Best way to teach... and a few success stories

Best way to teach... and a few success stories

This is a discussion on Best way to teach... and a few success stories within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; or at least get someone interested in going to the range and punching holes in paper. I'm a full time college student, I live about ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array firefighter4884's Avatar
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    Best way to teach... and a few success stories

    or at least get someone interested in going to the range and punching holes in paper.

    I'm a full time college student, I live about 2 blocks off campus, and there is an indoor range less then a mile from the campus, so locations are great (I can store pistols at my house, and the range is NICE and close)...

    My question is this, I have a Ruger 22/45 and a USPc in .40S&W. Most of the people I've taken to the range perfer shooting the .22 because they're new shooters, and that's cool, I can understand that.

    Before I take everyone to the range, they get the 4 rules, and also a control lay out of each pistol (this button does this, and this one does that, etc) so they've all seen the guns prior to leaving for the range.

    I'm still learning myself, so I'm not real comfortable teaching grip techniques and stuff, but I'm more interested that they be willing to get out there and have a good time with whats going on.

    So far my success rate is pretty high. The first guy who went shooting with me wanted to buy a Glock 27, but he'd also handled no other pistols in his life. We went out, and he rented an XD 40 subcompact, and a S&W 1911. I also let him shoot the Ruger that day. He's still not sure what he wants as far as a centerfire pistol, but he knows he wants a 22 to go with it.

    Guy two, who went with me to the range last night, has shot rifles and stuff before. We're students together, and I trust his knowledge of how things work almost as much as I trust my own. (We're both Mechanical Engineering students if that helps...) So we go to this nice close range (unfortunately they don't allow rentals) and we have my 22 and my 40. We had a great time, I think we shot about 300 rounds of ammo between the two, and today I'm getting all sorts of requests about different makes and models of .22 pistols. Prior to shooting with me last night, he'd put .38 specials through his uncles .357, at the same range as a matter of fact :)

    After we got back to my place last night, a bunch of people came over and we sat and watched a movie. I invited my ex-gf out to the range (we'd talked about going while we dated, but the permits didn't come in time before we split up). So we went to the range right around noon today. I finally bit the big one, and paid the 250 for the open membership, means I can shoot whenever I want for no cost, and I get 10% off of ammo and targets (woo hoo). She had a great time, but didn't enjoy the .40 when I let her shoot it. Although considering she'd never shot anything before, she wasn't doing too poorly.

    So, my question is this, does anyone have any suggestions on ways to get more people more interested. Like, it's great that people enjoyed the range trip, but how do I make someone enjoy it enough that they want to get into it themselves, and jump through all the hurdles that this state puts on us?

    Any thoughts or questions or comments are welcome.

    --Jim
    Firefighter / EMT - Always Ready. Ever Willing.

    ~Never do anything that you don't want to have to explain to the paramedics...~


  2. #2
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    You are doing good.

    I also try to get some of the wimpiest ammo for each caliber, especially for the ladies. They need a smaller gun so felt recoil is a little more for them. Some ladies are very recoil averse. The trick is getting them focused on the target and don't do alot of larger caliber shooting at first.

    Also always be positve and up beat. Even if they do terrible. For some people just stepping on to a live firing range is a huge step. Another thing is to be sure you have the best hearing protection for new shooters on indoor ranges. That will spook new shooters in a hurry. My wife had a bad experience with an indoor range and bad hearing protection. It took a great while to overcome that.

    I also make sure that they have one really good target to take with them and a shell casing from the largest caliber they shot. So if they shoot say 5 shots and have a nice group going I'll swap that target out for them to save. I write the date, the gun and caliber on the target for them.

    -Scott-

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array firefighter4884's Avatar
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    Scott,

    Thanks. When I bought my two pistols, it was with the intention of doing this, so I also picked up a pair of Leightning 31 ear muffs, as well as plugs for under them (if people feel the need).

    I like the idea of saving the brass for them, and the target thing goes with out saying. Thanks man, appreciate the info.

    --Jim
    Firefighter / EMT - Always Ready. Ever Willing.

    ~Never do anything that you don't want to have to explain to the paramedics...~

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    Jim - your efforts are laudable and a great start but I find that there is no way to over-encourage or force folks back unless they get ''bitten'' - some do but many don't. It can only be their decision with little or no coercion.

    I do think tho that one big bonus comes out of even the single and never more repeated visit - most times those folks will be less afraid of guns and also will have (not much I admit) some inkling of how to handle a gun and hopefully safely.

    It could well stand them in good stead one day and is way better than no exposure ever.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    One thing I've learned is that women shooters hate to be coddled. If you've got a .44, and they want to shoot it, let them. Don't assume they want a 22 - not all do.

    Different strokes for different folks and all that.

    If you're really up for wanting to get people together, start a marksmanship club or equivalent at the school. Put up flyers. Poof.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    I've taken two different people out this summer (on separate occasions). One had fired a shotgun and .22's when he was a kid, the other had gone skeet-shooting about a month before I took him out, neither of them had ever shot a handgun.

    I did the same thing with both of them. Started out by explaining the "big 4," then went on to a mini-lecture on the different action types; the manual-of-arms for the different guns; and basic vocabulary (caliber, different bullet types, etc.). When we got the actual shooting, we started with my single-action .22 (both to keep recoil out of the equation at first, and so they wouldn't waste any real ammo until they were actually hitting something ). After they'd gotten the basic idea, we moved up 9mm and up the ladder to .38, .357, and .45.

    Both of them were hooked and are already talking about buying handguns of their own.
    One thing that I found interesting was that one of them strongly preferred the 1911 .45; and that the other felt just as strongly about the Glock 19 even though both guys are about the same size and neither one had any previous experience.

    Anyhoo, those are my recent teaching stories, it's always nice to win converts to our side.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  7. #7
    Member Array SSKC's Avatar
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    I guess the only thing I would add is the old comedian's cliche: "Leave them wanting more." In other words, quit early while they're having fun, rather than wearing them out. That way they'll (hopefully) want to come back.

    I think you are performing a service for the new shooters as well as for those of us who have been around a while. The more of "us," the merrier. Good work!

    SSKC

  8. #8
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    I think any shooter can be recoil sensitive . Between the recoil and loud boom,many get scared of being hurt. A .22 is a great training tool and a fun plinker. Learning the basics of grip and sight alignment before ya add recoil makes it easier. And like rfurtkamp said, some women can handle the recoil. My girlfriend asked if she could shoot my .44 , since I got to shoot hers .

  9. #9
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    There were two newg's in the last class. I never treat the gals any different from the guys, just try to get them asking questions. As we pass around the different actions, I make sure they hold each gun for as long as reasonably possible, so their hands can make friends with the grips. Using snap caps, in a bullet proof direction, they dry fire repeatedly, so their fingers can make friends with the triggers. We have mock front and rear sights they can hold up and align with my eye, so I can see they get the picture. On the range they qualify with a 22 auto. Before they shoot, they will snap a few dry fires downrange while watching nothing but the front sight. When they fire the first handgun shots in their life, and their tight groups are perfectly centered on the paper, they're already deciding which refridgerator magnets to use. Then we shoot bowling pins, action targets, vitamin C tabs that make great orange poofs. Within 30 min, most are printing with a .45 by concentrating on the front sight and trigger pull, letting the gun rock and roll whenever it decides to go off. The next day I got emails from both gals telling me how their girlfriends want to do it too. That's 51% of the voting public, guys. Good work, let's get them into it with us.
    Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776

    Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
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  10. #10
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    I have been teaching people to shoot for the last 30 years.

    You guys are doing a great job. Your posts tell me it's getting time for me to retire, cause you kids got it right.
    Heroes are people who do what has to be done, when it has to be done, regardless of the consequences

    "I like when the enemy shoots at me; then I know where the ******** are and can kill them."
    ~George Patton

    DE OPPRESSO LIBER

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array firefighter4884's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acparmed
    I have been teaching people to shoot for the last 30 years.

    You guys are doing a great job. Your posts tell me it's getting time for me to retire, cause you kids got it right.
    You're not allowed to retire...we need all the help we can get...

    What I'm doing is far less teaching (as I'm still learning the basics myself), as getting them out to the range and letting them ENJOY putting rounds on target :)

    --Jim
    Firefighter / EMT - Always Ready. Ever Willing.

    ~Never do anything that you don't want to have to explain to the paramedics...~

  12. #12
    JT
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    I like to start people out with 9mm. They feel some real power (unlike a 22), but not too much power for their first time (40 or 45 can be too much for many newbies).

    But a 22 may be worth starting with for some shooters who are very apprehensive. But I like to move up to 9mm by the end of the session.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  13. #13
    New Member Array jitmo's Avatar
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    My Dad used to let me clean his guns upon returning from hunting trips and such. Being to small to "shoot" them, I couldn't wait for the day to actually get to. You may think this is odd, but cleaning taught me, well, to keep them clean. And i knew every inch of the guns, disassembly/assembly, actions and how they worked. When i finally got to shoot my first real gun, (a Win model 37A, 12GA), even though i was still small framed, i was safe and willing. Finding friends at school to clean your firearms will be a challenge, LOL, but i guess subtle intros are sometimes OK. All of my Dad's supervision while i was learning the basics have taught me to be just as cautious when dealing with newcomers as well. Most folks who understand the designs will respect and enjoy shooting. While those who are uneducated and scared will vote the other way. I commend you on your efforts to invite others so freely and helpfully. Good job!!

  14. #14
    New Member Array glocker36's Avatar
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    This year, I have taken probably 7 or 8 new people to the range to show them the basics. To start them out, I usually let them shoot my 500 S&W, if they come back, they are worthy......just kidding

    Actually, I have new people shoot my G19 and G34 or my S&W model 66 with 38s to reduce recoil. If they are recoil sensitive, I let them shoot my Ruger 22. We ALWAYS cover the 4 rules and the manual of arms before anything else.

    If they enjoy themselves, I invite them to an IDPA match once I am comfortable that they have safe gun handling skills. So far, we have added 5 new shooters to our matches this way. The only rules that I have for the matches are be safe and have fun. Once they meet the folks at the match and try it once, they are usually hooked. Even if they are not hooked, they have a better understanding that all gun owners are not commando cowboys (or cowgirls).

    I am a safety officer, at most matches, so I can help make the experience as comfortable as possible by being the SO for my new shooters. Heck, my Model 66 and my G19 get shot WAY more by other people than by me anymore. I also keep a couple of extra holsters and mag pouches around for new shooters to use.
    Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? - Patrick Henry

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