New shooter report

Nearly everyone I work with is a shooter. I have two peers. One was in the army for several years then helped build targets for Boomershoot this year as well as participate. The other has more NFA toys than he is willing to tell me about. My lead is former special forces. My boss is a former cop. His boss, our director, and her husband have helped make the targets for Boomershoot for the last three years as well as participate.

There was one exception. The intern. Caity’s last day as an intern will be next week. After a break she will return as a full time employee in August. She did well as an intern but there was a flaw. She hasn’t done any shooting since she was 10 or 12 years old. And it wasn’t that much.

Today, we set out to fix that flaw.

I started her out with some dry fire and she was rock solid. No jerking the trigger, excellent follow-through, and she picked up the mechanics almost instantly.

I put her on a suppressed .22 pistol with slow fire at about eight feet. She was nailing it with about a 1” group. Okay, 12 feet. The group size increased some but still well within the black of the target. Okay, 20 feet. Still in the black.

Okay, let’s try something else.

I removed the suppressor to reduce the inertia and put the target at about eight feet. I had her starting at low ready and then put one shot on each of the four bull’s-eyes. Her splits were probably 1.5 seconds and she was still nailing the targets. She shot magazine after magazine and kept the shots all in the black with the splits decreasing into the sub one second range:



I got out my powder puff loads for the .40. She couldn’t hold the gun firm enough to get reliable cycling but said the recoil wasn’t a problem so we tried a couple rounds of major power factor. She shot those just fine. No recoil issues. So, I gave her a full magazine.

Start at low ready and put one shot on each target…

Still almost exclusively in the black with the splits again approaching one second:


Okay. She’s a keeper for our team.

They’re Coming to Grab Your Guns, And That’s A Beautiful Thing

They’re coming to grab your guns. They’re your friends, family, loved ones. Even strangers will do it, if you let them. Some reporters have been known to do it, too, if you invite them.

With your permission, these people will take your gun, gently, from your hands into theirs. Shoot, they will. Learn, they must.

They will touch your gun all over. And another one. And another one. And other one. So many makes, so many models!

Questions will be asked, probed. They’ll load your gun, but certainly won’t loathe your gun. They’ll ooh, ahh, ogle, and be in awe of your gun(s).

It goes unsaid, but for those who don’t know: you will teach them to keep it pointed in a safe direction.

They might even “borrow” your ammunition. And leave behind the brass.

Though your ammo will be spent, you’ll oftentimes expect no reimbursement.

When the moment, or day, or shooting weekend is over, they’ll express gratitude, then return your tool, graciously.

You’ll clean the instrument, without minding at all.

Not only is an armed society a polite society, it’s a gunsharing, caring society.

If you’re a righteous gun owner, you’re essentially part of the gunsharing community. Gunsharing is a voluntary, legal activity in which one person owns and shares their gun(s) with one or more people, whilst providing gun safety teaching, free of charge. This is done out of compassion, because gun owners care about sharing their knowledge, skills, and tools.

After gunsharing, fellow gun users will want to grab your gun. Because it’s so much fun. Safe, too.

Gunsharing is it’s own little sharing economy of sorts.

This post goes out to all the men and women, who, over the years, have allowed me to familiarize myself with their magnificent tools. Thank you. And you. And you. And you.

Readers, what kind of guns have you legally borrowed from other righteous gun owners? I’m bracing myself for a looooong list. Let’s hear it. Tell the gun grabbers just how far – and how safely – one gun goes.


Oh, look… the hashtag’s registered at Twubs. How nice.


Remember new shooters Kurt and Tracie?

Yesterday they went to the range with Barb and me. They haven’t purchased a gun yet but they have been looking and test fired two guns they rented at the range. Kurt has applied for his concealed pistol license and Tracie was asking good questions about shooting in self defense.

They went through 500 rounds of .22 LR, 100 rounds of 9mm, and about 20 rounds of low powered .40 S&W.

This is how we win the culture war.

New shooter report

Some friends wanted to learn to shoot so Barb and I reserved the training bay at the indoor range near us for late Saturday afternoon.

I was surprised to find both of them were right handed but left eye dominant. Many people who are cross eye dominant end up shooting with the hand which matches their dominant eye (daughter Kim is an example).

I put them at about 5 yards from the targets and gave them stance, grip, and trigger operation instructions.

I started them out shooting left handed for a couple of magazines of .22 with a suppressor then had them try shooting right handed. They both opted to continue shooting right handed. As they continued shooting I showed them how to load the magazines and operate the bolt (Ruger 22/45s) and safety.

They shot a few hundred rounds of .22 with both suppressed and unsuppressed semi-auto pistols on single targets as well as multiple bulls-eye targets. We then put up USPSA targets with “hard cover” and had them shoot two shots on the same target starting from the high ready position. We also put up barricades for them to shoot around at multiple bulls-eye targets.

I offered them some low powered .40 S&W loads. They did fine with those. I offered them full power loads. They did fine at first but then started to falter with some of the shots going a bit wild. The shots were still on the paper but off the target so to finish up for the evening I put them back on .22s.

We ended with them saying they had a really good time, asked about the class Barb recently took, and said they wanted to do it again with us.

WP_20160716_16_39_07_Pro__highresWP_20160716_17_05_32_Pro__highresWP_20160716_17_20_07_ProWP_20160716_17_38_05_ProWP_20160716_16_41_24_Pro__highresTracie with her new shooter smile.WP_20160716_16_41_51_Pro__highresKurt with his new shooter smile.

Student shooter update

Remember the student shooter who was having trouble handling the .40 S&W her husband bought her for self defense at home? Remember the light loads I was working on so she could handle the recoil better?

Yesterday she and her husband went to the range with Barb and I. She shot a Ruger SR22* with a suppressor and did great. She shot it without the suppressor and did great. She really liked the Ruger Mark II. And she shot my gun I have had all the problems (also here) with. With about 100 rounds through it yesterday there was only one failure to feed.

Her husband tried the .40 S&W with the two different light loads. The 148 PF (in my gun, probably less in theirs) worked fine. The first round of the 131 PF loads failed to cycle but worked okay after that.

She wanted to shoot the .40 S&W. I had her shoot my gun with the lightest loads. She did fine. No nausea. And her hits stayed on target although they weren’t quit as accurate as when she shot .22s. She tried her gun with the 131 PF loads. She had nothing but failures to extract even when I had her hold the gun more rigid. Moving up to the 148 PF loads fixed the problem although the ejected shell casing just barely popped out of the ejection port. She handled it fine. And I had her shooting at silhouette targets and around corners all without difficulty before our range time was up:


I sent them home with 100 rounds of the 148 PF practice ammo. And now I’m going to load up some of the self-defense Gold Dot Short Barrel bullets in a similar load for them.

Barb handled the 131 PF loads in my gun just fine too. I might load up a few for her self-defense needs as well.

* The SR22 wouldn’t cycle when using CCI Quiet-22 ammo. But it worked great with Standard Velocity. But wow, was it ever quiet.


(Almost) new shooter report

Cherie has done some shooting before. Her husband, John, gave her a .38 Special revolver and a .40 S&W semi-auto. She recently took a NRA class and shot a variety of guns but wasn’t comfortable using a gun for self-defense. This was the main reason for getting the guns in the first place.

I put her on a suppressed .22, checked her grip, and had her do some dry fire. Things looked good so I had her shoot a couple of 10 round magazines with it. She shot slow but with good accuracy.

I asked what she wanted to work on and she said she had never shot the .40 semi-auto and wanted to shoot it. Her first shot from about 15 feet away was dead center:


But it was obvious the recoil was far more than what she expected and was comfortable with. She fired a few more shots and they were still very good for a while. This was even though I could tell she wasn’t handling it too well. Then there were the two far low and right. I suggested she take a break and she agreed.

She then tried the snub nosed .38. Similar results. The recoil was just more than she was comfortable with. She said she felt nauseous.

I put her on an unsuppressed .22 and had her do double taps and target transitions from a high ready position. At first she said she couldn’t do it. I moved her to about eight feet away and encouraged and coached her. Within about 75 rounds she was doing a double tap in under a second and a transition in about 1.25 seconds with great accuracy. Almost all her shots fit under my hand on the USPSA target in the top of the lower A-Zone. There were no hits on the hostage with its shoulder just below the exposed portion of the bad guy A-Zone area.

John and Barb were doing some shooting as I worked mostly with Cherie. When John tried the double taps and target transitions he had several hits on the hostage including one directly in the center of the neck. Not good. We teased him some about that as we all tried the same exercise and he was the only one shooting the hostage once every 10 rounds or so.

After we wrapped up at the range we went to Barb’s house for dinner and I showed Cherie how to pie a corner and shoot around the corner with a plastic training gun. We talked about where to go from here because the centerfire guns just aren’t working for her.

We should review her notes on the guns she shot in the NRA class and see if we can learn anything from that. And we probably will go back to the range sometime and try some .380 and 9mm guns. But I expect the best approach will be to spend a lot of time with a .22 so that she can feel totally at ease with gun handling and accomplishing various self-defense tasks. I want her to be able to do those sort of things almost “on auto-pilot” under stress and perhaps by then, with only the recoil issue to address, she can work on shooting with one of the centerfire guns she already has.

Before and after

Yesterday, as you might imagine, there was quite a bit of talk at work about the shooting in San Bernardino. Two different people who I barely know and seldom see wanted to talk guns with me. Usually I might get one or two conversations a month.

One was a middle-aged woman who lives alone. She wanted to take a shooting class to prepare for home defense. She had done a fair amount of shooting growing up but had never taken any classes. Her boyfriend has quite a bit of rifle shooting but no handgun shooting. They both wanted to take a handgun class or two. I referred her to West Coast Armory and Insights Training. And suggested the specific classes I thought would be appropriate for their skill levels.

The second person was a young guy. He owns at least three guns and has a concealed carry permit. He had just got a new gun and it was shooting to a much different point of aim than his carry gun. He couldn’t figure out why it was so different. I figured I knew what the problem was but didn’t want to tell him until I knew for certain. I offered to take him to the range and look at his guns with him and figure out the problem. He brought the guns to work (left in his car, yes, our parking lot is an okay place for guns) and at lunch time we went to the range to do some tests.

I had him take a few shots with his gun to demonstrate the problem. I put the target at 15 feet and asked him to shoot at the top right diamond (I very deliberately suggested the TOP). Most of the .45 caliber holes below are the result:


Okay. I know what the problem is, but need him to figure it out on his own. I asked him to shoot a few rounds with his carry gun. The 9mm holes above are the result.

I then shot three rounds with his .45 at the top left diamond on the target. Here is the result:


Oh. He got a big clue and I pushed a little bit more by suggesting, “I don’t think there is anything wrong with the gun or ammo.”

He agreed and had him shoot my .22. The .22 holes mixed with .45 holes in the target above where the result. The first one was the one low and to the left. The rest were in on very close to the diamond. Much better. But I knew he could do better still.

I then had him doing some dry fire exercises. I explained what it meant and repeated the mantra as he pulled the trigger on an empty chamber again and again, “Trigger prep, sight alignment, squeeze, follow through.”

The first half dozen “shots” resulted in the muzzle of the gun dipping down as the hammer fell. He got it under control and after he had “fired” probably 20 in a row holding it rock steady I told him I was going to either have a live round in the chamber for him or it might be empty.

He again had a steady muzzle for five or six rounds before I put a live one in the chamber. It was on target. More empties and another live one. Again on target.

We talked about it for a while and he then wanted to shoot a few more rounds knowing they were all live. The top three holes below were the result:


He asked about how to aim. I explained and he said that because his guns always shot lower than than that he would always aim a little higher than what I suggested. He tried aiming as I suggested and the hole at 9:00 on the target above was the result. Close enough. I told him to go home and do lots of dry fire exercises before going to the range again. And consider getting a .22 to practice with. It will take a while to get the bad habit out of his trigger finger and dry firing 10 rounds for every one live round is what my instructors recommend.

As we left I pointed out the Insights Training flyers in the hallway to the ranges and he and I both picked up a few. He seemed very interested in taking a class and thanked me for helping him.

We went back to work where I gave the flyers I had picked up to the woman I had talked to yesterday and I figured I had done my good deeds for the day.

Changing our culture. One new shooter at a time.

Old, fat, racist, white guys

Gun rights advocates are told:

It’s as if that belief makes it acceptable to infringe upon the right of everyone to keep and bear arms. They must rationalize it as something like, “Who cares if some old fat white guys get their guns taken away from them? I’d bring the popcorn to watch that happen.” I have to imagine there were similar things said about blacks and their right to keep and bear arms and their right to vote. The KKK were Democrats and most anti-gun people are Democrats so it’s not surprising to have them have similar attitudes about the rights of their fellow citizens. Frequently we find the epitome of anti-gun rational thought process is to invoke Markley’s Law so it’s not surprising they would be able to muster much beyond the outright dismissal of the rights of “old, fat, racist, white guys”.

I frequently take new shooters to the range and I blog about all of them. I’m not selecting for any particular demographic when I post a new shooter report. It’s my complete dataset. While it’s not a large dataset and it’s all from the Pacific Northwest rather than nationwide I would like to point out it doesn’t look like only a bunch of old, fat, racist, white guys to me. Here is non-random sample of the pictures:











When someone tells you it’s only old, fat, racist, white guys who like guns send them here.

New shooter report

Several months ago Joycie expressed an interest in learning to shoot a gun. She had a couple scary incidents. One where she thought someone was in her house and another incident where a suspicious person was in her backyard.

Of course I immediately offered to take her to the range but for various reasons it didn’t happen right away. Finally Barb made the reservation for the training bay at the local indoor range and Joycie and her husband Michael put that time slot on their schedule. Here is the story from our time on the range last night:

They did the paperwork with the range, got the range safety briefing. We then walked through the normal range with stalls about half full of people shooting. Joycie jumped every shot fired but made it through to the training bay without chickening out. There we took off our hearing protection set up a table about 15 feet from the target line.

I’ve only one other student who was more nervous.

I started them out with the Ruger 10/22 with a suppressor so we could talk without hearing protection:


It was really too close for the scoped rifle, the target was just a little bit blurry, and the hits were an inch or so low from the point of aim. But these were new shooters and I wanted to make sure they could hit the paper without difficulty. They both did great with it.

Next I put the suppressor on the Ruger 22/45 and showed them how to shoot it:


Michael had no problems with it but it took Joycie a while to get the hang of getting both sights lined up on the target.

Next they tried the .22 LR revolver:


With no suppressor and such a light gun even the recoil from the .22 was intimidating to Joycie. She was able to settle down enough to get good hits by sitting at the table.

We were running out of time and I gave her the option of a 9mm or .40 S&W pistol or an AR-15. Joycie asked if the AR-15 was an Uzi and if it would shoot out all the bullets one after the other. I smiled and told her no. It was an AR-15 and it shot one bullet for each pull of the trigger just like the other guns she had been shooting. She chose the AR-15.

Michael emptied a 30 round magazine with excellent hits in probably two or three minutes. We were very short on time and Joycie fired maybe five rounds with decent hits before we had to pack up and leave before they locked the doors on us.

As is usual, there was the new shooter smile and Joycie wants to try that again:


Joycie also wants to see what competition is like and may show up to watch a pistol match sometime soon.

New shooter report

Barb’s nephew Jeff wanted to learn to shoot so Barb reserved the training bay at the local indoor range and I brought a bunch of guns and ammo.

I started him out with the safety rules, then grip, stance, sight alignment, trigger prep, squeeze, follow through, and finally dry fire. Once he had that all working pretty good he shot a .22 scoped rifle with a suppresser. Then it was the Ruger 22/45 while sitting, then while standing.


Then it was the .22 revolver:


Then the AR-15. And finally the Ruger P-89 (9mm).

Quote of the day—George Washington

So that moron who keeps spewing garbage – and doesn’t seem like he’s even listening to your responses – may actually be a bot.

George Washington
March 23, 2015
Propagandists Use Automated Software to Spread Disinformation
[We have suspected this for some time now. The anti-gun people are just so dense they could be replaced with a bot without any degradation in perceived intelligibility.

Our time is probably better spent taking new shooters to the range than it is engaging in battle on Twitter.—Joe]

New shooter report

I took a former boss of mine, Marcello, to the range today. It was over two months ago that he had express an interest in going shooting for the first time but schedules hadn’t worked out until today.

Before we stepped onto the range we did the normal safety, grip, stance, and sight alignment stuff. I thing asked what he wanted to get out of this range session. His was a different story than I had ever heard before. He was a little bit scared of guns. He wanted to resolve that. He wanted to be either comfortable with guns or know for certain that it wasn’t for him. I’m sure nearly all of my readers know how this is going to resolve.


Here is just the bull’s-eye:


That is the result of firing his first 20 rounds of .22 LR from my Ruger Mark III into a target nine feet away. I verified on another target at 21 feet the sights are a little off. The gun is shooting a little bit to the right.

I would edit the picture to emphasize his smile but it is big enough to easily see in the picture above.

I put up a more difficult target (four diamonds) and moved it out to 15 feet where he continued to do extremely well. I had him put one shot on each diamond. I had him go from low ready to fire on one diamond. I had him go from low ready to fire one round on each diamond until the gun was empty. I had him go from low ready to fire two rounds on each diamond until the gun was empty.

He kept probably 80% of the shots inside the diamonds and his speed rapidly increased.

I had him shoot a .22 LR revolver in single action mode from 15 feet. First dry fire, then live fire. He did great. Then I had him shoot double action dry fire about a dozen times. It looked pretty good even though you could tell he was struggling a little to get a consistent pause between the cylinder rotation and the hammer falling. The first cylinder of live fire was not very pretty. Everything was on paper but not many were on the diamonds. The second cylinder was much better. Nearly all were in the diamonds.

He moved on to 9 mm. Dry fire followed by a single round in the gun. He was a little bit surprised at the recoil even though I told him it would be a lot more. Then I had him shoot two rounds. All the shots were great and I had him empty a magazine into the target. Again all good and his speed was picking up as well.

I had him shoot a few rounds of .40 S&W through my STI. He could tell there was more recoil and it was a bit more than he wanted. He went back to the 9mm and soon his shots were getting a bit wild. Still on paper but not the tight groups on the diamonds like before. It had been nearly two hours on the range and I was pretty sure he was getting tired and maybe developing a bit of a flinch. I suggested he might be getting tired because of the shots weren’t as good as he was doing earlier. He agreed and we packed up and left.

I told him about professional training available from Insights offered at the same range, different range options in the area, rental guns, and competition. He seemed interested and told him I would be glad to give him more lessons. He just needs to let me know when and next time he needs to buy the ammo.

Winning. One new shooter at a time.

New shooter report

I took an almost new shooter to the range on Wednesday evening. John had gone with Ry once and shot a pistol but he wanted to learn about shooting an AR so off to the range we went with an AR and some ammo.

He did well. As we went through the dry fire exercises he said he was seeing double. There were two rear sights. One was above the other and he couldn’t seem to figure out why. I tried to duplicate it by moving my head around and changing the gun position some but was unable to.

I finally just told him to choose one and see what happened. He punched a bunch of holes in the paper in the expected places so I didn’t think about it much more.

After about 20 rounds or so there was noticeably more wobble in the muzzle of the gun. He rested a bit then finished off the last 10 rounds in the 30 round magazine.


As I explained to John because of the distance of the sight above the bore at close ranges the rifle is going to shoot quite a bit low. He shouldn’t worry about it now. Just aim at the bulls-eye and be happy if most of the bullets into nearly the same place.

They did. Notice the new shooter smile?

I put a target at 40 feet and put about 20 rounds downrange fairly rapidly to see where the bullets were going for me:

It was still shooting a little bit to the left but just a little higher than where John was hitting. I probably should tweak the windage a bit and verify where it is hitting at 100 and 200 yards but I think it is looking good for my uses.

After looking at the pictures I took a little closer I think I see why he was seeing double:

I looks like he was looking through the edge of his glasses. I wear a contact lens in that eye and that explains why I was not able to duplicate his issue. I’ll have to work on that with him.

Quote of the day—Ben

Why don’t you do this every day?

June 21, 2014
[This was after shooting a dozen or so boomers at a surprise private Boomershoot party. It was for his birthday.

Ben and three others drove from the Seattle area to the Boomershoot site. There they helped Barb and I make about 60 reactive targets and clean up Mecca. We then went to the tree-line and while Barb mounted the targets on stakes I gave them some safety and shooting instructions.

They were all essentially new shooters. I positioned them about 30 yards away and with an AR equipped with a low powered scope shot from a bench. The seven inch targets were easy pickings. There were almost zero misses.

Only one of them had ever fired an AR style rifle. Occasionally I had to remind them of one of the safety rules but they did well. And of course that new shooter smile was made all the bigger with his first shot detonating a boomer..


Update: More pictures.

Cleaning up Mecca while Barb shrink-wraps the rest of the targets.

Cleaning up the mixing equipment.

New shooter report

My former apartment manager, Mila, and I used to talk about guns and stuff. She was very interested but her boyfriend was really opposed to it and so she never took me up on my offers to take her to the range. I moved last September and hadn’t had any contact with her since then. But one of the last things I told her was to let me know if she ever wanted to go shooting. She had broke up with the guy and gotten back together a few times so I wasn’t too surprised when last week she sent me a text message asking if I was still into guns and if I would take her and her new boyfriend, Tim, shooting.

Of course.

Her new boyfriend is “really into guns” and even gave her son a 9mm handgun for his 13th birthday. He hasn’t had but just the most fundamental safety training and he was all for her getting some training from someone with formal training experience. So the three of us went to the range today.

I spent a few minutes with a plastic training gun to teach grip, stanch, sight picture, and the safety rules. Then we went into the range and started with a semi-auto .22. She had problems with the sight alignment and was shooting high and to the left, but with a pretty good group. I let her shoot a couple magazines and then worked with her on sight picture. On the second target things started clicking for her and she did well:


Then it was on to the .22 revolver.
And then the STI Eagle in .40 S&W.
She liked the .40 the best.

She was very enthusiastic and kept saying again and again how much fun this was. She said she wants to get a gun now and that she has a girl friend that has a gun and that I need to go to the range with both of them and teach her too.

Her boyfriend was in the booth next to us and was shooting his .45. He is cross-eye dominate and we talked about how to deal with that. He tried shooting weak handed, moving his head over to get better alignment, and just closing his dominate eye. Closing the dominate eye worked best for him. He also had numerous rounds that failed to fire. He showed me the cartridges and they had very light primer strikes. I suggested that the next time he cleans the gun that he clean and lubricate the firing pin and firing pin channel and then try it again.

We then went out to lunch. I invited Barb and she met us and we all had lunch together.

This is how we win the culture war. The anti-gun people don’t have anything to compete with what we have to offer.

I’ve stopped getting it

I got it earlier. It made sense earlier. It was predictable. In the fall of ’08 when a certain someone was promising to Fundamentally Transform America, and Spread The Wealth Around, it made sense that people began buying guns and ammo in huge quantities, bracing for a new round of restrictions or worse.

That was six years ago. That’s longer than the time between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the A-bombing of Nagasaki, with all the design, procurement, tooling, production and logistics efforts involved in fighting and winning a highly mechanized, all-out war over most of the planet.

So why is there still almost no powder or 10 mm bullets on the shelves?

Yes, I’m venting, and yes I’m sitting on the sidelines complaining while doing nothing about it.

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.