My daughter's first time shooting.


April 13, 2008, 12:40 PM
I don't really spend any time here in "General Discussions". I am always in Revolvers and Auto Loaders threads, but I thought this fit better here.

Was headed to the range with my Dad yesterday. My 15 y.o. daughter asked where we were going and I told her. "Why? Do you want to go with us?" At first she thought I was kidding -like a girl or a 15 y.o. couldn't really go, but off we went. Even with all my years of shooting, she's only actually seen a real gun once, when she walked in while I was cleaning one of mine. (My kids have always known of my interest. My reasons for not taking them has generally been their lack of interest. Took my son once when he was 12, he had fun and did well but never really showed additional interest.)

We started at home with safety discussion and basic intro of revolver/pistol and single/double action. She was understandably nervous but excited and knew I would be right with her. I started her with S+W M18 .22 in double action. Just to get a feel I told her just point it down-range and shoot it - don't worry about sight picture, etc. just feel what it feels like. She shot that a little both DA and SA, then moved up to my 3" M65 and Dad's 4" M10. Then we went to Pop-Pop's Buckmark .22 for a while. She then moved up to my S+W 3913 9mm. Her face was really lighting up with "Giggle-facter" as we moved into each higher caliber. She was really beaming when I put her behind my 1911! (Reminded me of myself when I used to shoot full-load .357's through a snubby: just giggling and having fun shooting something that powerful.)

A couple tips for others that worked well for us yesterday: First, definitely let your new shooter just let a round or two go down range to feel what it's like before trying to aim with precision. Also, when going from the .22 to a full-power gun, I shot it first in a regular stance and had her stand kind of behind/next to me with her hand laid on my wrist, just to get a general feel for the noise and recoil. Without doing that, even just going from the M18 to the M10 might have been too big of a surprise.

A couple of my favorite moments were probably when I sat down to load a couple of mags and watched as she loaded Dad's M10 and shot it for herslf for a couple of cylinders-full. Also, she had a mis-fire with the Buckmark once (actually just a fail-to-feed) and she stopped with finger off the trigger but held the gun in her stance, pointed down-range, and waited for me to step in. Hands down, though, my favorite moment was the look on her face after shot touched-off her first .45 in my 1911. She had a similar look when she shot Dad's Glock 27. (Like I said: "Giggle-factor" just like her old Dad! :))

Hopefully, she will be useful in helping my Dad getting Grandmom to the range or me getting my wife out. (Neither are anti-gun, basically just uninterested.) By the way, for those wondering, her favorite of the day was my Dad's Model 10.

My daughter and wife are best friends. I feel great about that but to be honest I sometimes feel a little jealous. I am always happy when I get any kind of chance to spend one-on-one time with her. Being able to do it yesterday, especially at the range, and especially with my Dad there, too, was really special.

One more thing I want to mention. With all the discussions of everything from safety to tactics to politics and ballistics, sometimes some of us need to be not-so serious and remind ourselves that shooting is just plain FUN!:biglaugh:

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April 13, 2008, 12:46 PM
Very cool!

I can't wait to have similar experiences (hopefully :D)...

April 13, 2008, 12:48 PM

You do realize, I hope, the danger you've unleashed. Your daughter (and hopefully your wife and mother-in-law) will start appropriating your pistols, demanding access to rifles, and even (if you're very, very blessed) having "girl time" at the range with you not being invited. Even riskier, your womenfolk may turn out to be better shots than you are.

Still, a tiny price to pay for such a great gain!

April 13, 2008, 12:57 PM
Hahah, tribal. My 11 y/o son dictates what we lug to the range half the time. A side-effect I hadn't counted on.


But I don't mind. The kid's turning into quite a marksman. Drilling my 10" x 10" steel plate @100 with regularity from any field position.. even offhand. With an SKS which is nearly bigger than he is.

My wife, eh... she really only goes to the range with us about three times a year.

Jeff F
April 13, 2008, 05:56 PM
Just expect your ammo cost to double or triple. Mine did when my wife started shooting with me. I wouldn't have it any other way. Good job

April 13, 2008, 06:38 PM
Glad you had a good outing. My wife has been making child noises and while we were out this weekend I dragged her to the local Gander Mtn since we were out that way and in the parking lot she was asking about the laws of taking a child out to the range.

So it looks like I'm on the way, just a few years behind you.

April 13, 2008, 10:14 PM
just one bit of safety advice that i teach anyone i educate... in addition to the 4 rules, i add a 5th...

never, ever, ever try to grab a dropped gun... let it fall...

April 14, 2008, 10:03 PM
Good job, Dad! Glad it all worked out for you and the family. I especially liked your low-pressure approach to familiarization and how you kept the outing lighthearted and fun. Good thinking.

Time to start shopping for another .22? My Mom, sister, and niece really liked that cute little S&W 317, but the Bearcat was a close second. They appreciated how the revolvers were simple and didn't require a lot of hand strength to operate, as opposed to the sharp edged "greasy" mags in the 22/45. (trust me, they'll appreciate your thoughtfulness)

April 14, 2008, 10:10 PM
Hopefully I'll be there soon... she's 5 right now, only problem is mom having second thoughts...she wants to wait until she gets bigger...mmmm we'll see. Help me pray!!! :D

April 14, 2008, 10:18 PM
Hopefully here as well...

As children, mine started with BB guns and won a few competitive events.
As teens they had access to HD firearms.
At 21, my son got his CCW permit and has shot IDPA.
Daughter will be 21 in another year, so hopefully...

April 14, 2008, 10:34 PM
now all you have to do is re-extend the offer to your son.

April 14, 2008, 10:38 PM
Congratulations! You've found a way to introduce your daughter to a great hobby, show interest in her as your daughter, and make some lifelong memories all in one swoop! That's great and commendable!
I hope it continues well into the future.
Great job!

April 14, 2008, 11:06 PM
Well done!

Excellent introduction.

Of course, down the road a bit, she's going to need some professional training (you know, like we all do).

Start saving now, and you should be able to afford a two-fer package for your daughter and . . . your wife, yourself, whatever.

Just in time for college.


Larry E
April 14, 2008, 11:28 PM
Took my stepdaughter out to shoot when she was about 15, and we learned all about limp wristing a semi-auto. She took a firearms self defense for women course that her mom and I paid for shortly before she turned 21, and got an S&W .357 with a 2 1/2" barrel for her birthday that year. Shoots that puppy with full power loads very well. She's now an 'old lady' of 43, and still a good shot. :D

April 14, 2008, 11:55 PM
Well done.

Giver her our best.

April 15, 2008, 05:26 PM
Hey JimPHL, I enjoyed your article, because this week I'm going out for the first time with my son and his wife.

Shes about 20, and totally new to handgun shooting but her interest has grown in the past week and a half.

She and my son were taking a 5 day trip into Utah for camping, and I insisted my son take along Dad's .357 revolver for security. Just the fact that she knew it was "there" in his gear, made her feel so much more comfortable with it.

We had been suggesting she go out with us for the past several months, but have had to be patient while she got accustomed to the idea.

Your idea of just letting a few rounds fly for the FEEL is something I am going to try with her. :)

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