Woman’s Shooting Team # 3 Yes we have another episode of the famous women’s shooting team. Actually two more, but this one is good. Of the women that attended the Standard Pistol Course that I offered for women only, I had some that were really enthusiastic about shooting and they wanted to form a team and naturally they all insisted on me being the coach. So I agreed to be the team coach. When I look back at it I wonder when I started having these suicidal urges. By then Bob, my assistant was in the hospital with bypass surgery so I had a friend Milt, there to help me take care of all these lovely ladies. The ladies had a large assortment of pistols from .22 revolvers, target .22 self loaders, .38 revolvers, 9mm semi-autos, you name it, they brought them to shoot. Some like the swoop bloused blonde had dangerous guns and they borrowed a target revolver from me. I set up practice sessions every weekend and the ladies practiced and practiced. Later on I will tell of some of the matches they had. One lady had a semi-auto 9mm pistol called an Astra 400, which was an old surplus gun from the WW II. It was worn and scarred and did not work all the time. So here we are on the firing line and the lady’s Astra stopped. This had happened before but this time I decided to turn it into a lesson. In teachers talk this is called a “Teachable Moment.” I called Cease Fire and cleared the firing line. Then I had the shooters form in a semi-circle around the faulty gun firing point. “Now class!” I said, “We have a failure to go into battery type problem. There are several ways that this can be corrected.” When I teach these classes I usually would wear my Army Uniform with the stripes and patches. It gives me an air of authority and I found that women fall for men in uniform. Remember this was some time ago and our Army Fatigue uniform of those days had loose sleeves with no buttons. So back to the faulty gun, I picked up the pistol and holding it in my right hand with my left hand on the slide I was prepared to force the slide back to eject the faulty round. The round was almost in the barrel and the lady had been pulling on the trigger. When I grabbed the gun with my left hand the slight movement made the round completely chamber and the trigger was stuck in the rear position from the ladies attempt to shoot it. The gun went OFF!............ And the barrel was sticking down inside my shirt sleeve. Now can you imagine what it would be like to have a 9mm Largo round go off inside your shirt sleeve? Yes It burned the holy he!! out of my arm. And the bullet put a neat hole in the elbow of my fatigue shirt, just kissing my skin as it went by. I SMILED…….. and said “Now ladies you will notice when that gun went off I had it pointed safely down range.” “MILT! Will you take over for a minute?” And I went out to the parking lot to my truck, climbed into the back and went “OWWWW OOOOO EEEEE OUCH OUCH OUCH and a bunch of other Army words. Then I got my first aid kit out and bandaged my arm up and returned to the firing line. Sure enough that damn gun failed to fire again so I called a cease fire and determined to correct my not too good performance of before, I had the girls circle around the firing point again. Now you can not get old Sarge to make the same mistake twice, huh uh, fool me once but not twice. So I held the gun in my right hand and pointing it down range I rapped the back of the slide with my left hand. Expecting it to fully seat the round and everything would be fine. And it did, but the dang trigger was again stuck and the %*&!# thing went off again. Only this time it did not get my arm, instead it drove the slide back about ¼ inch deep into my bare hand. AND I SMILED………. And said “Now ladies you will notice when that gun went off I had it pointed safely down range.” “MILT!! Will you take over for a minute. And back I went to my truck, climbed in the back seat and got out the first aid kit. After a half a bottle of liniment and a bandage it didn’t feel like I had too many broken bones in it, so I returned to the firing line. “Barbara, would you like to sell that gun, I am really getting attached to it.” I asked. Here I will trade you a nice easy shooting and reliable .22 for it and boot. I still have that gun. I plan on giving it to some burglar should he ever show up unarmed because I know it will be more dangerous to him than to me. Sarge the woman’s pistol coach.