New Shooter #2 of 2010

These two are from Hawaii visiting family.  The mother is the a family friend and her son is 11 years old.

Andrew, her son, saw me pack up Sunday morning for the range.  The unusually long duffel bag filled with enough equipment to last me three shooting days piqued his interest and asked where I was going.

In my personal life,  I rarely speak to acquaintances  about my passion for firearms, and these folks were not an exception.  I know little about Andrew’s background and the mother was a former trauma physician; I think some readers might understand my apprehension (Dr. Garen Wintemute comes to mind).

Despite my paranoia, I opened the long bag and pulled out a Springfield M1A, Marlin 25MN and an AR15 with a dedicated .22LR upper.  Before I handed a rifle to him, I described and demonstrated the processes of clearing the firearm and the importance of assuming that all firearms are loaded.  As I handed him the rifle,  I made sure to let him know to keep the  finger off the trigger and point it in a safe direction.  I noted that the safe direction in this instance was the ceiling.

He related to me he has only shot BB guns.  Andrew handled the rifles and  observed that they were, indeed, heavy.  I offered to take him to the range the following day if his mother was okay with it.  She happened to be in the same room.  To my surprise, she appeared to encourage this experience.  Later that evening, the mother agreed to tag along too!

Like many introduction to firearms demonstrations before, I discussed: safe handling of a firearm, anatomy of the firearm, sight alignment, sight picture, grip,  and stance.

You may notice that Andrew has a cast.  He did just fine.  He didn’t have good use of this thumb, so I had him adapt using his middle and index finger to charge the bolt on the Ruger Mark III 22/45.  I caught myself a few times before I attempt to correct other adaptations he made.  For example, he would use the table surface to seat the magazine.  Silly, right?  There would have been no reason to correct this.

As I was explaining and demonstrating grip and stance to her son, the mother mimicked my physical positioning.  She was totally into it and appeared she absorbed the information well.

Andrew shot several rounds out of a Ruger Mark III 22/45, Winchester 69 and Ruger 10/22 shooting from 5 yards, 25 ft and 25 yards, respectively.  I was impressed with his marksmanship with the Winchester.  Most individuals struggle with the bullhorn sights, but he nailed the target on his first shot!

The mother did well, too.  She only shot 8 rounds, but she enjoyed herself.  She described her first shot as “terrifying.”  The second shot.  “Exhilarating.”   I’m under the impression she would have done better. I think she understood the concept of sight alignment and picture very well; however, she was unable to acquire it with her old prescription glasses.  She believes she would have done much better with her new prescription.

Later that evening, she related to me how grateful  she was for the experience.   The mother admitted that she has a tendency to avoid activities that traditionally result in injuries she used to treat as a trauma physician; however, she noted that shooting a firearm was “very empowering.”  She related to me that she used to be quite the marksman in high school, but the wonders of sciences distracted her from pursuing firearms as a sport.

The mother also recalled that her father used to have a bolt action rifle – it could be inside an old house somewhere.  I hope she is able to find it and put it to good use; for her son or herself.

Tags: , ,

Categories: Firearms, Guns


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2 Comments on “New Shooter #2 of 2010”

  1. February 20, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Very cool.


  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.  It’s nice […]

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