Monthly Archives: January 2014


The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

I just purchased the new GLOCK 42, chambered in a .380 round, called the “Baby Glock” by the salesman at Cabelas, and by quite a few others.  I was very fortunate to be at the sales counter when the THREE Glock 42’s were being put out for sale. My husband was with me, and he – who usually has not very many positive things to say about Glocks — being a “1911” man –  was enamored with it!  Go figure! He told me it would be a great gun for me, and because he is a  holster maker, a good one for him, too.

When we got back home he told me he really wanted that little gun. We returned to Kalispell the next day, which is about 90 miles away from our home, in a heavy snowstorm. Would be great to say that was the only reason we made the drive, hubby also had to check in for outpatient surgery.  After he was released from the hospital, he convinced me to buy the Glock, so back to Cabelas we went. Gary had called back the evening before and put one on hold for me!  While I was filling out the computer work, they told me this was the last one “in captivity.”

Amongst many heavy shooters, chatter is that Glock has made an error putting out this compact version in a .380 —  I disagree heartily.  Even if later they reconfigure the compact platform and issue a 9mm as the tactical guys are asking for –  I think there is a definite niche for this Glock!  To have a well made, affordable, durable, easy to use and accurate shooting GLOCK in a round and frame size that works well for a woman, particularly a mature woman, is WONDERFUL! And it is small enough to be reliable backup gun as well!

The Glock 42 fits my hand – and I have very small hands. The .380 round is considered the smallest caliber that is effective for self defense by many, and that works for me! From the reviews and videos I’ve heard the Baby GLOCK has a soft recoil, and that is very attractive to me.  The trigger pull is much nicer than the Ruger LCP – by the time I get the long extended pull on the LCP gun accomplished, I invariably am off target and can’t hit the broadside of a barn. Another .380 in the barn door category for me is the Colt Government .380  While I like my 9mm Sig P938 both for its accuracy and small size, it is pretty “snappy” as they say, and the recoil makes me not want to shoot it very often.

We’re still snowed under with the latest winter storm, and I haven’t gotten to shoot my Baby GLOCK yet, but I am getting used to the way it feels. The slide release is a little difficult to take the gun from the locked back empty position, but I figure I will get that worked out. For now I am content to just drop the mag and then cycle the slide back in place.

I am anxious to get out and shoot it.

Happy and Safe shooting  –  Peggy

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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Gun Talk


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“Eyes and Ears” and the Mature Shooter – Part 2

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

This is Part 2 of the discussion of the most common shooting instruction/order given at ranges and shooting classes –  “Eyes and Ears.”

This post is “aimed” at the mature woman who is just getting into shooting.  For those who have been shooting for a long time, you already know and understand the volume and concussive force of a gunshot.

Literature and articles on the internet stress over and over that just ONE unprotected exposure can cause permanent damage to your hearing.  By “our age” we have been exposed to a lot of noise pollution, whether from running equipment, or being around a loud environment.  When visiting a gun range there is the mandatory “Eyes and Ears” instruction, but when you are hunting or “plinking” or at a non-range setting, it is all up to you to follow that rule. Here is a quote from an article on “HealthyHearing”

Effects of Firearm Noise on Hearing

According to Michael Stewart, Ph.D., professor of Audiology at Central Michigan University and Chair of the National Hearing Conservation’s Prevention of Noise Induced Hearing Loss from Firearm Exposure Committee, the loudness of firearm noise ranges from 140 to over 170 dB SPL and is dependent upon the type of gun being shot, length of barrel, size of bore, muzzle break, acoustic environment and amount of gun powder.

No matter the gun’s specs, firearm noise is dangerously loud. The following are effects firearm noise can have on hearing:

  • Temporary or permanent hearing loss in one or both ears – gunblast ear is often worse (if you are a right-handed shooter, it would be your unshielded left ear)
  • Hearing loss may occur gradually, suddenly or both
  • Ringing in ears, also known as tinnitus – may or may not be permanent
  • High frequency hearing loss – ability to hear sounds such as consonants is reduced and is often not  noticed initially

If you have hearing aids, the same rule of thumb applies as corrective lenses for your eyes.  WEAR THEM. You need to be able to hear instructions and warnings and monitor your environment while shooting.

Check with your audiologist to see if your inside the ear aids are sufficient as hearing protection while shooting. Some hearing aids are molded to your ear and are programmable and will screen/filter out anything above 100 – 120 decibels …  but your particular aids may not be fitted or designed to provide protection,  but function simply for amplification.  While they won’t be able to transmit the sound of the gunshot, they also won’t protect you. This applies especially to behind the ear styles.

Quite a few sources recommend doubling up hearing protection when inside the ear protection/aids are worn by wearing the “Muff” style, especially is you are already experiencing hearing loss to avoid further damage.

Happy and Safe Shooting!

—  Peggy


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“Eyes and Ears” and the Mature Shooter – Part 1

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER


This fairly lengthy post looks at the “Eyes” part of the most common shooting instruction/order given at ranges and shooting classes –  “Eyes and Ears.”

Vision is the primary factor in accurate and safe shooting.

Big “duh” there, right? Obviously.

As we age, changes occur in our eyesight and we must adapt in many areas of our life, and shooting is no exception.

If you have been shooting for many years, the assumption is you have already made appropriate modifications to your shooting and aiming style in response to the gradual changes you’ve experienced over time.

If you have experienced more sudden changes – like an accident or stroke that affects your vision, or been prescribed new medications that affect your vision – your training over the years will serve you well and you have the experience to make appropriate adjustments in your shooting.

You know what you need to accomplish when you pull the trigger, and you already know you must modify for many factors contributing to how well you perform.

The new mature shooter, however, is at a disadvantage.  She is just beginning to learn about a sight picture, what the sights are and do, how to align and adjust them. Then she must integrate the other elements of shooting – grip, breath control, stance, etc –  When a visual problem, impairment or challenge is present, it can be daunting and discouraging.

Corrective Lenses 

As already stated, it is a no brainer that you must be able to see the target in order to aim, and hit it accurately. You also must be able to see what is beyond that target in order to safely shoot.

I have seen quite a few seniors new to shooting remove prescription glasses and replace them with standard, non corrective shooting glasses when they go out on the range for their first shooting experience.

I suspect some of this is due to being new to the sport and trying to follow the directive to wear protective eyewear and not thinking any more about it. Having protective eyewear is mandatory, but in my experience it is not typical for instructors to go past the “Eyes and Ears” directive, and pay more attention to having good vision as well.

While certainly not true of every mature novice shooter, it’s been my experience some seniors also exhibit a long standing habit of “looking the part” with an emphasis on showing confidence while doing it. Another less kind way of saying it: they are used to “faking it” and have gotten good at it and usually get away with it.

An instructor would not suspect there was a vision challenge for the mature student now wearing “eyes”, and she would likely not bring it to his/her attention either.  Sometimes difficulty in achieving results after aiming and firing will prompt the student to tell the instructor they need corrective lenses, but not always. Depends on the need to be seen as competent and the coping strategies the elder shooter has brought to play.  Instructors are trained to work a wide variety of issues that could cause the aiming problem, but to date I have not heard VISION being one of the main checkpoints, and emphasis is given on refining the technique, which usually does help to a degree.

Safe shooting requires being able to see the target and what is beyond. It is possible to develop more accurate shooting with compensation and a lifetime of guesswork, but if your vision impairment affects your distance, focusing, peripheral vision, not wearing corrective lenses becomes a safety issue.  If your vision requires correction to drive or perform other daily tasks, then you will require corrective lenses while shooting.

SO—- When you are new to shooting, keep your prescription glasses on. If you can, use or get a second pair and dedicate that to your practice/target shooting.  The lenses on eyewear used in shooting are exposed to lots of dust, residues, and prone to being scratched just from the nature of the environment.

There are protective shooting glasses styles to wear over prescription glasses, from goggles to clip on shields. If you intend to engage in shooting sports regularly, you may opt for prescription shooting glasses.

Reading the Fine Print

One of the hallmarks of hitting middle age is often the subject of humor and embarassment –  it goes by many names and jibes. The correct term for it is “presbyopia.” Not being aware of its affects on the process of learning to shoot can be a serious issue for the aging shooter.

Following is a definition of presbyopia from “WebMD”:

 “Presbyopia is part of the natural aging process of the eye, and can be easily corrected. Technically, presbyopia is the loss of the eye’s ability to change its focus to see objects that are near. It is not a disease. It’s as natural as wrinkles, and it affects everyone at some point in life. Presbyopia generally starts to appear around age 40.

Presbyopia is often confused with farsightedness, but the two are different. Presbyopia occurs when the natural lens in the eye loses flexibility. Farsightedness occurs as a result of the natural shape of the eyeball, which causes light rays to bend incorrectly once they have entered the eye.”

Aiming a gun and safe shooting involves alternatively focusing on both near (sights) and far (the target) distances, as well as keeping apprised of what is around you and past the target. A person cannot focus on more than one thing at the same time, and must alternate their focus often and readjust quickly. We are also taught to make the front sight the clear focal point when learning to attain a proper sight picture and alignment before pulling the trigger.  Adjustments required to do this are much easier for the younger shooter.  It is more challenging for the older person to achieve a good consistent sight picture and alignment, and also see and factor in surroundings.

I’m not saying you CAN’T do it.  YOU CAN ABSOLUTELY DO IT!  With corrective lenses, reading glasses, and— Practice. Practice. Practice. Keep at it and you’ll develop and refine the process, and with time become quicker and more proficient at it.

Reading the Teensy Print

As important as hitting the target is, an even more basic factor of safe shooting is knowing that you are matching the correct ammunition with the gun you are shooting.

At basic pistol classes you are taught to look in FOUR places to make sure you are matching the correct ammunition for the gun you are shooting.

You are taught the importance of matching the ammunition to your gun because every factor from size, configuration, caliber, as well as load is involved in the successful and safe shooting of your gun. This is not something to quickly skim over.

  • The owners manual should be read for your specific gun, and it will tell you what bullet and loads are correct.
  • The factory packed ammunition box will have all the information you need on it. (reloaded ammunition requires even more vigilance, whether you reload or someone else you buy from reloads)
  • The gun is marked, most typically on the barrel.
  • And finally, the bullet itself is marked.

If you have ever looked at the printing on the bottom of a bullet, it is more than tiny.

It is eensy teensy weensy!

If you are unfamiliar with ammunition, telling a 40 cal from a 9 mm, or 38 special from a 357 magnum just from the general size or the fact that you can physically put it into the gun may be courting trouble- big time.  It’s important to take time to learn about the ammunition, not just the gun.

The marking / engraving / stamping on the gun itself can be challenging to read even without a visual impairment. It might not be well defined, not be very deep, or very clearly stamped.

Bottom Line: If you need to, take the time necessary, get out the reading glasses or higher powered magnifier, and ask questions! Verify what ammunition you are working with and get verification from someone else if you are having trouble reading what is stamped/engraved. And do it BEFORE you load your magazine or gun.

BE SURE, BE SAFE, don’t ever just guess.

This is not an issue to be shy or embarassed about.

Eye Health

Along with the “my arms are too short” syndrome of presbyopia, there are other conditions that can affect a senior’s vision, more often than younger shooters. Some of these include: developing or undiagnosed cataracts, narrowed visual fields (tunnel vision) from glaucoma, blind spots from detaching/frayed retina, fluctuating vision from diabetes or medications, dry or runny or irritated eyes, and even increased “floaters”  in the vision.

If you are a mature person just getting into shooting, I would suggest you take special care to make sure that your eyes are healthy and functioning to the best of their ability. Seek appropriate professional assistance as needed for correction and treatment of any and all eye problems and conditions.

Another comment on Eye Health: If you have recently had eye surgery – for cataracts, implanting of lenses, lasix, etc. make sure your eye professional knows you intend to start shooting.  Not only for the more obvious environmental factors of the grit and conditions your eyes will be exposed to, but also for the jolting that will occur from firing a handgun.

Eye Dominance

Another part of being able to hit a target is how your eyes work together. When trying to establish a sight picture, you will experience the target “jumping around” or appearing doubled. You need to learn how to work your eyes for coordination when to shooting.

With eye aging and health problems, as so many other physical aspects, seniors can exhibit a greater tendency for eye dominance problems than a younger person. This problem occurs in varying degrees which can fluctuate over time.

For instance, a person who has had a right eye dominance for most of their life, might gradually or suddenly develop a vision problem as they age. The stronger eye will take over – usually automatically without any conscious effort. That person may need to adjust for whichever eye is currently dominant for shooting.

Corrective surgery can leave a person with “monovision” intentionally or during the healing process when one eye regresses more than the other. Monovision is where one eye works better close up for near objects, and the other is better for distance. You may have learned to shift focus to accomodate or use that new condition, and that is the same skill a shooter develops when aiming a gun.

Again, take time to check it out while you are learning, and monitor it occasionally over time as another factor to consider in obtaining and improving your ability to get a more accurate sight picture and alignment as you continue to advance with shooting

A simple quick check of eye dominance follows, taken from an “” article:

  1. Extend your arms in front of you with your palms facing away.
  2. Bring your hands together, forming a small hole by crossing the thumbs and fore fingers.
  3. Choose a small object about 15-20 feet away from you. With both eyes open, focus on the object as you look through the small hole.
  4. Close one eye and then the other. When you close one eye, the object will be stationary. When you close the other eye, the object should disappear from the hole or jump to one side.
  5. If the object does not move when you cover one eye, then that eye is dominant. The eye that sees the object and does not move is the dominant eye

If you are “cross dominant” –  it means you are shooting with your right hand dominant while your left eye is dominant, or vice versa. Various issues with accuracy arise from cross dominance when you are attempting to develop a sight picture and align the sights.

No matter if you have a clearly dominant eye or are cross dominant, the best recommended technique is to shoot with both eyes open. There is lively discussion on the pros and cons of leaving one eye or both eyes open to focus when aiming a handgun.

Probably the most compelling argument for making an effort to learn to keep both eyes open is forming the habit while practicing so it translates into real life if a situation develops where you need to fire defensely.

The rationale for keeping both eyes open is sound. Both eyes open allows for depth perception and better peripheral vision, helping to transition from one target to the next more effectively and keep attention on your surroundings.

If you are having difficulty keeping both eyes open, rather than closing one eye, a common tip is to tape/opaque  the lens of your protective glasses over the non dominant eye. This helps you keep BOTH EYES open and eliminates the struggle of shifting focus from eye to eye. It also minimizes the time and distraction of regaining focus, along with the changes for light adjustment your pupil goes through when you open the eye you had closed.

Bottom line, you need to develop a style that will allow you to adapt to your own unique challenges and help you become an accurate and safe shooter. Once you have settled in to a habit, it will be harder to break than if you work on establishing good practices from the start.

I am right handed and right eye dominant. I had corrective lasix surgery over a decade ago which resulted in an unintentional “up close and personal” experience of monovision as my eyes healed. My left eye has better distance vision, and my right eye is slightly near sighted. I tried taping off a lens, but found it interfered with my ability to focus on the far away target! I find there are days that I shoot better if I close my left eye while gaining a sight picture, and other days when I can more successfully leave both open.  I haven’t given up trying to shoot with both eyes open as my ultimate goal, so I just keep working at it.

Eye Protection

When at a range or in a class, you should and will undoubtedly hear “Eyes and Ears” continually yelled or reminded prior to commencing range live firing. This applies universally to all age groups who shoot. Proper eye protection is of supreme importance.

Firing a handgun – whether revolver or semi auto – involves projectiles. The bullet is the most commonly one thought of. But the action of firing a bullet involves controlled explosion. Gasses, minute pieces of slivered or molten metal, bullet casings, and potential for catastrophic failure of the gun and casing make eye protection mandatory.

There are many eye protection solutions available off the shelf at retail sporting goods stores and online.  They come in a wide variety of material, tinting, shapes, and prices. We’ve already discussed prescription lenses and wearing them while shooting. If you are dependent on reading glasses for up close work, you can get protective bifocal reading glasses in a variety of tints and styles off-the-shelf at Cabelas and online at many sporting goods stores and sites.

Your vision is precious, necessary, and fragile. No need to foolishly take chances by not always wearing eye protection while practicing.

Coming nextpost:  Part 2  of “Eyes and Ears” and the Mature Shooter   where we’ll talk about EARS!

Happy and Safe Shooting!

—  Peggy


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When do you “become” OLD?

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

How old is “Old?” When is a person considered to be old?  Turns out that is a relative matter and depends on who you are talking to or about! And it is highly individual.

When this blog discusses the unique problems of the “mature” or “older” shooter, our target (lol) population seems to start somewhere between around 50 and 85.

I have seen out of shape and health challenged 40 something’s at our pistol classes who have not performed to the level of a few of our septuagenarians – the 70 something’s.

What that says to me is you can’t judge a person’s abilities by the year of their birth.

Feeling and showing effects of age is highly individual and how old a person feels and performs not only varies day to day with health and the attention to staying fit, but in some cases hourly depending on time of day, conditions, health and stamina.

A lot of numbers are tossed around out there about retirement age – being “old” –  often portrayed in the Hollywood version with quitting your job and becoming just “grandparents,” traveling to stay in RV villages to bask in the sun and play and gamble, or living miserably on a fixed pension or social security.

Once upon a time middle age started at 40 and old age started at 60, with a lot of companies giving out the gold watch and a boot out the door with mandatory retirement at 50 to 55.

AARP starts their marketing of retirement age around 50!

Discounts at stores and restaurants vary from 50-65!

The IRS keeps pushing back the age of full retirement – which used to be, a long time ago, to 66 for this years retirees, and raising it 67 or 68 and so on, depending on what year you were born.

More people are living longer, healthy productive lives than ever before in our country and all around the world there are more senior citizens. It is typical to hear 68-72 years as the start of being “old”. The popular “three stages of elderly”  trend has stages of old, with the  “Young Old” at 65-75 years, “Middle Old” at 75-85 years, and the “Old” starting after 85 years.

Personally I am a young sixty something. Physically I am in good health and relatively good shape. I have taken care of myself and being physically fit has been important to me since I was very young.  Of course there are extra pounds I could shed, and physical modifications I have learned to protect and cushion my knee and hip joints which sometimes yell at me “WHAT were you thinking!”

Mental and emotional outlook are as important as the physical. If you tell yourself you are old and a grandmother just can’t do the things you used to, it will tend to become a self fulfilling prophecy.  If your feet and knees hurt after walking for a prolonged period of time on concrete at Costco or the fabric store or Home Depot, and you tell yourself it’s because you’re old, you’re apt to believe that more often in more situations and places. My preference is to make sure I am wearing the “proper” footwear to cushion my joints when I embark on a day long shopping excursion!

Reality is that the body does age.  Sometimes it sneaks up and gives gentle reminders that no matter how good your health condition or attitude is, you are aging.

I know age has snuck up and tapped me on the shoulder – or settled in my joints or kicked me in the gut –  and usually I knew I was courting that response!  I know better than to indulge in a lot of sugary, fatty foods over the holidays, slack off on exercise and choose to spend a winter’s evening slouched and curled up with a book or watching a great video or movie…. and I do that often enough and I still go down that road regularly enough to get reminders that I am aging!

***   like when I have stayed in a position too long and a joint in my knees or hips “freezes” up…. it can be very painful until it slowly returns to function

***   searching for reading glasses because the print is just way too tiny and my arms aren’t long enough!….

***   during winter here in Montana, when ice conditions are right around freezing and I slip and slide and … ouch… sometimes fall, even though I can get back up by myself, I definitely don’t bounce like I used to! I hit hard and bruising inevitably follows…

***   then just this week I found out that eggs can boil for almost an hour and still be “okay” –  I forgot I had them on the stove, and luckily wandered through the kitchen again before all the water had boiled off…  I don’t seem to multitask as regularly and juggle everything as well anymore!

At the mature end of the life cycle, there are just as many variables at work as with any age group.   Some of the issues that we getting to the older end of that age continuum face inevitably can of course affect anyone of any age.  But there are some definite areas to focus on:

Physical: Muscle mass, Joints, Bone density, Hearing, Vision

Mental: Memory, attention span,  acuity

Emotional: Tied to physical issues, family and spousal changes, monetary issues

To stay healthy and high functioning throughout the aging process, it does boil down (like my hardboiled eggs   lol) to how well we have taken care of ourselves throughout our lifetime, and particular how we behave and pay attention to those issues in these “silver” and “golden” years.”

There is a wealth of information on the internet and in the stores that assist in keeping fit and functioning! And of course, there is a lot of money being made on the products being touted, the oiled glistening bodies of some body builders in their 70s beckoning us to spend our money on a piece of exercise equipment or formulated diet so we can look and function just them!

When an older person slacks off on exercise, has dietary excesses or experiences loss or depression, is started on prescription medications,  the results appear quicker and last longer than when that person was younger –  Fact is, they are less resilient than they were when they were younger.

I am sure there are some exceptions to the rule, where someone has been blessed with hereditary age-less-ness! More power to them, but that is not the norm. To stay active and healthy, an older person needs to pay a little more attention to life! Injuries sustained from binges and accidents while younger will come to haunt, the “piper” will be paid!

Personally I believe I am entering a wonderful time of life. I know that each day the clock is ticking, and I am determined to live well that day, not put off things as much as I used to. I don’t know how much time I will be granted, or those that I love will be granted. The Good Book says that we are not to know the number of our days!

In summation:  if shooting is something you want to do or continue to enjoy, feel like you need to learn for self protection,  the adage “where there is a will there is a way” applies.

As in any period of life, you must approach firearms seriously:

*** recognize your ability and limitations,

*** get training in safety and proper handling of a firearm

*** find the right firearm for your situation and physical ability

*** practice      practice       practice   (develop muscle memory!)

Happy and Safe Shooting

— Peggy

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Posted by on January 18, 2014 in General Discussion


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Are you thinking of buying/ carrying a gun?

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER


There has been a great deal of attention given to the subject of women and guns in the past couple of years and there are many resources available today to the woman thinking of joining the ranks of women who carry.

Undeniably a shift has occurred as more women are joining the ranks of Concealed Carry permittees and registered gun owners. Published figures indicate that throughout the US the numbers of women holding a CCW is growing at an amazing rate.  Women are being heralded as star pupils in NRA classes, and from my own experience in the classroom – women are extremely dedicated to doing it “right” and “thoroughly,” at both the conceptual and practical levels.

I am not going to delve into the larger socio-political situation here, but want to focus on your personal reasons for purchasing and wanting to carry a gun.

First off:

I can think of nothing scarier to be a mature woman buying a gun and carrying it around in a handsome new concealed carry purse– or keeping it in the pocket of your coat or a fancy new conceal holster without the proper training and permit.

Fear of being able to handle that gun, and ignorance of how to safely and legally accomplish self defense in a tense and emotional situation, do not equate to the self confidence that will bring about an increased ability to actually protect yourself. Strapping on a pair thigh holsters like Laura Croft in Tomb Raiders will not give you her youthful agility and abilities.

Please take the time to go about the process required to develop a REAL self defense attitude, and gain the knowledge and information to equip yourself for your own particular situation.The purchase of and decision to carry a handgun should only be made after carefully and thoughtfully thinking through some of the following:

  • WHY do I believe I need to own/carry a gun?
  • What situations do I think are most likely to occur that a gun would be an effective method of self defense?
  • Have I already learned the fundamentals of basic self defense, particularly how I can reduce the chances of putting myself into situations that increase my chances of becoming a victim?
  • Do I  have any experience with a firearm? Handgun in particular?  If not, how am I going to gain that    experience?
  • If the laws and regulations of my jurisdiction restrict the owning, carrying and use of a firearm, do I know what they are?
  • Am I physically able and prepared to handle and fire a gun safely?
  • Am I emotionally and mentally able and prepared to shoot a gun in self defense?

After you have given attention to the preceding, then:

  • What is the appropriate gun for my size, ability, physical condition and situation?
  • When and where do I need to carry a gun?
  • What is the best way to carry the gun, and where and how should it be kept?
  • Where and how do I get training in the safe handling of the gun and ammunition?
  • How often should I practice with the gun to maintain familiarity and develop the “muscle memory” necessary to be effective in a tense and emotional situation?
  • What do I tell my friends and family? Law enforcement and emergency first responders if I am carrying a gun?

Carrying a gun should never be a rushed “knee jerk” decision to do because you or someone you know have experienced a bad situation, or something you have heard/read/seen about someone else going through.

You may find that after thoroughly examining your own decision to carry/own a gun, you may choose an alternate method of self defense. But if you do decide to own and carry a gun, or if you already have a gun, please join me as we delve deeper into the topic –and in particular–  issues facing the mature woman

.I am not disciminating against or dismissing men who are graying and the changes age makes in a man’s situation. I am speaking from the experience and viewpoint of the “whitehaired” woman.

Happy and Safe shooting  –  Peggy


Posted by on January 13, 2014 in General Discussion


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The White Haired Shooter : Introduction

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER


HI!  My name is Peggy, and I am a sixty-something woman living in Northwest Montana.

Although I am a west coast “transplant,” like most of the Montana women I know here I grew up with shooting. I learned target shooting with a 22 rifle as a youngster right along with the boys, and have gone rifle and shotgun hunting for deer, ducks and grouse for years.

But handguns are a newer addition to my life. When I tried shooting a pistol about 30 years ago I found the experience unsatisfying and was extremely discouraged when my initial attempts didn’t even come close to hitting the target.

My best friend and husband of twelve years – Gary , on the other hand, was a competition hand gun shooter and rifle marksman with military as well as a hunting background. He reloads and has done a lot of his own gun smithing.

He is also a certified NRA Basic Pistol instructor.  I help him with class set up and paperwork, and when I have fully retired from my “day job” – also plan to get my NRA certification. Classes are taught in a fifth wheel set up at our home range, and the focus is on teaching couples – primarily retirees – who seek a general  working knowledge of safe handling and shooting of pistols mostly for self defense in the home and while traveling.

We started a leather making business a couple of years back as a “retirement” business – which has developed into a specialty – every day carry and concealed holsters for handguns. Gary custom makes each holster using the REAL gun.

This has given me the opportunity to study and handle a lot of different guns – revolvers and semi autos. Over time, with encouragement and training, I have come to understand pistols better and learned to shoot reasonably well.  And I admit I am now hooked on target shooting with a handgun.

My goal with this blog is to share my experience as a woman coming to know handguns later in life. There are many aspects of shooting that are unique to women, and to the older woman in particular. I want to create a space to share training, resources, encouragement and stories that help make firearms a safer and more enjoyable part of a mature woman’s life.

Safe and Happy Shooting!      – Peggy C

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Posted by on January 12, 2014 in General Discussion


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