Help me help her


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Bullnettles
October 4, 2010, 02:31 PM
Hello,

This is about my girlfriend and I's recent trip to the range. She did well with the Glock, which was surprising after a few of her previous shoots, so I was proud of her. It's a little heavy for her, but I don't have a model 70 in 380 that she liked... Anyway, we go on down to the rifle range, and I put 10 rounds downrange, then said why don't you give it a try? She has operated my other AR 5 or 6 times, and I gave her a full magazine. She said what do I do? I said try to figure it out, it's just like my other one. She starts pouting rather than trying. I'm a mechanical type thinker, and I can't grasp why someone would want something hand fed to them after they have been taught otherwise. How do you guys have the patience you do with novice shooters?

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alexp
October 4, 2010, 02:36 PM
IMHO you should have showed her.

alohachris
October 4, 2010, 02:40 PM
Was she 'pouting' or feeling nervous and needing to be safe with a weapon that she's unfamiliar with or confused about?

Was she 'pouting' or trying to make you feel good by letting you 'be the man' and 'show' her your 'expertise'?

NELSONs02
October 4, 2010, 02:56 PM
At least she's out there with you. Turn it into a negative thing and she'll never want to go.

fireside44
October 4, 2010, 02:57 PM
She said what do I do? I said try to figure it out, it's just like my other one.

At this rate you won't have a girlfriend to show how to shoot much longer.

Instruction is key. Don't hold back. You can probably get some free squeezes if you work this right.

youngda9
October 4, 2010, 03:13 PM
Some people don't want to "figure it out".
Some people want exact instructions on what to to.
Some people are intimidated by firearms.
Some people are intimidated by their SO, and don't want to screw up or dissapoint.
Some people pout to get their way...it is their way of gaining control over a situation(or person) when they feel they have none.
Some people pout in order to get the attention focused on themselves.

You'll have to figure out which of the above applies to your girlfriend, and if they are traits that you can accept in the long run. I'm afraid my internet diagnosis can go no further.

dovedescending
October 4, 2010, 03:17 PM
Good teaching keeps on teaching. You should've said "It's just like my other one, sweetie. You smack this here back towards ya', that'll chamber a round, point it towards the target and squeeze the trigger. Same as the last one."

Or words to that effect. The point is, teaching is not the same as telling once or twice. As a teacher, it is your duty to continue to instruct for as long as is necessary.

Red Cent
October 4, 2010, 03:32 PM
I bet you holler at her to get you a beer.:evil:

mstrat
October 4, 2010, 03:40 PM
When I handle an unfamiliar firearm at the store, I sometimes ask the person behind the counter to point out the locations of the controls or explain its operation (e.g. "is this SA, DAO, DA/SA?").

I consider this to be the safer, wiser, quicker, and most respectful way to learn with somebody else's property.

I could certainly figure it out on my own if I had to, but I feel it's better to let the expert give me the quick lowdown rather than me futzing about with their equipment.

Now.. on a range with a loaded magazine, I'm twice as likely to ask.

All this to say:
I love tinkering and figuring out how stuff works as much as the next guy, but it makes me uncomfortable to do so with others' property. Doubly so with live rounds in others' property.

In my case, I don't feel this is an attitude to be corrected. It may not in your girlfriends' either.

hso
October 4, 2010, 03:42 PM
I said try to figure it out

That wasn't appropriate. Anyone unfamiliar with firearms that wants to be safe is going to ask about handling an unfamiliar firearm safely. Being told to "figure it out" simply tells them you don't care about them or their safety.

Bullnettles
October 4, 2010, 04:01 PM
Thank you for the responses. Next time I will show her everything she asks for. I want her to shoot and she wants to get her CCW, but I'm just not the best teacher.

sargas23
October 4, 2010, 04:06 PM
This also illustrates the difference in how men and women differ when handling firearms. Men seem to prefer a short lesson followed by lots of hands-on training. Women learn best when given very detailed explanations followed by step-by-step handling instructions.

Toaster
October 4, 2010, 04:07 PM
Figure it out? Were you hoping for an AD?

Six
October 4, 2010, 04:21 PM
This also illustrates the difference in how men and women differ when handling firearms. Men seem to prefer a short lesson followed by lots of hands-on training. Women learn best when given very detailed explanations followed by step-by-step handling instructions.

I think it's more a matter of women tend to actually listen to instruction, while men were born with the innate ability to shoot, albeit poorly, and can't wait to show it.

Secondly, IMHO spouses/partners really shouldn't teach each other to shoot. Way too much baggage getting in the way.

There might not be a problem with teaching the technical aspects (this is the safety, this is how you remove the magazine), but criticism should probably be left to someone else.

hso
October 4, 2010, 04:26 PM
I'm just not the best teacher.

It's good to admit where we're not capable. Perhaps the best thing to do is get an instructor to show her. You can go a long way recognizing where a professional can do a much better job.

Bullnettles
October 4, 2010, 04:29 PM
I asked her to figure out how to chamber a round, not operate the whole system. She knows mostly what she's doing and is a good shot. She's not a complete novice guys. I asked her to figure out what to do next after she had inserted the magazine ON HER OWN. She knows the safety rules and knows to respect firearms. She's not an idiot and not going to AD. Her finger is trained well by now, and not from yelling :). I don't know, I'll try telling her everything over and over, but she's much more interested in how facebook works.

Bullnettles
October 4, 2010, 04:31 PM
And you're right Hso, I'll try to look some up the next time I'm out at the range, but it may be a while, my weekends are now swamped.

Onward Allusion
October 4, 2010, 04:43 PM
I'm usually pretty tactful on THR but what you did was the worst way of trying to teach someone how to shoot. It's no better than one of the bubbas taking their GF/Wife to the range for the first time and say "babe, just point and shoot".

If you really want to help her, (assuming she knows the 4 rules) go over all the parts of the rifle before hitting the range. Let her handle it. Dry fire it. Do this over and over until she is comfortable with it. When at the range, show her again with you as the example. Let her take it with 1 in the mag. Shoot. Work up to 2 rounds. Shoot. 3....etc... full mag... All the time watching her close like a hawk.

Bullnettles (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=83029)
Help me help her

Onward Allusion
October 4, 2010, 04:47 PM
What if she doesn't know what to ask about? You need to walk through the entire process even if you think she should already know it. Better yet, have a 3rd party professional do it. Training a GF/Wife can put a lot of strain on the relationship if not done right.


Bullnettles (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=83029)
Thank you for the responses. Next time I will show her everything she asks for. I want her to shoot and she wants to get her CCW, but I'm just not the best teacher.

Bullnettles
October 4, 2010, 04:57 PM
Ok guys, I worded it wrong and it's brought out a lot of heat. I told her to chamber a round, something she's done about 30-40 times before on the other gun and she had already fired rounds downrange. I was right beside her the whole time, it isn't like I walked off. I wanted her to figure it out because she had done it before. When she gave up (she likes things done for her), I got frustrated. I didn't yell, and no, I don't yell for her to get me a beer. She is not a novice, but she's also not hands-on. I will hire a professional to help her out. Sorry to get you guys and myself so wound up.

NavyLCDR
October 4, 2010, 05:04 PM
On the range with live ammo in a gun is not exactly the time and place for "you figure it out". Do you put a teenager in a car on a public street and say "you figure it out?"

Sounds to me, from your previous post just now, that you have discovered a major incompatibility between you two. I would look at that harder than just on the gun range.

I will hire a professional to help her out.

Your girlfriend is not the only one who likes to pout.

youngda9
October 4, 2010, 05:12 PM
We will never understand women. I realized that a long time ago. Soon you'll realize it also and stop trying to understand.

:)

Bullnettles
October 4, 2010, 05:21 PM
Wow NavyLT, I didn't know that admitting I'm incapable of doing something on my own and seeking professional help was pouting. Very THR... Also, you have no idea how my g/f and I get along away from the range, do you? Please refrain from answering this thread if you are going to be immature and assume things.

As for everyone else, thank you for your input. I know I'm not perfect, but I do want her to learn to shoot well and WILL be finding an alternative in the future. I won't stop inviting her to come with me and shoot when she wants to though :).

FriedRice
October 4, 2010, 05:28 PM
To the OP, sounds like you heard the message to get a trainer for her and you won't do this again. I can offer another possible suggestion for why she needed help with something you thought was within her skill level.

She's treating that firearm with respect, like a loaded weapon, which it is. If at all unsure (new gun), she may have just "fritzed" a bit. Sometimes when a new skill is added or you've had lunch or you're at a different range, or pick any other new variable, people can "fritz." Their skill set drops dramatically and they have to stop and regroup. I saw this happen in recent instruction and saw instructors respond appropriately. Everybody calmed down, booted their brain back up and things went well after that.

Facebook won't physically harm you, or embarrass you in front of your boyfriend. There's little risk she would "fritz" in something that has very little danger associated with it.

Bullnettles
October 4, 2010, 05:49 PM
That's a good point. It had been a while, so maybe she just forgot. This wouldn't be my first lapse in judgement, but I do try to keep them to a minimum. I also have a buddy who is a better shot than I that might be willing to help out as well, he's pretty patient.

Corporal K
October 4, 2010, 06:57 PM
I teach concealed carry/intro pistol and I have noticed that some ladies respond better when their man is not the one teaching them.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
October 4, 2010, 07:53 PM
Secondly, IMHO spouses/partners really shouldn't teach each other to shoot. Way too much baggage getting in the way.

Wow, and we wonder why there aren't more female shooters? It is this attitude that gets in the way. To the several that responded with this same type of answer, you guys should seek professional help. I have taken my S.O. to the range many times and have absolutely no difficulty at all teaching her. Same with archery as well. If you have a dominating attitude towards women then it is not the womens fault that you cant teach them. It is your own. Treat your S.O. as an equal with compassion and not looking down at them. Never forget that behind every great man is a great woman. Either his wife or his mother! Some of you men need to learn this great lesson in life and come to realize while yes we are different, we are in no way better.

Magoo
October 4, 2010, 08:12 PM
I've recently introduced my girlfriend to shooting. I "made" her shoot the same bulk ammo that I generally shoot from my Buckmark. Of course this resulted in FTFs, FTEs, etc. These problems were initially very frustrating, intimidating, and uncomfortable for her to deal with ("I've got a malfuntioning gun ready to blow up in my hands!!! :eek:"). I stayed close behind her on the line for many sessions, ready to coach or "steer" the muzzle as necessary (steering never was). The close contact eased up as she got more and more comfortable. She doesn't skip a beat these days.

She now has her own Buckmark and agrees with me that she'd rather go through a brick of the cheap stuff and deal with a few failures than get to shoot "only" 100 rounds. We've got seven mags between us and a speedloader and can really terrorize some paper ;).

I'll add-- swapping to a new platform brings her unease right back. She picks up my 1911s and treats them like foreign objects, despite the similarity in controls. I ain't gonna push that one too much though as I can only afford so much .45 ammo :evil:.

I've found in taking new shooters to the range that it makes both of us much more comfortable if we go over the operation of the guns to be used at home, before going to the range-- no ammo, no loud noises to distract, no "experts" to be embarrassed in front of. This is preceeded and followed by the 4 rules (of which I've found "finger off the trigger" is hardest for the new shooters).

Too long a post, but my 2 cents. I don't think you did anything "wrong", just not the "right" way for her, maybe.

Six
October 4, 2010, 08:32 PM
Wow, and we wonder why there aren't more female shooters? It is this attitude that gets in the way. To the several that responded with this same type of answer, you guys should seek professional help. I have taken my S.O. to the range many times and have absolutely no difficulty at all teaching her. Same with archery as well. If you have a dominating attitude towards women then it is not the womens fault that you cant teach them. It is your own. Treat your S.O. as an equal with compassion and not looking down at them. Never forget that behind every great man is a great woman. Either his wife or his mother! Some of you men need to learn this great lesson in life and come to realize while yes we are different, we are in no way better.

What are you on about?

What exactly is it that you think I wrote?

tayen2
October 4, 2010, 10:12 PM
Wow, and we wonder why there aren't more female shooters? It is this attitude that gets in the way.

I don't think it is a dominating or misogynistic attitude in this case. I think it is more a matter of emotional distance, just like people say you shouldn't teach your own children to drive. Each couple's dynamic is different and in some cases one person's teaching style does not match with the other person's learning style, which I think is what happened with the OP.

That said, I'm married to Six and I'm a female shooter. He's a smart guy, a good shooter, and I respect his opinions, but after mastering the safety and operational aspects under his guidance I have preferred to learn on my own (or from the people I shoot cowboy action with since they've much more experience in the matter than either of us has).

-T

Sgt_R
October 4, 2010, 10:31 PM
I have given step by step AR15 instructions to at least two individuals that should have known how to operate the weapon (one is retired law enforcement, the other active duty military), but they asked, so I showed them. I'm never going to tell someone to 'just figure it out' when live ammo is concerned.

R

Old krow
October 5, 2010, 12:01 AM
To the OP, unless I missed it, how much experience did you say that she had? I might have overlooked it.

I have taken my S.O. to the range many times and have absolutely no difficulty at all teaching her.

Same here. IMHO you're looking at it wrong, sort of comparing apples to cornflakes so-to-speak. If you're a mechanical thinker that's great, but that doesn't mean she is. That's all that means, don't read anymore into it than that... unless you're planning on going into battle tomorrow. Mine goes with or without me now. We still go together and she still asks me a lot of questions. I still answer them, and she still lets me know if she's uncomfortable with something. (she just doesn't speak "guy" as well as some of us) If she is unfamiliar with a platform or a particular gun she's going to say something to me. What she's telling me is (and if I'm wrong just let me go on thinking this because the end result is the same) "I am unsure of this weapon, but I trust you to show me how to properly and safely operate it."

We will never understand women. I realized that a long time ago.

Uh huh.

She probably has a pretty good handle on them though, and sometimes it pays off to just trust them. IMO stay focused on safety and let her learn at her pace. She has shown that she trusts you otherwise this all would have went very different. Continue to keep her trust and have fun doing it. The important thing is a solid foundation on safety. If she keeps shooting her confidence will build, it might take a while, but it will. You would be doing both of you an injustice if you held her to the same standards as others.

That said, I'm married to Six and I'm a female shooter. He's a smart guy, a good shooter, and I respect his opinions, but after mastering the safety and operational aspects under his guidance I have preferred to learn on my own (or from the people I shoot cowboy action with since they've much more experience in the matter than either of us has).

The way that you approach that situation is completely up to you because I do not have to live through it no matter what the choice, but, if you think that you would not be as effective then maybe you should consider it as an option. And since it seems to be YOU with the most experience, aside from her acknowledging her ability to learn from you (because she understands the dynamics of relationships infinitely more than any mortal man does) you should, IMHO, (not implying anything, just stating) be able to recognize what she needs as a shooter and your ability to meet those needs. Later on she might just say so one way or the other.

Good luck to the both of you

danprkr
October 5, 2010, 12:09 AM
I try to never to teach my significant other anything, from shooting, dance, anything. No matter how qualified an instructor in the subject, I hire a pro. It's well worth it in the home harmony department.

FWIW - I do think you were to much of a hard @$$ on her. And, that's a hard mistake to overcome. In my experience a bad experience with something that is intimidating usually means no more! In her mind. So good luck overcoming it. Might I suggest flowers, and if that doesn't work you'll have to pull out the big gun of jewelry.

Guillermo
October 5, 2010, 12:13 AM
try to never to teach my significant other anything, from shooting, dance, anything. No matter how qualified an instructor in the subject, I hire a pro. It's well worth it in the home harmony department.

I can attest that this statement is 100% correct. His lovely lady is a good student and has the basics to become a great shot.

Like most relationships he is the exact wrong person to teach her.

And he is a wise man to recognize that.

Dan...tell J I said "hi"

FriedRice
October 5, 2010, 12:26 AM
Better yet, let her pick out a gun, if she's ready, and she's interested, and you buy it. I definitely know women who would take a gun over jewelry or flowers anyday. Let it be HER gun, not the one you think she should have. If you do this, don't offer advice unless she asks you, and make sure she shoots it before you buy it for her. We'll get another good thread out of it. Good luck.

Glockurai
October 5, 2010, 12:29 AM
At least she's out there with you. Turn it into a negative thing and she'll never want to go.
This.

Old krow
October 5, 2010, 12:47 AM
I definitely know women who would take a gun over jewelry or flowers anyday

Both never hurt

HappyHunting
October 5, 2010, 12:59 AM
Dog. House.

Bullnettles
October 5, 2010, 10:35 AM
Well, talked to her yesterday, and it was a mixture of everyone's advice. She wants to learn one at a time until she has it down pat, then move to another. I've learned one AR is different to her than another, so I'll be teaching her on the scoped one for ease of shot placement and no lifting. She wants to go over everything beforehand every time we head out there, and is ok with me doing it. If I hit a snag, I'll definitely be seeking a pro, but she sounds willing to learn and I'll do whatever she asks. I'll revive the thread once I get back out there with her, which could be this weekend.

Red Cent
October 5, 2010, 10:06 PM
Bullnettles, had to smile but felt for you at the same time. I think we all qualified you as chauvinistic real quick. And you are right. Words. Don't hold it against the mob.

FriedRice
October 6, 2010, 12:43 AM
Good luck, Bullnettles. You learned a couple of things about what to do differently with her. And you learned that mentioning something online with shooting, and a woman, and there are gonna be people coming out of the woodworks to protect said woman (even though it sounds like she can hold her own). It's worked into the blood sometimes and it's okay, even useful, but a hot topic for a thread. :rolleyes:;)

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