Sunday, October 19, 2008

Range Report

I have to say that was the easiest proselytizing I have ever done. My understanding of the man I took shooting last Saturday was incorrect though. He is more of a “libertarian” than a “liberal”. His mother was a pacifist but his father was not. He was already a big supporter of the military, the police, and the National Rifle Association.

When I say “big supporter”, I mean that both figuratively and literally. The guy dwarfs me and I am a bit larger than average. (Pay attention to that because it will come into play later.)

He had never fired or, if I took his meaning correctly, even held a firearm.

I started him on a Ruger Mark II, .22 caliber pistol. I explained the function, operation, etc. I then loaded the magazine with two rounds. I fired the first. He fired the second. His first shot, fired at a target on the three yard line, did not hit paper.

I gave him some instruction on how to aim.

We fully loaded both magazines – I wanted him to be familiar with firing a weapon before loading a full magazine. Had he been a bit skittish after the first round, I would have continued with a single round in the magazines. As it was, he was completely comfortable operating the Ruger. He had said that he knew how to aim but what he knew to be true was incorrect.

With my “fine” instruction (“point that way!”), his next shot went through the X-ring. The nine shots after that were all either in the X-ring or the 10-ring.

I wish all of my students were so good.

He may have been the best student I have ever instructed. He was very cautious. He strictly observed the range rules. He strictly observed my rules. And he instantly obeyed the instructions given him on sight alignment, breathing, trigger control, etc.

The next ten rounds were mostly in the 10-ring with two in the X-ring and two in the 9-ring. However, that was at seven yards.

Since he was comfortable with the staple gun, I mean the .22LR, I started him on the 9-millimeter Lugar. In this case, it was a Glock 19C.

Before anyone gives me grief for carrying a 9MM, please keep in mind that I bought it because my wife, small and thin, could fire double taps without the recoil throwing the second shot. My next pistol is going to be a Smith & Wesson 340PD firing lovely .357 magnum rounds. (I have fired many rounds through them and am quite taken with it. “No,” the recoil does not bother me.)

As was the case previously, I loaded two rounds in the magazine. I fired the first; he fired the second.

His first shot was in the 7-ring at seven yards. Another magazine later, there were multiple shots in the 10-, 9-, and 8- rights.

Once he was comfortable with firing the 9MM, we changed targets and distances. The farthest shots he made were from ten yards. He did not do badly at any time.

We even fired my wife’s pistol, a Keltec P3AT. She affectionately calls it her “noisy cricket.”

I mentioned he was big. He had to hold the cricket with the tips of two fingers and a thumb. One of those fingers was pulling the trigger. After six rounds of firing the cricket, he was done with it. It hurt too much. (The cricket fits my wife’s hands just fine, thank you.)

I emphasized to him that tight groups were more important when starting than shot placement, i.e. precision over accuracy initially. He appreciated that. (I am going to pause for a moment to toot my own horn here… I had a two-and-one-half-inch group at the fifteen-yard line with the cricket!)

Here is the great news: Once we were done shooting, we took a look around the store. He held the Glock .45’s, the Springfield XD’s, and the Smith & Wesson M&P’s. He then bought a Smith & Wesson M&P .45!

Once the paperwork was complete, we returned to our lane and fired a box of .45 ACP at the targets. The recoil was nothing for him and I absolutely loved it. I mentioned he was big. He can wear this on his side without printing. For that matter, he could put it in his pocket and it would still be hidden.

He and I are going to make a habit of shooting. He is registering for a CHL class. I am taking him to get personal defense ammunition and then we will be cleaning weapons in the near future. We will of course be returning to the range soon too.

He is telling his wife that it is cheaper than golf.

He is not voting for Obama or for anyone in the “left” column either.
(Much as I would like to take credit for that last part, he was not going to do so prior to meeting me.)


Yabusame said...

Funny how first impressions go awry when you start to learn more about a guy. Thanks for sharing the range report. Sounds like you both had a great time shooting bullets and the breeze.

Shawn McManus said...

We did. We are shooting again next week (his treat this time). I'm also going to introduce him to shotgun shooting and, hopefully, talk him into a CHL class.