for you when you take your "finals".

I agree 100% with the Marine's take on women in the military. It is a catastrophy, quite predictable for anyone remotely savvy regarding biology and gender psychology---or how about just HISTORY, and CIVILIZATION in general?

However, when I was driving all over Texas in the middle of the night taking five kids to various and sundry activities, I was sure glad to have that .38 revolver in my purse. I never had to use it on anything but a few poisonous snakes, but it was good to know that it was there, for the sake of my children---and that's pretty obvious biology as well. ;)

Love,
Romanreb

The_Editrix said...

"...and that's pretty obvious biology as well. ;)

Amen to that, dear Romanreb!

I ought to have said that I disapprove of women carrying arms for other than defensive purposes.

I have started watching John Wayne films lately, the last one being "El Dorado". I found that girl in trousers with the carefully dishevelled hair, carrying a rifle and acting aggresive, MOST irritating, and predictably she made a mess of it. Obviously, her father had failed to smack her bottom at an early (st)age. (Then I wondered whether girls REALLY wore such tight trousers and open-necked shirts in the Wild West...) I particularly noticed how annoying she was when she came to the jail with her sister in law who was carrying a gun as well, but obviously in self-defense and defense of her husband. She was dressed like a woman, not a "tomboy" [aaarrrggghhh...!!!] and looked not a bit out of place and very dignified.

Not sure whether that makes sense...

romanreb said...

It makes PERFECT sense...I'm not a big fan of most of the 1960's John Wayne movies---the big exception being "Chisum". Believe it or not, I found the opening credits and accompanying music for that Movie so compelling that I researched the character John Wayne portrayed in it and named my firstborn son "Chisum"---So I try to be very sophisticated and tell people he's named after a great Cattle Baron, but, in truth, he's named after a John Wayne movie. :)

I highly recommend the John Ford directed Cavalry Trilogy starring John Wayne ("Rio Grande", "Fort Apache", and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"), as well as "Stagecoach" and "The Quiet Man"..."The Searchers" is, in my opinion, the best western ever filmed, and has the most poignant love story...

Love,
Romanreb

The_Editrix said...

RR, I think I have seen most of his films over the years, but for some unfathomable reason I prefer the later ones. And yes, Chisum is just great. My DVD contains a second edition of the film, completely with voice-over comments of director Andrew V. McLaglen. He tells a lot about the the opening credits and accompanying music as well.

I like Big Jake best, probably because I liked the way how he dealt with his stuck-up, lippy wife and spoilt sons. When she says: "You haven't changed, have you, Jacob McCandles" and he spits back at her: "NOT A BIT", that is sheer and undiluted genius.

Stephen Renico said...

Editrix,

That was a very interesting article. I'll split hairs with you and say that I agree that I prefer women as soldiers, but I have no problems with women carrying arms.

I see the totality of warfare as altogether different from fighting, especially in the context of self-defense. After all, just imagine the shock a rapist would feel if he selected a woman who practices with knives or pistols as his next victim.

Hopefully it would be his last intended victim. Ever.

Stephen Renico said...

Editrix,

I just noticed that you specified your point of view here:

"I ought to have said that I disapprove of women carrying arms for other than defensive purposes."

Great minds think alike. :-)