Owning a firearm is a right of every American,
but it also has implied responsibility. The responsibility to practice good firearms safety (Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, Always treat the gun like it is loaded; Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction; and Always know your target and what’s beyond); keep the firearm safely secured, stored and maintained; and practice to be proficient. Proficiency is vitally important; especially when you are using your gun for personal protection.
At Shoot Like A Girl, when meet a soon to be first-time and/or newer gun owners, we stress the importance of safety and practice. As a result, we recommend they buy two guns, the caliber they choose for personal defense and a .22LR in as close to the same frame with the same features as their personal protection gun. Here’s why: Science tells us that it takes over 150 repetitions of a task for our brain build muscle memory. As a new shooter, you want to concentrate on the proper stance, grip and sight alignment; with a 22.LR you can do exactly that, without learning bad habits you may pick up like recoil flinch. Plus, a 22.LR is just fun to shoot, it’s not as loud, and has less recoil; so, you will be able to learn to shoot correctly and accurately. Of course, still wear your Walker’s hearing and eye protection.
Muscle memory is important in a stressful situation. Hopefully, you are never in a situation to use your gun for personal protection, but if you are, your heart may speed up, your hands may get sweaty and shake and you may just suffer a little bit of panic. Muscle memory will step in, when you need it. The additional advantage to 22.LR is that a rimfire gun will malfunction more than a centerfire gun; at least that is my perception. A malfunction is as easy to fix, but it takes practice to remember the steps without thinking about it. I liken it to driving. Have you ever started to change lanes and realize there is a car next to you in your blind spot, and quickly maneuver back into your lane; it’s the same type of muscle memory.
Of course, there’s money savings, too.
If you’re truly committed to being proficient with your shooting skills, you should shoot at least 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Federal CCI 22.LR ammunition at Bass Pro Shops and/or Cabela’s costs $79.90; compared to 1,000 rounds of Federal Premium 9mm ammunition cost of $749.50. Even buying a 22.LR pistol at $329.00 there is a cost savings of over $300. We do recommend you shoot a box of ammunition from your actual personal protection gun each time you go the range too.
If you want to be a responsible gun owner, if you want to save money and if you want to build muscle memory and you want to have fun; then practice to be proficient with a 22.LR pistol!