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Taking new shooters to the range -- how many at time?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Telperion, Jul 17, 2003.

  1. Telperion

    Telperion Well-Known Member

    One of my friends from work is really interested in shooting, so I've invited him out to range. Thing is, now 3 people want to go. These are all first-time shooters, and I want everyone to be safe, so should I limit the number of people I take? Do you have a personal limit on how many people you'll teach at a time?
  2. CGofMP

    CGofMP Well-Known Member

    One on one.

    Gives you a chance to tutor and to watch safety rules and keep a new shooter from getting yelled at by the range officer. A PRE-rangetime 'class' on safety and how the weapon works is a must as well.

  3. Waitone

    Waitone Well-Known Member

    If its a group thingy, you can gain mileage by shooting wth a group.

    Problem is with 3 newbies you need help. If you can't do it one at a time, get an experienced shooter to give you a hand.
  4. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    Unless you can sit them down and give them an hour or two of instruction on gun safety/operation/range protocol first, one on one is the only way to go.
  5. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Agreed ... one on one ... AND a pre-shoot safety chat too.

    A group can work IF they are ''coached'' one at a time re live firing ... the remainder observing from safe distance .... one guy can only IMO can assist, in all the ways needed - to safely manage one novice with a gun ...... it requires total concentration, patience and attention.
  6. cordex

    cordex Well-Known Member

    One on one if at all possible.

    If not, only one new shooter per instructor on the firing line at a time. That's how I prefer it, anyway.
  7. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Well-Known Member

    Definately 1 on 1. I always insist on a pre-range safety session too. Going over operation and safety at the firing line with guns blasting and ear protection on is a pain in the rear.

  8. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    I agree that one on one is the best way to go, and that having a safety discussion before heading to the range is of the utmost importance.
  9. cool45auto

    cool45auto Well-Known Member

    One is the most I've ever taken at a time.
  10. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

    Going to go against the crowd a little bit here.

    Yes, one on one is the ideal.

    However, if you have three real live newbies who are willing to go this weekend, and you put two of them off, that's two people who may not ever be interested again -- human nature being what it is.

    So don't put them off.

    It's obviously turned into a group thing, so go ahead and invite one or two more friends along -- people you absolutely trust 100% to help you keep the new shooters safe.

    Go over the safety rules and basic gun anatomy before you get to the range.

    And have fun. :cool:


    Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods. -- Aristotle
  11. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I wouldn't even consider taking more than one newbie at a time to a shooting range, and then only after a serious, detailed chat about firearms safety. The vast majority of new shooters are conscientious, but it takes only one mistake.
  12. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    I'm also in favor of the one on one theory. Not to say
    that an accident won't happen; but this sure cuts
    down on the likely hood of it happening.

    My wife and I took another couple shooting right
    after we got married. The female friend had 0 fire-
    arms training, or experience; and the male had
    very little. I'm instructing the female, who is armed
    with a Smith & Wesson 2" barrel model 36 that
    belonged to her husband. She has the gun in her
    hand, and assumes the Weaver stance firing
    position. Next thing I know, she has cocked the
    hammer and turned sideways; aiming the
    cocked and loaded firearm right at my noggin!:uhoh:

    After shaking in my boots momentrily, I got her
    attention; watching the firearm ever so carefully.
    Lucky me, she was scared to pull the trigger for
    fear of the recoil; so I was able to get the weapon
    pointed safetly downrange. Moral of the story is,
    we never invited those particular persons to go
    shooting again!:( :D

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
  13. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    I do NOT think that having multiple experienced people on scene will make it ok to take multiple newbies to the line in and of itself.

    AND, risking the lives of 3 people just so two of them will have the chance to shoot on a given day doesn't make any sense--not even if it means that the other two don't every get interested in firearms.

    I wasn't being sarcastic with my initial post. If you want to take more than one at a time, you need to have a thorough session on gun safety, gun use, and range protocol. It should take as long as is required to make sure that everyone understand the important stuff.

    There should be only ONE firearm during the shooting session so you can completely control what's happening. Take the most experienced/most careful shooter to the line first so the others can learn from his/her mistakes.

    IF you decide to have other experienced people help, you MUST assign the people to one newbie apiece and make it clear to the newbies which person is their "instructor". You must make it clear to each "instructor" that he is to pay attention to his "student" ONLY so you don't get all three "instructors" trying to help the cute blonde "student" while the other two wave their guns around. You should still do a brief familiarization session to make sure everyone understands things like "Cease fire" and basic muzzle control and how to make their gun go bang when it should and not go bang when it shouldn't.
  14. PATH

    PATH Well-Known Member

    One on one is generally best. However, I agree with Pax. Take all three and let them go one at a time. Best case would be getting other experienced shooters to go with you. I once took four newbies to the range. They shot one at a time.

    It can be a very rewarding experience. The more people we reach the stronger we become.
  15. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    I prefer one on one, but I have gone 2 on one. It will really depend on how thin you can spread yourself and confident you are in controlling the situation.
  16. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    One on one at the range.

    Before I take anyone to the range I do a brief talk ahead of time, basically explaining how modern firearms work (aka Show and Tell), and the utter importance of the 4 Rules. No one gets to touch a loaded firearm until they can quote the 4 Rules from memory and can explain in their own words what they mean.

  17. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

    I have taken many dozens of people out to shoot for the first time. One on one is best. It makes for max. safety and best experience. However depending on several factors (range, help available, maturity and openess to learning) it is possible to take 2 or 3 people together.

    If you decide to take them all, make it easy for yourself. One gun, one magazine and a long talk on safety with emphasis on the gun you will be using.

    Don't bite off more than you can chew, more than 3 people will make you into a nervous wreck, as will more than one gun. How do I know? Where do yuo think I got all my grey hair!

  18. cadfael

    cadfael Well-Known Member

    The times I've taken someone to the range who's never done any shooting, I decided to make it one on one for two reasons.

    1. There's only one of me. So only one shooter at a time. Watching is boring. Reloading Mags are boring.

    2. Less bystanders make the new shooter less nervous. For a new shooter, being nervous is one of the major factors to overcome to enjoy firearms.

    I'd try to get some trusted friends along. And explain the 4 rules until they can tell them all back to you.

  19. c_yeager

    c_yeager Well-Known Member

    Just watch them closely to make sure they observe the rules. I dont see any problem with it myself. Really, shooting safely is not a complicated thing to do. Just let them have fun and dont get on their case TOO much with regards to technique. All you should worry about is that they are safe. You'll be fine.
  20. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    Take all 3. Sit down and talk to them as a group, but actual shooting should be just one at a time. Tell the others to observe and comment on what the shooter was doing.

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