Thursday, June 25, 2015

New Shooter Created

I took a young lady that I know from work to the range, because she's never shot or even held a real firearm before and she wanted to see what it was like.

OK, she was cute and single. That helped. It even got me to overlook the fact that she gave money to one of the anti-gun groups that was out panhandling in DC last year. She at least admitted that she didn't know enough about the issue to really have an opinion either way, hence her desire to come out to the range with me.

I decided to keep it simple for her first-ever outing, so I brought one of my Smith and Wesson Model 10 revolvers out for her to try, with some light-loaded handloads. I also brought a .22 rifle in the form of the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22, mainly because of it's easy-to-use peep sight and adjustable stock, as she's a bit on the petite side. (And cute!)

First I took her through the safety rules, and then we did a sit-down and went over the parts of each firearm and their function. I taught her the proper grip and stance and sight picture, and finally got her to the point where she was ready to go out on the firing line and fire an actual live round. And we started with one round in the pistol, then another, and then another, until she was comfortable enough to load and fire six.

Alas, she never got comfortable with even that little .38, calling it "too loud" and "too smoky" and she didn't like the recoil of even my powder puff light loads. The pistol went back in the case before even half a box of ammo was fired.

I could tell that she wanted to call it a day there, but she didn't want to look like a quitter after driving an hour and a half out to my place for this, so I suggested lunch right after she tried the .22. She agreed to that, and I figured that it's be a token ten rounds or so and then we'd be gone. Already she's said that she didn't like the look of the M&P 22. But she agreed to give it a try.
Starting at seven yards, I fired five to show her that it didn't kick or make a lot of noise, and then she took the rifle. She fired a round. Then another. Then another, and another...ten rounds went downrange in short order, each one of them hitting the target, if not exactly the center. And when she'd finished, she had the beginning of a smile on her face.
"This could be dangerous..." she said.
"What do you mean?" I asked her.
"I think I like this one," she replied, grinning.
The rest of the ammunition was loaded and fired over the next half an hour or so, and I coached her on stance and sight picture and a proper cheek weld. She didn't become Olympic-quality with that hundred rounds, but by the time the ammo was gone, she was at least safely handling the rifle on her own. She didn't care for the .38--and wouldn't even try my .45--but that little .22 was just the ticket.

Next we went out for lunch and we talked guns, in particular, the politics of gun control and the myths vs. reality. And a few hours after she left, I got a text from her telling me that she now wants to shoot in the upcoming Appleseed shoot at the range.

I may not have created the next Jessie Duff here, but if nothing else, I think that I at least pulled her back from the likes of Bloomberg and his astroturf lackey, Shannon Watts.

Oh--and did I mention "cute"?

And just because it might irk someone in B.O.'s administration:

Model M&P15-22 Rifle (Standard)
$499.00 * *Suggested Retail, Dealer Sets Actual Pricing

SKU: 811030
.Model: M&P15
.Caliber: .22LR
.Capacity: 25 Rounds
.Action: Blow Back Semi-Auto
.Overall Length: 33.75" Extended, 30.5" Collapsed
.Stock: 6 Position CAR Stock
.Sight Radius: 15.5"
.Barrel Length: 16"
.Barrel Twist: 1 in 15"
.Weight (No Mag.): 5.5 lbs.
.Trigger Pull: 7 lbs. (approx.)
.Upper & Lower Material: Polymer
.Barrel Material: Carbon Steel
.Finish: Matte Black
.Front Sight: Adj. A2 Post
.Rear Sight: Adj. Dual Aperture
.Purpose: Recreational/Hunting


  1. I would say "pictures or it didn't happen", but I'm just too happy you have created a new shooter to even care. Perhaps a Ruger MkII or a Buckmark or something a little softer than even those .38 target loads - you must have something like that somewhere. Then let her graduate to the .38.

    Good job, ML.

    1. I have no target .22 pistols sadly, and I wanted pics but she wasn't keen on that. Perhaps next time.

  2. You forgot to mention.......was she cute??

  3. Ya gotta love the "new shooter smile"though. And evidently she was cute, so bonus points. Congrats.

  4. Education carries its own set of consequences.

  5. Yah, if you're going to do the "new shooter" thing, a .22 LR pistol will make it easier. You can find a used Ruger Mark I or Mark II available for less than $300, usually.

  6. Well done, sir. Outstanding!

  7. And she wants to do the Appleseed! WIN! That 15-22 is a decent choice for Appleseed. I am sure you can find an M-1 sling... somewhere.......maybe I just wish there were short mags for it. Do not let the bolt close on the chamber flag. It is know for ejecting the extractor.. sproing! Good luck finding it in the dirt.

  8. Good for HER!
    (and you...)

    Taking women shooting can be terrific! (careful post-shooting you clean guns and wash before untoward nitrite particles go where you don't want them!)


  9. And it sounds as though a good time was had by one and all which is what an introductory shooting lessons is supposed to achieve.

  10. Hey Murphy

    You done good, Besides educating her, you also got her excited about shooting. That is one more educated voter away from the democraps. There is nothing like seeing the smile of a new shooter...that is worth the hassle and by each person that you teach, that will keep the sport alive.

  11. When taking a new female shooter to the range, I STRONGLY recommend she wear a high, closed neck shirt. Especially with a .22 pistol! Yeah, it spoils the visuals, but you don't want to discourage further sessions from the interaction of hot brass and cleavage...

  12. Anonymous9:26 PM

    By the way was she cute?:-)

  13. Nicely done Sir!

  14. Very nicely done! :-)

  15. I had never fired a gun until 2 years ago. My boyfriend had me go through the basic pistol class and the first time I fired I was hooked. A favorite date night now is the shooting range. Can't wait to shoot the AR again too!!!

  16. The woman I'm sort of dating asked me recently to teach her to shoot. Since she had told me on a prior date that a former boyfriend had once started to teach her, I felt compelled to ask if he was still alive.

    She indicated he is, so I asked a few more questions to gauge where to start my syllabus. She had a decent understanding of the typical calibers and the difference between revolvers and self-loaders, and indicated she liked shooting a .38 but not a .45.

    At one point in the convo, she said "I don't have a lot of strength in my hands, could you suggest something I can grip well?" Before I could even raise an eyebrow, gave me a "that's not what I meant" look.

    Go figure.

  17. Well done and good luck. That M&P 15-22 works every-time for making new shooters happy now doesn't it?

  18. Kudos!!! :fistbump:

  19. A good day's work! And cute!