New shooter


December 1, 2010, 11:30 PM
Mod. feel free to move if needed. While I was at my night class, the girl that sits next to me started asking me about guns and shooting. She told me she was terrified by them, but that she would like to learn so she would feel comfortable having one for self defense. I told her that I would be more than happy to get her started. I plan on starting with the 4 rules and a 22. Any thoughts or suggestions on how to proceed after that?

If you enjoyed reading about "New shooter" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 1, 2010, 11:33 PM
good start. I kinda muffed it up with my wife. I started her with a .38 and now she doesnt like to shoot that much. I would let her try handling a few types of pistols from revolvers to autoloaders to see what she is more comfortable with. A self-defense pistol does no good if she won't like it enough to carry it.

December 1, 2010, 11:48 PM
I think she is most interested in just having it at the house, as nervous as she seems I want to start her really slowly. I've got 22 rifles and revolvers, and may even scrounge up an auto. Thinking if she decides she wants to move up I'll let her try the glock

December 1, 2010, 11:48 PM
You are on the verge of having some real fun! Teaching a new shooter is the best time I've had in a long while.

You have the right direction going in. SAFETY...SAFETY...SAFETY! She has seen the bad side of guns on the news. Now show her the fun side.

The .22 is right. Find some reactive targets to get that instant feed back but use paper targets so she will see how proper shooting form really works, and so she can learn how good sight picture, trigger and breath control affect her group size.

Try to keep the first few sessions"short" so she leaves wanting more and ready to come again.

If you both have fun it will be good all around!

Good luck and let us hear some range reports!


December 2, 2010, 12:04 AM
Thanks for the input, I've helped people before but this will be a first working with someone that guns are so alien to. Unfortunately I missed most of the lecture answering alot of very basic gun questions, oh well. One thing I haven't figured out is, she has a boyfriend that hunts, why hasn't he taken the steps. According to her it was his idea to get her a gun but didn't wanna take the time to teach her.

December 2, 2010, 12:38 AM
Keep an open mind and you might be surprised. She may be ready for more changes than she's sayin. Anyway the proper ways have been outlined above, just make it fun and positive and she will most likely learn that firearms are not to be feared and actually are really fun. The thought of going slow and getting her to learn the basics and become comfortable with a gun before moving on are dead on. If you allow her to get scared or hurt in any way she may just think all guns are evil for ever. Go and teach well.

December 2, 2010, 12:59 AM
Boyfriends can be spectacularly bad at teaching their girlfriend about something they are really into, especially if the guy is naturally good at whatever it is. There is always a level of criticism/correction in teaching that just feels very differently when it's coming from your boyfriend.

To be fair, this goes both ways. I once tried teaching a boyfriend the basics of horse handling and riding, and the typical beginner things that I have a lot of patience for drove me nuts with him. His not getting the horse clean enough morphed into an argument about about keeping the bathroom sink spotless at all times. He's happily married now ... to someone else.

Oh, and to keep it on the topic of guns, I love my .22 and my .38, but I enjoy practicing with the .22 a lot more.

December 2, 2010, 01:06 AM
Trak, that's kinda funny, but I know what you're sayin.

I think she will really enjoy reactive targets and plinking in general. Since she isn't opposed to guns in general I'm hoping she'll find a new hobby in shooting.

December 2, 2010, 01:14 AM
I don't think that the OP is talking about his girlfriend.

I've introduced many people to shooting and guns in general. My approach is to begin with safety and proper handling of the firearm. I do this before we go to the range. Also, when you do go to a range, don't expect to shoot much yourself, if any. New shooters tend to get bored if they are just watching. And don't drag it out. While 200 or 300 rounds might be a good range trip for you, it might be too much for a new shooter. Also, you don't want to get too technical about most stuff for the first time, just emphasize the 4 safety rules and have fun.

Just my $0.02

December 2, 2010, 07:18 AM
I don't think that the OP is talking about his girlfriend.

Right... But if I understood correctly, the OP was wondering why this girl's boyfriend hadn't taught her the basics. I bet she doesn't actually want him to, either because he has said (or otherwise made it very clear) he doesn't want to, or because she wants to spend more time with the OP.

December 2, 2010, 07:23 AM
I'd start her shooting a 22 like you indicated. Definitely cover the safety aspects but keep it fun.

December 2, 2010, 07:36 AM
Good plan Dash.

December 2, 2010, 08:31 AM
Ok first off, let me clear it up, not my girlfriend. And as far as her boyfriend goes, all she really said was that basically the extent of his shooting is drinking with buddies and going hunting, guess that's one thing I'll have to clear up quickly.

December 2, 2010, 08:33 AM
Don't forget ear protection.

Also, start her UP CLOSE with a target she can readily hit. It will boost her confidence.

As an instructor, I've always found women, especially new female shooters, MUCH easier to instruct than men, namely becasue women aren't burden with a 'macho ego' (....'I already KNOW how to shoot'.... bravo sierra, etc).

Now for the most important part: She DID give you her PX#, riiiiiight? ;)

December 2, 2010, 09:50 AM
.22 is the way to go. 3 yards if you can and move back from there. Reactive (cans, milk jugs, etc.) if you can. My wife enjoys shooting a 22 rifle, we always would take one camping to shoot some cans. Slow and steady is the way to go. Let her shoot a wide variety of calibers, 5-10 shots each (or less) and then whatever she wants to work with beyond that.

Some people can shoot for 3 hours straight, I myself get bored much faster than that and go with a specific purpose to work on. A new shooter is going to be done in under and hour so keep that in mind as well.

Now the totally off topic and unsolicited advice: This is not you GF, she has a BF and she came to you for help/advice. Going once is innocent enough, going to the range together along more than once and things WILL get complicated in a hurry.

December 2, 2010, 10:55 AM
Wedge: funny about getting complicated, either you are reading to much into it or i am not reading enough into it, not overly concerned about that, but i'll remember to keep it short.

If you enjoyed reading about "New shooter" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!