taking newbies shooting


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speedracer81
January 18, 2010, 07:32 PM
I have a range on my property that i use to train for IDPA and three gun matches, its a 30yrd by 30yrd range with a berm around 3 sides. I have IDPA targets, steel IDPA targets, bowling pins and lots of plastic 55gal drums.
I have no problem arranging practice sessions for me and my shooting friends, but when i take new shooters out, i can't really seem to come up with anything that i think wouldn't be too intimidating for them. What are some fun, safe, and easy things we could do? I have...

-winchester lever .22
-ruger 10/22 rifle
-ruger mark II pistol
-glock 19
-glock 36
-glock 26
-M4 carbine
-870 tactical

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Winston_Smith
January 18, 2010, 07:36 PM
Take the .22 and empty (or full) soda cans. A table is nice so you can lay out the ammo, mags, and firearms for them to inspect and become familiar with their operation.

M2 Carbine
January 18, 2010, 11:18 PM
I have no problem arranging practice sessions for me and my shooting friends, but when i take new shooters out, i can't really seem to come up with anything that i think wouldn't be too intimidating for them. What are some fun, safe, and easy things we could do? I have...
I have a home range and teach friends, friend's kids and friends of friends basic shooting.

What I do, after explaining in GREAT DETAIL, safety, gun operation, sight picture, etc, I start them off shooting a Ruger 22/45.
Then I move them along as fast as they learn.

I have them shoot different guns and quickly begin moving while shooting. Shooting clay pigeons on the berm are interesting and cans will fly over the berm if hit right.

No matter their age, I tell them, If we aren't having fun we are doing something wrong.:)

If you present it right the new shooter will quickly get over being intimidated.

In under two hours this girl went from never having touched a gun before, to using a J Frame S&W to shoot this target while moving backward and sideways. Then she topped it off by shooting a smiley face from ten yards.:D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Lindsey.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Lindseyandbuck.jpg

Hardtarget
January 19, 2010, 12:02 AM
At some point, it is just natural to want to start teaching new shooters and sharing the sport of firearms. Good for you for taking the time, and for having the interest, to bring new people. Even if they don't grow into full on gun enthusiasts, at least they get a good introduction to the sport. They will likely have a more friendly view of guns/shooting later in life. Good for you!

Balloons are fun to shoot but an aggravation. Blow ''em up...shoot...pick em' up...blow 'em up...shoot...

In cold weather, sometimes we shoot ice cubes. They seem to explode...and nothing to pick up! :D

I saw you listed an 870. We used to shoot at frisbies. Get five or six and some birdshot. Lots of ways to change the shot by changing the throw.

Pumpkins! Take a lot of shots and shows what happens when a bullet hits. They are a bit messy.

like said...keep havin' fun!

Mark

Boberama
January 19, 2010, 12:25 AM
Trap shooting.
http://bestsmileys.com/shooting1/3.gif
I just had to post that.

oldfool
January 19, 2010, 07:58 AM
"too intimidating for them"

not meaning to be contentious, but honestly don't understand why any of the targets you named would be at all intimidating for a newbie (we have done our share of newbies, too), not on a 30 yard range... unless focus is on speed shooting, but I would suppose speed practice is best done well beyond, well after, newbie class graduation

suggestion, newbies like reactive targets
check wallyworld or wherever, pick up some hard foam brightly colored "practice baseballs"... surprisingly durable, they take a whole lot of hits from rimfire (handgun or rifle) and/or centerfire handguns
place at base of berm (so as to avoid skipping high off ground rounds), have at it
30 yards for (any) handgun or (22 rimfire) rifle, as offhand targets, expect to see some hits and plenty of close misses, slow fire single action... if they show progress and promise, some slow fire DA, then maybe a few DA double taps
stick mostly with 22 rimfire, but do give them a small sampling of centerfire at the end

other than that, can always staple up some paper plates waist to shoulder high if have a suitable paper holder, at 10-12 yards for handgun practice, just mark a black X or a 1" shoot-n-see dot plate center to provide an aiming point (aim small, miss small)
same setup at 30 yards for offhand rifle

no need to suppose newbies need big targets at 5-7 yards

M2 Carbine
January 19, 2010, 10:28 AM
no need to suppose newbies need big targets at 5-7 yards
Not really. My standard target is a silhouette printed on 8.5x11 inch paper. But for a first time shooter I cover the target board with targets.

If you explain in GREAT DETAIL, sight picture and trigger control and be assured that the new shooter understands the importance of maintaining the sight picture until the gun fires, a new shooter will easily keep most of their first shots on a pie plate at 6-7 yards.
I tell new shooters, You will get sick of hearing me tell you "Sight Picture".



What's also good for new shooters is shooting with friends or family members.
They will try to look good in front of their friends.


These two girls are friends. The girl in the A&M shirt has shot about a dozen times. This was the other girl's second day shooting.
The first day the girl (red shirt) was shooting, her friend came up to me and said, "I've got some competition". I said, "You sure do":).

When this picture was taken I had told the girls, "You are making this shooting stuff look too easy. Shoot left handed for a while".
And they did.:D
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Lindseyandnatilyshootinglefthanded.jpg

mcdonl
January 19, 2010, 10:45 AM
And make sure you don't call them newbies! New shooters, novice, entry level shooters, etc... a small point but it could make the difference. New shooters should be put on a pedestal. :)

Balloons are fun to shoot but an aggravation. Blow ''em up...shoot...pick em' up...blow 'em up...shoot...

In the winter, fill them with colored water, freeze them and the peel off the balloon before you shoot.

M2 Carbine
January 19, 2010, 01:08 PM
A couple weeks ago I got an idea for a target that so far has been a lot of fun for everyone.
I tack five 8.5x11 inch targets to cardboard and hang each target by a single string. Since the targets are free to turn and swing in a light breeze it is a lot of fun trying to shoot the targets as they face you.

Something funny happened when my friend's 11 year old boy was shooting the turning targets.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Shootinglineup.jpg

I walked up behind the boy's sister, who was shooting a J Frame at paper targets, to see how she was doing.
The girl told me, "I've shot my brother's (turning) targets a couple times and he didn't notice".
I told her, "Shoot the string".
And darn if she didn't do it the first shot.:what:

We are laughing because the boy is telling his Dad,
"I don't know what happened. I wasn't even shooting at that target".
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Natstring.jpg

oneounceload
January 19, 2010, 01:14 PM
For newbies - eyes and ears, safety rules and instructions and then let them play with .22's - cheap, easy to shoot without too much noise or recoil

Lightsped
January 19, 2010, 01:59 PM
Taking newbies shooting is one thing I love to do. I have taken younger people that wouldn't even touch a rifle, up to the point that they are firing large caliber pistols and rifles. Again, these people always considered guns as evil devices that could jump up and bite. Most had never even touched a firearm in real life (only in XBox video games). I always start them out with smaller calibers and work up to as large of a caliber that they have a desire to try. There was a geniune fear inside some of my friends. A couple of my 18+ friends have even become certified gun nuts building up a nice collection of firearms. One person in particular has already built up a collection of around six or seven long guns in a matter of 7 months! Another has saved up money to buy a 1911 on his 21st b-day along with applying for his CCW license. He too already has some long guns in his aresenal as well. Here are a few pics of some of my friends that are new to firearms. The first three people below already have one or two firearms to their name (the gun they are using in the pics)....

http://s83.photobucket.com/albums/j302/Lightsped/my%20guns/123006shootingc.jpg

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j302/Lightsped/my%20guns/021007shootc.jpg

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j302/Lightsped/my%20guns/shoot020908.jpg

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j302/Lightsped/my%20guns/shoot122908d.jpg

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j302/Lightsped/my%20guns/shoot112809c.jpg

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j302/Lightsped/my%20guns/shoot122909.jpg

627PCFan
January 19, 2010, 03:17 PM
Good lord, did you give that kid a 454?

mcdonl
January 19, 2010, 03:30 PM
A hot piece of brass to the eye could ruin it. I guess it is good to point out the obvious safety practices to new shooters as well.

speedracer81
January 19, 2010, 10:26 PM
great ideas everyone! i'm also gonna pick up some old bowling pins from the bowling alley in town. its amazing how many of them like the AR the best once the day is done. its almost always the one they ask to shoot again!

Dokkalfar
January 20, 2010, 02:25 AM
Safety, Safety, Safety.
Otherwise, .22s are always a good choice, they aren't intimidating at all, and they're cheap ;)
Oh, and did I mention Safety?

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