As I slipped into the classroom, and behind a table, Chris placed the class on break and asked me if I was armed. I relinquished my 1911 to the locked gun range. Chris brought me up to speed with the lecture, and then told me I really didn't have to stay, that he would issue me the required certificate. I told him I wanted the course.
It was a heartening mix of people taking the course, four white women of varying ages, and two young black men along with eight white men. Sadly, there were no black women present. I sat through another two hours of NRA sanctioned instruction, discussing the parts of handguns and the various methods of shooting them. There were parts of the discussion that I did not perzackly agree with, such as the cautions to not modify your carry gun, and other speculatory statements. I refrained from asking questions and presenting my point of view. Frankly, I was glad to be let into the class on such short notice. Chris was the instructor, I was the student.
After a short break for lunch and a briefing on range rules, it was time to shoot. The handguns in attendance included two Hi Points, an XD, Glocks, several revolvers, and a CZ something or another. There was a very nice flat latch Chief's Special being shot by a young lady, and an older gentleman produced a nickel Model 36-1 in the original box. Both of those old Smiths caught my eye.
Several of the participants were new shooters, so they received some familiarization fire before we began qualifying. Once everyone felt reasonably comfortable, Chris began to let us qualify, four at a time. I had been used as an example during the lecture portion, so it seemed all eyes were on me as I stepped forward to qualify. The course of fire to qualify was pretty rudimentary. Six rounds, reload and fire six more at ten feet. Do the same again at 15 feet. Then again at 21 feet, keeping all shots COM on a LAP1 target. There was no time limit. I had not shot my carry gun in a couple of weeks, but I was determined to show why a 1911 is my choice. I completed each segment of the course of fire in under eight seconds, laid my weapon action open on the table and waited for the other shooters to catch up before running my target out to the next distance.
I guess I was wrong to show off, but the little comments about my old Colt had grated me long enough. The light shining through my target said all that needed to be said. Now I just need to get passport photos.......