Monday, September 8, 2008

Two For Two...

Two weekends, two new shooters.

As I mentioned earlier, this weekend was round 2 (Electric Boogaloo) for new shooter Liz and her husband (returning shooter) Bill. We were getting together at Liz's request for another round of shootie goodness, and this time my thought was to introduce rifles. I planned to keep it simple, .22LR only, and we could stay on the pistol range for all shooting.

Well, as they say, the best laid plans of mice and gunnies...

I got a call on my cell phone around noonish. Look at the number, I recognized it as Liz's number and started to worry that they weren't going to be able to make it. Heh. I should have known better.

[Liz] Hi Jay, I've got a question for you.

[me] Shoot. {yes, I use gunnie puns even IRL}

[Liz] Would it be okay if my dad came along? He's never shot a gun before.

Well, that was the magic phrase right there. Apparently, Liz and Bill mentioned that they were going shooting a while back, and her dad decided he wanted to give it a try. I didn't traumatize Liz sufficiently in her initial outing, so they felt comfortable introducing her dad to me so that I could be his guide into the fun and challenging world of the shooting sports. Her dad's an engineer and had a keen insight into the mechanics of shooting, particularly recoil and how to best manage it.

After a quick overview of gun safety, rules of the club, and general shooting issues like stances, loading & unloading, how to grip the various pistols, etc., we got down to the very serious business of converting currency into noise...






Naturally, we start off easy, with the Smith & Wesson Model 17 .22LR:


This gun is worth its weight in gold for new shooters. I can't stress enough how the hefty weight, long barrel, and .22LR chambering make it a very comfortable fit for a new shooter - there's no recoil to speak of; it's fairly quiet; and the target trigger, hammer, and long barrel make even the greenest of shooters look good (it can't help me any, but hey...).






Next up was the Smith & Wesson Model 19 stoked with modest 158 grain .38 special ammo. Dwight's first comment was priceless: "It's certainly a lot more... loud than the first gun!"

I would normally have brought the Ruger Security Six for a first-time shooter, rather than the Model 19, except that I found out about the noob after I'd loaded everything up (and since the Model 19 was already in the case...). I elected to skip the S&W 422 from last time, as I hadn't had a chance to sight in the red dot yet (note to self - get to the range solo sometime soon!).

Obviously I need to buy another semi-automatic .22LR...

And, yes, we even got to send some fire-breathing rather tame .357 Magnum rounds downrange. I'll need to remember to bring some of the 125 grain screamers for a proper introduction to the .38 special's unruly big brother...






And, of course, everyone's favorite, the Colt 1911:


Dwight wasn't terribly impressed with the 1911, feeling that the grip was just a little too long for his reach. Once he got comfortable with it, though, he had a lot of fun. Punching large caliber holes in targets is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, even if it is the first time...

I was starting to get a little worried about Bill, though. From the moment he laid eyes on the Gold Cup in my gun case I could tell he was salivating over the prospect of shooting it. And, naturally, he shot it better than I did, putting three of the first four shots into an area no larger than a quarter about ¼" from the bullseye...






The last gun for the newbie shooter was my new mystery gun, which will remain a mystery until Friday. I'll offer up a quick hint here:


And mention that it's an excellent rifle for breaking leftover clays at the 25 yard berm. Liz managed to catch me cheering Dwight's excellent rifle shooting - he nailed three clays in a row after only a couple of trial shots with the rifle.






So...

Now, two weeks in a row, I've brought a new shooter to the range. Two new MA residents who previously had no experience whatsoever handling a firearm have been indoctrinated. One is a returning shooter, so I think we can consider at least one more person drawn into the addicting world of the gunnie. Jury's still out on Dwight's experience - when I asked what he thought, he mentioned that it was "Very interesting" and that he had a "pleasant afternoon."

It was only later that Bill took me aside and mentioned that, for Dwight, that was high praise indeed. (Edit: a direct quote from Bill in an e-mail: "'very enjoyable' is Dwight-speak for WOOHOO". Heh.)

Time will tell if we've pulled another person into our ranks, but the effort has been made...

That is all.

3 comments:

jimbob86 said...

Liberating Massachussetts one voter at a time! KUDOS to You, Sir!

DJ said...

Iffy photo of it, but based on what little I can see, my guess is a Remington of some sort...perhaps a Speedmaster?

Cowboy Blob said...

You RAWK!

I'm guessing a Nylon 66.