need advice


July 10, 2003, 03:14 PM
So, I'm going out with the girl of my dreams this weekend, and of course, she wants to go to the shooting range on our first date. So the question is, have any of you ever done this before (that is, big first date at the range)? Which of my guns should I bring, and which should I leave behind because they may come off as "too much" for a first outing. Here's my choices of toys:

Browning hi power
Freedom Arms .454 casull
Colt python .357

Bushmaster AR-15 flat top (with ACOG)
HS Precision heavy tactical rifle (.308)
HS Precision take down rifle (.308)
LAR Grizzley 50 BMG single shot rifle

Benelli M1 super 90

Or... I could take her to the shotgun sporting clays range, with my beretta AL390. Perhaps that would seem more civilized and "impressive."

Or maybe I should take her both to the rifle/pistol range and the shotgun range.


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July 10, 2003, 03:18 PM
depends on your dates exposure to firearms. if she has little experience, stick with smaller calibers. if she is a gunny like you, take whatever you enjoy shooting.

be forewarned though...taking the biggest bores you have may be interpreted by her as you 'compensating' for other, umm, inadequacies. :D
if it were me, i'd take a .22lr, a 9mm, a .45acp.

and if this woman brings a supply of ammo, shes a keeper!

July 10, 2003, 03:18 PM
Be sensitive to her needs and ask her what she likes to shoot. That way, you'll know if she's thinking:

(1) This guy is nuts! He's got an arsenal!


(2) Cool! Check out the sweet collection!


Zak Smith
July 10, 2003, 03:26 PM

I have taught about a dozen new shooters how to shoot in the last year. The women pay more attention to what you say, which makes it a lot easier. Start them off the right way and they'll hit the target, and end up liking shooting!

First, I go over gun safety, range etiquette, and eye & ear protection. Then proper body position / stance, and how to get a proper grip on the pistol. Then I explain sight alignment and trigger pull, and follow through.

It's often a good idea to let them operate the pistol "dry" to become familiar with how it works, and then go through the whole sequence with dry-firing.

For the pistols, I find a .22LR revolver or autopistol works well. An SP101 or one of the standard autos (e.g. Browning Buckmark, Challenger, Ruger MKII) is a good choice.

After that, a mid-or-full-size 9mm, preferrably with a steel frame. The weight will absorb the recoil. If I have any of my low-power handloads (about 100PF, as opposed to 130PF factory), I'll use those, else I'll use some of the "weaker" factory like S&B 115gr.

After that, I let them choose whatever they want to try again, or what else they want to shoot next.

If you give good instruction and the person can listen and follow directions, and has just a modicum of coordination, they will be able to consistently hit a 4" circle at 7 yards, or a 10" plate at 25 yards -- in my experience.

For the long-guns, I would suggest the AR if she's confortable with it. The recoil will be minimal compared to anything else. Don't suggest the M1S90 unless she wants more punishment.

I mentored some new shooters in the last month: within about 30 minutes of their first shots fired with a pistol, they were hitting a 10" steel plate at 177yards with an iron-sighted AR15, or scoped .243 from a bipod -- every time.

So in summary, I would suggest:

1. The BHP and the P7
2. The Python with .38Special loads
3. The AR15

Hope it goes well! Mentoring a new shooter is rewarding and chances are they'll want to keep coming back for more.


4v50 Gary
July 10, 2003, 03:39 PM
BHP - good for smaller hands.
AR w/ACOG. Nice, easy to shoot.

July 10, 2003, 03:43 PM
Easy to hit with, cute, (1958 Space Rifle) no perceptible kick.

AJ Dual
July 10, 2003, 03:56 PM
Yes, bring the .22's, (beg, borrow, rent, or steal [not really :p ] one if you have to...)

And the AR. Use just the AR if you can't get a .22 LR. But I would try real, real, hard to get a .22 for the day.

Offer her to double up on plugs and muffs on anything centerfire once she graduates from the .22's, or while using the .22's if there's other shooters with bigger bores on the lfiring ine. Noise affects some new shooters more than recoil does.

Also, if you can swing it, it's ideal to go to the range on an empty day, or better, a non-range on empty land or a farm if possible. Start with the .22's on ballons, clay pigeons, old fruit etc. at 7 yards to have fun and build confidence. On empty land or an empty range, she'll not worry about being nervous in front of other shooters, afraid of "looking stupid" or jumpy from gunfire of larger bores, or intimidated by range officers barking orders...

Also, if she's interested in larger calibers, still have her try the .22 first so she dosen't develop a flinch with all guns, and if she dosen't like the larger calibers, she'll still at least realize there are "non-scary" and fun .22's she could enjoy.

P.S. One other possibility would be the Colt Python, loaded with light .38spl wadcutters. Also, stay away from anything centerfire rifle that's not semi-auto for now. Bolt-actions feel incredibly abusive to those who haven't shot them before. And, if you're planning to shoot any 12 ga, I'd go with the AL 390 wherever you shoot, plinking, informal hand-trap, or trap. The gas action of the Baretta will be kinder than the recoil-operated Benelli.

July 10, 2003, 05:28 PM
Thanks for all the input so far, I'm taking notes!

BHP does seem like a good idea, I'll definately bring that one. The AR sounds good too, but my only reservation with that one is the image, I think that some shooting newbies might be put off by the looks at first, that is, they might need to be "warmed up" to the idea of an AR before actually seeing it. I'll also see if I can borrow a friend's .22, that seems like a good idea. I'll bring the python with .38's, with that royal blue it's just to classy to leave home. Anyway, thanks again for the advice.

July 11, 2003, 07:08 AM
Babes always love to watch Trap and Skeet, trust me !;)

July 11, 2003, 11:04 AM
I agree that it will reallly depend on your dream dates exposure & experience. She may already have a preference ofhat she likes to shoot. But me, I'd bring the P7, BHP, the Python & the AR.

John Ross
July 11, 2003, 01:30 PM
If this really is "the girl of your dreams" I have a few suggestions that don't have to do with what guns to bring, as others have given you good input on that score.

1. Maintain an air of quiet competence. People in general and women in particular dislike talkative know-it-alls but are impressed when they see knowledge and skill at work. This is doubly true when the activity in question has the potential for danger if safety concerns are ignored.

Explain, don't lecture, and early on say something like "If I see you doing something dangerous I'm going to stop you immediately. You probably won't, but I'm telling you this now so you won't get upset if I raise my voice. I don't much care about your marksmanship but I care a great deal about safe gun handling."

2. Do not fawn over her. Pretty girls get this so much they lose all interest in the guys who kiss up to them. New mindset: You are *letting her* join you in something exciting. I hope the invitation was "I'm going shooting this weekend--it's going to be perfect weather and there's a great range I use. If you'd like to join me I'll pick you up at 8:30, if you've got something to wear that you won't cry about if it gets a little dirt on it" (said with a grin.)

When she said "yes," I hope you added "I'm assuming you're not one of those flaky women who thinks 8:30 means 'sometime before noon.' I intend to be at the range by 9:00."

3. Pack up and quit shooting while she's still having a good time. Do not wait until her shoulder or hand hurts or she's tired.

4. After shooting, do not make plans right away to do something else next weekend, no matter how well you think things went. I cannot stress this strongly enough: DO NOT SELL TOO FAR IN ADVANCE. Not even if she rips your clothes off on the ride home. End your first date with her while she's still wanting more, and don't be too eager to plan the next one. This holds for future dates as well. And don't even think of them as "dates", think of them as "I'm doing this and I'll let you join me if you behave." New mindset: Welcome to MY world.

5. Be prepared for a "???? test." You may even get one before you pick her up for the date, a phone call telling you her best friend just broke up with her boyfriend and needs consoling, so she has to cancel. It may be an attempt to get you to do something different than what you planned. Do not accept this. Call her on any attempt to change plans. Make it clear such behavior is unacceptable. Be ready to say "Next."

A pretty girl's reality is that men usually do whatever she wants. Believe it or not, they're tired of this. The ???? test is a way to cull out the mediocre males and find the ones with backbone. It's instinctive for women, because it works so well. Be aware of this, and act accordingly.

6. Whenever you find yourself wondering what to say or how to act, and wanting to avoid screwing up because you think a girl might be THE ONE, imagine how you would treat the hottest babe in your zip code--who happens to be your little sister. You'd tease your little sister, right? You'd laugh at her and call her on it every time she tried to get YOU to behave the same way she gets all the other guys to kiss her ???. You'd tell her of your surprise that she'd wear such a tight skirt when it made her ??? look so fat, or a hairstyle that made her ears stick out. If you don't think this works, you've never tried it.

7. Don't get "one-itis." Talk to every girl that catches your eye. Let others come shooting with you on other weekends (if they promise to behave.) Pretty girls have lots of options--it just happens. *You* can have lots of options, too, but it won't just happen. You'll have to see to that yourself.


July 11, 2003, 01:37 PM
Hey! Take notes. I am. (Great advice, John. Good to see you here. Still using that .45 squirt gun for HD, btw?)

Oh, if you can get a .22, do. Otherwise,
Python with light 38's.


July 11, 2003, 04:53 PM
John Ross,

I appreciate your help, I'll try to keep these things in mind. And yes, she definately is something else, *truly* the girl of my dreams, although not just because of how she looks (although she is striking). I've got #'s 1, 2, 3, and 4 covered, there should be no problems there. #5 is a little more difficult... she is exceptionally intelligent and may try to use this tactic on me, what's the appropriate defense? It's hard to be ready to say "next" when that's what you've been saying on all previous dates because I've been thinking about going out with this girl. #6 sounds suicidal... or very risky at best... and it's too late for #7. Thanks for the tips, I'll try to keep them in mind. And I'll let you all know how it goes.

4v50 Gary
July 11, 2003, 04:58 PM
When you teach her shooting stances, explain, demonstrate (w/out gun) and then ask her to demonstrate. If you must make corrections, be a gentlemen and ask her permission to touch first and when you do, touch her only in appropriate places. Sorry, no personal spots. :o Tell them first before you touch too.

I've told students to spread the legs for better balance and when granted permission, tap their instep with my toe (and give accompanying instructions). Be a professional and she'll appreciate it.

John Ross
July 11, 2003, 06:53 PM
Best defense for #5 is preparation. ASSUME you'll get a S*** test, and have your response ready. These tests are instinctive with most women, so don't think because she's intelligent it's a conscious decision. It's in the gene from hundreds of thousands of years of needing to select the best mate for survival, the same way and for the same reason that sitting in a restaurant with your back to the wall, facing the entrance, is instinctive for men.

Bad behavior (especially flaking) is much less likely to happen if
a) you pre-empt its occurrence by making it clear in advance you don't tolerate it, and
b) you DO NOT tolerate it when it happens, BECAUSE IT WILL HAPPEN.

Her, 5 minutes into the shooting session: "The noise is giving me a headache. Let's go."

You: "I don't get to practice as often as I'd like, so I bought a Cosmopolitan and a Shape magazine in case something like this happened with you. They're in the back seat. Keep your earmuffs on and the windows rolled up and your headache will go away. I'll drive you home when I'm done."

When she suddenly decides she doesn't want to eat where you do:

You, grinning: "If you're buying, pick any place you want. I love the taste of any food when it's free" or "That's okay, you can get whatever you like after I drop you off."

Think of the possible s*** tests she could give you and have your responses ready. A s*** test is any attempt to get you to do something you don't want to do, but also it's trying to see if you'll do what she wants when you don't much care either way. DON'T. Be nice to her on YOUR terms, not hers. Send her a gift like a book that you think she'll like but DON'T EVER let her dictate the way things are going to be. Next month, tell her you're going to have dinner at [the name of her favorite restaurant] and ask her to join you. She'll get the message, I guarantee.

Don't help her with anything resembling a personal or relationship problem. Don't even let her tell you about it. This is a test of whether you are relationship material. If you fall into this trap I guarantee she will call you when she needs consoling or her furniture moved or whatever, and then go boff the brains out of someone else who refused to put up with that BS. Cut this one off at the pass. Say "That's something you need one of your girlfriends to talk with you about. I'm not good at that and have no interest in getting better." Give her the numbers for the movers or U-Haul and tell her your time is too valuable to do manual labor. Don't help a girl move her furniture or do errands for her unless she's doing EVERYTHING you want her to do for you, and then I'd probably pay pros to do the heavy lifting.

All-purpose response for any question starting with "Aren't you going to..." such as "aren't you going to buy me a drink, open the door for me, etc."

You: "What do I get out of it?" or "what are you going to do for me in return?" One of three things will happen:

1. She'll pretend to be stunned or offended. MAINTAIN YOUR CALM DEMEANOR AND DO NOT BACK DOWN. ("You mean you expect people to do things for you with no thought as to what you should do for them? I don't think I've ever met anyone that self-centered before.") This will probably cause her to switch to response 2. or 3.

2. She'll smile and offer to do some thing for you. No matter what this is, I always hesitate as if considering her offer, then say "Nah, not good enough." If she suggests a sexual favor (this DOES happen, it's another test), say "No, I'm pretty particular about who I do that with and I don't know you that well." She will now either up the ante, hit you on the arm, or go to number 3 (all are good things).

3. "What do you want?" This is where you REALLY have fun. Always go over the top, where it's 100% about you: "Cook me veal cordon bleu for dinner, give me a backrub, and rub my feet while I sip an after-dinner drink."

Your comment that Point 6 sounded suicidal: It isn't. Not if it's self-assured teasing and not meanness. The Bratty Sister Frame says "You may get the little boys with the pouty look and the low-rider jeans, but I was on to *that* game before I was shaving. Keep insulting my intelligence that way and I may have to spank you."

Your last comment, on point 7: NO. It is NEVER too late to get over one-itis, and the sooner you do it the greater the chance you'll get the girl you want. Businessmen and bankers can tell when they're the only option for the struggling small business owner needing capital. Women are ten times better than this at telling when a guy has all his chips on their number AND IT TURNS THEM OFF.

If you really like this girl, have others choices or she'll lose all interest. I cannot say this too strongly.

Final point: If you do these things it will probably work out for you. When it does, DON'T TURN INTO THE GUY I'M TELLING YOU NOT TO BE. When she starts to fall for you, don't pour out your heart and tell her how beautiful she is and start letting her dictate terms and become like all the guys she passed over to be with YOU. Don't do it. You wouldn't like it if she got fat and stupid, would you? Keep being the person she fell for.

Tell us how it goes.


July 11, 2003, 06:55 PM
.22LR's. AR15s easy to shoot as well.

July 11, 2003, 07:09 PM
Think small caliber to start out. If she asks to try something more powerful, you can have a couple options. Leave the big calibers at home. Maybe on the second date... :D

If you start with the .454 Casull, she might :what: :eek: Or go


So, start small caliber and work your way up, if she says she is interested. Be prepared to stay with .22, .38, 9mm for quite awhile.


July 11, 2003, 07:09 PM

Just be yourself and treat her the same way you want to be treated and everything will be fine. It is never good to play games with other poeples feelings.


July 11, 2003, 07:19 PM

If I understand him correctly, John is not advocating taking advantage of people's feelings, he's just trying to give the kind of advice that would keep me from winding up like every other blubbering spineless fool that's approached this girl before me. And I'm sure they do all wind up like that. Hmmm.... I just don't know yet. Uh oh, gotta go, I'll be back in about an hour.

Steve Smith
July 11, 2003, 07:24 PM
John's advice is CORRECT.

August 14, 2003, 01:35 AM

August 14, 2003, 08:20 AM
Wow, I can see there are a couple guys here who would not be going out a second time with me. Sounds like housebreaking a puppy. :rolleyes:


Don't treat this woman as a situation to be handled. If she is actually worth dating then she won't see you as being confident, just as an arrogent jerk. As Sensei said, just be yourself and have fun. If things work out then all that pretense will become tiresome to maintain.

If you are concerned about freaking her out, then just bring a .22 and something for you, maybe the AR too. You must also bring fun and reactive targets too. Personally, I like to blow up milk jugs filled with water.

Ummm, did she agree to go with you yet? I can't quite tell from your second post.

August 14, 2003, 08:46 AM
John Ross:
I've got my notepad out, dont stop talking cause of a few doubters. :evil:

[my GF and shooting partner of ~4 years decided it was over a few weeks ago, its pretty lonely at the range but college starts again in two weeks so maybe I can pick up a new shooting partner there...]

August 14, 2003, 09:27 AM
It looks like John has covered alot of bases and he seems on target with
most of them.

My success rate went up exponentially once I stopped fawning over girls.
Some guys refer to this as 'treating them like cr*p''.

I'll define success rate as being in the relationship 'driver seat'.

This is not easy. When you meet a girl you really like, you want to do whatever
it takes to make her happy. Don't fall into the trap!

John put down many guidelines which may be awkward to keep checking
while you are on the date. I'll summarize some tips which have worked for me.

1. be confident (this is the golden rule! nothing else will work without it)
2. don't take any crap
3. don't try to 'do everything' for her
4. treat her with respect
5. don't try to impress her, rules 1-4 will do that for you

The 'treating like cr*p' and rule 4 may seem to conflict, but they don't really. Women
are truely from a different planet - especially when it comes to communication. 'Treating
like cr*p' does not mean being abusive (hence rule 4). It means doing the opposite
of what you as a guy who really likes her would instinctively want to do. Have fun, but
behave like you have 3 other girlfriends you like as much. Sending confusing signals to
a girl usually intrigues them.

Here's one last idea that worked great for me and almost no guy I know does (or did) it.
The day after your date, call her and tell her "I had a good time yesterday, and thanks
for coming out to the range. I enjoy taking friends up there." BUT DO NOT MAKE ANY
YOU ARE BUSY!!! Remember - you are in control. You are in charge. You call her to
make the plans...later. (You have three other girlfriends you like just as much.)

Trust me, this will work. I would have never gotten married if I didn't treat my then future
wife 'like cr*p' first.

Good luck!

-oh yea, don't bring all your guns at first. Just a few. Leave the scary ones at home
for now - "If you like it, we can see about trying some others..." And don't spend all day
there. Leave there while she's still interested in shooting.

August 14, 2003, 10:37 AM
Dating 101..:what:

Hell, I would bring all of the your guns and let her pick.:D

August 14, 2003, 11:23 AM
I would take a .22 definitely. I have taken a date shooting for the first time, and she caught on to the four rules really quick. I was really nice because I didn't get too serious about the shooting for the first trip -- I backed my truck up to where the firing line would be (in the Utah desert), and we sat on the tailgate with my Mom's .22 six-shooter and had a blast.

If your date is anything like mine was, she'll get interested in other, bigger guns. So, be sure to bring your BHP and Python, too -- this was before I had my BHP, so I was kind of sunk. As mentioned, take some light .38 Spl loads for the Python.

The AR-15 can be really fun if she doesn't tire too quickly.

Now, as for the dating advice being offered by John Ross, the man knows what he's talking about. Don't get me wrong, the tips he offers sound terribly cruel in writing, but when done correctly, they work great. The trick is to get to a situation where you can both comfortably tease and pick at each other without offence.

When I did all of this (I'm on a hiatus from the dating game currently :uhoh: :evil: ), I only had the brain/spine/????s to do some of the "radical" tactics, and the areas where I didn't were the areas where I fumbled the ball.

I can tell you, though, I have tried several different angles in dating, from "indifferent" to "naming the terms" to "drop-jaw all over the girl."

Ogling all over the girl (read: treating them like royalty, being the attentive sappy boob) is an immediate failure.

Indifferent works until they figure you out, usually at the end of the second date.

Being *in the driver's seat* is what keeps them on the edge of their seat. PLAY HARD TO GET AND HARD TO NAIL DOWN.



August 14, 2003, 01:08 PM

August 14, 2003, 02:39 PM
My first date with my Wife was taking her shooting. We have been married for 5 years now, and have two wonderful kids. I love my wife.

I just have to interject one thing here. If you have to play all sorts of complicated mind games with somebody to get them to like you, do you really want to spend the rest of your life with that person?

Just relax and have fun. Be yourself.

If it is meant to be, she will like you for who you are. If you have to go over a mental check list of how you need to act, what you need to do, what are the correct answers, if she does A. I need to do B. Then I can pretty much tell you that the relationship is going to suck after awhile.

If you can go and be yourself, and she can go and be herself, and you both have fun, and you are equally screwed up in compatible ways, then good. Otherwise move on.

Futo Inu
August 14, 2003, 02:40 PM
First, borrow Skunkabilly's collection and roll up in a Ryder truck with same. Show her the arsenal and say "Let's rock and roll, baby!". If you don't hear screetching tires, hand her the .454 first, and tell her to hold it one-handed and rip off 6-shots at the target as rapidly as possible. :) Just kidding - good advice above.

You'll have a good oppurtunity to stand behind her an wrap your arms around her to "show her the proper grip" with both rifle and pistol - be sure to use it! :)

Dammit, why can't I find a girl who likes shooting. Hell I'd be happy if they had an keen interest in just ONE of my 4 major hobbies at this point. :(

And justashooter - good advice - but you may want to, ummm, tone down your description a tad....and most ranges don't allow rapid-fire, but if they do, I guess that might make an impression - where's our resident "gun chicks"? - THEY'RE the ones to ask - pardon, but CatsDieNow, you of the female persausion, I take it?

August 14, 2003, 03:01 PM
Futo Inu,

Yup, I am female ( :scrutiny: ). The rest are probably just being smarter and wiser than I am and staying out of this mess.

Who resurected this thread? I just noticed this is from July.

August 14, 2003, 03:01 PM
Having had to deal with WAY too many broken relationships (as a pastor and counselor to those involved), may I suggest that you forget the mind games? Be yourself (if you don't know who or what you are, forget I said that... :D ). Don't try to create a false persona, 'cause sooner or later (probably sooner) the real you is going to show up beneath the mask, and she'll spot it so fast you won't know what hit you.

Relax and be natural. If she doesn't like you in that state, you haven't lost anything. If she does, and you like her in the same state, then let things progress from there. Slow and easy does it.

Also, remember the ancient and time-honored advice... "A man chases a woman until she catches him!"

:p :D :what:

August 14, 2003, 05:20 PM
I just wanted to stop on by and give you all an update on the situation. I told John Ross this earlier, but I figured you all should hear as well. This girl totally flaked on me, and never wound up going. I think, as John Ross suggested, my biggest mistake was getting to head over heals for this girl waaaay to early. She probably knew it, which would explain her sudden turn around and disinterest.

So, I decided to throw a party at my place and now I'm steadily getting more involved with someone else I met there. Slowly, though... that's the important thing. She's a model, so yeah, she's really beautiful, but I don't say anything about that. She recently got her degree from Princeton, but I don't go on and on about how smart she is. I treat her nicely, but not really any differently than I would any of my other friends (well... almost :o )

The bottom line seems to be, just be cool. Relax and refrain from getting to excited or anxious. Quiet competence *is* by far the way to go. And the best part is, unlike most other women I've gone out with, I feel as if I can be more like "myself" with this girl than ever before. When you start bending over backwards and doing things for a beautiful woman that you would never normally do... that's when you are really screwing yourself. My ex girlfriend and I broke up (after over 2 years of dating!) for exactly that reason; I was initially doing all these things to please her and make her happy, when what I should have done was realize we weren't really compatible in the first place and just moved on.

BTW, thanks again for the shooting advice, I'm sure I'll be taking this new girl to the range shortly, and when I do, I'm sure all these shooting tips will come in handy. Thanks,


Matt G
August 14, 2003, 06:50 PM
Last year, TwoBlink started an extremely satisfying thread on How To Get A Girl To The Range (, back on The Firing Line. Worth a visit.


August 14, 2003, 09:25 PM
Outlived its usefulness.

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