Ladies Night at the Shooting Range

shooting range

The hard metal slipped between my cold, clammy hands. Shivers took over my body as I hesitantly aimed the .45 at the target. Am I really doing this?

I finally had the opportunity to head out to Monday night Ladies night at Red’s Indoor Shooting Range in Austin, Texas – Ladies’ gun rentals are free and it only sets you back $7.50/hour. I had jealously watched my Facebook feed fill up with reports of my girlfriend’s endeavors in previous years and I was determined to finally try it.

I mean, why the hell not? I might as well live up to the Texas stereotype. We already own a rifle at home.

Did I mention that I have the most amazing, strong, and rockin’ girlfriends in the world? These boot wearin’, tattooed, loud laughing, drinking ladies have been some of the best things that have happened to me in previous years.

So I found myself at Red’s with them on a Monday night. I hadn’t touched a gun of any kind since I was about 12. I used to be damn good shot with a rifle and even won a turkey once in a church carnival game.

My eyes wandered along the cases cases of guns, knives, and endless racks of ammunition. I giggled and shifted uncomfortably as we awaited our turn into the shooting range.

We were in before we knew it. The counterperson quickly went over gun safety, range etiquette, and how to load the damn thing. My hands started to shake as I grabbed the earmuffs and goggles and I refused to be the one to carry the gun into the range. I know it can’t shoot without any ammo, but I still don’t want to be the one to accidentally have a toe go missing.

My heart was racing.

We opened the door to a loud *CRACK!*. I jumped back and my eyes opened wide. You would not believe how much noise the noise cancelling earmuff thingies still let in.

So there I was, in my own lane, loading up the pistol with 6 bullets. My first handgun experience and I was frightened. I held up the gun, collected my thoughts, let out my breath, and pulled the trigger.


The first bullet misses the target completely.


I graze the side of the paper target.




I slowly get closer to the middle.



And just like that I had emptied it.

Well, crap. I pull in my target and sheepishly move to the side. I think maybe 3 shots hit the damn thing. But that is okay. I’m in the mindset that I don’t like to shoot things meant to shoot people.

I move over a few lanes to my friend’s rifle. It feels familiar in my hands and I immediately relax with the wooden stock in my arms.

…and this is when I went into zen mode.

Steady… Steady… Breathe in… Breathe out… And pull the trigger.



shooting range

Let’s just say you want me on your team when the zombie apocalypse happens and you happen to have a rifle lying around.

I strolled out of Red’s glowing, sweating, and my adrenaline pumping. I peeled out of the parking lot, giggling, and screaming like a 15 year old girl in my Subaru WRX.

Fast cars and guns? Hell to the yes.

I felt like a badass.


31 Responses to “Ladies Night at the Shooting Range”

  1. Alouise June 25, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    Would have never thought to do a girls night out at a shooting range, but it sounds like fun. My friend and I went to a shooting range a few years ago, and the paper targets were actually zombies. Let’s just say I need some more practice before I’ll be ready for the zombie apocalypse.

    • Erica June 26, 2014 at 11:48 am #

      I think I liked it because it was so different – and my girlfriends were all about it. As for the paper zombie targets – KEEP PRACTICING! 😀 (What if I need you on my team?!)

  2. Ayngelina June 26, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    If you liked doing that you should try axe throwing.

    • Erica July 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      HA! Me and sharp objects? I’m not sure that is the best idea. I nearly took off my pinkie the other day cutting into an avocado.

  3. Federico June 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    A different kind of night out for sure!

  4. Diana Edelman June 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    You are bad ass. I’d love to do this. The best I’ve done is go shotgun target shooting in Zion. Apparently, my aim sucks.

    • Erica July 5, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

      D’aww! I can’t imagine what the kickback on a shotgun would be like! You probably aren’t giving yourself enough credit. <3

  5. Mindy & Ligeia June 26, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    You’re a great shot! Apparently, on average, women have better aim than men when it comes to target shooting 🙂

    • Erica July 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

      Yeah, I’ve heard that as well. Same thing with video games. We have better hand/eye coordination. BWAHAHA!

  6. Maria Falvey June 26, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    Armed and dangerous – well the latter was always the case. 😀

    • Erica July 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

      HA! I look like such a weenie when I’m trying to hold a gun. 😛

  7. GiselleandCody June 27, 2014 at 1:23 am #

    This sounds like a lot of fun and damn!! You are a good shot.
    Neither Giselle nor I have ever shot off a gun before.
    I had a gun shot at me….But it was only a BB gun……he was trying to hit my show but shot me in the knee instead and it stuck in. 🙂 Wasn’t very fun.

    • Erica July 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

      Well, considering I’m not about to go hunting and I don’t plan on using one for “protection” I’m not sure it is the best thing to be good at. 😛 You’re also not the first person I know with BBs in their legs. Good lord!

  8. Angie Away June 27, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    You are too cool! I went shooting with my family last year and found it a little jarring at first, but now I kinda love it. It’s a great stress reliever! Think you’ll go again?

    • Erica July 5, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      I had my adrenaline pumping so hard I couldn’t even think about the stress in my life. I will probably go again but I know next time I’m sticking to the rifle.

  9. Alex June 27, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Ha, I laughed when I saw this post title because I too wrote about visiting a shooting range this week 🙂 I didn’t enjoy my experience — it’s just not for me. I have a ton of family who are huge gun nuts though and they loved that I gave it a try. Sounds like you have an awesome group of girls in Austin.

    • Erica July 5, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      HAHA! Great minds think alike? How freaking weird and random! I never was brought up in a gun friendly home so shooting one as an adult without the culture involved is very VERY weird. <3

  10. Juno July 1, 2014 at 2:03 am #

    I had the very first gun experience myself in the outback, and I decided that I won’t be a good gunner (what do you call a person who has a gun?!) anytime soon. Shotgun is hard!

    • Erica July 5, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

      Shotguns are hard man! Seriously – I think you should give it another try but with something different. What is with all my female travel blogger friends shooting shotguns? Lol

  11. Kristin Addis July 1, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    Wow you’re a pretty good shot! I tried to shoot a shotgun in Ireland and missed every pellet. Man those things are heavy too. Not as easy as I thought it would be!

    • Erica July 6, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      What were you shooting?

  12. Robert Bruce July 3, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Brushing aside the politics over guns in America, I think it is perfectly ‘normal’ for women to become proficient in the use of guns. Why should guys have all of the fun? And, if you already have a gun in the home, then all of the adults and age appropriate kids need to be practicing accuracy, cleaning, and good safety all the time. This is one of the reasons I love your blog. Both of your personalities are unique and engaging. Great post.

    • Erica July 6, 2014 at 10:26 am #

      This is a really great comment Robert – eloquent and well expressed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  13. Suki F July 4, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    What a unique way to send a ladies night. Sounds like a lot of fun.

    • Erica July 6, 2014 at 10:27 am #

      We gotta keep things interesting around here..

  14. Jeremy July 6, 2014 at 12:29 am #

    Three shots to the back of the head of zombies and center mass shots on bandits? After warming up, I think you’re ready for the zombie apocalypse! 🙂

    • Erica July 6, 2014 at 10:29 am #

      RIGHT?! HA! That picture went a bit viral on G+ for some reason and some people were calling me stupid for trying to shoot zombies in the chest. I was just like, “OMG these people are serious.”

  15. Camels & Chocolate August 8, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    I’ll totally go with you next time I’m there!

    • Erica August 12, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

      It is a DATE.

  16. BAHTIYAR October 11, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    Hello, Erica. Thanks for such an interesting post. By the way, your travel blog is really amazingly gorgeous. Congratulations with your excellent shots. Keep sharing your travel experience with us. Thank you!

    • Erica October 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

      Thank you so much! I appreciate the kind words.

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