New shooter report

A month ago I went to the range with two new shooters. These are my tweets from then:



They are friends of Gang who I took to the range a few years ago. He contacted me and told me some friends wanted to learn to shoot. We met up at Wades and after they got the paperwork done I spent about 15 minutes going through safety rules, sight alignment, and grip with a plastic gun. Once inside the range we did some dry fire before going to live fire.

I started them out on a Ruger Mark III/45 followed by a S&W .22LR revolver. Then I offered them my STI Eagle in .40 S&W with the caution there was going to be a lot more recoil. They did just fine with the recoil on the .40 but the large grip of the double stack STI was a challenge for their small hands. All the targets were at about eight feet away.

I was surprised they liked the S&W revolver and STI Eagle better than the Ruger Mark III/45. In any case they did very well. I was particularly impressed with Shijing who is cross eye dominate. I suggested she try shooting left handed as well as right handed and she then stayed with left handed to produce awesome groups for a new shooter.

Sharon shooting the STI.
Shijing with the revolver and then the STI.
Shijing had the better groups and the bigger smile.

Afterward they took me to dinner at a place Gang described as the Chinese equivalent of Hooters. I have never been to Hooters before so I can’t confirm that assessment but the waitresses were very nice looking and somewhat scantly dressed. The food was good and I plan to take Barb there sometime soon.

We talked quite a bit about gun laws and why I carry a gun. They seemed to get it and expressed interest in getting their own guns.

Winning the cultural war one (or two) new shooter(s) at a time.

Next Generation Shooter

I took the boy sprout to the range for the first time today. It was beautiful, warm and sunny, the other sprout was off with a friend, the spousal unit was wanting some alone time, and it’s near the end of summer vacation, so it seemed like a good day for it. In some ways, he’s a totally typical boy – anything with water or dirt is great, and every stick is a sword, everything else it a gun, a tank, a bomber, or something that makes explody sounds for some reason. He’s always been interested in guns, and we have gone over the basic safety rules any number of times. So, off to the range it was.

FirstShoot 002 Continue reading

New shooter report

My brother was in town with his lady-friend. She’s from Chile, and had never shot a handgun before because guns are VERY strictly regulated there. As far I know, she’d never even held one in her hands, which are tiny. Her hands are even smaller than my ten year old daughter’s. So I offered to take them to the range, of course, as part of her “experience” of America. But what to shoot? Well, .22 LR, of course, but what else that would fit those tiny hands? The S&W 629 and other large revolvers seemed right out. So I grabbed a selection for the range bag and a few hundred round of ammo, and we headed for the range.

She tries the little S&W 22 AirLite first – fits her hand well, low recoil, but a long, heavy, rough trigger. She struggles a bit with the dry-firing as she gets the feel for it. I put the target at 7 yards, and she puts first round in the black. OK, good start. I load another round, and she puts it in the ring just outside the black. The next eight rounds all are inside the rings, and generally centered. Off to a good start!

We try the Ruger 22/22WinMag interchangeable cylinder next, but it doesn’t fit her hands well when dry-firing, so we skip it and go to the Ruger GP100 with 6″ barrel, shooting 38 Special. Dry fire for a bit, load one, shoot one in the black. All righty, then. Looking good. Try some more, all inside the rings. I do some coaching on stance and grip throughout, but she is starting to get the hang of it. She try some more 38s, does well.

We move up to 9mm, trying a Sig and a Glock. She likes the Sig more, but does fine with both. She doesn’t like the Glock trigger much, but the doesn’t like the Sig single-action double-action change of pull feel, either. Eh, pretty typical, I think.

So I got out the 1911 in 45 ACP, and her first three shots were all on the bottom edge of the paper… Hmmm? Night sights, maybe? We explained lining them up properly, and the next three hit much closer to the middle.

I demonstrate some heavy .357 loads (125gr hp with 16 grains of 2400 – they do about 2150 fps in a lever action, and produce a serious THUMP and flame in a revolver), and she says she’s like to try them, so she does, and again they are all in the rings.

She said she’d like to try “bigger,” but I didn’t have any because I didn’t even think the 1911 would fit her hands, so we just tried whatever she liked the most. She mostly moved back and forth between the .45 ACP and the heavy 357 Mag loads, which surprised both me and my brother. But, as I keep telling people, I don’t care how it looks on paper, or what it feels like at the gun-store counter, until you actually try it, you just really don’t know what’s going to float your boat when it comes to shooting handguns. Try a bunch, buy a couple, practice. All in all, another good day at the range introducing a person to the realities of shooting a gun.

New shooter report

Last weekend Barb L. and I went to Orofino Idaho for my high school reunion. Friday night I spent a lot of time talking to one of my best buddies in high school, Bruce C. He said he reads my blog and has long been interested in Boomershoot. I told him we could have a private party the next morning if he wanted.

As I reported last Sunday Bruce had a good time. Now it is time to tell you the rest of the story.

Bruce’s wife Cyndi was there with us and even helped fold boxes and weigh chemicals for the Boomerite. When it was time to shoot the reactive targets she and Barb just watched for a while:


Bruce posed for the camera with his rifle that he had brought with him. He hadn’t fired it in 20 years but he brought it and 200 rounds of ammo to our reunion. I can’t help but wonder if he hoped to get a chance to shoot some reactive targets.


Bruce shot a few targets and thought it was a real blast:




It turns out Cyndi had never fired a gun of any type. So, of course, now was the time to take her first shots. I gave her a quick lesson, discovered she was cross-eye dominate and had her shoot left handed. She got her boomer on her first EVER shot. I thought there was a chance the new shooter smile was going to be permanent (photos by Barb L.):









Bruce shot a bunch more boomers and two of them created “smoke” (mostly water vapor with some dust) rings:






The second “smoke” ring:



I shot a few targets, Barb shot the last one, and then we went back to Orofino to continue with the class reunion.

Threaded barrel .22s

Got a gun question: What’s the best and most readily available .22 LR pistol that comes with a threaded barrel as a standard item? It seems like there should be a lot of options, as suppressors and various barrel do-dads become more common, but I don’t see a lot of models out there. The Ruger 22/45 and Ruger Mk III both have that as an option, as does the Sig Mosquito (but I’ve not heard a lot of good things about that one). Any other options I should be looking into?

I agree with Joan Peterson

It’s a rare thing but this time I (partially) agree with Joan Peterson on this issue (H/T to Sebastian). She says, “Don’t carve pumpkins with guns”.

I took two almost new shooters to Idaho this weekend to do a little pumpkin “carving” at the Boomershoot site.

First we prepared some chemicals:


Then we mixed them. Yes, she was a little apprehensive at first. This whole Kitchen Aid mixer making Boomerite is a little “different”. Six weeks ago had you told her she was going to be traveling to Idaho, making explosives to “carve” pumpkins, and shooting a rifle before Halloween she would have said, “No way!”


Here are some sample pictures of the pumpkins being “carved” (thanks to Barron for bringing them to the party):


The picture below was taken a fraction of a second after the picture above. Notice that the pumpkin pieces have slowed and are further from the origin. I wonder what the BC of a pumpkin seed is.
The picture above almost duplicates a picture Ry took a few years ago. Here is a cropped version of the same picture:

There are hazards to pumpkin “carving” with Boomerite. Max wasn’t really “entertainingly close” by some peoples standards but it was close enough that he sometimes turned away to avoid getting hit in the face with pieces of pumpkin. I was extremely pleased that his finger came off the trigger and he kept the gun pointed in a safe direction:

I’m sure Ms. Peterson will be pleased to know we didn’t use guns as our primary tool for carving the pumpkins. It was just the remote detonator for the explosives. And these new shooters will share their experience and pictures with friends and family which will add to the set of people who recognize modern sporting rifles in common use are not “assault weapons” which should be banned. But instead many of them will desire their own and to share in the fun of the gun and Boomershoot culture. And what does Ms. Peterson and the Brady Campaign have to counter this?

New shooter report

Late last month Max and Barb had watched part of a USPSA match I participated in. I introduced them to Anette and Charles but had not been able get to the range with them for their own trigger time.

Today I took Barb and her son Max to the range. Max had done some shooting before but not a lot. Barb said she might have shot a gun once when she was about 12 years old but couldn’t remember for certain.

Max’s previous experience showed. This was with the Ruger Mark II from about 10 feet away.

This is Barb’s first target. Again with the Ruger Mark II. I would include the picture of her smile but she had her eyes closed.

This was good for a first time shooter. She was having some problems with the follow through and pulling the gun low for a bit and after we got that corrected the group moved up and got a lot tighter.

One of the first things she said after shooting the first target was, “This was more fun that I thought it would be.”

This is Max with his revolver target. He shot it single action for a couple cylinders then shot it double action. All from about 8 feet away. I was impressed. My little S&W Air-Lite only has a 3″ barrel.

This is Barb with her revolver target. All single action. Very nice! Excellent for a new shooter.

We left a little early because the people in the next bay were shooting a .44 Magnum. It was a little unpleasant for us.

As we were driving away for lunch Max invoked Markley’s Law over the guy with the .44 Magnum. I gave them the history of Markley’s Law. They had not heard of it before which isn’t at all surprising. They hadn’t heard of Godwin’s Law either so I briefly brought them up to speed on that as well.

The next planned shooting excursion for Max and Barb is a trip to Idaho for a private Boomershoot party on the 20th of this month.

New shooter report

I took a new shooter to the range yesterday.

The usual happened. Big smiles and almost uncontrolled glee:

Yes Kim, that is your bullet hole nearly dead center in the bull.

It’s nice to enable someone to accomplish something that gives them great happiness.

Can the Brady Campaign enable individual accomplishments that will provide a lifetime of pleasure? Despite their stated best of intentions the achievement of their goals would actually block such pleasures as well as the defense of innocent life and enable violent crime that will cause sorrow to the end of your days.

Take a non-shooter to the range, make Sarah and Jim Brady cry, and make the world a better place.

New shooter report with Boomerite

New shooter Maggie had been to the range only once before. On Saturday daughter Kim, her boyfriend Jacob, Barron and I showed her how we make Boomerite and then let her shoot about 15 or 20 seven inch targets.

Her very first shot with a rifle was at a Boomerite target. It was a hit:

Try getting a smile like that at an “anti-gun range”.

New shooter report

Today I took son James and daughter-in-law Kelsey shooting. This was the first time for Kelsey. James and I had told her it was an option for her if she was ever interested. But I never pushed her on it. To the best of my knowledge James has not either. A few weeks ago they informed me that Kelsey had decided she would like to learn to shoot because it would help her feel safer when James wasn’t home.

This was a really big deal for Kelsey. Her family is somewhat anti-gun. When she told them she was going to learn to shoot a gun they “sort of freaked out”.

This morning I went over to do the “classroom” portion of the lesson. I had done a tiny bit previously in the weeks previously when I would go over for dinner on Monday nights. I wanted to refresh those lessons and get her ready for actually pulling the trigger on a live round.

I reviewed the sight picture with her and immediately noticed that she was cross-eye dominate. She is right handed but her left eye is dominate. We reviewed her options and she tried various things with my plastic gun. She decided she probably would be shooting left handed.

I asked her if she remembered the three safety rules (I teach the NRA rules, not the Jeff Cooper’s). She hesitated just a bit but told me:

  1. Never point the the gun in an unsafe direction.
  2. Never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  3. Never load the gun until you are ready to use it.

Wow! That was interesting! She got the essence of the rules correct but she turned them all into negatives. The NRA rules are positive statements of what you should do. I explained that it was, to exaggerate the point some, like telling someone not to thing of pink elephants. The actual NRA three gun safety rules are:

  1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

I showed her the proper grip and stance then went over the mantra “trigger prep, sight alignment, squeeze, follow through”. I had her use one of my plastic guns to practice going from a high ready position to a fire position simultaneous with using the mantra.

I told her that eventually she would be able to look at something close her eyes then point the gun at what she had just seen without needing the sights. Just like pointing at something with her finger.

It was at this point that she said, “I’m not sure I ever want to be able to do that.”


She explained that when she held a gun in her hand she was very aware that she was holding “Life in her hands.” Interesting choice of words I thought but didn’t tell her that. Most people, in particular anti-gun people, would say, “Death in their hands.” She did not want to be so comfortable with a gun that she took it causally. She even expressed concern that she might become a sociopath. I tried to explain that wasn’t something that was going to happen at her age but she interrupted and said that she had been concerned that she might give birth to a sociopath since the age of 13 and no one had been able to dissuade of that in the intervening years and I wasn’t going to be able to talk her out of that concern in the next few minutes. I let that drop but asked, “What about using a gun to stop an attack against you?” She wasn’t sure, “It depends on what their situation was. What if they were just at a really bad point in their life?” “What about defending the life of your child?”, I asked and got a similar answer. The same for someone stomping on her puppy or cat.


I went on to the next lesson and showed her how to determine if a gun was unloaded–verify the source of ammunition has been removed and the chamber is empty.

I had her dry fire my STI. I repeatedly manually racked the slide and she “got” the reason for leaning into the shot and having the elbows slightly bent to absorb the recoil.

We went to the range and the public bay was crowed. Very crowded. The members bay was less crowded but we had to go through the public bay to get to the member’s bay. A shot went off as we entered the public bay and even with my best electronic muffs on Kelsey jumped and cowered. James and I hurried her into the members bay. But even there the shots from next door caused her to jump and nearly curl into a fetal position while still standing.

“It’s so loud!”, she said. After a brief consultation, James asked if I had any foam plugs she could use. I didn’t but the gun store was open and we left to get them.

She put them in and we returned. I can’t say that I could see it improved her demeanor any. And each shot made it worse. She was curled up, shaking, sweating, and crying. I told James that we should take her home. If she still wanted to learn we could go again sometime out in the woods with Ry and his suppressed .22. James started talking to Kelsey and I packing up our stuff. I shouldered my backpack and was ready to walk out but James said she still wanted to try it. I asked why. Kelsey said because she had said she would do it. “That doesn’t matter,” I told her. If you really want to do this we can do this another time when and where it’s much quieter. She insisted and I relented.

I had her dry fire the Ruger Mark II. She still jumped every time another gun went off some place. But the crying and shaking had stopped.

I put a single round in a magazine, racked the slide, and let her pick up the gun to shoot at the target about eight feet away. She brought the gun up and pointed it at the target. She hesitated and then quickly put the gun down. “I can’t do it!”, she said. “Okay, you don’t have to,” I told her. “You don’t have to do this. I don’t think you are ready and I think we should go home so we can talk about this.”

I started to pack up again. But she said, “How about I just hold the gun and you pull the trigger?” “I’m fine with that”, I said.

She picked up the gun and pointed it at the target. I repeated the mantra as I put my finger over hers in the trigger guard. I just barely touched her finger and was starting to say “squeeze” when the gun went off.

She put the gun down and started jumping up and down. “I did it!” she exclaimed. The guns booming on either side no longer mattered. From then on she didn’t stop smiling until we left the range except to pout when she had emptied a magazine. I started taking pictures and then a video:

I showed her where first shot ever hit. It was about 5:30, just inside the black.

She asked to do it again. I started to put in a half-full magazine. “Not that many. Just one. Maybe two,” she said.

I loaded the gun with two rounds.

Those went quickly and she asked for three rounds.

Then a full magazine.

And then another, and another, and another.

James shot for a while then Kelsey returned to the bench. I had her hold my partial brick of .22 ammo. She didn’t understand the joke but held it for me anyway:

I merely said the boxes had gotten a little bit wet, then dried, and were sticking together. I’ll have to explain it to her tomorrow when we go sailing.

She burned through magazine after magazine with fire blazing from the barrel. She emptied the magazines faster than I could reload.

She moved the target out to nearly 30 feet and could still keep them in the black at will. It was only when she pushed the speed that the rounds strayed a bit. But only one was outside the rings and all were on the paper:

When we brought the last target in she pointed to the big hole in the paper and with almost a growl said, “I killed it!”

Anti-gun for 25+ years then turned into a budding sociopath in just over an hour. Sarah Brady’s worst nightmare just came true. Damn! I’m good.

New shooters report

I had not fired a gun since March and then this week I had two new shooters to take to the range.

The first new shooter was Maggie who went last night:


This was after shooting about 40 rounds. Nice group!

After about 80 rounds I gave her an USPSA target:

Tonight it was Julie’s turn. Julie is the daughter of this new shooter I took to the range nearly three years ago:


As I pointed out to Julie her group was smaller than that of the shooter in the next lane over. And after a couple more targets almost all of her hits were in the black at the same range.

After a couple hundred rounds I gave her an USPSA target:

Those smiles will bring tears to the eyes of the Brady Campaign people. Keep those smiles coming folks!

A third new shooter, Kelsey, is currently scheduled for a trip to the range on July 28th.

New shooter report

My niece Lisa took a new shooter to the range:

Friday we went to the shooting range and taught my roommate Shannon how to shoot (she had never shot a gun before in her life).  Mike did most of the “training” since he’s in the Army.  We shot a .22 pistol, my .357 magnum revolver, and… a full-auto AR-15.  It was fun to introduce someone new to shooting.  Shannon loved it and wants to go shooting again!  Luckily we found out that Thursday nights are “date night” and two people shoot for the price of one… can you say roommate date?

Quote of the day—Alan Gura

Give money to SAF and take people to the range.

Alan Gura
September 10, 2011
Gun Blogger Rendezvous
In response to the question he posed, “What can you do to help?”
[SAF is the main funding source for the lawsuits Gura has been engaged in. Taking people to the range, particularly new shooters, decreases the odds they will vote for an anti-gun politician or donate money to anti-gun organizations. And, most importantly, it makes Sarah Brady, Josh Sugarmann, and Michael Beard cry.—Joe]

(Mostly) First Shots

I met Rose through Oleg (who met her through Mike and Laurel last Spring) who got her into modeling.  She’d told Oleg she wanted to learn more about shooting, so he got her and me talking.  It took a while, but we got to the range this Monday.  It was cold, with several inches of snow on the ground, but we managed to get in a couple hours of trigger time.

We went through the safety rules, loading and unloading, manipulating the controls on a Ruger Mark II and a Daewoo DP-51 9 mm, stance, grip, sight picture, trigger control, some thoughts on anticipation (flinching), and follow-through.

Rose explained that since she is a boxer, she knows all about flinching and that it would not be a problem.  When you’re looking at getting punched in the face, you learn self control or it’s over quickly.  Good.  Shooting is very much a mental exercise.  I said that flinching is a problem for everyone, even experienced competitive shooters, and that I’ve seen a new shooter hit the ground halfway to a 10 yard target because of anticipation.

Well, her first ten rounds from the 22 auto all hit the 12″ square target, with one right in the center, from about 10 yards.  Pretty good for someone who’d only fired a pistol once, more than ten years ago.  It doesn’t always happen that way.  Usually we don’t even look at the first target, concentrating more on stance, grip and muzzle control.

She was pretty happy afterward, having hit all the 14 ounce vegetable cans with the 9 mm pistol.  We finished up with an UltiMAK equipped M1 30 Carbine, so she got introduced to the laser transmission hologram (this one had an Old Bushnell Holosight that we’d used for many years of testing at UltiMAK). 

Those vegetable cans didn’t stand a chance.

It was a pretty brief run-through, and Rose was visibly shivering from the cold, but she done good.  Though it is good practice in general, one would be well advised to treat her, especially, with respect.

I failed to tell her that she could be doing about as well at two and a half times the distance, with some more coaching and practice.  25 yards is the minimum distance in the pistol bays at the Kenmore Shooting Range, where I took my instructor training.  They teach beginners there too, and do well with it by all accounts.

Son of John Lennon likes shooting

John Lennon’s son, Sean, says he really enjoys shooting guns. He also says he doesn’t people should be armed. But that might change—his girlfriend is from Georgia and “Lennon was invited down to the shooting range so that the family could see if their daughter’s new squeeze was ‘a straight shooter’.”

The more familiar he becomes with guns the more likely he is to realize his feelings toward them really are because of the misuse of the gun by a mentally disturbed individual rather than the possession of firearms by ordinary people.

Taking a new shooter to the range is an important part of winning. This example is just another small step to driving the anti-gun activists into political extinction.

New shooter report

I had been putting Ian off all week. Last week I told him Monday evening should work. I had forgotten about the previously made plans to have dinner with James and Kelsey.

I didn’t even offer Tuesday because that was the evening Barb was showing up from Idaho.

Tentative plans were made for Wednesday but those were scrapped when some tentative plans for dinner with some friends I expected to fall through didn’t.

Thursday I loaded up my car with over a thousand rounds of ammo, three handguns, a rifle, and some other gear. I parked off across the street (Microsoft doesn’t allow guns on campus) and that evening Ian and I went to Wades where I have a lifetime membership.

I went over the NRA three safety rules and he asked some questions about the NRA. The answers amounted to a brief history of the NRA. and NRA-ILA.

As he filled out the new shooter paperwork I paid the guest fee and purchased a USPSA practice target.

I started him out on a Ruger Mark II at about three yards:

Then an Olympic Arms AR-15 at seven yards:

Then S&W .22 revolver at three yards:

Then my STI Eagle 5.2 chambered in .40 S&W at three yards:

This is his single action revolver results (the double action results were just as good):

But he did well with .40 S&W too (the smaller holes are from the AR-15 at seven yards):

This is at seven yards with the .40 S&W:

We picked up the brass and as we drove to his bus stop I explained the economics and custom load benefits of reloading. It was during the drive he said the words I made my QOTD.

Another day, another oppressed minority from another country liberated (see also representatives from China, Canada, India, and Taiwan).

New shooter report

I took two people to the range with me tonight.

Gang is one of my co-workers. He is from the People’s Republic of China. He had some military training when he was still living there but he only fired eight rounds total from an SKS. He went shooting with some friends in the U.S. once quite a while back. He doesn’t qualify as a “new shooter” but he is still a beginner. He told me he would like to try it again sometime and I, of course, was pleased to take him to the local range. He said his father-in-law was visiting from China and would like to go along too if that was okay with me. FIL had never fired a gun before. He had field-stripped one in training but had never fired it.

Gang bought me dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. I went through the safety rules with Gang translating for his FIL. I told him which guns I had brought and Gang asked if they all fit in the car. I said there was plenty of room but I was carrying one with me there in the restaurant. They didn’t seem surprised or concerned.

When we got to the range I then had them do some dry firing with the .22 revolver. I worked with them on the grip, stance, sight alignment, and trigger control. First using the gun in single action, then double action.

Here is FIL cocking the gun in preparation to fire his first actual shot:

Here is the result of his first eight rounds from about 10 feet away:

I was impressed! I know people who have put many hundreds of rounds down range and can’t shoot that well. Gang’s efforts were similar but offset to the right and up of the bullseye about the same amount as FILs were down and to the left.

I then rented a Ruger Mark III/45 since my Ruger Mark II is still with daughter Kim in Idaho. Here FIL is punching holes in the target with the semi-auto:

I fired a few rounds with my STI to make sure it didn’t go full-auto on me after getting it’s new NP3 finish before letting them try it.

They both fired it a few times then I loaded up the Gun Blog 45 for them. The loads were 230 grain bullets but downloaded to a Power Factor of only 175 (typical is about 200). Here the FIL is just getting the gun out of recoil with the slide still not closed:

They said the .45 hurt their hands a little bit but they had big smiles on their faces after shooting a few rounds each:

Next came the Evil Black Rifle:

Success! The target below has holes from both FIL and Gang from about 20 feet away. Each of them had one go low and the rest in a tight group in the middle of the A-Zone. FIL put his three on the lower left of the A-Zone with Gang having the upper three.

As I watched them shoot I keep thinking of Tiananmen Square and wondered how things might have been different had the civilians been armed and able to defend themselves. Gang, his wife, (and perhaps FIL), and daughter will be attending a private Boomershoot party next spring. After learning how to use guns of course they need to learn how to make explosives.

I’ve now taken new shooters to the range from Taiwan, India, Canada, and the People’s Republic of China. I’m exposing the world to freedom, first hand, one person at at time…

As we were leaving the range Gang asked if I was going to the gun show this weekend. I told him that I was returning to Idaho but he and his entire family (even the baby) would be welcome and he said he might go to look around. He doesn’t have a house right now but when he does he might buy a gun for self-defense then.

New shooter report

Daughter Kim and her husband Caleb took friend Amber to the range last Monday. It was the first time Amber had ever shot a gun.

They borrowed my Ruger Mark II and all the reports indicate Amber enjoyed herself and did well:

Welcome to the community Amber.

And thank you Kim and Caleb for making her introduction to shooting enjoyable.

New shooter report

Tuesday I reported on taking Priyanka to the range for her first experience shooting guns. It turns out that her officemate overheard us talking and asked to go with us. He had never shot a gun before either and really wanted to try it.

I didn’t really want to take two new shooters to the range at the same time when I only had one small booth to work in. So I offered to take him to the range on Wednesday (last night).

It’s always interesting to see what different students have trouble with and how to come up with an exercise to get them past it. Priyanka had trouble shooting fast and accurately. Shooting slow and accurate wasn’t a problem. By moving the target very close she could exercise the “fast” aspect without having to worry about the accurate part so much. Then when the target went back out to a more normal distance she was able to combine the two skills she had learned.

Andrei had problems with pulling his shots low and left. Because of the Crimson Trace laser on the Ruger Mark II I could see that he was aiming well but just as the gun would go off it would dip low and left. Dry fire exercises enable him to see the problem as well. I told him to do most of the squeezing of the grip with his weak hand and concentrate on just moving his trigger finger so his dominate hand didn’t grasp at the same time as the trigger finger moved. Plus, pay less attention to having a good sight picture and more attention to getting a surprise trigger break. It was hard for him but more and more shots started going where they belonged.

After putting a 100 or so rounds of .22 LR down range he wanted to try the Gun Blog 45. Here he is looking for the little knob on the side of the magazine (like on the Ruger Mark II) to push the follower down:

I didn’t let him struggle for long and soon he was getting pretty good results with the .45:

Andrei is originally from Canada but is currently working for a company in California (this company is partnering with Microsoft on a project so he is in Redmond for a while). He asked about how he could buy a gun. What does he have to do? What kind of guns could he buy? I told him what I knew about the gun laws in Canada, California, and Washington and told him that California was more oppressive than Washington and Canada was much more oppressive but he could still have handguns in Canada if he put in enough effort. He said he wanted to stay in the U.S.

I had put on my holster and gun (Gun Blog 45 and the Blackhawk holster I got last year when I went to summer camp) as soon as we got in the car which I had parked off campus. As we left the range he commented on concealed carry and so I explained licenses, open carry, and the laws in Washington versus California. He seemed quite interested and eager to learn more. Next week is not available because Barb will be visiting but if he is still in town the week after I’ll offer to take him to the range again.

New shooter report

As I said yesterday I had arranged to take a new shooter to the range this evening.

She was a little nervous and at first you could even see her hands shake when she loaded the magazine of the Ruger Mark II. When she did some dry fire exercises I could see the gun shake as well. It wasn’t all nervousness though. She has very slender arms and the longer she held the gun out at arms length the more it shook and the more she bent her elbows.

Still, when she fired her first shots at about 10 feet away they were all “in the black”:

After several ordinary targets I put up a slightly used USPSA target and said, “This is a bad guy.” Here is the A-zone. Keep all your shots in the A-zone while shooting as fast as you can.

She had some problems. Many of the shots were going way low. I moved the target in very close about two feet from the muzzle and told her to point and shoot as fast as she could–the bad guy was very close. She shot fast and all the bullets were A-zone hits.

She wanted the target further away so gave her another slightly used USPSA target and she moved it to about 15 feet away and opened fire:

This time nearly all the shots were solid A-zone hits and she had a big smile on her face (Update: she didn’t like any of the pictures of her face so that photo has been removed).

I showed her my Gun Blog 45, hollow point bullets, FMJ bullets, and emptied a couple magazines. One at slow speed with maximum accuracy and one as fast as I could shoot and keep them on target. She declined to shoot the .45.

I showed her a S&W .22 revolver and let her shoot that. She much preferred the semi-auto pistol.

We had a long talk about self-defense and “who needs a gun”. She explained that in India it is very difficult to get a gun and very few people have them. Here many people have them and people use them to hurt other people. Why is it that people can get a gun so easily here?

I told her it was a choice everyone needs to make for themselves. She lives across the street from work and goes to work and gets off during daylight hours. It is in a nice part of town. She has no abusive ex-boyfriends. Other people may go to work or get off work very late at night in a very bad part of town. Everyone needs to make their own decisions. I told her of one of my first students who was a very petite middle-aged woman who told me she was a judge and some of her “customers” were very unhappy with her decisions. She had seen some of these people watch her as she left the courthouse. She had never considered owning a gun before let alone carry one when she went to/from work or when she went to the store. She sometimes traveled on her job and would spend the night alone in a motel many miles from home. She and her husband decided she needed to have a concealed carry permit, a gun, and training. She bought a gun and I taught her to use it defensively. The sheriff issued her a permit and she now carries the gun. I think she made the right decision. I told her of the person searching for “what means of self defence will you use as a woman when you are been raped by a man” who found my blog. And I told her of John Fogh’s advice for such a situation.

I told her of my Just One Question and what the numbers were on criminal use, defensive use, and suicide. I told her how a gun made it possible for a weak 85 year-old woman to defend herself against a large young man.

She said she had a wonderful time and I dropped her off at her apartment–she took all the targets with her.