Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another Weekend with New Shooters

I spent Friday night on a date with my wife and some others shooting. My wife was disappointed that none of the younger couples we invited were able to come. They have all expressed interest, but just had things come up.

Anyway, on this outing there was 1 true new shooter (never shot a gun before) that had attended the class at our church I wrote about before. Her husband was with her and he had shot bolt action .22s in Boy Scouts 25 years ago. Another older lady came along on the recommendation of another friend. She described to me how she had shot a rifle long before I was born.

We went over the 4 safety rules as a refresher for everyone and had our targets all set up (5 yds, 10 yds, 25 yds, 50 yds, 100 yds, and one 12inch skillet at 200 yds). My wife helped the two women get started on the .22 pistols and I helped the other man get started with the .22 rifle. The first thought I had was how some things in shooting I take for granted. After showing him how to load the rifle and chamber a round, I took aim and fired at the 25 yd target (we were using paper plates). I hit about a 1/4 inch off of center. Pretty good I thought since I was standing and didn't take a lot of time to aim.

Then I handed him the rifle so he could get comfortable with it. After a few seconds of standing and trying to hold the scope steady on the target he said he couldn't keep it still and wanted to know why it kept moving all over. I explained that it was because he was human and breathed and suggested that he sit at the bench to get some more support. That worked for him. After the first shot he wanted to know what he needed to do to get the shell out. I explained again that it was automatically ejected. "Cool, so I don't have to chamber a round each time?" Yep, that is the beauty of semi-automatics.

He shot more and we progressed up the line of rifles: 9mm carbine to Mosin-Nagant. We ended up having a dueling match, him with the Mosin-Nagant and me with the AK, trying to hit the skillet out at 200 yds. When we retrieved it at the end of the night, there were three holes in. I am pretty sure that one of them was me shooting the Mosin Nagant with iron sights (the sight post completely covers the skillet at 200 yds) earlier since one of the other guys there was watching and said that the skillet moved after I took a shot. The other two holes it is kind of hard to tell who hit it, 7.62 makes the same size hole. I did actually try to pay attention to the fireball from the Mosin-Nagant when I was shooting it. My wife took video and using the slow mode, it is rather impression, about 1foot high and 2 feet long. The one thing I didn't do that I wanted to was save a few rounds to fire off at sunset to really see the fireball. Oh well, I guess I'll have to remember next time.

The Saiga-12 was used to make confetti out of a box of paper and a couple of phone books. I am not sure if this is the quickest way to make confetti, but it sure is a fun way to. I think that the others shot about 15 shells at it, while I shot the remaining 60. Did I mention that I like the Saiga-12?

For handguns, we had a good mix: 22, 9mm, 357 and 44 Magnums. The old lady who came by herself latched on to the 22 revolver. My wife made the observation that a lot of the older ladies the last time we went liked the revolver as well. Maybe its a generational thing? Later my wife admitted she didn't care for the revolver at all, because you are constantly loading AND unloading. She would rather just shoot. Hmmm....maybe I could use this as a way to get a drum magazine. I hear that there is one for a 10/22 that is a 50 round capacity. Or I could get a Glock with the 33 round magazine. That might make her happy. The next time someone asks why anyone would need a 50 round drum, just think of my wife, the new poster girl for truly high-capacity magazines: "Because when I go shooting, I want to shoot, not load and unload."

While there weren't as many people as last time, it was still a great trip because I got to shoot more of the lead down range. For those that we talked to and missed out, we'll try to arrange for another trip in the future.


  1. Congrats and great job on the new shooters.

    You are doing much to keep our rights alive and well.

    I hope that you are dropping Greg at West, By God blog a note with all the new shooters

    He runs a friendly competition/scorecard of all the bloggers who introduce folks to shooting if you didn't know.

    Looking to get a .22 revolver myself, both for training and new shooters. Any suggestions for the budget minded shooter?

  2. I picked up a used Bounty Hunter (from EAA) for $175. You can also buy a 22 magnum cylinder for it, but 22LR is fine for me. Just scrounge around the gun shows and pawn shops until the right deal comes along.

  3. That Bounty Hunter looks great.

    Our club has a swap meet on the 4th of July every year. I'm hoping that I can find one reasonably priced but with everyone trying to save money that might be difficult.

    Thanks for the advice.

  4. I didn't know that I was a poster child for anything. But thanks honey!