Monday, January 26, 2009

New Shooter(s) Report

At the beginning of the month, I was contacted by a gentleman wishing to take advantage of my open invitation to go shooting:

My wife and I just took the NRA Home safety Course and are applying for a firearm permit. I have handled firearms before in the Marine Corps back in ’61 to ’65, however my wife has never been near a firearm before. When we get our permits we are going to get firearms. My wife wants to try some out on the range before hand so we would like to take you up on your kind offer. Please let me know when it would be convenient for you.
This past Saturday we got together for some shooty goodness. I met Jack and Mary Ann at the local public range - we would have met at my gun club except that: a) It's currently buried under about 2 feet of snow; and b) it'd be rather difficult getting Jack's wheelchair down the stairs to the basement range at the club. So we met at the local range, a place I've been going to for almost 20 years now. It's under new management, and they've made some improvements to the place.

While we waited for a range to free up, I gave my quick safety spiel and made sure we were clear on general range etiquette and "what to do if" situations (jams, FTE, etc.). I had brought some snap caps for demonstration and gave a quick overview of the operation of both revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. As Jack's e-mail mentioned, they had both taken the NRA course, so most of this was simple review - but there's no such thing as too safe when it comes to introducing a new shooter IMHO.

I brought four guns for this range session:

Smith & Wesson Model 17 in .22LR for rimfire revolver;
Smith & Wesson Model 422 in .22LR for rimfire semi-automatic;
Ruger Security Six .357 Magnum for centerfire revolver; and
Colt 1991A1 for centerfire semi-automatic.

Normally I'd have brought the SigSauer P226 for a centerfire semi-auto, but Jack requested a 1911-variant "for old time's sake" from his days in the Corps. Can't say I blame him.

We started out in the rotation shown above, with me taking the first round of shots, then Mary Ann, then Jack. Both Jack and Mary Ann shot extremely well for (long time) returning and new shooters - on the silhouette targets we started on, only a small handful of shots went outside the 9 ring for all four guns! Interestingly enough, once they had both shot all four guns, there was little interest in the rimfire offerings - they both had a distinct preference for the centerfire experience over the plinkin' .22s. Y'know, there are worse things...

Mary Ann seemed to prefer the Ruger Security Six with .357 Magnum:

Whereas Jack seemed to be most comfortable with the 1991, like spending an afternoon with an old friend:

(I love this shot!)

End result? Well, I'll let Mary Ann's Quote of the Day speak for itself:

"I'm hooked!"

We're already making plans to get together again once the snow melts for some rifle shooting and some evil orange clay killing at the gun club. And for some reason, I suspect there will be a .357 Magnum wheelgun and a 1911-style semi-auto in their future once they get their permits.

For those keeping score (*cough* Greg), that's another two new shooters - I think we can safely count a forty-year span as new...

That is all.


Anonymous said...


Baby Vulcan is shining his countenance upon you this morning. Well done, sir . . . well done.

Is the public range the not so sooper sekrit place you and I visited on a couple of occasions? If so, the lanes look quite a bit better than before.

As for Jack, being chair bound adds an extra dimension to needing better tools for self defense. I'd bet he picked up the 1991 and worked it like he was back in the corps.

- Brad

Anonymous said...

Congrats on another successful newbie outing :)

Interesting to see the same set goes out each time for introductions. :)

Jay G said...


Thank'ee kind sir.

Yes, that is one and the same. Bob's Tactical in Salisbury - and the price went DOWN with the new owners - it's only $20 to rent the range now as opposed to $25...


Thank'ee kind ma'am.

Yes, it's the same group as the last new shooter outing, and for good reason! The .22s are invaluable for getting folks used to the noise and recoil without scaring them off (although, to be fair, no one I'e brought yet has been scared off by either .357 Magnum or .45 ACP!)

I love it. I wish I could bring more folks...

Anonymous said...

Great job!

Anonymous said...

tips his hat to the gentleman from MA

Well done.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Gunnie ranks Jack and Mary Anne!

It's interesting to note that Mary Anne had the same reaction to the Ruger Security Six as my wife. She liked it so much that I got it for her birthday present as her first gun. After a thorough cleaning, it's without doubt one of the best shooting 357s I've ever used!

Mulligan said...

if you google 'new shooter' JayG is 5th on the list.

Anonymous said...