Sunday, June 7, 2009

Having Fun with New Shooters - Part 2: Hands On

After our break, we split up into three smaller groups. At first some of the women were worried that they would only get to shoot the guns for the class they went to. I assured them that they could shoot everything on Saturday.

Each class was focused on the practical application of the four safety rules with respect to each class of firearms: rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Each instructor had a couple samples and after each portion, all of the students had the opportunity to practice the principle.

First was going over the basic parts of the firearm. These were pointed out on the firearm. The trigger was specifically talked about that we wouldn't be touching this until later.

Second, we had a target set up in the corner of the room. We discussed the fourth rule and how we wanted to have the maximum amount of building materials to stop the bullet in case one of the other safety rules was not followed.

Third, was how to check a gun to ensure it was unloaded. This involved a discussion about the first safety rule. I was teaching the handguns class and showed them how to remove the magazine, pull back the slide and check the chamber (twice). I had both a 9mm with a heavy slide and a .22 that had a nice and easy slide. After everyone had checked the guns, we all agreed that they were unloaded but we would still be treating them as loaded. This was the first time several of the women in attendance had held a firearm. The best quote was "I like the 22 a lot better than the 9mm, it is a lot lighter."

Fourth, we discussed how to hold the firearm. This included a discussion of the second rule. Placement of the hand was shown to keep the finger off of the trigger. Stances were also covered and practiced. Each of the students practiced this. During this time, some other meetings in the building were ending and various people from other congregations were walking down the hallway. They were doing doubletakes as they passed the doors to our classrooms and saw the older women of the church practicing grips and stances for handguns, rifles, and shotguns. It probably was not a sight that they expected to see when they went to church that day.

Fifth, we discussed how to load the firearm. I had snapcaps available for this so that we could do realistic practice. We discussed that even though these were not firing ammunition, we still needed to treat the gun as if it were live ammunition (review rule one). Magazines were loaded, and bolts cycled to load a round into the chamber.

Sixth, we reviewed what we had learned so far and how we were now ready to cover the third safety rule and actually pull the trigger. We discussed how to aim using the various sights, and then use a smooth pull of the trigger keeping the target on sight. Each person was then able to practice.

To conclude we did another review of the four safety rules and had a question, answer, touch, and hold session.

1 comment:

  1. Windy Wilson10/25/10, 1:50 PM

    "It probably was not a sight that they expected to see when they went to church that day."

    I took swing dance lessons at a Baptist Church once. Traditionaly they've been opposed to dancing, so I'm sure some of the older members of the church felt the same way. They haven't done it again, AAMOF.