Tommy has always had a love for guns and has been shooting since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. When Alexis got to be about 14 or so she started shooting and really got into it competitively about two years ago. She has been shooting in local competitions and they have traveled to California twice now to attend the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships. It’s been alot of fun for the family.
They have begun talking about branching out a bit and incorporating more shotgun and rifle shooting into their repertoire. With these new endeavors comes new gun purchases – which we had yesterday. 🙂
After a lot of gun “try-ons” and discussions Tommy decided to get Alexis her first shotgun – a Beretta Silver Pigeon 1. It’s a good sporting clays shotgun (this is what I’m hearing) and something that will be great for her first shotgun competitions as a junior.
She came home with it yesterday and they immediately got to cleaning it and prepping it for some action. Then we headed out to Capitol City Trap & Skeet Club. We got out there kind of late (because of course they didn’t have any shotgun ammo loaded so we had to make a pit stop to pick some up) so we sped through the course to shoot as much as we could before it got too dark. The overcast day didn’t help keep it light for as long as possible either.
I played the part of paparazzo so that I could accurately document the first date of Alexis with her new toy.
The range is set up in a half circle so that you start at the far end of the complex and then walk closer to the club house with each stage that you advance through. We walked a bit to get to the first stage.
We got to the first stage and the safety check begins.
A quick test pull to see where the birds are aimed to throw and then it’s go time. I was so excited for her! You only get that “first shot” feeling once and then it’s gone. I had to make sure that I caught it at just the right time.
For the record, ladies and gentleman, she successfully hit the first clay with her first shot! Oh yes…she did!
A little closer of a picture for the second shot…
Then it was Tommy’s turn to try the new gun. He was almost as excited as she was. They are so funny.
We wrapped up the first stage and took off to the next one. Each stage has a different variety of launchers that hurl the clay pigeons in the air. You get a test throw to see where the pigeons are going to fly but the wind can always play a factor on where they truly end up in the sky. Plus, the blast radius of your shot is dependent on the wind as well. There’s alot that comes into play in this event. Always keeps it fun!
It was shortly after this picture that I realized that I left the camera lense cap on the bench back at Stage One. Argh! I high-tailed it back there and missed Alexis shoot stage 2 so I only caught the very last shot – of Tommy. I love this view though!
We count these cedar bushes as trees in this part of Texas. Yup yup.
Stage 3 was shot from a platform and there was a very low pigeon called a “Bunny” that gets launched low to the ground and then another that is launched very high. This stage was pretty tricky.
It started getting pretty dark so we were hussling through the rest of the stages to hit as many as we could. Some of these pictures are dark but it wasn’t THAT dark – it was always safe and you could always see the pigeons flying.
We were constantly trying to get pictures of the ejection of the shells when the gun would open but we were having a heck of a time. Either they didn’t remember to wait for me to get the camera ready or it would happen to quickly and I couldn’t take the picture fast enough. Finally we got it!
I’m not much of a shooter but I support my family doing whatever they want to do and have fun at. I’m usually the picture taker or the die sprayer (so Tommy can find his brass at matches) or water carrier. This time it was fun though because I got to push the buttons when they would yell, “PULL!” I giggled every time. I like this job.
Here’s Tommy on one of the last stages. I got right behind him so that hopefully you could see the clay pigeons that he was aiming for. (click pic to see a larger version.)
It was a fun time! I’ll definitely go with them again when they go to this range. It was fun and very scenic. We had a lot of fun and Alexis is absolutely in love with her new toy.