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taking a new shooter out

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by sequins, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. sequins

    sequins Member

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    Hello friends,

    A buddy of mine and his wife just purchased their first firearm. A ruger PCC 9MM, one of the current gens with the fancy tactical furniture. I want to share a bit of their story as I am very pleased by it, and I think it's hopeful overall.

    So, he's always wanted a gun, but his immigrant wife comes from a land where guns don't quite occupy the same place as they do in America. She associates guns with rebel groups, criminals, and atrocities. When my friend married her he accepted guns weren't in his future.

    Fast forward 10 years from the day they said "I do", to today, and she's having a change of heart. The depravity and chaos seen nightly, the ensuing failures in the response by the government, and the chirping about preparedness and rights by her husband have all conspired to drive her into not only accepting, but taking the lead on a firearms purchase.

    After waiting out the timer and satisfying the certification hurdles for acquiring her rifle she has a newfound respect for gun rights. She texted me many times asking if all these delays were normal, and why she needed to get a cert to exercise her rights. I chose not to mention her previous comments about "common sense" gun control because why be mean, apparently she now sees how "common sense" can be twisted.

    We're going to shoot the new rifle in about an hour at the outdoor range near me. I sold them a few rounds of 9mm so they can practice with the new purchase. 36 cent 9mm scared them a little so I sold it at original stocker price of like $11/50

    To see my friends become moderately favorable to 2A is a great sight. This is the kind of person who is buying their first gun. I see several threads opining on their unfavorable views of the new crop coming from this crisis and I wanted to offer a countervailing example to that paradigm.
     
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  2. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Member

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    That’s awesome! My wife and I were in the same boat. Never owned guns before, but given the current climate, thought it might be a good idea. Became first time gun owners just a couple months ago. A buddy of mine took me under his wing and showed us the ropes so to speak. Turns out it’s a lot of fun, wish I had started shooting sooner!

    We have the same rifle. It’s fun to shoot. The iron sights work well and we had no issues with it.

    When you are raised with a negative stigma of guns, it sticks with you for a long time. I had to overcome the same thing. Glad I did, and glad your friends did as well!
     
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  3. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    You did the right thing by not reminding her about her previous viewpoint.
    Funny thing is. That was my nephew's wife's first firearm. She chose it with the American flag furniture.
    I was given the task of teaching her to load magazines and shoot.
    It's amazing how easy it is to train someone who has never touched a gun vs someone who has occasionally shot one.
     
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  4. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Well done, @sequins !

    A kind ambassador of the culture you are.
    I hope everything went wonderfully this afternoon.
    Paying it forward is always an investment!

    I’m glad they have seen the light. I hope they can kindle and spread it!:)
     
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  5. sequins

    sequins Member

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    We shot some target loads out of my GP100, nice easy 148gn wadcutters over trail boss, as well as some MBC roundnose lead over the same. She also fired two magazines of Speer gold dot 124, I left her only magazine loaded with the same when she left.

    She started out a bit choppy cutting left at 7 yards, but by the end of the day her trigger pull was much better and she was getting increasingly frequent bullseye at 25 yards.

    She was getting the entire cylinder into the bullseye with the GP100 though and really liked shooting it. She felt it was easier to manage and commented on the light rounds, she expected a big powerful looking revolver to perform more like it looked, not extreme accuracy and pipsqueak blast.

    I didn't get her to shoot any glocks, even though I tried to tempt her by showing how her magazine worked the same in the handgun as in her rifle, but the looks were just too unappealing. The revolver however was "cool", just like the rifle. I'll try a 92FS next and see if the aesthetic of glocks specifically just doesn't work for her.
     
  6. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    If there is a possibility, take them to a range where you can shoot targets you briing and buy a case of cheap generic soda cans. I have never taken a newbie out shooting sodas that didn't create an instant smiley face and a question oof "When can we do this again?"
     
  7. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I'm not surprised she didn't like the Glock. Women are drawn to revolvers because they are shiny and more visually appealing. Once they shoot them for a while. You can slip in a shiny 1911. Suddenly they are carrying an ugly semi auto that is accurate and easy to shoot.
    It's all about baby steps.;)
    My wife started the same way. Now her carry is a S&W shield. She wouldn't even look at them when I started teaching her.
     
  8. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    sequins:

    Maybe the friend's wife can persuade --to whatever extent-- some of her friends to see her perspective.
    If they live in, or must often travel into urban areas, such friends might more easily understand.

    A guy I briefly worked with about fifteen years ago told me that his parents in Sweden visited nearby downtown Memphis--and for the first time they Quickly understood the potential need for personal firearms.
     
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  9. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    Well done. We need good ambassadors for this new crop of gun owners more than ever.
     
  10. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    Good for you and your good approach. If possible, you might suggest a 22lr pistol or rifle to make practice more affordable. Even a single action revolver or bolt action rifle would allow them to concentrate on correct technique and safety with less expensive ammo.

    I haven't had any newcomers to guns approach me this time but I've been getting questions about reloading.

    Jeff
     
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  11. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    It's definitely baby steps, especially with adults who are new to the sport and have held their opinions on firearms for a longer period.
    My significant other doesn't shoot with me often, even though I invite her regularly. She's still a little cold toward the full size stuff, but she put 100 rounds through "her" P238 Friday evening. She is always iffy at first, then after a mag or 2 and a few reminders, she remembers how much she enjoys it.

    She even mentioned how she understands why I need so much ammo and reloading supplies, but she's still on the fence about how many guns I need. She'd never fired so much as an air rifle until a couple years ago and didn't like the idea of having guns around. Now when she shoots with me, I barely shoot at all.

    Sounds like you showed the degree of patience and helpfulness that reflects well on our sport/hobby/lifestyle. Well done.
     
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  12. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    Well done, @sequins! And thanks for sharing the story. Good to see interest growing among non-shooters. The "conversion" stories are fun.
    Exactly my experience in hunter safety courses. The true newbies listen, whereas those with even minimal experience think, "I got this."
     
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  13. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    My father in law gave up his guns along with his wedding vows, oddly enough my mother in law was hardcore anti gun because of a knifepoint robbery trauma she suffered as a teenager working as a cashier, strange because you'd think it'd have gone the other way but anyway, maybe a touch of hoplophobia, she doesnt like any weapons and if there were bullets on the table she wouldnt even want to be in the same room with them, irrational fear from just simply not being informed which is the case with so, so, so many. It incidentally worked out well for me because as soon as she found out her daughter (my wife) was engaged to a progunner she immediately purchased us a gun safe to ease her worries ( the woman worries) \shrug/.

    Anyway, she passed that down to her other daughter, my sis in law and her husband was not having any guns in his future. He told me he wanted a gun but hadn't quite had it worked out with the wife So I gave him a 4" .38 and asked him if that worked things out. Turns out it did. His wife and my mother in law have calmed way down about their anti gun views, I've expressed very reasonable viewpoints a lil here and there over the years and I think being a gun owner who is responsible in general and having certain disciplines can break the stigma down a lil bit.

    This OP is an encouraging story, my brother in law has a few guns now and the wife admits she feels more comfortable and safe in general. I'm going to be introducing my church pastor to the range very soon and give him some basics in shooting, he seems eager to do it and I'm always happy to encourage and show new shooters, more of us, less of them. Pay it forward.

    Btw, my wife is great. She has always supported my interest and responsibility to keep arms. Probably dont need to keep as many as I do hence the interest but I guess that's what's nice about a free country with a constitution.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  14. DaStray

    DaStray Member

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    Good on ya, sequins!
    Some years ago, we had some friends from the UK over and I took them to the range. They`d never shot anything but a BB gun so this was a new experience for them. I brought an AK, 10/22, Marlin 1984C and various handguns. Wanted them to get a good range of weapons to handle/shoot. It seems that the Marlin 1894c was a huge hit with them since they too, had watched many westerns as kids.

    We first went over all safety instructions then turned them loose. They had a blast, pun intended.
    I didn`t get to shoot much at all since I was primarily loading magazines and watching them and making sure they were being safe and I`m glad to see that they were very safety conscious and actually paid attention to my lecture.

    After leaving here, they went to Vegas and had a great time out west but I`m told that the high point of their US trip was to the range. That $100+ dollars I spent at the range for ammo was well spent.

    Edit- To see the full write up on this, check out Dec. 2018 post... Is This A Great Country or What
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020 at 1:14 AM
  15. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    This is the type of asinine mentality that creates and fuels the crisis that is happing now with our shortages for the following reasons. They are ill informed, they are uneducated , or simply they are plain ignorant. If the majority of the country felt as we do about our gun rights and the sporting industry we would not have these shortages now.

    Great job in being an ambassador and helping out you buddy.
     
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  16. Archer

    Archer Member

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    Of course. People completely new to the experience know they don’t know anything, but people with a little exposure don’t know they don’t know anything. The former is much easier to mold into a good shooter, while the latter is often burdened by bad habits that are exceptionally difficult to replace.

    If they started out a trigger puncher, the job is doubly difficult.
     
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  17. sequins

    sequins Member

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    I find the oftentimes delicate, fearful nature of some new shooters to be really beneficial to trigger control. Transform that trepidation on the trigger into slow steadiness and you're creating a crack shooter.

    I found the very open sight aperture on the PCC to be the largest detriment to the accuracy of this particular shooter. She described the red dot mounted GP100 as "cheating" and from a rest got entire cylinders in a 2" bull at 25'. Whereas maybe 8" group with the rifle. I think she may buy a red dot.
     
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  18. DaStray

    DaStray Member

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    Agreed on the red dot for the PCC. Just a simple, inexpensive Bushnell TRS 25 made all the difference.
     
  19. Harriw

    Harriw Member

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    I can't even remember now whether I offered or he asked, but I've been trying to plan a range trip with a buddy of mine from work for quite some time now. We both have several young kids and he was flipping a house on the side so it was difficult finding time when we were both available. I finally managed to get him there yesterday though for his first time shooting.

    Very similar story to those above... we started off with Cooper's 4 rules, then a simple explanation of the club's rules for their ranges. Then I started him off with my wife's Marlin Model 60 - first loading just one round at a time for a few rounds. Then 2 rounds at a time for a few shots, then handfuls at a time once he got the hang of it. He's left-handed, but it turns out he has a dominant right eye. He elected to stick to left-handed shooting though, and at first he was trying to bring his head across the stock and use his right eye on his left side. Once I got that straightened out he did quite well.

    We didn't have terribly long since we went after work and had to be out of the gate before it locked us in, so after 20 minutes or so of .22 plinking I got out the Ruger PC9 - same floating handguard model as in the OP. He absolutely LOVED that gun. After a shot or 2 to get the hang of it, he started shooting some very nice groups with it. But those groups moved to a completely different area of the target every time he put the gun down to load and picked it up again. I reached the same conclusion as the OP, that he was having a hard time re-creating the same sight-picture each time due in the large rear aperture. He was a bit bummed that his groups were so far from the bullseye each time, until I explained to him how the grouping is what he should be looking at, and that it's easy to move the group to POA by moving the sights. Although I love that gun, I've had similar difficulties with the large peep sight and was already thinking a red dot might be the answer - glad to hear others are coming to the same conclusion. I actually like those sights - I just find I'm not terribly accurate with them beyond 10 yards or so.

    Anyway, I saved the AR for last. He actually only fired one round from it. Not because he didn't like it, but because we were running short on time, and he REALLY liked the PC9 and wanted to put a few more rounds through it before we had to pack up and head home.

    He absolutely loved it all, and definitely wants to do it again. Lots of questions on the ride home about the gun buying process, how much that Ruger PC9 cost, etc.

    This is a guy who I would not exactly have described as anti-gun, but who definitely had never had any exposure to them whatsoever, and tends to lean left in his politics. Obviously I didn't take him shooting for political reasons - I took him shooting because he's my friend, and he wanted to try it. And I'll take him again because he's my buddy and enjoyed it, not because I'm trying to change a vote. But I am going to try to bring "new shooter" friends more often - we have to be our own ambassadors for the shooting sports and 2nd Amendment rights, as it's becoming clear nobody else is going to do it for us. My hat is off to all of you who have been shooting far longer than I have, and have been introducing new shooters for decades.
     
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  20. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Yep new shooters and new reloaders as often as I can. Now that I am retired (mostly) I can do it even more once this dang covid mess is over with and the ranges reopen. In the meantime I am loading some soft shooting ammo for the next bunch to learn with. Plastic soda bottles filled with colored water and frozen, clay pigeons, and other things that will explode but are easy to clean up make for great shooting fun too.
     
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  21. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    The other day my wife was talking with an old friend of ours when this person asked her if she knew of anyone who owned any guns and could help them. Seems her friend and her husband are deeply concerned with all the unrest due to domestic terrorism and wanted to take measures to protect themselves. We're having dinner with them next weekend to discuss this matter further and see where they want to go with it.
     
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  22. Craig_VA
    • Contributing Member

    Craig_VA Contributing Member

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    Excellent!
    This aspect has been discussed many times on THR, but I remain amazed that introducing new shooters first with a .22LR has not become standard practice for all instructors and knowledgeable friend-helpers. It is so much easier to cover the Four Rules (use the "always" phrasing instead of the older "never" phrasing}, safe handling, range etiquette, and basic grip, stance, and aiming with a low-recoil .22, then moving the student to the desired or preferred center-fire caliber gun. This walk-then-run sequence applies equally to handguns and long guns.

    Watch John at Warrior Poet Society use this sequence. Range time begins at 9:50, after his discussion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020 at 11:35 AM
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