Fat Woman has done a lot of shopping to support her interest in sport and fitness. Fat Woman loves a bargain and prides herself on being a canny shopper, finding useful or beautiful things at bargain prices. Fat Woman was never quite so upset as when she was supporting a friend's appearance on a TV show where they had to raise money for charity by having a yard sale and she was caught on camera paying over the odds for something. Luckily, Fat Woman didn't make good television and the exchange didn't make the cut. The whole section of Thin Husband bargaining for a mirror made it on to screen because he had a lovely stripey scarf that looked great on camera and good cheekbones, ditto.
Most of Fat Woman's purchases for sporting activities have been brand new. Fat Woman is not generally medieval in her thinking about second hand goods but thinks that second hand sweat is a bit icky and tries to avoid it. Fat Woman prefers to buy new and cheap for first time interests, on the grounds that if she wears out her first cheap purchase it is reasonable for her to invest in something better. Fat Woman's boxing gloves are the best example of this. Fat Woman has used them for many, many hours, yet they remain in good condition. This is partly because Fat Woman drew hearts and flowers on the white parts so boys didn't want to use them. Fat Woman would have been fine buying equipment such as racquets or bats second hand, but there never seemed to be any need to invest in anything expensive - until Fat Woman took up shooting.
Fat Woman found that buying a gun was a bit like trying to buy a pair of shoes that fit when you've never actually had a pair of shoes the right length or the right width. Fat Woman had never shot with a stock the right length before buying her gun. Fat Woman also had to deal with stocks with very pointy toes, which meant that the entire recoil of the gun would be concentrated on a 0.5" circle. Fat Woman knows that shooting is male-dominated and is therefore fairly sexist, but the complete lack of consideration and understanding by even the nicest people surprised her greatly. Fat Woman ran across people who were adamant she should go gun down straight away. Fat Woman would have been more understanding of these folk if they had been more appreciative of that 0.5" pressure circle. NONE of these people were cognisant of the recognised gun down technique for ladies who happen to be gifted with what Sparky calls 'bazoomas' (hold the gun out directly in front). Fat Woman was also very unimpressed at the number of people who assumed she would want a 20 bore simply because she is a woman. Fat Woman shoots clays - although has been promised pigeons in the future - and a light 12 bore is much nicer for her than a kicky 20 bore. Fat Woman admits however that she is not a delicate little flower and spends time lifting weights. Thin Husband is very happy with his 20 bore (see Fat Woman and the bore) although he has admitted that having got used to it he could handle a 12 bore of his own.
Fat Woman has created a guide for the frustrated gun-buying lady. Here, in easy steps, are Fat Woman's recommendations on how to go about buying a sporting gun (originally posted in the forum at www.shootclay.com).
1. Learn the basics of shooting - how to mount the gun, where your hands and eyes should be etc.
2. Try every gun you can. Get friends and coaches to let you try their guns. Hire club guns. Fall in love with something very expensive.
3. Listen to the advice and prejudices and preferences of those you know. Be amused at how people seem to either love or hate the Beretta DT10/11 and the Miroku MK38 and have serious views on brands without much evidence or reason.
4. Go around all the gun shops and announce you need a gun, your budget is £X and you like Very Expensive Gun, what do they have for you? Try holding all their guns. Listen to the advice and recommendations as a good gun shop will be able to tell what might suit you. Do not get swept away at this point.
5. When the recommendations start lining up with your thoughts from holding the guns, try shooting the models you like. Gun shops will loan some stock if you are a serious buyer. You can't shoot a new gun but second hand guns and demonstration models are plentiful.
6. Once you've chosen some models you like, look around them for similar guns e.g same maker, next model up or down, same make and model but premier version compared to basic, same make but earlier model version.
7. When you've found the make and model you like best, find one in your price range and buy it. Share the news ecstatically.
8. Shoot with your new gun for a bit and then get it fitted.
9. Shoot more until you find yourself giving the same advice to people even newer than you.
Fat Woman had fallen for Personal Trainer's DT10, but it was coming out of his cold dead hands so Fat Woman went looking elsewhere. It turned out that the reason Fat Woman liked the DT10 because it was backweighted and so was easier for her to handle. Fat Woman now has a Browning 425 nicely fitted to her. Shooting Coach says guns are just a stick that goes bang, so until someone tells Fat Woman her gun is letting her down she will stick with it. Fat Woman is a bit undiscerning when it comes to things like engraved game scenes and wouldn't pay extra for them, but she does like her stock having pretty wood.