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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: IF YOU CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A LEARNING EXPERIENCE AT THE RANGE ...

My father-in-law.  new shooter
It is very important to practice with your firearm especially for self-defense (home or CC).  I wanted to share one incident I observed when I visited a shooting range.  It is a learning experience.
 
I was shooting at a range when a father and daughter arrived and set up at a station 25 feet to my right.  No partitions at this range so I could see them.  The daughter, my guess 15-16 years old, was a good shot with their .22 pistol.  All seemed to be ok.
 
Out came a .45 semi-automatic pistol the father wanted his daughter to shoot.  She was not a new shooter but must have been new to that gun and caliber based on her comments.  She said several times she was scared of the kick.  The father explained the gun to her and said she will be fine.  She said again she was scared of the kick and seemed nervous.  He put in a magazine, advanced one round in the chamber, put the safety on and set the gun down.  He wanted her to shoot the gun …
 
He said “Shoot the Gun” as he walked behind her and stood 4 feet back to watch.  She picked up the gun and said she was so nervous, pointed the gun down range … and after aiming and re-aiming several times finally pulled the trigger.  BANG … the gun kicked but she was ok. 
 
From 25 feet to her left what I observe next blows my mind.
 
After her shot she smiled, looked relieved, then pointed the gun at herself and looked at the barrel.  It would have been a sweep of me except she was pointing the gun up and at her face.  I have no idea what she was thinking!!  Was she looking for smoke?  Looking at the diameter of the barrel?  She was a right handed shooter so I have no idea if her finger was still on the trigger.
 
From standing where he was and his lack of reaction to what I observed I don’t think the father saw her point the gun at herself and look at the barrel.  I heard him say “good job” to encourage her.
 
She put the gun down and turned around toward her father with a big smile on her face.  Then he said “Keep shooting, there are 4 more rounds in the magazine”.  Not to get technical but being a semi-automatic there would have been one round in the chamber and 3 more in the magazine.  It only took her a few seconds to realize she pointed a gun with a live round at her head … she turned white and froze.
 
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for your own gun.
Instruct, Instruct, Instruct … Safety, Safety, Safety.
If someone isn’t comfortable with a gun or the recoil they will experience its ok if they pass.
 

This guy’s daughter could have blown her head off.
The guy should have been right there instructing her not 4 feet behind her watching.
ONLY ONE CARTRIDGE.  There is no reason he should have put 5 rounds in the magazine.

I shoot quite a bit and have taken many people who have never held a gun to my club to shoot for the first time.  What is the most important thing??  SAFETY FOR YOU … SAFETY FOR THEM … AND SAFETY FOR EVERYONE ELSE AT THE CLUB ...  Range Safety is paramount.  Follow the NRA SAFETY RULES and your CLUB RANGE RULES people!!


For any new shooter you should be instructing them:
  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded
  • Always point the gun down range (No sweeps. Explain what a sweep is.)
  • Be sure of your target and beyond
  • Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the well until ready to shoot and off the trigger when finished shooting
  • How to hold the gun (unloaded of course), how to stand, how to aim with the sights, etc. 
  • Safety is always the most important thing.

You can make a person’s shooting experience safe, fun, and enjoyable.  I also know it can be intimidating to shoot a larger caliber gun because of the kick and the noise.  If someone is scared to shoot something let them off the hook … it’s not a big deal.


My daughter Kate ...
I have had several new shooters try my Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum.  Big Kick, Loud, Spits Fire, ROAR.  I take the gun out, make sure it’s unloaded, show them its unloaded, and set it down always pointing down range.  I explain how to hold the gun, how to aim with the sites, they can dry fire it so I have them pull the trigger (single and double action) so they know how it feels.  If they are not comfortable it ends there.  Several with me have ended there.
 
If they are comfortable I put in ONE CARTRIDGE and set the gun down.  I explain again always point the gun down range.  They pick up the gun.  I stand just behind their shoulder.  I tell them this is not about a bullseye or a center mass shot.  It’s for them to experience the feel of the gun recoil.  I tell them to aim at a target down range a when ready pull the trigger.  BANG … once can be enough.  If it is, that’s ok.  They can say they shot a .44 Magnum.   If they want to shoot more, we do so.  Safety is always the most important thing.
 

My mother-in-law.  new shooter
Don’t be an idiot like that guy was with his daughter.  Don’t make assumptions about another person’s ability to operate or shoot your gun.  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE.  If you don’t know what you’re doing take a class.  Get some instruction yourself.  There are plenty of classes offered or people at your club that would be glad to help if you ask.

If you’re not responsible you put EVERYONE at risk.  Be safe … Have fun …

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