Adventures with nonshooters


May 17, 2003, 01:38 AM
In the early 80's I had a friend that was working in the young cell phone industry. The company had bought a phone switch from a Japanese company and to oversee the installation of the switch and train workers in it's maintainance two Japanese engineers were sent over for three months. The people at the cellular company took turns entertaining them on weekends. When it was my friends turn he had them over at his apartment one Saturday. Some how he showed them his guns. They were fascinated and told him they had never seen real guns before. I am sure they had but seen them but had never held them before. He asked them if they would like to shoot them and they did. He called me to ask if he could take them to my uncle's farm. We have a good place to shoot there at one end of a pasture field under some trees with an embankment at the other end. I met them at the farm. He had brought a Savage .22 semi-auto rifle, a 1911 and a 6 1/2" model 29 Smith. I had a Marlin 22 and my Ruger Mk. I. These were all we owned at the time. The engineers were nice and polite and had never been on a farm before either.They also had about three cameras each. They took many pictures of the pasture, the cows, the cow pies and kept touching the electric fence and then laughing about it. They were terrified of the old bull my uncle had and were amazed that you could just walk up and touch it. Our target holder was an old real estate sign scrounged from the dump. It had been hit by everything from .22's to shotgun slugs and muzzle loader balls and everything in between. In other words it had been shot to hell. They took many pictures of that. Continued in part two.

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May 17, 2003, 01:50 AM
Now for the shooting. Above all else they wanted to shoot the model 29 Smith because they had just seen some Dirty Harry movie. My friend gave them the safety lecture and then loaded it for them. The first thing one of them did was to point it the other engineers head while saying something in Japanese, probably "make my day". My friend made a frantic dive for the gun and then sat and chain smoked several camels. Then he gave them a demo of the 29 and they didn't repeat the playing around anymore. They each shot the 29 and were amazed that it actually had recoil and had to be held tight. They got the hang of it pretty well. After trying the .44 they had more fun with the .22's and shot up every round of ammo we had and still wanted more. I went to my uncle's house and returned with an old single shot 12 guage. It was so old it had no markings except for "12 ga choke". It also had an iron buttplate. They shot up all my uncle's ammo, firing, exclaiming something in Japanese and rubbing their sholders. The next day they were proudly displaying their bruised shoulders and were still talking about that day when they returned home. After the shoot we gave them a tracter ride and then grilled some huge steaks. They couldn't believe that the steaks were walking around right on the farm a year before. They must have taken 100 photos each. My friend gave them each a 44 bullet (just the bullet) to take home with them. They came back to shoot twice more before going home and sent my friend and I each a bottle of Saki when they returned home. I have never seen someone have a better time doing something we think nothing about doing. My uncle talked about that day until his death.

May 17, 2003, 03:04 AM
About six years back, my mom and dad stopped in for a visit in the course of a cross-country driving trip with two female British friends. They British ladies were both in their 70's and were fascinated with my gun collection. With little arm-twisting, they agreed to go to the nearby indoor range where my wife and I had memberships. Wanting to "personalize" the experience by selecting a gun with some significance with the land of their birth (and, not wanting to tempt the fates by selecting something with too much oomph), I limited their shooting to a British L66A1 (or, in civilian guise, a Walther PP .22LR). They had quite a time hitting the target at even 15 feet, what with their bad eyes, but seemed to enjoy themselves. After the shooting session was over, we were milling around the attached store and the salespeople got off on the fact that these old British dames had been shooting. In response to their oohs & aahs as they perused the displays, the store personnel took from the racks several "evil" guns (an extended mag pump, an AR15, etc.) and encouraged each to hold them in order to be photographed. One of the ladies keeps a framed copy of her picture in a place of honor in her home and talks about the range visit to this day; the other dropped dead in the middle of Heathrow Airport after her return flight, so it was, perhaps, the last "new experience" she enjoyed.

Take a foreigner to the range!


May 17, 2003, 03:33 AM
Used to have a co-sponsored day with DU, G&F, Ammo Reps, Gun Dealers, businesses...and the like.

Food, burgers,hotdogs, ice cream, lemonade, and prizes. Safety lesson, then according to size and experience level, we head to the range. It might be a 6 y/0 with a 410 breaking stationary targets... or a 15 y/o with a 20ga busting low 7 for the 1st time. FUN time...oh I think the kids had fun too;)

May 17, 2003, 08:38 AM
I'm going to get in on this in a short while. A Japanese exchange student has become a friend of my daughter's this year. Due to some scheduling conflicts, we are going to host her for about a month before she returns to Japan.

My daughter has been shooting for about 10 or 12 years now & regards doing so as a part of everyday life. Ai, has never shot a gun in her life. The girls are high school juniors here in Montana.

When Ai found out about the sport of gopher shooting, she immediately expressed an interest in accompanying us on one of our shoots. I've told her that before she can go, she has to sit down with me & get some instruction on the safety rules, how a firearm works, and hunting manners with the landowners. I'm limiting her to bolt action .22 lr., but will explain the differences between the .22 lr & center fire .22's, etc. I reload & have component parts to explain with.

I'm glad that this is happening towards the end of her stay in America, when she's going to be far more fluent in English than she was in August of last year. My abilities in Japanese are EXTREMELY limited.

I'm going to ask, but I'm supposing that it will also be the first time that she's eaten wild game. It's a frequent & steady part of our family's diet. But then, any child of a culture that regards raw squid as a variant of the potato chip, shouldn't have a problem.

I'll update the board as things progress.

Mal H
May 17, 2003, 09:20 AM
I guess I don't understand the need for two separate threads on the same adventure. Threads merged and moved to General Discussion.

May 17, 2003, 10:45 AM
Pardon the duel posts. It was late last night and I misread the limit as 2000 words. My original was 2700 words so I split it.

4v50 Gary
May 17, 2003, 11:52 AM
A group of us did the same for some Japanese animators who were here for some film festival. We tried to pair up one good "translator" to a firearms instructor and the "student." Nonetheless, it was still a scary experience and it's better to give them a long gun (easier to intercept when they turn and forget to keep the muzzle downrange) than a handgun. They love guns and to them, it's the forbidden fruit.

May 17, 2003, 01:08 PM
I sometimes visit Hawaii on vacation and out of curiosity have visited a couple indoor ranges in Honolulu. Each one was full of wide eyed Japanese tourists listening to safety instruction or blasting away on the range. They were as excited as kids unleashed in a candy store. :D I didn't partake as the prices were so high I'd have to take out a second mortgage and I figured I could wait a couple weeks to get home and shoot my own.

May 17, 2003, 01:33 PM
My brother and his son came down to my dads cabin last summer and the 4 of us did a bit of shooting. Three generations of us out there having a blast, what a great day. I had asked my brother how much instruction my nephew had - he said not much, so I dutifully went over "THE RULES" (he was 11). I made sure to tell him the one about "no handling ANY firearms when someone is down range putting up targets ect. As I was walking back from putting up new targets I looked up and saw him with a .22 rifle pointed downrange. I shouted "I'm still out here!" His dad promptly squared the gun away and as I knelt to speak to him about the lesson learned.. I had to laugh when he said to me, "Uncle Rob, you're shaking." I told him that is a normal response to departing this earth. Lesson learned - Instruction is one thing.... comprehension another. He comprehends now.

May 18, 2003, 12:34 AM
I had a college roommate from Hong Kong. After extensive room discussions about guns, my other roommate and I (both shooters) took him to an indoor range where he rented a Colt Python in .357--seems he had always wanted to shoot a .357. After firing the first shot, he looked back with a HUGE grin on his face. After a reload, I caught him spinning the cylinder and then snapping it closed with a small flick of the revolver (a la Clint Eastwood) with the gun pointed downrange.:)

May 18, 2003, 01:18 AM
I met a Japanese foreign exchange student back in April. She had never seen a gun up close and was simply amazed when I brought her a few fired bullets I had dug out of the backstop.

I'm going to take her shooting this summer. :)

May 18, 2003, 02:20 PM
>>>>One of the ladies keeps a framed copy of her picture in a place of honor in her home and talks about the range visit to this day; the other dropped dead in the middle of Heathrow Airport after her return flight, so it was, perhaps, the last "new experience" she enjoyed.<<<<

She had dropped dead in Heathrow airport before...?

May 18, 2003, 02:50 PM
I had a Russian friend who had spent several years in the states getting his residency, etc, while leaving his wife in Russia. When he finally was able to bring her over, we invited them over for dinner and beers to celebrate. And the girl was a stunner! Honestly, one of the most beautiful women I have ever met - and very nice and full of jokes, though they usually didn't make sense in English when her husband translated them...

Anyway, she went nuts over my gun collection and had to handle each and every one of them. She was particularly smitten with an old model 1906 Colt in .32 acp, which is a rather sleek and attractive design, I guess. A few days later I took them out shooting and she had a ball with a variety of guns, but every time she'd hit the target with that old Browning, she'd just squeal with delight and jump up and down in a very "jiggly" way... did I mention how very attractive she was?

Anyway (perhaps slightly dazed by all of the "jiggling"), I was moved to give her that pistol as a "welcome to America" present right on the spot. Actually, I was careful to explain that the pistol would have to technically be her husbands until she got her residency cleared.

That was a pretty valuable gun that must have been in 95% condition, but I've never regretted giving it away.


May 18, 2003, 09:10 PM
I don't mean to bring anyone down, but all I can think of when I read this thread is how unique America is in this respect. I wonder how long it can last...

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