Why I like new shooters

This is a discussion on Why I like new shooters within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; SWATMEDIC's thread about letting others shoot his weapons reminded me of something, and I didn't want to take away from that thread, so I'll start ...

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Thread: Why I like new shooters

  1. #1
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    Why I like new shooters

    SWATMEDIC's thread about letting others shoot his weapons reminded me of something, and I didn't want to take away from that thread, so I'll start my own.

    It seems like everytime I come home on leave, I have friends asking me to take them out shooting, or something like that, and this trip back to Ohio has been no different. I helped one friend buy his first gun, showed him how to disassemble and re-assemble it, gave him some basic shooting pointers, taught him basic safety. Helped a few new shooters get into shotgunning at a group thing I went to, also teaching them what I can of the basics, and especially firearms safety. I enjoy being able to take several firearms of different varieties out so they can go from basic to "cool" in one day.

    I am by no means a firearms instructor, but I have been shooting for a lot of my life, tend to do pretty decent with it, have had firearms safety drilled into my head to the point I can probably repeat the 4 rules in my sleep (and I ma have during boot camp). I've also got a little bit of real world experience in using firearms, and a wide variety of them available to me. I do however, usually recommend that new shooters take a course from a professional "school" if they want to continue using firearms, as training like that I can not replicate.

    But in the little range sessions I do with them, I always see one of two things occur. The first, and more common is that they enjoy shooting, know how to do it safely, and know the basics of manipulating firearms (I'll often have like one revolver, a semi-auto, a .22 rifle, my Bushmaster, a bolt action, and maybe a pump action shotgun so they can learn a little bit about different types of firearms). A lot of times, maybe after a couple of trips, they will decide they want their own gun of some point, and they become new gun owners, who enjoy shooting sports at least. The second option is that they decide shooting is not for them, which is fine too, but they at least have a basic knowledge of firearms safety, and some of the "taboo" of guns is gone for them, making them more accepting of firearms and firearms owners.

    I'm not trying to make myself into the savior of shooting sports, or call myself a master instructor of all things firearms. But I saw this happen several times in the last week, and found it rather enjoyable. I think the more people who get exposed to firearms in a safe and controlled manner, the better, because they at least know basic safety with firearms at the worst, and become new shooters at best. And part of being a responsible gun owner is to share our "hobby" with others, and take away some of the social stigma and taboo that sometimes go with guns.

    Just my thoughts on an issue, anyone else seen this happen?
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Well, I will add this:
    New shooters are easier to teach! There are no preconceived notions nor prior poor "self-induced" training to contend with.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the **** out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    I'd like to get more new shooters involved also, it would be gratifying to have the same expieriences as buckeye. If we could teach everybody one thing I hope it would be that guns are safe, its when they get in the hands of bad people that people become more dangerous than any gun.
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    With great power comes great responsibility.-Stan Lee

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    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    I've had a few good experiences like that. Took a friend to the range and he bought a couple rifles recently. Took my parents shooting some of my handguns, and they are finally getting their pistol permits (they live in NYS). I also took my wife's friend and her husband shooting, and he is convinced he should get a SIG P226. All were excellent experiences, and I look forward to taking any other new shooters in my circle of friends out who want to go.

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    I was the president of my univeristy's pistol club for a while. Our main goal was to teach to people how to shoot (and safety of course).
    Pretty much every week I got to show 20-30 new shooters how to properly handle a gun and shoot it. I wish I still had that opertunity.
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    New shooters can be quite fun to help along. They're naturally curious and interested, since they know little. They're already open to the concept, which means they'll not continually be ragging on the idea of "carrying is inherently bad" or similar garbage. About the only real problem is that they might not hear the admonitions about safety procedures the first or second time around, given that they're so excited about everything. It can take a little longer, in this sense. But, they can learn so very much, that first couple of sessions.

    I recall a cool session I had with a friend of mine. Being from a country where firearms ownership is extremely restricted, he'd only shot a couple of guns in his life. So, I brought a large number of guns ... revolver, pistols, lever-action rifle (1894, 92), M1 carbine, and a couple of rifles. Shot them all, taking apart each one so that he could answer the questions he had based on his engineering past. We then reassembled and lubricated each one, shooting it at varying distances. In that day, he shot 10x the number of guns he'd ever previously shot and, because we bounced from gun to gun, nobody got blisters or raw spots from so much shooting. It was, by far, one of the most satisfying long sessions at the range I've ever had. He was amazed and humbled. (So was I, given how bloody accurate he was on several of the guns that I figured were my most accurate. Who knew?!)
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    Member Array Lefty Writer's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyeLCPL View Post
    <snip>

    I'm not trying to make myself into the savior of shooting sports, or call myself a master instructor of all things firearms.

    <snip>
    What you should call yourself is a good friend!



    That's awesome that you (and others) take the time to teach new people the art, science and fun of shooting. I enjoy teaching new shooters myself, and like you, I'm not an instructor by any means. It's just fun to see the looks on their faces when they "get it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by friesepferd View Post
    I was the president of my univeristy's pistol club for a while. Our main goal was to teach to people how to shoot (and safety of course).
    Pretty much every week I got to show 20-30 new shooters how to properly handle a gun and shoot it. I wish I still had that opertunity.
    I was very active in my university's pistol club, we would only get a couple of new shooters a week, but it was always fun seeing their reaction when they got their first bullseye or good group.

    What you should call yourself is a good friend!



    That's awesome that you (and others) take the time to teach new people the art, science and fun of shooting. I enjoy teaching new shooters myself, and like you, I'm not an instructor by any means. It's just fun to see the looks on their faces when they "get it."
    My closest friends all know that I carry, so its not really an issue with them. Most have known me since high school or before, and have always known I was into guns and stuff, plus now I'm a Marine and whatnot. They will call me if they are thinking about buying a gun to get my opinions on it, and try to figure out a good price and whatever. With newer friends I make, if we are talking and guns come up, and I can tell they are interested, I'll always throw out an offer to go to the range. Its akin to a friend of mine who has a very nice car asking if I wanna go out for a spin in it, its sharing a passion that someone has with others who have no or no experience in the subject.

    I also think that responsible gun owners have a duty to be ambassadors for our community, and try to educate people as much as possible. Most of the biggest hoplophobes I have met are simply that way due to too much Hollywood and too little real exposure. A lot of them change their minds, and sometimes even wind up with guns of their own after shooting a few times.

    About the only real problem is that they might not hear the admonitions about safety procedures the first or second time around, given that they're so excited about everything. It can take a little longer, in this sense. But, they can learn so very much, that first couple of sessions.
    One nice thing about the public range I usually take new shooters to is that it is like a 40 minute drive there and back from my parent's house (where I still stay when I am on leave), so it usuallly gives me time to give a short safety brief before we even get to the range, and I will usually give them a quick synopsis of each firearm when I am moving it from the safe to a travel case.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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