just a reminder, safety first (aka how i almost died today)


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wallysparx
December 27, 2005, 08:49 PM
so earlier today my buddies and i went to a range i don't normally go to, mainly to break up routine and because i took an extra day off to shoot.

headed onto the shotgun range, to get into our routine of warming up with popping a couple boxes of clays. only other people at the shotgun range were some guy trying to teach his (presumably) girlfriend how to shoot. now this is where the fun begins:

so, the guy starts by loading the gun and handing it to her, getting the muzzle pointed at each other in the process. thankfully, that's enough of an indication to me to be careful.

next, he goes on by weakly throwing a clay for her. not sure quite what the logic is, as i'd assume the longer the clay is in the air, the easier it is to shoot. maybe the idea was close range or anything. it didn't go any more than 10 ft out, literally.

best part is, he throws in a manner such that it crosses her (he's on her left, and we're a few tables to the right) and she chases it down to almost a 90 degree angle! her shot was close enough that i feel the blast, and i'm pissed, but luckily nobody hurt. guy realizes what happened and LAUGHS and says sorry, but in a way that it seemed like it was no big deal. so naturally the expletives stream outta me and my group's mouth, at least until the range officer comes over. to his credit he kicks 'em out of the place after the situation gets explained.

i'm all for new shooters, but not when it means new shooters with no sense of control.

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IndianaDean
December 27, 2005, 08:53 PM
It's good you or anyone else was not harmed.

lysander
December 27, 2005, 08:53 PM
Can't rightly blame the neophyte for the instructor's poor choices can you? I can't count the number of times that I have witnessed less than spectacular range behavior by newbies being guided by so called "experts."

Lucky for you it turned out good...

Black Majik
December 27, 2005, 09:19 PM
I'd be upset also. I figure its common sense to at least explain all the safety rules, the 4 rules, and range ettiquette BEFORE heading to the range. Plus it makes the new shooter's life easier as they have an understanding what to and not to do while on the range.

Behavior like that was not acceptable. Glad you guys were safe.

Preacherman
December 27, 2005, 09:20 PM
You were lucky not to be hit... and the "instructor" was lucky not to end up wearing the hot shotgun up his fundament!

:what: :fire: :banghead:

Jim K
December 27, 2005, 09:57 PM
I once was present when a fellow was "teaching" his girlfriend to shoot. She had his Supermatic 10x with a trigger pull a shade heavier than your average down feather. He loaded the magazine, handed her the gun, and had her pull the slide back and chamber a round. Then he coached her as she fired.

Then she turned around, pointed the gun square between his eyes, and softly murmured, "What do I do to make it shoot again?"

Fortunately, he got her to not do anything right then.

I never asked why, but I noticed that he found a toilet quite soon after leaving the range.

Jim

Standing Wolf
December 27, 2005, 11:49 PM
It doesn't do an awful lot of good to bring in new shooters at the cost of experienced shooters.

grizz5675
December 28, 2005, 12:20 AM
you cant blame the instructor for the error of the student shooter ,he may have gone over safety but for some reason she didnt pay attention.Ive had this happen to me ,i explained the importance of keeping the gun pointed down range to a newby shooter only to have her point the gun at my head when i was standing behind her.

Cousin Mike
December 28, 2005, 12:25 AM
You could've shot them, and called it self-defense :D

Just joking. I'm glad no one got hurt and the situation was resolved without incident. The stupid things people do never cease to amaze me.

TexasRifleman
December 28, 2005, 12:27 AM
you cant blame the instructor for the error of the student shooter ,he may have gone over safety but for some reason she didnt pay attention.Ive had this happen to me ,i explained the importance of keeping the gun pointed down range to a newby shooter only to have her point the gun at my head when i was standing behind her.


I have to disagree there...... As an instructor it's your job to make sure your student follows your instructions. If you believe your student can't do that then more remedial training is in order before you put your student in a position to harm himself or someone else.

I've spent almost 20 years doing flight instruction. That attitude gets people hurt or killed. You have to learn to judge when someone is ready to "go solo", whether with an airplane, a car, or a gun. Turn them loose too early, it's the teachers fault 100%.

gunner03
December 28, 2005, 01:45 AM
I am not an instructor but have taken several kid shooting. I might seem a little up-tight, but I am never so far away that I can't take control of the gun if needed. You have to give the credit to "teacher".

JohnKSa
December 28, 2005, 02:21 AM
He loaded the magazine, handed her the gun, and had her pull the slide back and chamber a round.I have gone through entire shooting sessions with newbies and never allowed the student to load more than a single round at a time.

It depends on the student whether they progress from a single round, and how fast.

But one thing is certain--the first time at the line, NOBODY gets more than one round if I'm instructing. It is VERY hard to ensure that a newbie will keep the gun pointed downrange after it goes bang the first time.

For shotgunning, I would throw a clay or two for a newbie to watch without the gun. Then one or two with them going through the motions with an empty gun. If things went well, THEN they get a round. But in a sport where you HAVE to swing the muzzle, I want to see where it goes before giving them a live round.

HankB
December 28, 2005, 10:28 AM
When I've taken a newbie out, I haven't gone quite to the lengths of JohnKSa . . . but then again, I'm working with the newbie "1 on 1" and trying to ingrain the fundamentals of safety.

I WILL stop the muzzle of the gun BEFORE it points in an unsafe direction - since I'm right there with them. (I don't try to combine my own range time with teaching a newbie.)

One time a shooting buddy and I went out with a newbie who'd just bought himself a rifle. We had to watch him like a hawk . . . he just couldn't grasp the idea of muzzle control.

When he asked to go trap shooting with us, we simultaneously said "NO!" since, based on his actions on the rifle range, we both envisioned his gun handling on the 16 yard line of a trap field . . . and neither of us wanted to be there. :what:

lance22
December 28, 2005, 10:43 AM
That's why when range rules / gun safety rules are explained to you by a stranger you always say "thank you". No matter how many certifications we recieve, it is never an insult to "hear the basics" again.

Mizzle187
December 28, 2005, 12:12 PM
I have gone through entire shooting sessions with newbies and never allowed the student to load more than a single round at a time.

It depends on the student whether they progress from a single round, and how fast.

But one thing is certain--the first time at the line, NOBODY gets more than one round if I'm instructing. It is VERY hard to ensure that a newbie will keep the gun pointed downrange after it goes bang the first time.

For shotgunning, I would throw a clay or two for a newbie to watch without the gun. Then one or two with them going through the motions with an empty gun. If things went well, THEN they get a round. But in a sport where you HAVE to swing the muzzle, I want to see where it goes before giving them a live round.


Good info on teaching newbies shooting a shotty! Hopefully everyone here would know to do similar!

pythonguy
December 28, 2005, 12:31 PM
Thats why I kinda lose it when people downplay a ND or AD, or any unsafe gun handling, someone can get maimed or killed! I'd have been really pissed off and done exactly what you did, in fact I think you were very well controlled. When will people get it that a gun in not a toy, its not cute to mishandle or point it at someone, and its a huge responsibility to own and use it? If you want to play, buy a Frisbee. If you want to safely enjoy the shooting sports, act like a mature adult.

SASS#23149
December 28, 2005, 01:17 PM
Not even standing 6' behind the shooter!!
I was shooting informal clays 3 years ago,and the young man shooting had,up to that point,been very careful of muzzle direction.
UNTIL a yellow jacket buzzed his face!!!
next thing I knew a Mossy 12 gauge,OFF SAFE, was pointed at my gut!!!!:fire:
He had just called for the bird,so it was definately off safe.
The tongue lashing his Dad gave him will hopefully always be in his memory banks.

I think I got a couple of new gray ones that day.

pax
December 28, 2005, 01:31 PM
JohnKSa ~

Absolutely agree! (Go back & read it again, folks.)

Dryfire first, then have them load one/shoot one for awhile. Never trust them with a full magazine until they've steadied down -- which for some people takes quite awhile.

The only thing I would add to John's post is that with a new shooter, you never want to get out of arm's reach for quite awhile -- especially while they are firing that first round. In my opinion, one of the most dangerous places to stand is out of reach and behind your new shooter. That's because an amazingly high percentage of people will turn around with the gun to look for you, immediately after that first shot goes. If you are standing one step to their right and a half step to the rear, when they turn they will sweep no one at all and you can grab & control muzzle direction if necessary. But if you are behind them and out of reach, you won't be able to stop them from sweeping everyone else on the range and you.

pax

Thefabulousfink
December 28, 2005, 01:50 PM
The best teaching meathod that I've found for newbies (and people who think they're not newbies) is positive and negative reinforcement. The coach of my .22 rifle shooting team was a former Marine rifle instructor, he was normally a very kind and patient man who carfully explained every aspect of rifle saftey before handing us our guns. However, he had no tollerance for saftey violations. Minor infractions like fingers in the trigger gaurd, having the saftey off, poor shooting position, or spent brass left on the floor, would earn push-ups (which was good b/c competition rifles are heavy). Major infractions like flagging some one with the muzzle or loading a rifle off the line would get you kicked off the range.

We had some very young shooters on the team, but never had any saftey issues. The trick is to properly communicate the seriousness of saftey.

slopemeno
December 28, 2005, 02:46 PM
A good technique is to stand behind the person and keep your hands free and about a foot away from the new shooters shoulders. If they try to turn around press foreward on their shoulder to slow/stop their progress. I had an RO in our action shooting league who did this with every shooter regardless of experience and it did keep the sweeps to a minimum.

JohnKSa
December 28, 2005, 04:05 PM
a new shooter, you never want to get out of arm's reach for quite awhileExactly correct. I MEANT to say that... ;) Stand just slightly to the strong hand side of the newbie and to the rear.

Here are a couple of other very good points.As an instructor it's your job to make sure your student follows your instructions.That is right on target. The newbie doesn't know better. It's the instructor's responsibility to not only inform but also to control the situation.I don't try to combine my own range time with teaching a newbie.This is very important. If you are teaching someone to shoot, it's going to take all your attention if you want to do it right and to do it safely.

A finger pulling the trigger of a loaded gun is one of the most FINAL actions we encounter in our lives. All you can do is be as careful as possible leading up to that point. Because when the hammer drops what's going to happen is unstoppable--there's no undoing it or even changing it.

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