First Time Shooters Have a Blast

A number of co-workers (IT industry / computer programmer types) have expressed interest in going out shooting. Most have never fire a gun.  Last weekend I had the opportunity to take the first of my co-workers and her friend out to shoot for the first time. (It also happened to be her birthday.)

We met at Freedom Armory in Glenn Rock, PA.  

I started with a lecture on safety, the three/four rules.  After that we entered the range, providing all partipants with proper ear and eye protection.  Now the fun began…

We started off with my Ruger MK III Hunter chambed in .22 LR. We progressed through the basics, grip, keeping from being bit by the slide, use of safety, sight picture, and keeping the finger off the trigger. (Always one of the more challenging aspects for new shooters as our fingers naturally want to curl into that trigger guard.) 

My co-worker’s friend began to get into a groove and had a very nice and condensed group around the bullseye.  I could see the look of “fun” appearing on her face.

Next we moved to my Ruger GP100 loaded with .38 Specials. A change in action, feel, and intensity. I explained that there would be additional recoil, but thanks to the weight of firearm it would not be significantly more than the .22LR.   We progressed to both shooters firing off some .357 Magnums –warned in advance that this would be a different level of heightened intensity.  And that within the confines of the indoor range they would experience the sensation of the air being moved and bouncing off the aisle walls.

Once again my co-worker’s friend was doing very well stayin on target.  She found the double-action trigger pull challenging and went with a cock and fire pattern. 

My co-worker while having a bit more difficulty in general staying on target did very well with the double-action pull.

Not bad for a first time shooter!

Clearly, my friend’s friend needs to start looking for a league!

We also discussed some understanding of the history of firearms & gun control, misnomers often repeated in the media.  Explaining those so-called “high powered assault weapons” use cartridges that are dwarfed by most deer hunting rifles.  How those tubular barrel shrouds are a safety device to keep one from being burned by the barrel. And how when you’re fielding an army of tens of thousands of soldiers of varying sizes, from 7ft tall men to 5ft tall women, having an adjustable stock made out of plastic simply makes a rifle more ergonomic – not more dangerous.

“Just like how in the movies they always do these impossible things with computers.”  they stated….and I was like “Exactly!”

I believe it was an eye-opening experience, and both seemed to have a great time. I’d call it a success as both new shooters and are interesting in pursuing things further. One purchased a 1 year membership at Freedom Armory as she passes by that way often, the other bought a hoodie sweatshirt.

Some interesting conversation has arisen since. My friend now sports two empty brass casings pinned to her cubicle wall. We discussed how the gun community is almost like a secret society, and that she might discover it’s akin to a “coming out party”.  I shared a couple of occasions in churches where the topic has turned from God to guns and the discovery that most of us owned firearms and were shooters.

Sure enough, she approached me at work, about how now she’s finding out how all different people she know have gone shooting and owned guns.  It’s almost like once the veil is removed, there are a lot more gun-lovers out there than anyone realizes.  And I think we’ve just grown that number by 2.

2008 in Review / 2009 Gun Resolutions

2008 in Review:

Firearms Acquired:
– Ruger P-345 (first carry weapon)
– Ruger LCP
– Glock 17 (used)
– Mosin-Nagant (first rifle)
– Ruger Mini-14 Target (first new rifle)

– Signed up for the Easy-Pay NRA Lifetime Membership
– Began process of becoming an EVC
– Attended first “Friends of the NRA” meeting.

– NRA First Steps
– NRA Basic Pistol
– NRA Basic Defense in the Home

The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery by Massad Ayoob
Black Man with a Gun by Kenn Blanchard
Gun Facts
Common Sense by Thomas Paine

People I Brought to the Range:
– Father-in-Law (already a gun owner, but hadn’t been to the range lately) [1]
– Sister-in-Law’s husband and three young nephews [4]
– Pastor [1]
– Brother-in-Law, Sister-in-Law and her boyfriend [3]
– Co-worker (hunted when younger, had shot, but we went out together and I was able to help improve his aiming – we both have a GP100 6″) [1]

Total of 10 people I brought to the range.

Internet & Culture:
– Started the N.U.G.U.N. Blog
– Did a review for Gun Review Podcast @GRRN
– Attended a “carry” dinner


2009 Gunnie Resolutions:

(I am updating these and striking them through as they are achieved)

Acquire the following arms:
– 10/22
– Shotgun
– Others 🙂

Buy a house:
– Then I can buy a safe

NRA Involvement:
Become the local EVC
Become authorized to sign-up new members to the NRA
– Help with local Friends of the NRA events
Sign-up 5+ new members
– Sign up 25 new members (new updated goal)

Personal Training:
– Dryfire weekly
– Compete and do so without errors.
– NRA Personal Defense and/or other CCW course
– NRA Basic Rifle
– Advanced tactical course
– Appleseed Event (I was encouraged to attend one. And seeing as I have little to no experience shooting rifles. I think it’d be beneficial. And it was pretty affordable so I am adding this to my goals.)

Future Reading:
The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry by Massad Ayoob (acquired)
In the Gravest Extreme by Massad Ayoob (acquired) [Read]
Principles of Personal Defense by Jeff Cooper (acquired) [Read]
Dial 911 and Die by Richard Stevens [Read]
– Gun-Proof Your Children by Massad Ayoob (endeavoring to acquire)
– Stressfire by Massad Ayoob (on the list to get)
The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms by Stephen Halbrook

– Take at least 5 people to the range.

Internet & Culture:
– Further the N.U.G.U.N. Blog
– Do more reviews and auxilliary podcasts for the GRRN.
– Attend at least 2 “carry” dinners.
– Attend a “gun blogger” event.

This post was inspired by MArooned’s recent post here! If you don’t read MArooned’s blog YOU SHOULD!!!  It is one of my favorite gun blogs.