Started some new shooters out yesterday


January 13, 2003, 07:39 PM
A friend of ours dropped us an email on Saturday asking if we could look after her 3 kids on Sunday. After consulting with my SO we decided to take them to the range. :D

It wasn’t done exactly as I would have preferred since we didn’t have a lot of spare time to introduce them to the basics. What I ended up doing was giving a safety and procedures briefing on the drive to the range. Given their age I covered safety from both the 4 Rules (when adults are around) and Eddie Eagle (when it’s just them or other kids) angles. I also covered basic range proecdures and commands.

Also discussed was operation of the guns, grip and aiming.

In all they ended up shooting 7 different types of handguns (9mm, .40S&W & .45ACP) and I let them have a few shots with my M1A and one round each from the Mosin-Nagant. We didn’t have time to introduce them to the joys of 12 gauge.

A few observations.

These are kids that have never handled any sort of firearm, pellet or Airsoft guns in their life until yesterday. Their entire awarness of guns came from TV, movies, PC games and other kids. In the course of the day I discovered exactly how kids with no training end up killing themselves or others around them.

Even after multiple warnings about Rule 3 (finger off trigger until on target) and “this is the best safety in the world” (with my trigger finger raised) I had to warn each of them every single time they took a weapon from me. EVERY TIME. It was like a programmed reaction: Take Gun-Put Finger On Trigger. It wasn’t until the very end of the day that they finally started taking the weapon and immediately placing their trigger finger along the frame/slide. It was a REAL eye-opener. If they hadn’t been supervised there would have been multiple ND’s.:what:

It took a combination of my hawk-like attention to what they were doing and channeling R. Lee Ermey (without the screaming and colorful language) to get them past this. It also helped that I used to be a Flight Instructor in a previous life and so I'm used to teaching someone while they are trying to kill me. :evil:

I had similar issues with muzzle awareness and sweeping. This problem was not nearly as bad as the itchy trigger fingers.

I’d say about 90% of the afternoon was purely an indoctrination in safety. The other 10% was about grip, stance and aiming. After about 50 rounds shot by each of them they were asking if I could put up some bull’s-eye targets. We were using IPSC targets at 7 yards and they were missing the entire thing for the most part. I told them AFTER they started getting hits on cardboard then the bull’s-eye’s would be useful. :neener:

The kids made it perfectly clear that they loved it and want to know when we can take them out again.

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January 13, 2003, 08:04 PM

3 more young people rescued from the clutches of Sarah Brady.

January 13, 2003, 08:22 PM

Good job!

Starting young shooters is about twice as rewarding as it is nerve-wracking. And it can be very nerve-wracking indeed at times. :D

Thanks for the report.


Children are a great comfort in your old age -- and they help you reach it faster too. -- Lionel Kauffman

Standing Wolf
January 13, 2003, 09:24 PM
Well done! Those safety lessons will bear fruit for years and decades to come.

January 13, 2003, 11:08 PM

Good work, I have 1 convert so far this year. Its not just the kids, The person I took to the range was 52 yrs old. I gave a 1 hour safety briefing & the "trigger finger reaction" is still there. I found in the past what works as a reminder for new shooters is telling them to point with an extended index finger at the gun before touching it. When I'm watching them at the range,if they forget, I just yell point!, point!:D

January 14, 2003, 01:23 AM

Nicely done. Good to see kids learning safe handling of firearms. Did any of them try to bust out the gangsta grip? Better be careful, they might spread the word and you might just be everyone's favorite babysitter.

January 14, 2003, 04:46 AM
Kudos. You might have just made three new shooters there. Good for you.

At the very least, they know know how to be safe around firearms, which might one day avert a tragedy.

January 14, 2003, 10:00 AM
Did any of them try to bust out the gangsta grip?

Funny you should ask. Based on some comments they made I knew they were thinking about that. I decided to show them that it's BS.

I used my USP 45 and my GF's CZ 97B and did the two-handed "John Woo" thing. 10 rounds rapid fire (five from each) and just barely got anything on cardboard at 7 yards. I then did the "gansta grip" (turning them both 90 degrees-slides facing inboard) and repeated. That was even worse. Total waste of ammo.

The "John Woo" could be useful if you are a great instinctive shooter, going for a large target and practice like mad. I'd call that more of a "Lara Croft". As for the "gansta"... I say let them and the homies keep using it. It will guarantee far less people will get shot!

Rebel Gunman HK
January 15, 2003, 03:49 PM
Good job Airwolf! I so far have only got my bro-in-law into shooting. Need to at least start on the rest of my family, 11 year old brother with ADD will probably be my biggest challenge.

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