Before today, I had never introduced a non-shooter to shooting. I’ve been shooting for a number of years, but had been reasonably content with working on my own skills. I had had numerous opportunities to introduce others to shooting sports in the past, but wasn’t confident in my coaching skills, and lost the opportunities. So recently I decided to bone up on my skills, both shooting and coaching.
Yesterday, I finally, got my first chance to introduce two non-shooters to the sport. These two, a married couple, were clearly supporters of our Second Amendment rights, staunch ones at that. But it was principle that drove their support, not first hand experience. Bob had only shot carbines during Air Force basic training over 40 years ago. Other than that, neither had firearms experience of any sort.
I opted to ease them into the experience of learning to shoot a pistol over three separate sessions, the first being “classroom-style” at my home, covering the basics of firearm safety, and fundamentals of shooting such as sight picture, stance, grip and trigger control, hold, etc. I used actual firearms in this session to demonstrate various things and it was clear that Eva was a bit apprehensive being around the handguns right at the start.
So, the following day, rather than dive in and go to the range, where you often are standing next to other shooters making lots of noise, I dug a rarely-used, pellet pistol from the back of my gun cabinet and set up a backstop in my basement. This pistol shoots so slow and quietly that recoil and noise are virtually non-issues. And while it has a horrible trigger and is very inaccurate, the session proved invaluable in easing any fears of firing a gun for the first time.
I let that session sink in and the next day we went to a nearby indoor range with a .22 caliber Sig Trailside, my only reliable .22 pistol, and a bunch of ammo in hand. In no time, both Eva and Bob had fired a couple magazines through the Trailside with very respectable groups (click through the links and zoom in on the targets) and smiles on their faces. The took turns shooting until tired. Bob took me up on the opportunity to shoot a few of my carry-worth pistols in .38 special, 9mm, and .45 caliber.
We all had a great time. It was very rewarding to get these two started on shooting. I say started, because I heard them talking about where to shoot when they got back home to their home state of New York.
I’m pretty sure there’s going to be some more shooting fun in their future. I wholly expect that more of this sort of thing is going to be in my future.
BTW, Eva and Bob happen to be my parents 🙂