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Advice needed for anti family member's first range trip

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by essayons21, Sep 28, 2010.

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  1. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    I have an older sister who while not completely anti-gun, holds typical Hollywood and media misconceptions about gun ownership and defensive carry. Strange seeing as we both were brought up in the same household, in a family of military and LEO's, with firearms always present. She is also a doctor, I guess that's what 8 years of higher education will get you.

    Strangely enough, she has never fired a gun and expressed interest to me the other day when I mentioned I had just come from the range. We made plans for an upcoming weekend to hit the range with her and my future brother-in-law.

    Now I have been to a number of firearms instructor schools, both military and civilian, and I have taught many new shooters, so the actual mechanics of teaching are not an issue. However, all of the new shooters I have ever taught have been chomping at the bit to learn and as far as I know politically pro-gun.

    Her fiance wants to buy a shotgun for HD, but she is standing in the way with her attitude towards guns, so this could also be a big help to him.

    I am unsure as to the best approach for someone who is afraid of guns, and simply is approaching it as a check the box for the bucket list. She has expressed to me that she wants to shoot a gun, but doesn't think she'll ever want to go to the range after this time. My goal is to make her feel confident, safe, and above all, have fun.

    What types of firearms should I bring? I have a number of .22s, single shot, lever, and semi-auto, both pistol and rifle, that I will be bringing. I am wondering what sort of other guns I should bring? Would black rifles and other "scary" guns just intimidate her or can I show her they are no more deadly than granpa's hunting rifle? Handguns only, rifles only? I feel like this is my only opportunity, and I know she doesn't want to spend all day at the range, so I have limited time and don't want to throw too much at her at once.

    I usually start out new shooters with a .22 rifle and 25yard easy reactive targets. Both a confidence builder and fun. Anyone have any other suggestions for fun and easy shooting games for a new shooter?

    The other issue is that while I have taught other new shooters, they always viewed me as a (hopefully) knowledgeable instructor. Regardless of our age, my sister still views me as her little brother, and remembers the dumb and irresponsible activities of my youth. Any advice on being a safe and effective instructor in the face of this attitude?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. writerinmo

    writerinmo Member

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    Personally, I would stick with the .22's entirely. Let her learn the basics on them, get comfortable around the guns and shooting, and get a bit of excitement built up over punching holes in paper. Then after a few trips, maybe you step up and shoot one or two of the larger calibers with her watching. I would never force her to shoot anything, but be readily available if SHE asks "Can I try that one?" I wouldn't even start with a shotgun for a bit.
     
  3. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    Definitely not. All my shotguns are lightweight 12ga's.

    One thing I forgot to mention in my OP, I have very little experience instructing females. Any special considerations to keep in mind?
     
  4. Sky

    Sky Member

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    >22 rifle for sure and targets or cans. .22 pistol after or if she/he wants to. After getting comfortable you know the guy will want to shoot your blacky.

    Think I would mention enroute how women (do to fine motor skills) can usually naturally shoot better than their male counter parts. Kinda gets a competition going very low key.

    They will both focus better if something is on the line. Just an opinion but bet you guys will have fun....better motor skills=estrogen; shakes, darting eyes for hunting/situational awareness and strutting your stuff=testosterone. ....Humor?
     
  5. Leanwolf

    Leanwolf Member

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    A .22 rifle and .22 pistol. Shoot a bunch of rounds and make certain to teach safety first!

    The rest can come later.

    L.W.
     
  6. Vitrophyre

    Vitrophyre Member

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    Make sure she wears a closed-front shirt aka no cleavage. Last month I took my friends' girlfriend who was also a first time shooter. She was shooting my 357 sig (lol I dont own a 22) and on two separate occasions the hot casings were ricocheting off the wall to her immediate right and went down her shirt. Of course, as she reacted to the searing pain in her cleavage she was unaware of exactly what she was doing with a loaded weapon.

    V
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2010
  7. grog18b

    grog18b Member

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    Good point. Always make sure the bombs are kept safely secured in their holsters during all live fire demonstrations. ;)

    I also second the "no big bores" during her first time out. Once chicks get afraid of the big guns, they won't want to come back to the range. Work your way up, let her get comfortable with the 22, then go for the 9mm... and so on, until she gets the idea that the noise won't hurt her. Same thing I did with my old lady, and she can out shoot me now. (when I let her...) Good luck. It's always a good thing to see new people being brought into the shooting sports.
     
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    As has been mentioned - stick to the .22's....and keep the guns as simple to operate as possible - keep the comfort level easy.......go slow......you're on the right track.......good luck!
     
  9. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    --Make sure everyone is well equipped with safety gear, ears, eyes, hat, etc.
    --Give a professional safety briefing before beginning. Four Rules, etc.
    --.22s only, first time out. Make sure it is fun, challenging, and rewarding, and she will likely want to do it again.

    When I instruct a first time shooter, I explain the mechanics and then have them acquire a good grip, then aim at the target. First round is a dry fire, just to get a feel for the trigger. Second round is a single round in the cylinder or magazine. I always try to start out with a revolver, then move to the semi auto a little later. (I have an S&W M18 and a Ruger MkII).

    Let us know how it works out.
     
  10. millertyme

    millertyme Member

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    But isn't an EBR a .22 caliber...
     
  11. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    I have a .22 conversion for my AR, when set-up with a 4x scope is the gun I have the most fun shooting. Easy to shoot and simple to operate. However, its a big scary black rifle.

    I'm going to start her with a Stevens single-shot, the next option is a Marlin 39A or the AR conversion. Which do you think would be best?
     
  12. jeepguy

    jeepguy Member

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    i would say a ruger 10/22 if you have one. lots of good advice already here, so best of luck to all of you & i hope she has fun.
     
  13. FriedRice

    FriedRice Member

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    I second the people saying start with the .22 with her and make sure she wears a high collar top and covered legs and feet. So as not to single her out, maybe do a little "this is a how a gun works and how to operate it safely" with both of them before entering the shooting area. Don't single her out. Even with people who say they know how to shoot, if they're shooting with me at a range, I do the talk so we're all on the same page. I start with "you might know this already but it will make it a safe and fun trip to start here...." If she shows any interest in trying something bigger, give her a 9 mm. I didn't go through your list but something with manageable recoil. Maybe shoot it first and ask if she'd like to try if she looks interested. You're her brother, so that's a bad place to start :uhoh: Or a good place, depending on how it goes. Good luck!
     
  14. luigi

    luigi Member

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    An AR probably doesn't have enough recoil to cause problems. The only thing I'd add is to use reactive targets if at all possible, so she can see what she's hitting. It might make the experience more fun for her
     
  15. PR-NJ

    PR-NJ Member

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    Not to hijack, but try getting your sister to an NRA-sanctioned Women on Target program. My wife (though not anti-gun) went to the recent one at my club and loved it (so much so, that I myself might go next year in drag).
     
  16. rouge-red5

    rouge-red5 Member

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    If your worried about the Anti- popping up show her that it is normal people at the range having a good time. I know my local range has a "laides night" where women shoot for free. She might not enjoy shooting but if she can see that other Lawabiding people enjoy it might ease her stance. I recomend "Fun" targets. i.e. Chalk discs, colored plates, ballons, ect. I've found out that shooting at real life hostage targets for people who dont like guns dont enjoy the shoot.
    2nd advice is GREAT hearing protecting, a DR isnt going to be use to the loud noise's that another profession might be. Take the Bang out of gun also lessens the scare.
    As in what to shoot? a 12g is gonna kick just as hard on day two as it is in day one. Once saftey and shooting basic are learned you cannot teach recoil it just has to be felt. The women shooters i know get offend if anyone brings up male / female size diff and pain tolerance.
     
  17. bob.a

    bob.a Member

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    Before going to the range, send her a link to Corneredcat(dot)com.

    It might be a good idea to have another, perhaps female, instructor on hand. The sibling thing might bring unnecessary overtones to your instructing her. (Then again, maybe not. I have no idea of your family dynamics and history. Just offering another point of view).
     
  18. Sebastian the Ibis
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    Sebastian the Ibis Member

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    I agree with the .22's for your sister. But take a shotgun and EBR for your future brother in law to try out once your sister decides she has had enough.

    As the former poster stated, be careful about the hot brass. Don't shoot prone with a plumbers crack showing next to a guy doing rifle drills.
     
  19. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    essayons21 - you have gotten a lot of good advice from the earlier posts. Start with going over the safety rules BEFORE you load anything and hand the gun to her. Even in the revolver, LOAD ONY ONE ROUND the first few times and set the gun up so that her first shot is on an EMPTY CYLINDER. This way, you can watch to see if (and how much) she flinches. This way she learns to SQUEEZE the trigger slowly and steadily.
    One thing many first-time shooters of both genders have a tendency to do is to hole a rifle a bit away from them as if they are afraid it might bite. Make sure that your sister keeps the .22 rifle tucked securely in her shoulder! Depending on how well she aclimates to the .22's, you might be able to move her to something a bit larger the same day - but NO shotguns or BP! *LOL*
     
  20. Medusa

    Medusa Member

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    It would be nice to take that AR to the range with you, since she might get the bug. Another thing that popped up to my mind right now, why not do the selection with her? To see which gun she can handle comfortably? With pistols there might be preferences in grip angles etc.

    A rifle is always useful, but not only .22 rimfire. Also something better/bigger might come handy. Most important is to let her try and learn, safely of course, but by herself still, not tell her every step or doing something for her.

    Well, guns are just tools, and they have to be taken care of, to be sure they work properly next time. Just like surgery tools. You can use a scalpel to kill someone, or remove a harmful tumour to better the organism. Just like guns.

    My times with interested_but_unsure_first_timers females were different, I did not start with .22LR, though I had one at that time.

    A cousin-in-law
    A friend of the family

    Maybe these might give some fun ideas.
     
  21. cavman

    cavman Member

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    My advice is to make sure that she has fun.

    If she hits the paper...give her a high five.

    If she hits the scoring ring....give her a high five.

    If she hits the 10....give her a high five.

    Be supportive and encouraging. She doesn't need to become a Bullseye High Master in a day, just having some fun will go a long way.

    In terms of strategy, I would give her most of the attention and coaching. If she enjoys the shooting, you brother in law may get that shotgun he wants for Christmas.
     
  22. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Good posts already. I find that the person that is unsure or afraid of a firearm needs the "this is only a tool, this how to be safe with this tool" first then range and firearms safety in general BEFORE arriving. How to handle,aim, insert mags/ammo, and recoil/what to expect--at home before the range trip and explain that it is "so you look intelligent at the range". Do ask if they have any questions/no question is dumb and answer any that they have. Then a quick "I have to review the range rules with all new shooters here" at the range before the actual live fire. Ask them to repeat the safety briefing (4rules) if it is a home range as the range rules thing is more relaxed. Stressing safety first is the best way to show respect and proper use of firearms to a new shooter. I like the scalpel analogy for someone in the medical field. And don't forget to have FUN.:D

    Even if she is your big sister showing that you are all business and safety oriented at first will show her that you have knowledge and respect for firearms and that she should also learn that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  23. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Darn internet connection!!! REPOST
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  24. LHRGunslinger

    LHRGunslinger Member

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    Bring everything you got. Inform her of the pros and cons of each weapon and then let her decide what she wants to shoot.
     
  25. VinnAY

    VinnAY Member

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    .22 rifle on a rest would be ideal, first time shooters IMO get discouraged really quick when they can't seem to hit the target.
     
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