View Full Version : Advice appreciated
I will be introducing 3 women (wife and 2 friends) to shooting in the next week.
What things would you advise that I cover or not do (besides not be condescending, macho, or start them out shooting my .45 Super)?
See if any of them have any experience with guns. Then, safety rules first (a way to keep from sounding high and mighty is to point out to them that you can make mistakes to, and have!)
Then, mechanics. Pick an easy gun (I really suggest a .22 revolver, DA like a Smith.) Plenty of ammo. Make sure they know how to manipulate the gun well before firing live ammo. Also, basics like alighing the sights, trigger squeeze, proper grip.
Then, after they have fired their first shots, give them pleny of ammo (another reason a .22 is best), and let them have at it till they are tired of shooting. You can use bigger guns later, it will take time for them to internalize what they have learned.
The whole point is for them to get comfortable with the idea of guns and shooting. Later you can shoot 'combat' style, but at first, just get them to enjoy the day shooting.
I second the previous poster's comments. I constantly am called on to take first time women shooters out to the range. I have an excellent reputation with the lady shooters as being patient and a great instructor. Here is what I have found works for me:
1. Pre Range safety and "what to expect" briefing. I cover 4 basic rules of gun safety, indoor range policies, misfire and squib procedures, safe operation of handguns that are coming with, and basic shooting techniques
2. On range, I start by demonstrating all guns that she will shoot.
3. Usually, I start a first timer (I've only had one that had experience) with a Ruger 22/45 or MK I. A .22 LR is great to teach sight alignment, trigger squeeze, proper stance and grip. I usually only have them put 50-100 rounds through the .22. I then move to a 9mm or .38. Usually it is the 9mm, a S&W 6906 or Glock 19 works well. Again, 50-100 rounds with lots of emphasis on sights, trigger and not anticipating recoil. With the .22, I have them shoot slow-fire pistol target bulls, then with all others, I go to man-silhouettes. Women seem to shoot well at the man. ;) After the 9mm, I let them put a few rounds through my Glock .40s, I have found women love the sub-compact Glocks and usually outshoot me with them. The last one is saving up to buy a 26 as we speak. Then, I take them out to the rental case and let them pick something to rent. Just for fun.
4. I usually keep range sessions to an hour or an hour and a half. I never fault them, only encourage and give praise, even if they miss completely. By the end of the session, out of 6 shooters I have taken, none have failed to keep at least 10 rounds in the 10 ring at 25'.
5. Hope this all helps. Good Luck. Jeremy
women or men, new shooters should be treated similarly. the only difference i have noticed is that women in general seem to want to know just how the gun works before they shoot it (i don't mean take it apart and show them, but more in the explanatory mode), whereas men in general seem to just want to shoot the darn thing and who cares what makes it work. :) demonstrate, demonstrate, demonstrate.
start with the 4 safety rules. give them to them on a sheet of paper to keep and memorize and keep repeating them a lot while you are showing them things and explain why those rules will keep them from making a mistake they will surely regret. :)
if you have a .22 pistol, let them shoot it first. jeremy is right on that for sure.
keep the session to a reasonable length. you want them to go home exhilerated not exhausted :o)
start them out shooting at bad breath range, it will help their confidence.
repeat the basics, like sign alignment and general shooting (fighting) posture, alot. don't worry so much about details.
that's my 2 cents worth. you get what you pay for, of course
One other piece of advice:
After showing them how to manipulate whatever guns you bring, WALK AWAY and let them shoot.
My buddy's wife was totally turned off by shooting because he would hover over her every time they went shooting, correcting her stance, sighting, rack technique, and everything else. When I finally persuaded her to go with me, I left her the hell alone and concentrated on my own shooting.
She ended up having to clear a malfunction and was thrilled to death to be able to do it on her own. Naturally, keep a weather eye out for stupid and/or dangerous behavior, but otherwise, let 'em be! ;f
Are the friends hot??? If so, let them do anything that they want and then take them out for some celebratory cocktails and maybe a pillow fight later that night.
I took some girls that were part of a church group shooting a little while ago. many of whom were first time shooters. and found that they were much more teachable then the boys that I have taken on a first outing. not once did any of them make me nervous about safe gun handling. it turned out to be a very rewarding experence
hunter, pillow fight??? WTH?
What G&K said about "hovering." I would add based on experiences with GFs: explain how firearms operate (takes the mystery away), start with a .22, and then let them do it without the weapon and then dry. Do NOT, I repeat do not comment on their shooting. No technical stuff (yet)! Only say "good job" or "that's it."
It's as if some females are conditioned to be afraid or put off by firearms. Getting technical with triangle or Weaver or whatever will only cause eyerolls or frustration. Keep 1st session short.
With new shooters I adhere to the "one bullet" rule.
Put only one bullet in the magazine or cylinder, or let them put one bullet in, and shoot it. Repeat until you are satisfied they can handle it.
The reason is that new shooters have a tendency to want to turn around and talk about each shot. If you've loaded the mag up with eight rounds, you might be looking down the barrel of a loaded gun. Of course, the traditional range officer position allows you to push the shooter's arm back forward, but this is an additional safeguard.
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