Upsetting day at the range today....Girlfriend embarassed me


January 9, 2006, 03:37 AM
Yesterday I FINALLY got my Springfield Loaded 1911 my girlfriend bought me for Christmas. I really wanted to take it to the range yesterday but my schedule wouldn't permit, so I had to settle for today. Jenny and I bought a 100 rounds of .45, loaded up the Sig P220 and the new 1911 and headed to the range. This was her first time shooting anything in .45. Before she'd shot the P226 in .40, P3AT in .380, and Smith revolver in .38 special. She's shot a total of 4 times in her life, including today, all with me.

At first she was very nervous about the recoil of the caliber so I went first. This was my first time shooting a 1911 and I'm really loving the single action! I think I'm going to enjoy this cocked and locked carry mode. It has CT Lasergrips and Novak nightsights, but neither are on target with me shooting at 50'. It seems both of them shoot low by 2"-4". I don't have the tool to adjust the laser so I can't do anything about that at the moment. Anyway, I shot and did alright, and by that I mean I hit the paper :neener: I ran back to my Sig for a while, then back to the 1911. I think I'd like a lighter trigger on the 1911, 6lbs. seems too heavy. The Sig is damn near perfect, very crisp break. I also don't like the serrated trigger, hurts just a bit. Other than that I can tell I'm going to love this gun once it gets dialed in.

Then it was Jenny's turn. As I said, she was nervous about the recoil so I started her off with the P220 which is a bit softer to shoot in my opinion. First shot she flinched pretty bad, hit just below the right shoulder. I actually had to put my hand on her shoulders so she'd feel comfortable shooting it. Second shot was a bit better and I didn't have to hold her. She hit the left lung this time. Beginners luck, I figured. Below is a picture of her target after the two mags she shot, all by herself (I was in the corner feeling sorry for myself).


I couldn't believe my eyes. Honestly, I've never shot with anyone who shot that well. I couldn't believe A) she's only shot four times, and with me -AND- B) this is my girlfriend :D

Where the ?!@# did she learn this? sure wasn't from me, haha. Here's my target with the P220. We were shooting at 50'.

Here's a pic of Jenny shooting. Remember, this is her fourth time. Any of you have suggestions on what she might try to improve her stance? Obviously she has something working for her with this but there's always room for improvement. One thing I know you'll notice is the lack of safety glasses. We took a Coke (the soda type) break and she forgot to put them on before she fired that first shot. Unfortuantely I didn't notice either. Anything else? Also, she's looking for a CCW weapon to carry IWB and as you can see she's tiny, so any recommendations would be appreicated.

Anyone else have this happen to them when taking a new person shooting? A very embarassing day...

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January 9, 2006, 03:57 AM
Oneupsmanship notwithstanding, looks like you've found a great girl.

January 9, 2006, 03:57 AM
Start with the shooting glasses and proper ear defenders. Tell her to stand up straight and make sure the pistol fits her hand. It's hard to tell from the picture, but that one looks a bit big for her. Look like she needs to hold it higher too.
And forget about how well she shoots. Women are inherently better shots than men are. It's suspected that it has to do with the way their elbows are when the arm is extended.

January 9, 2006, 03:57 AM
It's a proven fact that women are better shots generally then men....I did incredibly well my first time ever firing a handgun as well....and when I took my ccw training, my instructor was also impressed...I outshot the men in my class and they were veteran shooters....

I believe it has to do with the fact women have better eye/hand coordination then most men do.....(notice I did say most ;) )

Grats on getting her out to the range :-) Now you two have to do it more often :D


January 9, 2006, 04:02 AM
Try and get her to not lean back, it will likely help her in many situations. Other then that looks good :D. Its funny, my g/f's name is also Jenny, and my goal is to help her be able to outshoot my best friend. Its not going to take much, her first trip to the range she almost did better :D

Black Majik
January 9, 2006, 04:06 AM
Holy Moly! :what: You taught her well!

I tell ya, women are excellent shots their first few times going out. They're willing to listen more, willing to take in all the information your giving to them, and willing to take things slow.

I still see Jenny is still shooting right handed/left eye. I suppose you haven't figured out what to do regarding that huh? You might want to see if she can shoot right eye and right handed or left eye and left handed. Have her pick a way now that its early so she can slowly train herself to how she feels most comfortable.

As for the stance, She's doing ok with her footing, but ask her to lean in more. Obviously, thats the biggest problem. Reinforce to her that the recoil and noise wont hurt her. Kristal did the same thing when I took her shooting, so I told her to lean in slightly. She noticed that it helped her control the recoil more if she leaned into it. Also, flinching is all psychological. Even if we know there isn't a round in the chamber we sometimes tend to flinch. Just gotta tell her that and hopefuly overcome the flinching.

Good job man. She's turning into a great shot! :)

January 9, 2006, 04:14 AM
Any of you have suggestions on what she might try to improve her stance?Yes, she should lean forward just a little instead of backwards a lot (she looks like she's scared of the gun).

Also, she's looking for a CCW weapon to carry IWB and as you can see she's tiny, so any recommendations would be appreicated.

Well, as people so often say in the "what gun for my girlfriend/wife" threads, take her to a gunshop (or better, a range with rentals) and have her try and handle a lot of guns to see what she likes best.

That out of the way I'd suggest something smaller.

A single stack auto is probably the best bet. Small for concealment (IWB or on the belt for someone as thin as her, the thinner the gun the better), smaller grip, less recoil from the auto v. a snub, etc. Something like the S&W 908 or 39xx would be great. A used Taurus PT908 would be a good bet. A Kahr if in her price range would be terrific. A 1911 would also be a good choice (maybe a 4" aluminum version) if she can afford it. The Taurus PT745 Milennium Pro (the single stack version of the PT145 M. Pro) would be great if she can handle the .45ACP recoil in a small light pistol (would probably be easier than .40S&W in a similar sized gun). Many people seem to like the SIG 239 and you already seem to be a SIG fan.

If you want a double stack there are some thinner options. The Taurus PT911 isn't too bad. The CZ PCR/P01 or 75 Compact would possibly be doable for someone her size. Most polymer pistols are somewhat thinner than metal framed guns- some double stack polymers are almost as thin as some metal single stacks. The CZ100 is surprisingly thin. The Taurus PT111/140/145 Milennium Pro is a pretty decent size for a small framed person, as is the Glock 19 and 26.

In revolvers for someone her size you would probably be best off with a J-frame, though looking at some K-frames would be a good idea too (maybe a used 2" or 3"). The drawback of a J-frame is that in such a small gun, even .38spl has too much recoil for some shooters. If you think seriously about going this way I'd suggest moving down a tad in power and think about .32H&R mag (about as powerful as a decent, non +P, .38spl and with 6 shots in small snub). Also, don't discount the .22mag, it seems to have some promise for defensive use and you can have 8 rounds in a small snub.

January 9, 2006, 04:19 AM
Thanks for the words everyone!

I still see Jenny is still shooting right handed/left eye. I suppose you haven't figured out what to do regarding that huh? You might want to see if she can shoot right eye and right handed or left eye and left handed. Have her pick a way now that its early so she can slowly train herself to how she feels most comfortable.

She's actually shooting left/left, just like we said we'd try. It works SO much better! Thanks again for the advice.

Black Majik
January 9, 2006, 05:30 AM
Thanks for the words everyone!

She's actually shooting left/left, just like we said we'd try. It works SO much better! Thanks again for the advice.

Whoops... looked like she was shooting right handed. Well thats good to hear she's shooting all on one side, and seemed to do well! On that note, check her footing, she should swap her footing the other way around, right foot in front of the left.

She's on her way to becoming a great shooter. Watch out! :D

January 9, 2006, 05:46 AM
Looks like you've got some catching up to do! Good catch!
I was going to suggest taking her to the folks at Oregon Firearms Academy (, but looking at your targets, maybe you'd benefit more.:neener:
Gotta give you grief when I can, you being from Portland and all..... :p

January 9, 2006, 05:56 AM
lol that's good! Thank goodness this has never happend to me.

January 9, 2006, 06:02 AM
Well, the first time I took my girl shooting (and it was even first time for her to hold a gun of any sort (not even an airgun), let alone shooting one) and she outshot me @25 metres! And I'm not the worst shooter around. So proud I was.

January 9, 2006, 07:59 AM
I've heard the reason women shoot better than men is because they're gentle on the trigger and not trying to force their will on it like most men do.

January 9, 2006, 09:03 AM
Since she's shooting lefty, her right foot should be forward. Have her bend that right arm a bit, and push/pull the left into the right. Lean forward and have fun!

January 9, 2006, 09:53 AM
I just think it is great to see a girl actually shooting at the range instead of just standing there, in the way, watching her other half have all the fun!:)
While I can't out shoot Kramer krazy....yet(he's REALLY good!), I do have a lot of fun at the range and still manage to outshoot most of the people in there.:p

January 9, 2006, 10:01 AM
Joey93turbo - the small tool you need for your lasergrips is a very small allen wrench that will be in the CT box. If you don't have it, call Crimson Trace customer service at 800-442-2406 - they'll get one right out to you!

Nice shooting by the way and you WILL love your 1911 ;)

January 9, 2006, 10:10 AM
Good job!

I'd have her work on her stance a bit.

Have her try Isoceles -

Body "squared" with the target

Feet shoulder width apart (more or less - it should be comfortable)

Knees unlocked and slightly bent

Arms extended evenly to almost full extension - Elbows unlocked

Have her shift her weight forward slightly - She'll want to bend forward at the waist a little bit. - (Sometimes it helps if the female shooter thinks of it as sticking their but out slightly. That "leaning backwards" position she shows in the picture is very common with new female shooters and I believe it is caused by the difference in the center of gravity between men and women. A women's center of gravity is lower than a man's.)

Have her try that "pure" Isoceles for a few strings of fire. Then have her try the modified isoceles. She'll want to get in the basic Isoceles position, and then modify it by shifting her left (because the the gun is in her left hand) leg back a little bit. She'll still be pretty square with the target. Not perfectly square, but not nearly as bladed as with the Weaver position. When she changes her foot position by kicking that "strong side" (in this case left) leg back a bit, her center of gravity will shift slightly. She'll still want to lean forward slightly to help with the recoil.

She may prefer the straight Isoceles or she may prefer the slightly modified Isoceles where she opens her stance a bit by kicking her leg back. Have her try both and see what she likes. (The Weaver position is something else altogether and not something that is easy to explain without demonstrating it first hand)

The only other hint is to remember that good trigger control is 90% of good shooting. The sights can be off a bit, but with good trigger control you'll still hit where the sights are pointing. With poor trigger control though, even if the sights are perfectly aligned on the "X", when you rush the shot and jerk the trigger, the shot will go into the ground. Focus on a nice, smooth, consistent pull. Don't try to break the shot while the sight alignment is perfect.

Steve in PA
January 9, 2006, 10:14 AM
Get your g/f to unwrap her off hand thumb from atop her shooting hand, she's begging for a "slide bite" which will really mess her shooting up.

January 9, 2006, 10:20 AM
Good for her! When my wife warms up a little she outshoots me all the time (and I've got 200 rounds downrange for every one of her's).:uhoh:

Tell her to lean forward just a notch as if she were pushing the target with the firearm. She'll probably get into an upright stance without leaning too far forward that way. If she does get past verticle a little that shold be fine, but don't let her get out beyond her lead foot.

She also needs to get the web of her hand up into the "beavertail" of the grip. Explain that this will reduce the "flip" that she's feeling and get her back on target quicker.

Tell her we're all proud of her!

January 9, 2006, 11:15 AM
you've gotten good advice so far on her stance. I'm only chiming here to let you know you aren't alone. I'd guess that the majority of the girls I've taught to shoot do better than I do. I'm not sure if this means I'm a good teacher, or a crappy shot (mainly it's that I let them find out which one of 30 guns fits their hand and that they point naturally), but by now it' just something I've come to expect.

I've had some girls say "thanks for letting me win." If only they knew the truth :D

January 9, 2006, 11:25 AM
I believe it has to do with the fact women have better eye/hand coordination then most men do.....(notice I did say mostI've always heard and thought it was a lack of testosterone driven need to conquer the gun.

She is probably leaning back not because she is afraid of the gun but, because with arms extended straight out, the gun is too heavy and she is trying to compensate by having her upper arms supported by her upper body.

Have her try variations of A frame and Isosceles until she finds something she is comfortable with.

But then again, she did outshoot you with her awkward style :)

January 9, 2006, 11:31 AM
I know it is hard to down-caliber from .45, but get her a .22 and a few hundred rounds and see how she does. It is a LOT easier on your wallet and she will be able to concentrate on sight picture/trigger control without worrying about recoil and fatigue.

Definitely get her leaning forward, and maybe a more thumbs forward grip. As for a CCW weapon, I just got a Bersa Thunder in .380 and it is a pretty nice sized CCW weapon. Not a big fan of the caliber, but the price sure is nice! Might look into the Kahrs, my fiancee likes those as well. A .38 special is always a good choice, but make sure she can beat the double action trigger pull first.

I'm getting my fiancee into shooting and she is adamant about shooting .45. She even picked out about the largest pistol on the planet, the USP Tactical, to be "her" gun :) Wouldn't be so bad if she wasn't 5'2" trying to hold on to that fat double stack grip! All of my efforts to keep her in 9mm BHPs and XDs has gone to 'nought. Oh well, I guess there could be worse problems.

January 9, 2006, 01:33 PM
Wow! it must of been in the air yesterday! I got my girlfriend out to the range for the first time as well. She had never shot anything but a .22 rifle once a long long time ago. My tools for the day were Walther P99 compact 9mm AS, Taurus #66 stainless .357 with 6" barrel(shooting .38 special), and a Walther P22. Since she had never shot a pistol I started her with the P22. First few shots she flinched but it was merely blinking(not shoulders,etc...) so I did the ol' hand on the shoulder for the next few shots and she was fine. Nice form stance from the start I was proud of her. She ended up putting 600 rounds through it in the new 2.5 hours!:D :) She absolutely loved it! After a few clips she looked at me and told me she wanted to take a shooting class and to get her ccw permit ! I laughed and said she can take the class and then see if she is ready for her CCW permit. Good Egg! After a few clips with the P22 I told her to shoot the P99 compact 9mm. She didnt like it. She couldnt get a good grip on it. That and it being alot more powerful than the P22 did it. Im sure she would like the full size version. She loved shooting the revolver too but not as much as the P22! Looks like Im about to be buying something new for her! She has already informed me that we will be going to the range this weekend! Good Egg!

January 9, 2006, 01:47 PM
My GF can outshoot me (and most guys I know) with a handgun, which is why I am glad that I am more of a rifle guy. :D

I don't even think she could shoulder my 13lb FAL. :neener:

January 9, 2006, 01:48 PM
have her try setting her feet about shoulder width apart, bend slightly at the knees and lean forward a bit, putting the center of gravity just ahead of the lower body.
neck straight, shoulders squared, arms extended, forming an isoceles triangle. while the neck is straight, the head can be bobbed down if needed to get a good sight picture.

the leaning forward and arms extended will help the recoil to pass through the body instead of impacting it. it will also keep muzzle flip down to a minimum.

looks like shes already got good trigger control. wont be long and she'll be getting one hole groups and giving you pointers, joey.

January 9, 2006, 01:59 PM
First off, full marks for picking a gal that likes to shoot ! Women do seem to take their time, be willing to learn technique and shoot in a calm and controlled way. Every man I've taken on a first time range trip seems to think that the skill neccessary to hit 100% bad guys whilst arcing gracefully through the air, both guns blazing in slow motion, is, like scratching our nethers at the dinner table, just a skill we're born with ...
Our lass started off with a 9, but then found she much prefered a 1911 in terms of handling and recoil. Her favorite is my 4" S&W 29 .44. It took a lot to persuade her to shoot it, but after 2 or 3 rounds, she was giggling like a 12 year old school girl and grouping quite nicely at 7 yards..

Where abouts in Portland do you shoot btw ?

January 9, 2006, 02:29 PM
I took my daughter in to Johnson Creek G.C. a couple of years ago. She had been having some trouble with her BF and needed to vent. I let her use my S&W 28-2 and she surprised me with her accuracy. She managed a very nice group about 8" in diameter at the bottom of the target in the center of the profile.
She felt better afterward...

January 9, 2006, 02:44 PM

Girlfriend is shooting great!

YOU need to consider leaning back and wearing a sweat pullover with a hood tho" :D

Sorry. Ladies make great students and I enjoy assisting with ladies learning to shoot. They listen, they do, they are honest and ask questions. They are not born with "John Wayne Syndrome".

Oh they get to better stance and all, they view other ladies and ladies can share things between themselves that men cannot share with a lady. Like the first time one either sees another - or - they themselves do the brass dance with hot brass down a low cut top....they wear a closed top.

Funniest thing, and I had to laugh. Kid is with parents and mom is new to shooting. I mean she is shooting great. Dad shoots, mom outshot him. Dad commences to tell wife to NOT lean back and so forth.

Kid - "daddy, mom shot better than you, maybe you need to lean back". Okay, so dad in fact leans back to show mom how she looked. He shot a better target himself.

"See daddy, mommie knows something". :p

January 9, 2006, 02:56 PM
The first time I taught a "girlfriend" to outshoot me, was nearly 30 years ago. I use the "" because I think we were 9 at the time. :) But it was real shooting in that we were shooting an accurate pellet gun at real targets.

Yes, women tend to pick up shooting faster than men. I don't think it has anything to do with anatomy. I am a pistol shooting coach, but I have seen the same with rifles and even trap shooting, where small girls have no anatomical advantage with the long guns.

I think women do better because they listen to instruction. Men pretend to listen, while they are actually watching "Rambo - the boxed set" in their head, with themself in the starring role...

My coolest moment teaching a woman to shoot? Not a girlfriend but a girl friend. Her second visit to the range, I think. Her best five shot group must have been less than two inches. Three tens and two nines, IIRC, on a standard ISSF bullseye target. I don't think an American quarter would have covered the group, but I think it would have touched all the holes. At 25 metres. When I tried to tell her how good that was, she refused to believe me - "You say that to all the girls, don't you?". She did eventually belive it, sort of, and took the target to hang in her cubicle at work. :)

January 9, 2006, 03:40 PM
What's with all the advice? Sounds like she could school many of us here. If it ain't broke, put your ego aside and don't fix it.

January 9, 2006, 03:48 PM
You are in big trouble because I can some things she can improve on which means she is going to get better.
Looks like a good time , ENJOY

January 9, 2006, 03:51 PM
Try not to make her mad. :evil:

January 9, 2006, 04:19 PM
Try not to make her mad. :evil:

And that, gentlemen, is the quote of the thread. :D

January 9, 2006, 04:21 PM
Congrats on finding a good woman. Keep using those CT grips and you will want to have the on all of your guns. I sure love mine on my revolvers.

January 9, 2006, 04:41 PM
Anyone else have a mind picture similar to mine?

I'm thinking a bunch of guys have just arrived to a range, their mentors and instructors are ladies of course. Another group of guys are ...snickering as they watch the first group.

First group just wins hands down, snickering stops. Second group approaches...

"Well for sure not Weaver?"
"And that ain't Isocolese"
"Never seen Chapman done first hand- that Chapman?"
"Well then what the heck you call it?"

Mean Ladies Lean


Beware the man that shoots one gun.

Be aware the female of the species is the most dangerous of the two.

Hell hath no fury like a lady that has something to protect. And not a prayer - no way...especially if she can shoot.

January 9, 2006, 04:49 PM
Sigh, another one joins the club.

Yes, this is becoming an epidemic. My g/f outshoots me on occasion, but not often.

However, I'm not that much better than she, and I've been shooting much longer!!!

The worst thing about a g/f that's into guns and shoots well? She'll take one of yours as her own. She and I will go out, and I just notice over time, "Hey, I haven't shot the 40 in a while, she's always seems to have it."

January 9, 2006, 04:55 PM
The worst thing about a g/f that's into guns and shoots well? She'll take one of yours as her own. She and I will go out, and I just notice over time, "Hey, I haven't shot the 40 in a while, she's always seems to have it."

Great excuse to get yerself a new one!!! :D

Mad Bodhi
January 9, 2006, 06:24 PM
I have it from a very good source that women tend to be better shots for the same reason they are better brain surgeons. Less muscle mass.Muscles twitch,it's what they do and a steady hand is easier with less muscle mass.In addition, it has always been my experience that while many guy's are perfectly content to "light'em up" and make noise girls tend to favor precision and are more excited to score a hit on a distant target than to rapid fire at a dirt clod 25 feet away.Alot of guy's just learning tend to not respect the power of a gun while girls most definetly do and they pay close attention when being instructed.

January 9, 2006, 06:31 PM
Thanks alot for all the advice guys, this is turning into a great thread.

asiparks - I shoot at Johnson Creek Gun Club, it's cheap and convenient! plus the fact that they have no active staff is awesome.

oldfart - Do you still shoot there?

Fred Fuller
January 9, 2006, 06:52 PM
-from Louis Awerbuck:

"Iím not Godís gift to shooting, but what does it take to hit a target? A static range target. Sights, trigger, follow-through. So why do you go out there and shoot 10 rounds and miss after 40 years and Lord knows how many millions of rounds? Something goes askew in your head; you just do something stupid like yank on the trigger or fail to follow through with the sights.

There is nothing to taking a neophyte and teaching him how to shoot. The best-shooting pistol class you will ever see is a dozen 14-year-old females who have never touched a pistol. Are they gunfighters? I donít know, but as far as mechanical shooting goes you canít ask for anything more. A class of 14- year-old females will turn out amazing pistol shooters. They donít have an ego, they havenít got the prior mistakes (even in this day and age, itís usually the son who gets taken out to shoot by daddy), so they donít know how to miss." -

Whatever else you do, DO NOT take her to Seattle and introduce her to Gila Hayes... . Your ego would never recover.

lpl/nc (dare ya...)

January 9, 2006, 07:36 PM
Get your g/f to unwrap her off hand thumb from atop her shooting hand, she's begging for a "slide bite" which will really mess her shooting up.

Yeah. It looks as if her off-hand thumb crosses under the slide. That may hurt bad some day.

I taught an all-women pistol class last spring, and was very impressed with how well it went. There were several natural shooters. And, I did have shooters there that had never handled a handgun. I only taught isoceles, and emphasized bending the knees a little bit to overcome the backward lean. This class had a lot more discussion than others on handgun selection, and less inclination for cleaning the guns. Those that did want to clean them, wrote me up for not covering it well enough.

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