Shooting for Women Alliance, Barnes Women’s Weekend

October 27, 2014

We recently had an amazing weekend with some great ladies that wanted to learn how to not only shoot a handgun but shoot a handgun well.

I invited a great friend of mine Susan Rexrode from Tennessee to instruct us. We have been planning this for months. She is the founder of Shooting for Women Alliance.

At the past NRA Show in Indianapolis, I had told Susan that I was not very proficient at hitting the target with my handgun. She went into an explanation of what might be wrong with my shooting and it was something that I had never heard before from anyone! She asked me what type of handgun I was shooting and I told her. She said, “let’s walk over to that booth, pick up one like the one you have and let me see how it fits your hand.” I said to her “what do you mean fit my hand”? She said “just let me show you”. After her showing me how the handgun should fit my hand, I discovered the current handgun I had just wasn’t right for me. No fault of the handgun just my hand wasn’t right for it. I am attaching a link from Susan’s magazine that she publishes that shows point by point how the handgun should fit your hand. I encourage you to get your handgun and work through these points to see if you have the right handgun for you. I am talking men and women. You women, if your husband, boyfriend, friend, or son has a handgun that you shoot, please go through this exercise. If it fits you – that is great – but odds are it won’t. Then I will ask you to go to your local sporting goods store and pick up several handguns to see which one is the one for you. You may just find one, you may find many and you may find none – which means – the dealer may not be carrying the right handgun for you. However, please don’t get discouraged. I promise you there is a handgun out there for you. When you go to the sporting goods store, take this article with you and don’t let anyone tell you anything different than what is in this article. Trust me, this works as I seen it in action with the 12 ladies that were at our shoot. Many didn’t have the proper handgun that they had brought to shoot and when the proper handgun was put in their hands along with some instruction on focusing on the front site as well as a few other important fine points, I watched not only my group but other ladies groups go from marginal to awesome!!!

On the first day, we had some good in class instruction for about 5 hours that went into how to pick the right concealed carry option, fitting a handgun to your unique qualities, understanding the precision of shot placement and proper technique and laser tips and techniques. We then went out to the handgun range for about three hours. We were tested on what we knew or didn’t know – then we fired at targets.

Each woman was helped individually on fitting a handgun to their hand and focusing attention on the front site.

We had recently put this shooting range together in preparation for this handgun shoot and handgun shooting in the future as well a great practice range. It worked great. I now have a close place to practice my new found skills.

The second day we had more in class instruction that involved awareness for personal protection, defensive handgun tactics that taught us how to defend yourself in an up-close physical encounter, how to draw your firearms for personal protection from a number of holster options and from a carry purse as well as the effective us of cover versus concealment. We then talked about defensive shooting techniques that went into tips and skills related to defending yourself with deadly force evolving from target practice to personal defense application including “flash sight picture” and instinctive shot placement. Later that afternoon we had one on one training again, and had the opportunity to demonstrate the various skills we had learned and discover the areas that may need improvement. Everyone learned from each other. Then we had a fun-filled competition using 22 caliber semi-autos. The adrenaline definitely increased and we felt empowered individually and as a group.

At the end of the second day, we went in to have dinner – which was very welcome. Then Susan and her husband Rob passed out scripts for a Murder Mystery Dinner. Oh my how fun this was. We all got into character and laughed until our sides ached and our throats hurt. I don’t think I have laughed that much in that short amount of time ever. This lasted close to three hours but it seemed like minutes.

All in all the time spent was a chance of a lifetime for not only me but the other ladies as well. The goal of my daughter Jessica and myself are to become certified instructors through Susan’s organization – which, by the way, is a not for profit organization. We will need to carve out 6 days of our lives to become certified but it will be worth it to be able to teach other ladies what our group experienced with this class.

Coni Brooks