I had the opportunity to help a new shooter get started yesterday.
A friend of ours called the other day and asked if I could teach her to shoot. It seems that a particularly motivated door-to-door salesman went a bit overboard and freaked her out. She was genuinely afraid that he might be casing her situation for future nefariousness. I told her to report the situation to the police but that I would be happy to help her out.
My wife and I took her to the club and had a quick but emphatic safety class and then hit the range. She had never even touched a gun before. She was OK handling the Bluegun that I used for the safety instruction and basic grip/stance pointers but was very nervous when we switched to the real thing.
We started her out with a .22lr PPK style pistol. I had her dry fire a few dozen times watching the front sight for movement and explained how the exercise would help her trigger control. She watched me shoot a magazine and then took her first shot ever. After the first shot she set the pistol down and said "I need a minute". She was a bit flustered but said it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be. After catching her breath she picked it back up and shot the rest of the magazine. I gave her a few pointers on her grip and trigger manipulation. Then she reloaded and shot another magazine. She was doing very well and while she wasn't making competition sized groups, she was happy that she could actually hit a ten inch target at 20'.
After a few magazines of .22 I suggested that she moved up to a full size 9mm(Steyr M9A1). She wanted to see my wife shoot it first. When the little woman(he a said while ducking) stacked 15 rounds of 115gr WWB in the 10 ring, our friend gave it a go. Again, she had to regroup after her first shot but went after it with gusto after a short breather. She went trough 100 rounds or so between the Steyr and my PPS.
We then went to the LGS and she oohed and aahed over all the candy and finally decide that she liked the Walther PPQ the most. She vowed to hit the range with us a few times in the next week or so and the she would be buying the PPQ as soon as she was a bit more confident in her gun handling.
All in all it was a very good day!