Skip to comments.Women take aim
Posted on 12/23/2008 9:13:14 AM PST by Graybeard58
Left hand tucked casually into the pocket of her cargo pants, body cocked at a 45-degree angle, Sheila Thompson outstretched her arm, locked her elbow and pointed a .22 caliber pistol at her target.
The bullet exploded out of the barrel, splintering the quietness of the indoor range. Bright yellow ear plugs muffling the sound, Thompson kept shooting.
Wednesday is when the Blue Trail Belles meet for target practice. About 25 ladies, some dressed in cargo pants and Nike sneakers, like Thompson, others in pointy fashion boots, make up the Wallingford shooting range's women's pistol league. The group practices bullseye shooting, or one-handed shooting.
"They make a night out of it," said Lenny Smittner, as he sat around a table with his friends and watched through a window as his wife, Cathy, 58, coached the shooters. "It's women's night out."
According to the National Rifle Association, 4 million women participate in target practice nationally. The association sponsors annual women's shooting classes and reported that the class grew from 500 to 6,000 within six years.
Cathy, who has been shooting more than 20 years and works for the North Haven police department, said she's the marksman in the family.
"I clean the guns, he does the dishes," she laughed. "Many people think that shooting sports are a man's activity...many women are excellent shooters and look at this activity as a way to relax and unwind from the day's stress."
The group practices slow, medium and rapid fire shooting and compete, against men, at other area gun clubs. Competitions are usually once a month. Women from nurses to teachers to parole officers, mostly from the Greater New Haven area, make up the club. Cathy began coaching the Blue Trail Belles in 2000, but said the group is "umpteen years old," and has been around for decades. It's the only women's shooting club in the area.
"It's one of the few sports where men and women can compete on equal footing, with no distinct advantage for either sex," she said.
Thompson, currently the only member from the Greater Waterbury Area, has been a member of the ladies pistol club for three years. She said it's a confidence builder and wanted to keep shooting after getting out of the military and found herself practicing at the Blue Trail Range. When she heard about the women's group, she couldn't resist.
"It's less intimidating (shooting with other women)," she said. "The ladies here are pretty fun, we've become good friends."
Between rounds they gather around the TV for biscotti, coffee and chit-chat.
Thompson, 38, said some women "don't even like to look at a gun," but encourages ladies to try it out.
"You can get as involved as you want," she said. "You can rent a gun for $3, that's cheaper than bowling. See if you like it."
Cathy, certified pistol instructor and coach of the Belles, said the Blue Trail Belles grew by 11 members this year, noting that not all members compete.
Some in the Wallingford club, Cathy said, choose to compete against themselves from week to week. Others join the group because their husbands have guns in the home and they want to learn more about firearms, she added.
"There are about 10 who are really into it," she said, adding that learning about firearms teaches safety and responsibility.
"The discipline that the sport requires also spills over into everyday lives. Women should take time to learn about firearms so that the stigma of 'they can be bad and dangerous' can be erased," she said. "The more one learns about firearms, the safer they and the people around them will be."
Those who do compete are classified as a marksman and their scores are submitted to the NRA.
The Blue Trail Belles season lasts from November through April and women are invited to visit anytime.
For more information call (203) 269-3280.
The differnce in instructing women, is that women acually listen to direction. There's no machismo at all. They are certainly better shots right out of the gate, so to speak.
We have a group at work that got their concealed weapon permit. We spend our Friday lunch hours at the range. Target shooting is a real stress relief. If course, hanging your latest target in your office is intimidating to the boss.......
LOL I hope no one slams a door or they'll all soil their britches from the noise!
Now if they want to hear splintered quietness, stand near my Moisin Nagant when I pull the trigger!!
The Ol’ Mizris has her CWP and took the NRA class for wimmins. She’s a better shot than she thinks she is. I’m really proud of her.
Gee, I hope nobody was injured by the shrapnel of the exploding bullet!
Sounds like a design or manufacturing defect.
My .22 pistol shoots bullets straight at their target without all that messy "exploding" along the way. Maybe they need to upgrade to a Browning Buckmark!
“I clean the guns, he does the dishes,” she laughed.
There are waaaaaaay more families like us than any Lefty can ever imagine...even in their worst nightmares, LOL! :)
Or maybe get better ammo?
But that is what happens when drama queens write gun articles.
Mrs. Knitebane too.
Not only am I proud of her, Santa was too.
He brought her this:
That is one LOUD rifle.
The bullet exploded out of the barrel, splintering the quietness of the indoor range.
Eschoose me? Its just a .22.
Santa brought me a Concealed Carry Permit and a few accessories this year! 22s are fun, but a 40-caliber Glock rocks. ;-)
Sounds like a hate crime to me........
Hot girls with guns pic
I can join soon. Think this this group needs any new members?
At a public indoor range a while ago something didn’t seem right. I look behind me and there’s this chick with a Buck Mark.22 ten feet behind me, essentially shooting over my right shoulder. The empties bouncing off of the partition were getting in her hair, which was annoying to her. I am glad that those pistols shoot straight, but the shooters on the other hand...
They are certainly better shots right out of the gate,
Women shooters p!$$ me off. More than once I've handed a gun to a woman who had never even SEEN a pistol before and they've out shot me. I'm no pistolero, but I can generally hit mostly what I aim at. It's like voodoo how women can just pick up a handgun and be so capable with it.