New shooter report

After suggesting, for years, that Maddy learn to shoot she agreed and yesterday we went to the range. On the way to the range I quizzed her on the gun safety rules. At first she struggled with rule one but had them down by the time we arrived. She had never touched a gun before yesterday but did awesome! You could see her improve, literally, from one string of five shots to the next. It was incredible to watch.

I started her out, as usual, with a suppressed .22 at about 10 feet from a simple paper target. I first taught her the proper stance, then grip, dry fire, then one round in the gun, then two rounds, then more…


This is her first, approximately, 10 shots. The first round is in the white six-ring at about 6:00. The second as in the 9-ring at about 4:00. With only one other “wild” (for moderate definitions of “wild”) shot the rest all stayed in a tight group in the black around 6:00.


She is cross eye dominate and after shooting right handed for about 20 shots I had her shoot left handed to see how that would work out.

She was more accurate:20181228_163555

She said it felt more stable but a bit awkward and went back to shooting right handed.

As she improved I changed the game to make it more interesting. I had her put five shots on four targets with no two shots sequentially on the same target and no concern for accuracy beyond touching the target. I was trying to emulate a steel challenge stage. At first I just let her shoot at her own pace with no encouragement for speed. She was nailing it:


I then asked her to speed things up. She continued to do well and I got out the timer and switched her to unsuppressed.

Her times for the five shots were in the sixes and I told her I was guessing she could be under five and still get all the shots on target. A couple strings later and she had a 5.00. Then she blew it away with a 4.48:


Then a 4.41:


A few strings later it was 4.25:


It was amazing to watch. Nearly every string was more consistent and the splits tighter without a single miss. The hits were nearly all in the black.



She blew past my prediction of something under 5.00 with a 3.77! Recall that the last time I did this type of exercise with almost new shooters they best they did was 4.44 and 5.15. And what I didn’t mention in that blog post was they that would frequently have strings with one or more misses. Maddy didn’t have that problem and completely blew them away on time as well as accuracy.

I could detect some fatigue, which she verified, so before going home, I moved her on to try a few shots with a centerfire pistol. I gave her some low power 180 grain loads in .40 S&W and had her shoot my STI Eagle:


She fired about five shots, all in the black, then we cleaned up and went home where her mom marveled at how well she did and I announced she was “competition ready”.


7 thoughts on “New shooter report

    • I estimate the odds at 50-50, IF, there was one going on while she was in town. She is going to back to college (Stanford) in a few days. And next summer she is likely to be in D.C. instead of in the Seattle area where I could take her to a local match and she could use one of my guns.

  1. I recommend muffs even with a suppressed .22 pistol. It is still loud enough to cause hearing damage, even if it doesn’t seem too loud to you. Not kidding.

    • At first we were using subsonic ammo with a Gemtech label and it was very quiet. When we ran out of that we switched to CCI Quiet-22. That was extremely quiet (CCI advertises it as not needing ear protection even without a suppressor). That wouldn’t cycle the gun so we switched to what I had left as an option. That was high velocity and we put our ear protection on.

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