Took a fence-sitter shooting today


August 20, 2005, 09:11 PM
I spent this afternoon at the range with my friend John. He's been ambivalent about guns, but had never really done any shooting aside from plinking at tin cans with a .22 when he was a kid.

After going over safety rules, gun handling, and range etiquette, we went to Top Gun ( to spend an hour burning powder. It's a great range. Nice new facility, friendly staff, reasonable rates, and a nice selection of guns and accessories.

John did great. He shot extremely well for a beginner and, more importantly, was extremely safety-conscious and responsible. You'd never suspect he was a brand-new shooter. He was keeping almost all of his shots in the black at 7 and 10 yards, displayed excellent muzzle awareness, and had a great time.

We were shooting a Colt 1911 in .45 ACP and a Glock 20. Neither is exactly ideal for a beginner gun, but unfortunately I didn't have a .22 handy. John's around 6'2 and 200 pounds, and had no trouble with the recoil.

Overall it was a very good experience for both of us, and he's now starting to lean toward the pro-gun side. I plan on inviting him out again in a week or two.

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August 20, 2005, 09:29 PM
Any ''conversion'' we manage is good - even if a slow step-by-step.

Another to the ''fold'' is another who may help us fight for the 2A - and so prevail.

Keep it up. :)

August 20, 2005, 10:07 PM
That's the way to win 'em over.
Next weekend take him and his kids.


August 20, 2005, 10:21 PM
Sam -

If John has any kids, I'm sure that'll come as a surprise to him! :what:

We're both 24, and John just started his first year of an M.D/Ph.D. program 3 weeks ago. He's not planning on having kids for a good while yet.

The only (slightly) negative point came at the end of our session. A guy came in toting an SKS in a black trash bag :confused: :uhoh: and started setting up his gear on a pistol-only lane. Fortunately, one of the range staff ran out to correct him, and kept a close eye on him after that. I never knew Hefty made gun cases!

August 20, 2005, 10:21 PM
Outstanding. A range run is always a great way to spend part of a Saturday. Especially if it brings about a new shooter.

August 20, 2005, 10:28 PM
Well nextjoe, I guess you'll have to take his ladyfriend instead.


August 20, 2005, 11:18 PM
whats wrong with an SKS in a garbage bag? :confused:

just kidding :neener:

August 20, 2005, 11:37 PM
Don't get me wrong, I own an SKS and respect it. It's quite a rifle, within certain limitations. Still, when you see a guy using a garbage bag for a gun case, your first thought probably isn't, "Hey, this guy takes his shooting seriously!"

He seemed to be having quite a bit of trouble with it, probably due to the 30 round extended magazine. It was one of those guns laden with every single "tactical" accessory you can think of, regardless of practicality. :rolleyes:

Buck Snort
August 21, 2005, 04:13 AM
"Practicality" don't count for squat. If that's the way he likes his gun then so be it. If he wants to carry it about in a black plastic bag that's his business. Lets not give fuel to the antis or the government control freaks.

August 21, 2005, 12:03 PM
It is easy for someone to accept that firearms are only designed for one purpose -to kill, if they have never fired one and experienced the challenge to shoot better. When you shoot, there is an inescapable challenge to shoot well, or to improve the last wild miss. When the challenge is accepted mentally, it is hard to not enjoy each little improvement, or to feel great when one shoots well. After such a session, it becomes obvious that you can enjoy shooting, the challenge of shooting well, improving, or shooting better than your neighbor on the line. The old adage that guns are only good for killing will no longer make sense to an honest thinker, and they have to admit that we were right all along. :)

August 21, 2005, 12:41 PM
I'll admit I was won over the same way (except on the "rifle range".) I'll also admit I was very anti-gun at one time. My father-in-law took me to his lease and went over all the safty rules. Slowly explained the concept of a surprise trigger break and set me up on the 280. I decided to lay prone to best steady the sight picture and I shot about 10 rounds; shocked that the recoil was very manageable. Then he handed me the 300WM (a beautiful Ruger #1) and explained the falling block. He said nothing about what 300WMag means (I can even remember him telling me the cart name.) The breach was open and I could see the head stamp, but I had no idea of the size of the cartridge. I lay prone and squeezed of a round and caught the rifle right in the crotch of my shoulder. OOOOOchhhh. I'll never shoot any maggie prone again. I was black and blue for 3 weeks. I loved the whole experince and started collecting and hunting afterward.

t driver
August 21, 2005, 01:06 PM
Way to go. :) Any time one of us can add one to the fold, it is a victory for all of us.

August 21, 2005, 01:11 PM
As far as the trash bag goes, nothing wrong with a little urban camoflauge. I live in an apt and I don't want everybody to see that I am carrying a rifle or 2 to go shooting. So the guy is making do with what he has on hand. nothing wrong with that.

August 22, 2005, 03:02 AM
What an idiot. Everybody knows you use a Wally World bag. (don't they?)

August 22, 2005, 04:48 PM
I'll echo what everybody else is saying about how good it is to get more folks shooting guns. My Daddy's always been a deer hunter and he got me started early in a family situation where otherwise I don't believe I'd have got started at all. Mom tried to drill the "guns are for killing" line into me, but I think although she's still not into it, she at least gets it that shooting's fun for some of us. I think recoil bothers her more than anything- bad experience with a 742 Remington a long time ago.

Now, this deal about the guy carrying his SKS in a trash bag. The thing about the guy improvising with the best he had may be totally true. I wonder if it was raining or threatening to rain that day. I don't like to get my rifle rained on either. A little different subject, but I had a situation where I was carrying a NIB Stetson hat out of the store on a rainy day, too, and the store owner got me a heavy garbage bag and said "it's bad when you buy a new Stetson and have to carry it out in a trash bag". So, regardless of whether our "item of the day" is any kind of rifle or a Stetson or whatever else, most of us would rather take better care of it than to get it rained on right off. Oh, and that "urban camo" idea makes sense too, but where I live, I've never had to worry that the neighbors might call SWAT because I had a gun out.

August 22, 2005, 08:18 PM
i like range posts like these, good job

August 22, 2005, 08:45 PM
About the trash bag thing... Of course it's his gun and he can do whatever he wants with it.

I suppose it just bothered me because I was always taught to handle guns carefully, store them properly, and generally treat them with a great deal of respect. Toting a rifle around in a Hefty bag just flies in the face of that.

August 23, 2005, 01:17 PM
"Practicality" don't count for squat. If that's the way he likes his gun then so be it. If he wants to carry it about in a black plastic bag that's his business. Lets not give fuel to the antis or the government control freaks."

Lighten up man. I don't see how frowning upon a guy carrying an SKS around in a trash bag is going to "give fuel to the antis" :confused: Just the opposite-it seems to me a guy carrying around an SKS in a trash bag with a (probably illegal) 30 rd mag and all kinds of uber-tactical devices is NOT the image we'd want to portray to the antis. If a numb nuts was going to go postal with an SKS, would he walk around in public with it in a gun case that screams GUN, or a disguise it in a trashbag? I wouldn't want to be anywhere around a guy that chooses to spend his money "tacticalizing" his SKS with probably useless goodies but can't spend $15 on a gun case.

Nextjoe, good job on getting out a non-shooter to the range. If everyone of us did that, we'd have a lot more support for shooting and the shooting sports.

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