I must talk a good game

I took another total-newbie to the pistol range the other day, a place I go to quite a bit and feel comfortable with. I like taking novice shooters out: it’s a skill I think everyone should at least be able to perform (if not like it, I’m not saying everyone should love it) and many continue, citing their positive early experiences.

I try my best to instill safety (x3) and fun. Everyone enjoys their first trip to shoot with me so far, and I’ve taken several. I like this.

We start with a single action .22 pistol I bought from Kim DuToit a long time ago, and progress as the shooter gets comfortable. Next is a Ruger .22 automatic, then a 9mm, .40 (both Sigs), then to cap the experience some shots through a Desert Eagle in 44 Mag. (It’s a long story, I wasn’t looking for it, it found me).

Adding to this range session was my latest acquisition, a .45 Springfield XD-45. After the novitiate was comfortably independently shooting the 9mm, I started getting to know the .45, and it’s fine. More than fine, it shoots like I want it to, and well. More on this someday.

(Like most people who go to the range with some frequency, I also watch all the shooters on the line and get a feel for how they handle their weapons, how they shoot generally, with an eye for when I need to get myself and my shooters off the line. This day, no real worries, except for That Guy. TG was shooting some very big calibers from pistols, and was reliably hitting the back wall. That and he’s not a safety hazard to others were the best that could be said). (The lady getting the lesson would easily qualify for her CHL, and good for her).

We’re shooting for an hour and a half or so, with a decent amount of the gentle instruction needed, the very occasional safety thing (thumbs on autos are most common), and life is very good. I have some Zombie Targets to keep shooters having fun (be honest, shooting round dots on paper gets boring), and I’m having some fun emptying/testing new mags on one of the zombies from the new XD. (Zombie Steve didn’t make it).

So, we’re packing up, and That Guy turned and asked me “Do you have a card”? (I froze; I’ve never been asked this on a range, several times in the ED, but I have learned to expect that.) “Uh, no..?” I lamely replied, and TG confessed “I’ve bought these guns and can’t hit anything, I need some lessons”. Aah, I have an answer for you: this range has a couple of good instructors, so as tactfully as I could I recommended he contact the ranges’ instruction staff.

Made me feel good, though. Maybe I should do some instruction. Wouldn’t replace my day job, though…


  1. Mrs. Fred says:

    Aha! The “teacher gene” still exists! Nice to know that you can share what you know with others. (That’s what teachers do, after all.)

  2. Jim in Plano says:

    While I encourage people to buy and shoot firearms I’m a little surprised this guy bought some large calibre pistols (I assume) out of the blue and start banging away at paper.

    Speaking about thumbs, I first learn to shoot my father’s 1911 (a REAL 1911, made in 1913) It had that honking long tang on the hammer and it smashed the crap outta my thumb web. A life long lesson never forgotten.

  3. But oh, if it could become a paying gig, what a delight, eh? One of my great joys is teaching my kids to shoot and watching as they outshoot me. My 15-year-old son is exceptional with my Ruger GP-100; though we load it with .38 Special, not .357 Mag. Sounds like a great day. Maybe we can go to the range together someday!

  4. There is a shooting range just up the street from me here in Thailand. Can make for a fun afternoon sometimes. Different here though, you rent a firearm for your shooting and it comes with a trainer who loads for you and takes care of just about everything.

  5. TheNewGuy says:

    Grunt, it’s good to see you preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

  6. SWATMedic says:

    Zombie targets are great and does draw some laughs…which are much needed at times. Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics makes some great targets that have an anatomical background that will do wonders for showing people just how “good” they are on their hits. I have pulled numerous guys to the side to shoot on the targets to show what is and is not working for them.