Why Fight What Comes Naturallyby Jennifer Nagy on 01/25/12
Why do I fight the things that come naturally? Maybe it's because I was born a fighter of all things that should be easy. Maybe I'm just a tad to stubborn. Maybe it's that rebellious streak that's been around for as long as I can remember, fighting the notion that some things I just can't do. I should probably learn to take my own advice. You see in every firearms course that I teach, I tell my students they need to find the gun they are comfortable with, the one that fits well in their hand, allowing them a proper grip and fingers that can reach the trigger comfortably. In our course, we provide ten different handguns for our students to try so each person can at least get an idea of what works for them and what feels the most natural in their hands. If you train hard enough you can learn to shoot anything, but it seems to me that for each person there will always be that one firearm model that just comes naturally the one that allows you to just relax and shoot.
Knowing all of the above I still fight my own basic instinct of the right gun for me, the 1911 chambered in .45 ACP. I can't explain exactly how it feels when I hold a 1911, but every time I pick one up... I feel it. It's a lack of effort, a oneness with the gun; I don't have to think about proper grip, stance, or breathing. The gun just becomes a natural extension of my hand which allows me to relax and do what comes naturally. Almost like magic, my shots hit where I want them to, all in a nice little group. Perhaps it is because the first gun I ever picked out and purchased for myself was a Springfield Ultra Compact 1911 chambered in .45 ACP, or because a 1911 was the first hand gun I learned to field strip and reassemble. I can't say for sure but I can say that everything about a well built 1911 just draws me in and speaks to me. The fact is, it's a mystery to me why I can shoot like that with a 1911 but not always with other gun models. I know it's not the accuracy of the other firearms because I know how accurate the others can be; they are all good solid shooting firearms. It's something within me and so I fight it, I fight against what feels natural for a hundred different reasons. I argue that if I can shoot a 1911 that way then I should be able to shoot the Glock that way or my Smith and Wesson M&P 9c. I argue that 9mm ammunition is cheaper so it makes more sense to practice with it. I argue that I am an instructor so I should be able to pick up any gun and do well. I have heard it time and again from my husband, friends and fellow instructors who have seen me shoot a 1911; "Why are you trying to qualify with that gun (fill in the blank with gun of the day) when you can shoot a 1911 .45 like that". In the end it boils down to sheer stubbornness; a desire to master something difficult, to prove to myself that I can shoot the other models as well if not better than the 1911. Today, though, is one of those days when I find myself asking "Why do I fight so hard against what comes naturally to me? Why not just do as I teach?" Does this mean I have decided to give up on mastering the M&P or the Glock? Absolutely not! Giving up on such a challenge would not be what comes natural to me. It would go against every rebellious cell in my body. What it does mean is that I will concede to all who keep saying it; that the 1911 just might be the best gun for me.
There are a lot of great firearms on the market and not everyone's experience will be the same. Personal choice of firearms certainly will not be the same for every individual. After all, I have talked to plenty of people who hate the 1911. However, for me personally, the only other gun I've ever felt this connection with is my Smith & Wesson Model 14 K-frame revolver. It holds a different type of connection for me but a connection nonetheless. This gun was passed down to me from my dad and when I shoot it I almost feel him beside me coaching me. It's my comfort gun, the one I go back to when I'm having a frustrating day at the range. It puts me back on target, it builds my confidence; it somehow seems to channel the energy and voice of my father. I wish everyone could own at least one gun that has that effect. So what is you weapon of choice?