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So I wrote a "Quick Guide for New Shooters". Opinions?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MillennialGunslinger, Jul 13, 2017.

?

Do you give basic training to people new to firearms before taking them to the range?

  1. Always

    70.6%
  2. Whenever I can

    19.6%
  3. Just the basics while on the firing line

    7.8%
  4. Never

    2.0%
  5. Why would I?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Other - Explain below if you'd like

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. MillennialGunslinger

    MillennialGunslinger Member

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    Hi to everyone!

    I just signed up here since I was looking for somewhere to post something I just wrote, and this seemed like among the better firearm communities.

    So brief context first. I bet that most of the people on this forum have taken more friends and family out to a day at the gun range than they can be bothered to remember. Same here. Personally, I like giving people a 1 or 2 hour course prior to going to the range where I show them all the basics. It's like skydiving. The prior instruction makes it feel like you're going to do something hard, technical and special. If you just hand them a Glock and say "shoot", they'll treat the activity as mundane as you do and remember it as such. So I like going into detail to give them a worthy experience.

    The other day however, a family of three (gun owners but infrequent, inexperienced shooters) wanted to take their relatives, another family of three (which were visiting from a gun free country) to shoot, and asked me to come as their gut-nut friend. Personally, I hate taking more than two new people to the range. It gets way too hectic, especially if there are other shooters which don't care for safety or order. Anyway, since they were not people I knew, it was a big group and I was just a plus one, I didn't mention any pretraining and we headed straight to the range. The end result was that one of the people visiting got an extremely bad, stitch-worthy case of slide bite (the worst i've seen) while I was elsewhere paying attention to their son. I wish I had a picture to show. It was obviously using a revolver grip on a semi-automatic, and even then it was really bad.

    This motivated me to finally write a little booklet for my own use to consult before I take new people to the range. Not so much to read, as to be just a detailed structure to follow while teaching someone. Right now my biggest issue is that I try to explain 3 or 4 things at the same time so I don't forget anything, and I imagine it can be confusing to hear. This way I know that if I just follow the book I'll touch all the topics I want to touch. There didn't seem to be any short booklet which touched all the topics quickly, could be reviewed in an hour, and was made precisely for taking new shooters to the range, so I wrote my own. I wrote it knowing I'd post it online so it's pretty high quality. I'd be happy to hear that it's useful to others, since it was a lot of effort put in just to use it myself.

    Just to make it clear, it isn't for newbie to read and call it a day. It's basically for the experienced gun owner print out, put on the table and explain the points out loud and using the book as a structure to follow and backup for what they don't remember on the fly (like the names or number of firearm malfunctions). Also, some illustrations are just plain easier to understand on paper, like explaining how to use gun sights. It's really made for someone who is familiar with more than the basics, but hasn't studied it enough to know it by hard or all the technical terms. It probably is also great as a quick guide for avid hobbyists to brush up their skills from time to time.

    So with no further ado, here's a link to the pdf:

    Firearms 101 - Quick Guide for New Shooters

    Let me know what you guys think. I'll probably get it professionally printed and bound for my own use, so any suggestions before that are very welcome.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
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  2. Wisco

    Wisco Member

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    That's thorough and well done, but it's long.

    When I teach anyone new, it's basic safety - TABK - and then the manual of arms for the gun I'll teach them on. Very brief overview of sight picture, grip, posture. I crawl, walk run through loading and firing. Then I closely supervise them crawling, walking through.

    Any problems get addressed. Any successes get encouraged.
     
  3. MillennialGunslinger

    MillennialGunslinger Member

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    It's double spaced with a lot of pictures, made with jumping sections over in mind. I think it looks longer than it is in use. Basically that's the longest version of what I've ever would want to teach, and when it comes to using it I can cut things out depending on the person. I wouldn't mind it being shorter, but I personally don't think there is anything unimportant or uninteresting enough to be worth removing without a good reason.

    Also, it's great to be able to just give 'em the pdf to keep afterwards to hopefully motivate them to buy a gun or shoot again. There are some stuff that are made with that in mind, like the "Gun Myths" part which is just plain interesting conversation.

    Anyway, thanks for the input.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  4. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    Welcome to the forums:)

    Very good layout. I would suggest bumping safety rules pg 14 to pg #1. With a strong emphasis on rule #1.
    I would also organize other portions slightly different, but it's more of personal preference rather then anything wrong.
     
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  5. drband

    drband Member

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    Put the safety rules at the beginning and refer to them often!
    Nicely done!
     
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  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't spend an hour or two, but I go over the safety rules and the safe handling rules to avoid injury to self or others for anyone I've not shot with. That way we're all on the same page about what is expected.
     
  7. ford8nr

    ford8nr Member

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    Actually is a pretty good read. Probably more info then the average person needs for a range date, but fairly thorough. This is about the same info we cover in the NRA First Rifle course which lasts 4 hours.
    Couple critiques,
    On the cover the girl's gloves look WAY to big.
    Definition of AUTOMATIC reads odd and no they are not illegal for most people.
    Myth #1 - don't drop a gun next to me!! Most older guns can jump the sear and discharge.
    Myth #8 I know a fair number of Law Enforcement personnel and they do train and shoot well. WAY to broad of a statement.
     
  8. MillennialGunslinger

    MillennialGunslinger Member

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    Thanks for the input. Honestly, it was a pretty conscious decision to put safety rules further back. Not because they are unimportant, but the complete opposite. My reasoning was that if you're an adult who hasn't decided to go shooting by that time, and you're tagging along for free with a friend instead of paying for a legit course (most of the time with social media pictures as the priority), then there are good odds that actually paying attention and understanding the safety rules is probably something you aren't going to give overwhelming importance to. After all, who reads all the safety instructions that comes on the first page of all power tools? These days safety rules are so abundant that it just feels like a liability issue. I chose to teach the basics first, get them familiar and interested in firearms, and once they actually know what the hell I'm talking about and why it matters, teach the safety rules when they would actually see the importance of them. Could be right or wrong making that decision, but it seemed reasonable enough to me haha.

    Thanks! It probably is more than one needs, but not less than any shooter could use. Even researching it I learned a few things I could to do improve. Part of writing it was being able to consult it myself whenever I forget something basic. Is the NRA First Rifle course manual available online? If it was it would be nice to compare. About length, I'm sure I could stretch my little booklet to 4 hours with someone as curious about the subject as I am, but on the other hand I could probably do the essential basics in thirty minutes to someone who just wanted to shoot handguns. Time will tell if and how I edit it I guess. That's the nice part about digital documents.

    Haha that caught my attention too! I was really wondering why she would be using something from the construction aisle in Home Depot but oh well. It's Google Images so it's pretty much take it or leave it. Can't really be choosy about high resolution firearm images online.

    About automatic, I'll see if I can play with the words. Regarding being illegal, remember that this is made with a non-informed (or worse, media informed) person in mind who thinks that it is dangerous that America has millions of "Fully semi-automatic" rifles. I'd guess most people on the street think that full-auto is easy enough and legal to get, so it's trying to combat that. Of course, they aren't illegal for most people willing to afford it or go through the hassle, but the reality is that that eliminates most of the population (if not AR braces wouldn't be so popular). It's like most NFA items. It's not illegal for me to own a short-barreled rifle, but if I take the collapsible stock off my rifle and put it on my AR pistol, and the ATF finds out, I'm in for a world for hurt. This is the type of gun-nut specific rant I think most non-gun owners couldn't care less about. After all, if anti-gun ppl said that automatic guns are legal and that the NRA should stop being so noisy, we'd all go up in a rage.

    Myth #1: Kinda related to before. Waaay too many non-gun people think all guns go off if you drop them (or just cus', for that matter). I had an acquaintance try to explain to me the other day that that was why he owns a revolver and not a semiautomatic (sigh). And the exact quote says "modern" exactly because old guns may be an exception. Don't get me wrong, I totally agree with you, but I'd rather have non gun owners feel safe around guns than think that whenever they are around a gun this could happen (I absolutely love that scene haha).

    Myth #8 I changed most to many. I honestly thought I had already changed that. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for LE, and I'm sure many would happily train as much as they could. But the sad truth is that headlines like this are far from the exception. Even when you mention cops being an excellent shot, I bet a lot of it is on their own dime and time. I do realize that it's a generalization, but it's a target audience thing. The idea is to make someone who has never shot a gun before end up thinking that they could safely own and use a gun. What I'm tired of is non educated people saying that only police officers should own guns.

    Thanks for the input guys. And any other opinions are welcome.
     
  9. hdwhit
    • Contributing Member

    hdwhit Member

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    I suggest that anyone putting a poll up as part of their post always include a "Not Applicable", "Other" or "None of the Above" option and ask the respondent to explain in their post.

    In my case, about the only people new to guns that I have taken to the range have been family members and my children. In each case, I provide minimal safety instruction followed by familiarization with the gun they will be using. If starting out, the gun is always a 22 rimfire. I then get them to the firing line for a practical demonstration of holding the gun, acquiring sight picture, etc. and then getting them to shoot a limited number of rounds; five, maybe ten. This serves the double purpose of letting them experience the fact that recoil is something manageable as well as kindling the excitement of shooting.

    Once I have the excitement ignited and the fear of the gun quenched, I start the real instruction on "how to shoot" (as opposed to "how to safely put lead downrange").

    The booklet is okay. I would recommend you find a third-party editor to 1) improve engagement and flow and 2) to ensure that you are consistently defining and using words that are "terms of art" within the gun community. Also, if this is something you intend to distribute outside of your own circle of family and friends, I would recommend you have it reviewed by a lawyer for potential liability concerns.
     
  10. hdwhit
    • Contributing Member

    hdwhit Member

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    If your booklet is for private use, then just ignore this post.

    If you are intending to circulate it, take care to secure the rights to any material downloaded or acquired from a third party. It is easier than ever for a copyright holder to locate unapproved use of their material. Consult an attorney, or for absolute certainty, don't use you any image that you didn't create yourself or have a written release to use.
     
  11. hdwhit
    • Contributing Member

    hdwhit Member

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    Ask yourself the question whether you are writing educational material or a pro-gun manifesto and edit accordingly.
     
  12. MillennialGunslinger

    MillennialGunslinger Member

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    Done. Thanks for the suggestion.

    I suspect you mean an outdoor firing range. With ceasefires and lower noise, it's a lot more doable. Where I live I typically end up at a noisy crowded indoor range, so whenever I try to teach them in situ, no one understands anything and it ends up turning in to a "okay screw it. Just grab the pistol and shoot. I'll tell you if you're doing anything wrong" situation. And that's how the person in whose group I was in ended up needing stitches. The person looking after them obviously didn't know what to pay attention to.

    Nah, it's just publicly available stuff shared in a publicly available way. I had no problems putting time into it since it was a learning experience and for my own use, but I have no intention of neither making money from it or spending money on it. It was just a hobby-project. Nobody pays for information like that nowadays anyway. I really just wanted the document for myself, but if it's useful to anyone else, I'd be more than happy to hear that. Whoever wants to can download it and share it among friends. It states clearly that it is Non commercial. Regarding copyright, it's all linked to, and if anyone were to request it I'd be happy to change or remove anything. What didn't make sense was to purposely screw up the quality on what is effectively an online DIY. If anyone were to try to pursue a hobbyist for making an open source cute little gun safety guide, that would say more of the legal system than it would of my guide. Truly, I'm almost as much a photography nut as a gun nut, with some lenses costing more than some guns, so it's not that I couldn't take quality images for it. It's just that I'm aware that in a week or so this post will get buried and the document will only have been downloaded a dozen times or so, so I don't think it's something worth investing time and money in.

    I really should put a disclaimer though, even those things mean close to nothing nowadays, which is why I didn't. Might as well. Looks serious if nothing else.

    Not really sure what you mean by this at all, honestly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  13. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    The statement that it is commonly considered "negligent" to use FMJ for self-defense needs to change. Negligence is a legal concept, and you should be wary of issuing legal opinions. Moreover, I am not aware that most courts have ever addressed, one way or another, whether there is any negligence in using FMJ rounds in a self-defense situation.

    A more sensible statement might be that it is considered "sub-optimal" or "less than ideal" or even "inadvisable" to use FMJ for self-defense.
     
  14. MillennialGunslinger

    MillennialGunslinger Member

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    Thanks. Makes sense. Sadly everyone has to be wary of everything they say lately. I do think negligent implies the right thing, as in disregard. And it is far from an exclusively legal term and the text isn't a legal document, but I do get what you mean. There are some good reasons to use FMJ, but its not the reason behind why someone buys a gun with a box of FMJ range ammo and puts it in a drawer for years never having used it. I put that because of how someone told me they thought hollow points were illegal about a week ago, and had a hard time understanding why gun owners consider them safer.

    It is really getting clear how everyone feels nervous if there isn't a disclaimer stating that everything is a personal opinion along with all the other typical legalese. It's almost like the bigotry of low expectations to not trust the reader will reasonably understand. But that isn't a gun issue, it's a culture one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
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  15. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Negligent means more than just not making the best possible decision. I take your meaning, but I think it's just as well conveyed by some less-loaded (ha!) terms above.

    On a far more opinion-only level, I question whether there's any reason to introduce a new shooter to a weaver stance regarding a pistol. There's really no reason to do that; the contemporary techniques that are derivative of a more relaxed and squared-up position are simply better and easier if starting from scratch. Because you're talking to new shooters, you don't face the issue of the experienced shooter who has spent years refining a weaver technique and would have to take a step backwards in performance to change. And I don't think a conventional bladed stance with a long gun is properly called "weaver." Weaver was Col. Cooper's term for a particular handgun technique. You're right, of course, that the main thing about stance is not to lean backwards a bunch.

    You might also considering talking a bit about how to mechanically grip/shoulder a gun. E.g., get your strong hand as high as possible on a pistol; put the butt of the shoulder stock in the pocket of your shoulder for a rifle (unless you do something different for a reason). Consider making the point, which I usually do with new shooters, that the closer they get to the gun, the less the recoil will hurt. I use the 1-inch versus 1-foot punch analogy... don't let a shotgun or rifle get a running start at your shoulder or cheek... hold it in snugly. Similarly, the more firmly they grip a pistol, the less it's going to flop around on them.

    These are just some minor suggestions. You have a heck of a lot of good information in there and you did a nice job in terms of formatting. I take try to take new folks to the range at least once a year, and I may print out a copy to take with me next time, even if my order of presentation and emphasis is a bit different.
     
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  16. hdwhit
    • Contributing Member

    hdwhit Member

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    Yes. That's the only place I shoot. Your point about what can be done within the confines of an indoor range is something I didn't consider and is well-taken.

    If you have a booklet intended to teach people to shoot safely and accurately, how does politics come into that? As I quoted previously, you said "...this is made with a non-informed (or worse, media informed) person in mind...".

    How is that?
    • Does a "liberal" point a gun downrange differently than a "conservative"?
    • Are "Democratic" cheek-welds different from "Republican" ones?
    • Do only members of the media jerk the trigger?
    If you approach training someone anything with the attitude that you have to "deprogram" them from what the "media" has done, you risk them erecting a cognitive filter to screen out your politics from your safety message and that gets in the way of your purpose in teaching them the fundamentals of the activity.

    If you want to write pro-gun propaganda to "deprogram" people mislead by the "media" then by all means write it. If you want to write a booklet to teach people how to shoot safely and accurately as you are already doing, then by all means continue. But, do yourself a favor and don't handicap your work on safety and accuracy by turning it into advocacy for a particular political philosophy.
     
  17. hdwhit
    • Contributing Member

    hdwhit Member

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    As any attorney will tell you, "Words matter".

    If you are using your booklet amongst friends and family, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    But, if it is going to be made public then recognize that by publishing a "how to" guide, you have held yourself out as an expert and you are liable for what happens to anyone who relies on your expertise as presented in the booklet.

    Years ago, I worked for the Federal Government and at one point headed up a team of three technical experts writing guidance and training material to teach Federal LEOs in how to apply certain statutes and associated regulations. We had a team of three attorneys also assigned to us (one on a full-time basis, the others part-time) to review what we wrote because what made perfect sense and seemed perfectly clear to us could be read a dozen different ways by someone else - particularly someone who had a vested interest in reading it differently.

    We once argued for days over the word "used". Seems simple enough. But if I "use" a can of oil, it is "consumed" in the activity. But, if I "use" a computer, it is not consumed, it merely had "utility" to me in my pursuit of the activity. So how do you make sure that someone knows which sense of the word "used" was intended? Oh, and if we had gotten it wrong, terrorists and smugglers would have gotten to legally fly small planes into United States airspace unchallenged. :(
     
  18. ford8nr

    ford8nr Member

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    And that's my problem with that statement. How does anyone (jury or the court) define modern. If you go with the ATF's definition you're WAY before transfer bars and striker fired guns. That's why I'm an NRA certified instructor and only use their training material in formal training. For the most part their certification, their material, their liability, to an extent.
    If you provide THAT training manual, someone is carless cause YOU (by the way of YOUR manual) said it won't go off if they drop it and someone gets hurt, legally I believe you're in a world of hurt.
     
  19. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    that is a pretty comprehensive article.
    You would need to be a pretty dedicated reader to get through all of it.

    I teach new shooters every Thursday night.
    We spend about 15-20 minutes in the classroom before we head out to the range.
    We cover the safety rules.
    We cover how to properly hold the gun (including stance).
    We discuss trigger control and recoil and range safety policies.
    We go out on the range and start shooting.

    I spend the time it takes to get the student's mag loaded, inserted, adjust the grip, and coach them through the first mag.
    Then I move on to the next person.

    All in total I can get 8-10 shooters through *empowering* rounds in about 1.5-2hrs.

    I don't think we cover half of the stuff you have covered in that article.

    Great article, but I think it may be more than "New Shooter". I think its more like "Newer shooter".
     
  20. MillennialGunslinger

    MillennialGunslinger Member

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    I don't think I injected politics into anything. Maybe you misunderstood me. I didn't mean left v. right, I meant culturally. I'm sure you would agree that where most non gun people seem to get their gun information is movies and sound bites. I don't mean necessarily in the US, but globally where guns are not as easy to come by necessarily. I used to live in Spain where you'd never touch a gun in your lifetime. That a gun fires infallibly when it is dropped is something the media portrays and repeats (I mean Hollywood, not CNN). Same goes when people actually feel like they have to ask you if your Glock is fully automatic because they think most guns are. I really don't get what politics has to do with anything of that. If there is, someone please point out a quote and I'd definitely want to address it. But I don't think we disagree on this, I'd like to think it's more playing devil's advocate more than anything else. I'd have a hard time reading partisanship or politics into the text even if I tried, and I don't see any intellectual dishonesty there, but to each his own I suppose.

    Honestly, I find those type of issues really interesting and almost entertaining. It's a sort of mind game in a way, or a debate. But what somebody randomly posts on the internet can hardly be subjected to the same scrutiny as a government-issued guide. If that were the case this guide is the least of the internet's concerns.

    I have a hard time even imagining a situation where that could be called into question in a reasonable manner regarding this specific text. It would have to be absurdly and obviously frivolous. Now it would be very different if this was being teached commercially for profit, so I perfectly understand your situation. This is just a free little word doc I wrote up, even if it looks nice. If you have any suggestions regarding wording I'm certainly open. The pity is that it starts to feel like it's preferable to not give any information at all, rather than to risk giving information that could possibly be construed in a malicious way. If that were an actual, legitimate concern for anyone here, I'd bet they wouldn't be owning firearms in the first place, much less taking someone to the range. It could be argued that taking someone to the range with not even-half formal training (just speaking off of the top of one's head like almost all of us do) is a lot more lawsuit friendly then simply making a generalization which is effectively correct as read. But if it worries you guys, I can probably replace it with out issues.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  21. MillennialGunslinger

    MillennialGunslinger Member

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    I'll take the liberty to interpret that as a compliment, with your permission ;)

    Like the paper says, it's not for the newbie to read, it's more for the person who takes the newbie to shoot to read. I wasn't going to write a text + a diagram, so it's just a text to skim through the titles and bullet points and talk about whatever feels relevant. The text is more of a backup than anything else in real use. All the points are unrelated and can be skipped if necessary. I could even see myself only looking at the Table of Contents for that matter if time is short, but it's still worth it to print out the whole thing instead of just that page. Just in case. To the people who think this document is a bad idea, it's worth keeping in mind that the alternative is no structured content at all.

    Wow! 8-10, I'd hate to do that. I imagine they are paying customers with a different demeanor, or at least people who have actively sought out the experience. I'm talking about 20 year olds that are friends or simply people I know who just wanna shoot for free and have a good time. Some of which with the attention span of a gnat (which does make writing a long text ironic, I agree). For me 1 or 2 is all I am willing to handle if I expect to shoot anything myself and not get stressed.

    I did look for a comparable document before writing it, but I didn't find it. I've thought of becoming an accredited instructor plenty of times but haven't gotten around to it. While it may not be perfect (and what is?), I still feel pretty proud of the result.
     
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  22. ford8nr

    ford8nr Member

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    Just re-read the document
    Myth #1 Dropped guns,
    The last part of that statement about dreams has no place in a training document !
     
  23. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    That's correct. And I would add that I wouldn't necessarily be that optimistic about friends and family. Some of the bitterest court battles I've seen have involved friends and family.

    And while I'm an attorney, I'm not your attorney; and I'm not going to get involved giving you legal advice. I will say that on a cursory reading I see a number of areas of legal vulnerability; and these have been alluded to by others, including: the factual error regarding drop safety; your choice to not put safety at the beginning; your rationalization for that choice; your decision not to use standard safety rules (the NRA Three Rules or the Gunsite/Jeff Cooper Four Rules) and to instead invent nine of your own.

    These are obvious vulnerabilities, and as an attorney I would exploit them if I had a client you had taught who was injured in a gun related mishap and wanted/needed to seek compensation from you.

    So I suggest that you look for your own attorney, preferably someone who knows something about guns, shooting and teaching shooting to do a thorough liability oriented audit of the booklet and give you some legal advice about revisions.
     
  24. MillennialGunslinger

    MillennialGunslinger Member

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    I'll be honest with you, if I bothered with the difference regarding stance it's because Isosceles (or a variation thereof) tends to be more natural, but I'm a big fan of Weaver myself and can't see myself shooting the other way (even if it does have benefits). So it's more due to my particular bias than anything else. Plus, I'm not sure if it's true or not, but I feel like one would be less inclined to lean back with weaver (if you emphasize on putting the weight towards the front), and my biggest issue with new shooters is how they seem to chronically lean back no matter how many times you point it out.

    About the conventional bladed stance with a long gun, I completely agree, but even I have to admit that that is nuanced enough to not be worth mentioning to someone who won't remember the difference between either in a week.

    About the grip, I think that's among the things that are best addressed. And the shouldering part is also mentioned even if it isn't emphasized on. One of the biggest issues were keeping the topics limited to either one or two pages maximum. Sometimes adding a single word was simply not possible without adding a whole new page. In any case those are things I expect the person teaching to be able to remember to point out on their own. Long as it is, brevity still matters.
     
  25. MillennialGunslinger

    MillennialGunslinger Member

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    Neither does a "Gun Myths" section in the first place! :D:rofl:. That section is purposely more relaxed and casual. I think it's important to keep in mind that this isn't a commercial guide, it's just something some random dude posted on the internet. Making it not boring is important, too.
     

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