Teaching Elizabeth.....


Dave McCracken
May 22, 2005, 04:51 PM
I was leaning on the fence at Range 11 when I heard a man telling the trap guy his daughter was shooting for the first time. The trap guy turned towards me and smiled, but his eyes implored me to help out.

You know what happened next. Or maybe not....

Elizabeth is a pretty teen who had never shot a shotgun before. Her entire gun experience consisted of shooting "Some kind of gun" at camp once.

So, the live version of Shotgun 101 got going again. Eye dominance check, stance, swing, etc.

When I asked why she wanted to learn to shoot a shotgun,she responded, "Because it's fun". IMO, that's the best answer possible.

It took a few tries for Elizabeth to get her first bird, but they came often after that. She hit over half though no one was counting.

By any reasonable standard, that's a very good start. Mike, Elizabeth's dad, was quite happy and so was she.

She was an perfect example of someone coming into shotgunning without preconceived notions. The older I get, the more that seems crucial in developing a new shotgunner.

She listened. She followed instructions. She gave it all her attention. Couldn't ask for a better student.

Her next round didn't go so well. We talked about it afterwards, discussing what had changed. Head placement seems to be the culprit. She promised to work on her mount at home and keep on practicing.

As she and her father left the area, I mused on something I noted. I get as much of a kick helping others learn as when I shoot.

How about that?.....

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May 22, 2005, 05:11 PM
I get as much of a kick helping others learn as when I shoot.

To keep it - give it away

May 22, 2005, 05:12 PM
You did well, the more who teach and bring those into the fold the stronger our sport/passion grows.

Thank you,

Larry Ashcraft
May 22, 2005, 06:21 PM
Dave (and Steve),

I'm going to do something like that sometime this evening, anytime now actually. A friend of mine has recently married a good woman with two early teen daughters. He has been a casual shooter all his life, but he asked ME to introduce his girls to firearms.

I'm gonna start with the four rules of course, and the basic operation of the (single shot .22) firearm.

I hope to make it pleasant and fun for the girls and their parents. I hope it goes as well as your session.

IF these girls show interest and progress, maybe a certain 28 ga will make its appearance in a later session. ;)

May 22, 2005, 07:20 PM
Larry - that is the Spirit!! :D

Teen age girls you say? Well don't be surprised if El Tejon don't ask for directions and if'n you need help. :p

Larry Ashcraft
May 22, 2005, 10:52 PM
We had some fun tonight! The girls were taught the safety basics (which they picked up very quickly) and some basic sighting and trigger pull training, and then we just let them shoot. I told their dad to just let them shoot. Ammo, I got. Just let them shoot.

Now, their dad, Dennis, has been telling me about this 16 ga sxs that his grandfather left him. Needed some work, over 100 years old, fore-end falls off, etc., etc. I was thinking Crescent POS. He brings it down tonight: NICE, Nice old Lefevre 16 ga sxs, missing one screw on the fore-end, nothing else. I busted some clays with it, so did Denniis (he smoked some). Told him to take care of it, fine old shotgun.

Anyway, back to the shoot, The girls were busy shooting .22s with Sandy RO'ing, so Dennis, Lisa and I retired to the clay thrower. Broke some clays with the 16, then I brought out THE 28 ga, along with my 12 ga Citori. Turns out Lisa, who had hurt her shoulder this week, could handle that Citori rather well. She shot the 16 and the 28, but she favored my 12 ga Citori.

Pic of the girls shooting 22's:

Dave McCracken
May 23, 2005, 06:18 AM
Thanks, folks.

Steve, of course. Can you imagine what would happen if each of us who can teach and shoot taught ONE new shooter?

Our ranks would double.

Our streets and homes would be safer.

And those who seek to remove our means of defense would find their work much harder. Millions of candles lit against the darkness of ignorance.

10, you're very welcome.

Kudoes, Larry. A perfect evening. Do get your friend's LeFevre to a smith. It deserves a checkup.

May 23, 2005, 06:44 AM
Now I do hope that everyone in the picture above has earplugs in, even with a .22..... Please?

We all shot lots without them years ago, and... wait a second... WHAT, HONEY? FROG?? OH, THE DOG'S OUTSIDE!!


Larry Ashcraft
May 23, 2005, 11:20 AM
Elmer, yes, the girls had plugs in. They were having a hard time learning proper cheek weld even with slim electronic muffs on.

Dave, I took my Blue Book to coffee this morning and Dennis and I looked at the values of LeFevres. My eyes bulged a little, especially considering the condition of Dennis' gun (and the fact that it is a 16 ga). It will be seeing a smith very soon, to replace the missing screw.

Dave McCracken
May 23, 2005, 03:45 PM
"Uncle" Dan LeFevre was not a good businessman,Larry,that's why there's several LeFevre companies and more shotgun designs. But, he was to double barrelled shotguns what Michaelangelo was to chapel ceilings. None better.

Any of his shotguns in good condition is a superb shooter. Alas, many have Damascus barrels that may not be up to modern loads and pressures. That's why I recommend a smith looking it over and replacing that errant screw. It also may have 2 9/16" chambers so modern ammo would indeed run pressures up.

pete f
May 23, 2005, 04:25 PM
My best friend and I used the swap kids theory that we used in coaching little league and Mites hockey. I taught his kids and he taught mine, that way none of the of the commandments seem to be be just another set of "daddy's Rules" Plus gives you a chance to talk and reinforce those ideas when you drive home after. Hearing stuff from two differnt adults always seems to penetrate kids brains much better than just hearing it once.

Larry Ashcraft
May 23, 2005, 05:13 PM
Dave, definately not damascus. The gun was made about 1920 in Ithaca NY, and the barrel is marked for 2 3/4" shells. The bore and chambers are clean and shiny, and the lock up is tight as a drum. The stock, though, has been shortened and re-finished, with a recoil pad installed. :(

You are right though, it will visit a smith soon. Dennis was quite pleased to find out is is a little more than just "grandpa's ol' shotgun". He has put off getting that screw replaced for about ten years. Now he wants it done this week. :rolleyes:

Now, back to your regularly scheduled topic. :)

Dave McCracken
May 24, 2005, 10:06 AM
Sure got off the topic here, grumble, grumble....

Larty, I bet it felt good s'plaining to your buddy htat his grandfather had great taste in shotguns.

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of telling a very good friend his "Rabbit Gun" was a W&C Scott SxS worth a couple grand.

Back on topic....

If one is capable of passing on guncraft to new shooters, it's practically mandated that one does, frequently.

Apathy will do us more harm than Sarah Brady, Josh Sugerman and Chucky Schumer.....

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