the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
One does not - and certainly should not, casually decide to pick up a gun and get into shooting. I crept into the ABC (Auckland Black Powder Club) through the back door of historical re-enactment after an invitation to contribute in the role traditional craft person: clay pipe maker, pole lathe worker and broom squire. After 15 months of sitting around the camp fire listening to talk of powder, patch and ball, of language and terms I did not understand, I began to think of taking the big step. My reluctance or was it fear? Stemmed from the following concern:
- Would/could I be a safe shooter? Firstly to others and secondly to myself.
- I would advise anyone thinking of getting into black powder shooting to join a club.
A few facts and suggestions:
- You can shoot in New Zealand without a firearms licence if you are ‘under the close supervision of someone who has a firearms licence’
- You cannot buy or keep a gun without a firearms licence.
- Try a few guns before you buy one. Take your time in making your choice.
- Club members, if asked kindly, will generally supervise you while you try their gun.
- Ask an experienced shooter to be your mentor.
- Be aware you know little and have much to learn: Listen and absorb information.
- Get a note book and record what you learn.
To be continued...