I did a good thing


February 23, 2013, 12:35 PM
Something I just wanted to share with y'all:

One of my closest friends moved to the east coast back in July, and this week, she came back to Washington for a week to visit friends and family. A while ago, I'd promised that next time I could, I'd take her shooting (She had never fired a gun before.)

Yesterday, after I got back from pulling a shift at the fire department, I loaded up the car with guns, picked her up, and drove out to the range. After the safety briefing and a crash course on "This is a rifle - you hold it like this," she started putting rounds down range. She was only shooting at 25 yards with an old .22 rifle, but she was getting pretty good hits, especially for someone who had never fired a gun before. We used the .22 to get her form and stance down, and I showed her how to control the sling. it wasn't too long before she was nailing specs of clay pigeon on the berms.

After some time with that I told her it was up to her, and she could keep shooting that rifle, or move onto something a little bigger... she grinned and asked for something bigger... so we dug out an AR. She had that initial "Holy Crud" reaction that a lot of new shooters get when they see Sporting-Utility-Rifle in person for the first time, and after the first couple shots, she started blasting more clay pigeon fragments, and drilling the center of paper target.

I asked her if she wanted to try something a little bigger still, and she looked at me like this :evil:

And so the AR went back in its case, and a full magazine went into the AK... she did a great job of managing the muzzle flip, and shot very well.

We packed up the rifles, and went into the Action Bays to shoot some steel targets with the hand guns. She got the hang of the Ruger 22/45 rather quickly, and was hitting all five steel plates, at ranges of 7-12 yards, in no time. Same with the Ruger SR9. When the .22 jammed, we used that as an opportunity to work on failure drills, and she was doing controlled pairs with both pistols.

One of the reasons why I think she did so well right off the bat, is because she and I are both firefighters, so I was able to relate shooting to being on the nozzle of a hose-line, and give her an idea of what he gun would be like, by comparing it to the type of hose-line. So, when we were at the rifle line, and I explained that the AR was like a 1 3/4" hose, she immediately asked "Which one is like the 2 1/2?" :evil:

Well, back in the bays, We worked with the firearms equivalent of a 2 1/2" hose-line: Remington 870.

She fired the first couple shots slowly, but after she got the hang of "stretching" the gun, and working the action violently, she was making very good strings of fire with a bare bones, pump action shotgun. By "very good," I mean that she would have out shot some of the people at the last 3-Gun match I went to :cool:

Some of the take-a-ways from this:

- She was never really anti-gun, but she wasn't exactly pro gun. In the car ride back, she told me that she now understood why people wouldn't want to give up their guns, and not just the sporting ones: she said that she also is more supportive of people using firearms for defense against criminals, and potentially, against the threat of an oppressive tyrannical government.

- She had a lot of fun. As soon as she finishes school, she's moving back to Washington, and says she will be taking up USPSA and the local ranges falling plate matches (I explained a few of the shooting competitions to her, and she looked like this :D )

- It was a lot of fun... even more fun than my last range trip when I got to play with my .38 snub shooting at 12-15 yards.

-It helps to have something you can relate to. The number one mistake I see new shooters make is that they lean back when shooting, instead of being in an aggressive, or even vertical, stance. By explaining that its like a fire hose, she didn't have that problem.

- Last but not least, I'm super proud of her: She was safe, and able to get her hits with everything, but towards the end, she was running that pump shotgun like a pro!

My only regrets are that 1) I didn't bring a camera, and 2) We didn't have more time and ammo.

So, take someone to the range. You'll be glad you did.

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

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February 23, 2013, 12:41 PM
Yes, you did a very good thing.

Next, have her bring all her friends!

February 23, 2013, 12:44 PM
I salute you, excellent use of a day and excellent post! Knowledge is fear's worst enemy.

February 23, 2013, 06:12 PM
I took a newbie friend out to shoot a couple of weekends ago. She had a great time, learned quickly, and was thoroughly relaxed by the end (she was having a very stressful week). She is hooked :evil:

I like the idea of offering to help new people. I only have the 9mm and the 38sp but they are new-shooter friendly and fairly economical.

Texan Scott
February 23, 2013, 06:37 PM
Ok, first: AWESOME.

Second, to replace the term "assault rifle", Wally's uses MSR, modern sporting rifle. I think you may have hit on something better!

Everybody say it with me: Sport Utility Rifle. You can carry one in the back of your SUV.

February 23, 2013, 06:42 PM
oh great. now I have images of soccer moms in SUVs with gun racks in the back to hold their SURs. we're doomed. :D

February 23, 2013, 06:49 PM
The female beginners always do better than the men. The women listen and try to improve. Guys get hard headed after a couple of magazines.
You are a very generous guy considering the current ammo availability.
Kudos to you sir.

February 23, 2013, 07:42 PM
Thanks for the kind words, guys!

Texan Scott: I don't know if I can take all the credit for the phrase, I think I may have read someone here, or on another forum, use that term.

DaywalkersDad: I figure if she can buy a plane ticket to come out here, the least I can do is let her burn up a couple mags of ammo. Hopefully, the more people we bring into the shooting sports, and the more support we get, we'll see ammo prices drop as shooting becomes more main stream.

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

Texan Scott
February 23, 2013, 08:02 PM
Sota : At this point, widespread support from soccer moms is just what we need. If trophy wives with Hello Kitty AR15 "Sport Utility Rifles" in their BMW SUV kid taxis saves the 2A, I'll live with that.

Follow K-man's lead. Promote the RKBA. Take a soccer mom shooting.

Spats McGee
February 23, 2013, 08:47 PM

February 24, 2013, 01:07 PM
That is how I am using my "surplus" of .22 rimfire ammo. I will take anyone who shows the least interest for a range trip. Start with the .22 rifle to the .22 handgun then .22 semi-auto handgun for starters. Next step it up to the mini 14 with 5 round MAG then show the difference of 30 rounder. Then to the Ak and step it up to the 30-06 or 300 H&H. Then to the 38 SPL, the 9MM, the 45 Colt, and the 500 S&W if they dare. At the end I will break out the MAC 10 and let them zip off a couple mags with that. I have changed a lot of minds in the past 4-5 years.:D I also do this "For the children!"

Still Shooting
February 24, 2013, 01:28 PM
RE: "TheDaywalkersDad" comment, I'd like to relate my own experiences some years back teaching Defensive Handgun in Massachusetts. My fellow instructor and I noticed that the female students scored on average about 10 points higher on a standard police qualification test than the males did (the test was our practical exam). After 10 hours of classroom and range time, the women's score averaged 93, and the men's groups were about 82-85, with an 83 average.

We attributed this to two things:
1) Females have better fine motor control than males - that's why women produce better on light assembly line work. When it comes to sighting a firearm, especially a handgun, it's all about sight picture and fine motor control.

2) Many men have a tendency to assume that because they are men, they somehow are "born with" the knowledge of how to do certain things - like driving a car fast, and shooting a gun. It makes them less "teachable." You can stand behind a male on the firing line, adjust his stance, help him with his grip, etc., and as soon as you walk away, he'll resume what he was doing before you got there. -Sort of like when a male teenager gets behind the wheel of a car and thinks he's a NASCAR driver....

Buck Kramer
February 24, 2013, 01:55 PM
AR is barely a booster hose! lol nice reference though...

February 24, 2013, 02:34 PM
Straight up, no BS: you are the man, kayak-man!

February 24, 2013, 08:01 PM
Any chance you could be more than close friends? She sounds quite suitable ;)

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