Pistol Shooting for Ladies

The great majority of ladies have some inherent dread of all varieties of fire arms. This no doubt is largely due to the senseless and irresistible desire of inexperienced persons to indulge in a mock-heroic display and flourish of such arms when in the presence of ladies. All useless demonstration and ostentation with fire arms serves only to distinguish those who are unfamiliar with their proper manipulation and use. Persons handling arms in this manner should be avoided, or promptly compelled to desist. Many of the accidents of the “I did not know it was loaded” order occur in this manner.

There is nothing occult or mysteriously dangerous about fire arms, but their potential must never be forgotten in handling them. As a weapon of defense the revolver places the weakest and most diminutive person skilled in its use, on an equality with the most powerful antagonist. Ladies who travel extensively and visit semi-civilized countries, especially the wives and daughters of army and navy officers assigned to foreign stations, should be thoroughly familiar with fire arms and skilled in their use. The necessity of knowing how to shoot, like knowing how to swim, may occur but once in a woman’s lifetime, but when occasion does require either, it is generally under circumstances involving peril to life, and for that reason both are advantageous and valuable accomplishments. Every woman should, therefore be sufficiently familiar with fire arms to know how to handle them safely, and, in an emergency, to use them with intelligence. While skill in the use of the pistol and revolver is a useful accomplishment, the practice shooting with these arms will prove exceedingly interesting. Target practice with the .22-cal. pistol is particularly well suited for ladies, and those who have had the opportunity to indulge in it, have invariably found it an enjoyable and fascinating pastime. There is every reason, too, to believe that ladies would excel and develop a higher order of skill in pistol shooting than gentlemen, because they are generally more temperate and possess a more delicate nervous system.

Source: A. L. A. Himmelwright, "The Pistol and Revolver" (New York: J. J. Little & Co., 1908), 86-88. Notes: Document Title: Pistol Shooting for Ladies

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