Lessons from new shooters

Lessons from new shooters

This is a discussion on Lessons from new shooters within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I originally posted this as a reply to another thread, but I thought it might be useful on its own. This is my experience with ...

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Thread: Lessons from new shooters

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Arlington, VA

    Lessons from new shooters

    I originally posted this as a reply to another thread, but I thought it might be useful on its own. This is my experience with taking people shooting pistols who were completely new to them...I would be curious if other people have had similar results.

    Quote Originally Posted by GWRedDragon
    Quote Originally Posted by Paco View Post
    Along the same lines as the question, I have another question.

    I am taking my Wife shooting tomorrow for her first time EVER. We are taking a .22, .380, 9mm, and my .40.

    I am thinking of starting her off like this:


    so she can get used to holding a gun, then using a gun and then work up in caliber to see which caliber she wants to shop for the specific gun.

    Thoughts, suggestions?
    These are the same calibers I have pistols in, and I have taken a number of new shooters out to try them all. The guns are: H&K USP fullsize (.40), Glock 26 (9mm) with AA conversion kit (.22lr), and Walther PPK (.380acp). With all but the 22 I use WWB for this. This seems to me like a good representative spectrum of pistols: supercompact, compact, and duty-size.

    Obviously the .22 is the easiest for them to handle, but the rest might surprise you. The favorite by far among all new shooters has been the USP 40. They found it easiest to aim, easiest to control, and easiest to hold (this goes for both women with small hands as well as large men). The USP is by far both the largest gun and the most powerful caliber, but the size made all the difference. As a duty-size pistol, the USP also has longer travel for the slide, meaning more distance for force to be absorbed by the recoil system.

    Also by far, the least enjoyed gun was the PPK, despite the puny .380 caliber. Again, with such a small grip it was difficult for people to handle comfortably. The slide is also quite difficult to rack for people who have weak hands, and some cannot rack it at all. I have never ended up having newbies shoot the PPK very often.

    Hope this helps
    One thing I am taking from this is that caliber is certainly not the end-all when it comes to ease of use.
    "Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
    ---Carry options: G26/MTAC, PF9/MiniTuck, PPK/Pocket, USP40/OWB---
    ---NOTE: I am not an expert. If I ever start acting like a know-it-all, please call me on it immediately. ---

  2. #2
    Lead Moderator
    Array rocky's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by GWRedDragon View Post

    One thing I am taking from this is that caliber is certainly not the end-all when it comes to ease of use.
    I agree. Size and weight of the pistol do make a difference. I own a HK USP .40 as well. The dual spring guide rod helps to tame recoil as well . I imagine a 9mm USP would be even better for less felt recoil though.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

  3. #3
    me is offline
    Senior Member Array me's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Shanandoah Valley VA
    when my sister started shooting all she shot was a PPK clone. she loves rifles and shoots them for fun and sees handguns as nothing more then a tool she can not carry yet.

    On another note mom just bought a new gun and loves it Kel-tec PF9

    "The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."

    -James Earl Jones

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    My wife shoots my XD45 Service better than anything else. And she can barely hold it (small hands).

    Better than:


    She's equally good with our 1911 and MkIII 22/45

    Every shooter is different. Recoil isn't her issue, it's sympathetic contraction and that seems to be less of an issue with larger grips.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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