First New Shooter of 2010

I took a new shooter to the range this weekend.  Unfortunately, I was uncertain how this new shooter would perceive shooting her first firearm.  Instead of going to Sacramento Valley Shooting Center, I paid the range fee at The Gun Room.  I’ve enacted a pseudo-boycott, at best, against The Gun Room; however, is was convenient.

I brought the usual suspects:  Ruger MKIII 22/45, S&W Mod. 63, Ruger 10/22, and a Winchester 69.  I even brought a Les Baer TRP and a Glock 19 – just in case she wanted to try different calibers.

I reviewed Cooper’s four rules, The Gun Room’s rules, what she was going to learn and what to expect before entering the shooting range.  In addition, I always relate to my guests that it is their shooting day; not mine.  If a guest feels uncomfortable and it cannot be rectified, we will leave immediately.  I have yet have a shooter want to walk out, but it certainly helps the shooter relax and not feel obligated to follow through.

We checked in and The Gun Room staff inspected my firearms to visually affirm that they’re not loaded and to enforce owner implemented policy to make sure they didn’t look evil.  The usual.

Everything went well and introduced her to the Ruger MK III 22/45.  Her stance and grip looked good, and appeared that she understood what sight picture was.  As I was preparing her for the first shot, I found that I forgot the magazine!  Total fail…  I thought I could get away with chambering a cartridge, but I forgot about the magazine disconnect (yes… it’s still functional).  Rats!

I had the S&W Mod. 63 with me and the transition wasn’t complicated, so it wasn’t a horrible inconvenience.

She fired off her first shot without a problem, though we were having difficulty determining if her sight picture was correct.  Despite this, she was placing her shots consistently at 5 o’clock outside the 3″ shoot n’ see sticker at 5 yards.  After further instruction describing that the front sight should be level and sharp between the two blurry blades of the rear sight on top of the fuzzy target, she was consistently hitting the sticker!  Awesome!  She was pretty excited, too.

Several more shots were fired, then she related to me that she was tired.  We didn’t touch the other guns, but that’s OK.

She related to me that she was absolutely scared at first, but I couldn’t tell.  She was attentive, followed every bit of instruction and was SAFE.  It was a satisfactory range trip and she appeared to have a good time.  I couldn’t tell how serious she was, but she was talking about taking the Handgun Safety Certificate class. I have yet had a new shooter follow through.  I’m hoping 2010 will be the year.

Lately, I’ve discovered more new shooters who are cross dominant.  If I recall correctly, she is the 4th shooter with cross dominance.  I think it’s interesting to note, so that other instructors do not assume that a shooter’s eye is dominant relative to their dominant hand.

I also keep telling myself I should bring fewer guns. I doubt that will happen.

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Categories: Firearms, Guns


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4 Comments on “First New Shooter of 2010”

  1. January 8, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    You”re doing te Lord’s work, Derek. Hey while you are at the Shot Show, see if Ruger will loan you some of their new products for range reviews. Can’t hurt to ask. I am anxious to see your reports from the show.

  2. January 8, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Thanks! I do what I can.

    I plan to do everything I can to get manufactures/companies to loan me products to try and and review for the sake of new shooters of this sport.

    And for me, of course.

  3. January 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    Nice work, again! Both my wife and me are cross-dominant, so there’s a few more to add to your list.


  1. New California Shooter Report « - April 21, 2010

    […] very cool post, nonetheless.  Being scared or terrified often turns into having fun or being excited; this new shooter is no exception.  […]

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