Watching a dad teach his daughter to shoot


February 13, 2005, 01:30 PM
I was at the range yestiday and in the stand next to me I watching this guy trying to teach his daughter (16)about shooting. I could tell she wasn't having an easy time of it. Of cousre with people shooting .45's and what not on both sides of us I could see why.

She stuck the gun straight out, and was leaning her back all the way. I've heard of new shooters doing this but this the first time I've seen it.

I talked to the dad and he said his daughter was imdated(she left).

So I've been thinking about what is the best way to teach someone about shooting and guns.

Any ideas?


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February 13, 2005, 01:42 PM
.22 to start with.

As quiet a range as you can find.

Double up on hearing protection.

Pre-range session familiarization with both firearms and the Four Rules.

February 13, 2005, 01:45 PM
Double up on hearing protection. Everyone should do this whether they're just learning, or are an expert that makes 2" groups at 15 yards.

Oleg Volk
February 13, 2005, 02:06 PM
One might approach the teacher, not the student, and offer use of a .22 to help out.

February 13, 2005, 02:28 PM
Well he was using a couple of .22's to teach her to shoot. Could be that she didn't really care for guns or the loud noise from other people shooting was putting her off.

However I did meet an older couple who were first time shooters. They decieded to buy some guns for protection and wanted to try some some before buying


February 13, 2005, 03:37 PM
Of course explain the Four Rules first. Go on a day when the range is completely deserted. Newbies tend to feel silly, intimidated, or you'll have some guy who thinks that he can teach your student better than you can. The last issue is especially prevalent when you take an attractive female. Doubling up on hearing protection is a good idea. Also, explain to them how the gun works so that the flying brass and cycling of the action isn't intimidating. Give them tasks that are easily accomplished such as busting a balloon with a .22 rifle at 20 yards. And most importantly, let them shoot at their own pace. If they want to just watch for a half hour, don't worry about it.

February 13, 2005, 03:44 PM
yea what stickjocky said
a .22 rifle and a trip to the river workes fer me

Todd :D

February 13, 2005, 04:23 PM
I have a stunningly beautiful twenty year old daughter, when I taught her how to shoot it was in the backwoods with just her and me. I started with a .22 revolver, went to a .32 PP, then to a Colt Trooper in .38, then to a BHP, finished with a 1911A1. There were no distractions, no "helpers", no hormones, just me and my little girl like when I taught her how ro ride a bike.
She's at college, has no time or room for guns, but I know I did right. My best buddy has a nineteen year old daughter, she goes shooting with us whenever she is home. Ken started her with a Ruger .22 Bearcat, she loads up her own mags now of whatever she wants to shoot and gets in line with the rest of us. Her favorites are my .40 Beretta and DSA FAL. I have also had two prior female students (I teach JROTC) who have come back after college graduation and commissioning and who were being sent to Iraq for me to teach them how to use a handgun. None of this timed fire on a range stuff, just fast point and fire at close distance and how quick can you drop and switch magazines. I pity any diaperhead who tries to get into Audrey's helicopter. I had her practice by sitting in the driver seat of my 85 Dodge pick up, I'd jerk the door open she had to unholster, safety off, double action first shot fire at a full size target at 15' using my Beretta in .40, empty seven shots, drop magazine, reload and fire seven more. They can do it very well, just don't need audiences.


February 13, 2005, 04:49 PM
I have a lot of friends that I've taken shooting for the first time, although no women. The procedure is the same for all of them:

A) Review the four rules.
B) Have them load one round in the magazine and prepare to fire.
C) Remind them to keep their finger off the trigger until they're ready to fire.
D) Remind them again.
E) Watch the look on their face when they shoot off that first round.

It's always fun, and I've never had anyone say they didn't enjoy it immensely. I have a 1911 in .45 that I use, but eventually I plan on picking up a 9mm (Glock 17) and a .22 (Ruger Mark II or 22/45) when I can afford it.

February 13, 2005, 06:10 PM
Most women I've seen shooting aren't really into it. They are either with thier boyfriend/husband or they brought a handgun for protection.

To each his(or her) own, but...


February 13, 2005, 07:16 PM
I started my daughter late, she was 11 :) She started with my .22 bolt action, I had spent an hour before that going back over the rules. She had only heard them repeatedly most of her life. She shot at and hit a coke can at 30 feet or so. She is now 17 and shoots anything she can get her hands on. She really likes Mosins.
My advice is give them a relatively easy shot, with a light recoil and noise gun. Worry about "good" technique later. Get them hooked then adjust.

February 13, 2005, 07:31 PM
Women are different [yes they are !] so you might get a copy of "Teaching Women to Shoot" by Vicky Farnam. Starting out with a 22 is always good.Proper ear and eye protection - go from there.

February 14, 2005, 11:42 AM

Your a good man.

HI express
February 14, 2005, 12:04 PM
I took my daughter for her first range practice session when she was 12 years old. (Legal age here in soCal).
We got there when they first opened the range...hoping to beat the time when there are too many shooters. There were two other shooters already there. The walls were still set up for plate shooting from the night before so the sound reverberated throughout the line. For some reason the range master set us up to the bay with the guy shooting .44 mag.. There are 22 bays in this range.
I ran her through the safety rules while this guy is popping off his .44. I am use to this noise, but the first couple of times I saw her jump a little and look around apprehensively. I explained how the baffles at the line were bullet proof and I would watch her back.
I loaded my Ruger Mark II (.22Lr) shot the first magazine and let her have fun for about an hour and a half after that while I watched.
Result? She is my shooting buddy, has her own sidearms (two of them, not .22)) and is asking about IDPA. She is 18 years old now and is also asking about if I wouldn't mind introducing several of her friends into shooting.
I think this general method works.
What do you think? :D

February 14, 2005, 12:12 PM
I guess I had it easy :cool: Dad bought me a BB gun when I was 14 and taught me The Rules. The next year or two after I started wanting to shoot more, he got me a Marlin .22lr. We'd always go plinking out at the farm, plus defende the house from coyotes, bobcats and stray dogs. Then we'd go deer hunting in the fall.

Guns are all familiar with me. When I was dating, sometimes we'd have range dates :o Now years years later, I shoot on my own, with my husband, and pretty much anytime I can. I'm always shopping around for the next gun, and I'll shoot anything you put in front of me.

Like many guys who said they've taken their kids out on the land and shot cans and plinked around, that's the best way to do it. Sometimes I have to stop and think that many people don't live the same way I did, and don't have the opportnities or the experiences that I had readily available. That's gotta be tough.

February 14, 2005, 01:12 PM
16 is probably too late. By that age girls are more worried about how they look doing something than what they're actually doing.

Billy the Kid
February 14, 2005, 02:37 PM
I taught my girlfriend and my bothers girlfriend how to shoot.

Usually I will take out the bullets and let them handle the gun and get a feel for the weight, and pull the trigger a few times to see how it feels. Then i will put the bullets in and take a few shots to get them used to the noise then when theyre ready i left them take a few downrange (non-target) shots to feel the recoil and whatnot get used to the grip and positioning. Then thats usually all it really takes. Both females i showed are small women not into guns neve rheld a gun before and really liked it. I didnt use anything too big either, used a .38 snubby revolver for them, has some kick but not too much.

February 14, 2005, 03:19 PM
I've taught my 10 year old daughter to shoot my S&W 586. Used reloads consisting of a 125gr SJHP, 5.0gr of Unique and Winchester small pistol primers. It's a very light load out of that gun. She was easily hitting steel plates at 15 yards with it and had fun doing so.

The only bad thing was that the gun is a wee bit heavy for her to shoot for extended periods.

February 14, 2005, 04:11 PM
Airsoft in the basement

Then ruger .22 target pistol

Then ruger 10-22 Target rifle

Then, Glock STI, PSP, Ar-15

Lots of ballons...very fun to pop balloons

Take digital pictures and then critique stance

Heaven help the boys :D

Zach S
February 14, 2005, 04:56 PM
I took my sister to the range for the first time last weekend, she is 11.

She only fired 20 rounds. I dont know if she was nervous about shooting for the first time, or if the guys a few lanes down were a bit too loud for her. Doesnt really matter, she wants to go back next weekend so something went right.

February 14, 2005, 06:47 PM
Yesterday at the range, I saw a dad with twin daughters, I'd say 11-13 or so, and he had a Walther P22 and was just encouraging them to hit the paper at 10 yards or so. One was VERY into it, and the other would load and shoot, but wanted to go home. In her defense, it was a pretty ugly day, rainy and cold. One girl was full of questions for me, what was I shooting, was I good at shooting, did I know any girls who liked to shoot, and so on. Being a teacher myself, I tried to answer her questions as simply as I could(nothing puts children off something faster than jargon) and let their dad do as much of the teaching as he wanted. Dads are funny that way.

Girls (young and, er...younger) all lean back at first. I think part of it is counterbalancing against certain female upper-body features, and for some reason it's easier for them to hold the gun out there. I think they lock shoulders or something. I can say "Lean forward" all day, but if it isn't easy for her to hold the gun out there then she isn't going to do it. Better she have fun doing it her way than she gets mad at you for barking orders. JMHO...

February 14, 2005, 06:58 PM
Funny but I almost brought a P22. The gun is almost perfect for small hands.


brian roberts
February 14, 2005, 07:03 PM
get 'em young, get 'em a Crickett, get a base, rings, & a scope. teach from a bench w/scope, move 'em through positions, when showing real promise, remove scope & repeat. i spend 20 mins. or so on instruction, then "play", or just the opposite, whichever works best for your shooter. when they are starting to shoot groups that are beginning to get "good" or "surprising", then i start moving them through the positions to get similar results. then when all positions have been covered, take off the scope, do it all again w/irons, when "good" or "acceptable", put the scope back on, & move onward & upward. works great for me. :cool:

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