Defensive Carry banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have some friends coming over labor day weekend and they expressed interest in going to the range.
Father and 14yo son. They have minimal experience but have handled pistols a time or two.
Is it appropriate for a newb, like me, to do basic safety lessons and familiarization with them?
I suppose a lot of folks just pack up and go to the range, "Here, shoot this", but I would like to first know when the time is right to teach someone else, and if so, how.

Unless someone points out something that would prevent me from doing this safely, here is what I plan.

Before we go to the range, we will discuss things in the garage. (I keep all my ammo outside, in the truck, and there is never any in the garage.) I will clear all the weapons just before they come.

We will talk about the important rules, using examples and demonstration of the rules and basic handling.
NRA Gun Safety Rules

I will have them each handle the weapon and demonstrate back to me the important things previously demonstrated ie... all guns are loaded til they check, muzzle awareness, finger off the trigger til about to fire, no handling when people downrange etc.

We will handle the gun; load the magazine, rack the
slide, dry fire, reminder that it is ready to go again immediately (mine are all s-a). Remove mag, draw slide back to empty, and check barrel. All this time I will be watching and testing them on the rules taught above.

Then we will go to the range. Safety goggles and ear protection, appropriate clothing. Range rules.
One gun out at a time, one shooter at a time for now.
Handle gun again, as at home, to refresh memory.

Then, load magazine with ammo and fire at some paper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,177 Posts
I always teach the basic gun safety rules and go into major detail about muzzle discipline,I clear a firearm and hand it to them to see how much they retained such as booger hook off trigger muzzle in safe direction etc.I explain that no weapon will be loaded until you are on the firing line ready to shoot etc.I usually spend more time watching and teaching than actually shooting until I am comfortable with the way they handle the weapon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Duk said it best. Whenever I take a new shooter to the range, I press hard on the muzzle awareness. As my CHL instructor put it, "Don't point the muzzle at anything you don't want to murder!" Using that term brings a whole new meaning to muzzle awareness.

Then, we go over function of the weapon. How it operates, what to do 'if' it FTF's, FTE's or failure to fire.

Then we go over the range rules and guidelines. I shoot at an indoor range so YMMV. Things like eye and ear protection, how to set the target distance, policing the area, do's and don'ts of collecting spent brass and so on.

Once we have those down, we head to the range, if not already there. I usually will choose lanes that are farthest from others if at all possible. And, as Duk stated, I usually do more watching and instructing than shooting.

And finally, the last thing we do is clean the weapon. I see this as part of the whole picture. I was taught that a clean weapon is a happy weapon. And it makes me feel good knowing that my weapon is happy! :danceban:

One of the most important things I want for the new shooter is to have fun while learning. It is the only way to get them back to the range and maybe even into a class.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,746 Posts
From your post, it sounds like you have the basic knowledge to get them started safely. Be sure to emphasize all the safety rules and why they are necessary. You can even write up a short quiz of questions for them to answer then discuss each one so they understand better. When I teach classes to young adults or kids, I tape a wood dowel into the end of each gun's muzzle. This helps the handler better understand muzzle control and direction. There was a similar post about this technique within the last week here.

Also, keep everything on a serious tone. I cant stress this enough. Make sure they understand the destructive capabilities of firing a gun. A bullet cannot be recalled, once it is fired, it will hit something somewhere.

I will look around and see if I have any safety books from any of my previous classes that I can scan. I've been meaning to do this for years but never seem to find the time.

**EDIT**

Here is a video from the NSSF that was produced a while back, it may help you with the 10 commandments of firearm safety. It was designed for hunters but, "safety is safety". Firearm Safety Depends on YOU!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
It appears that you have the right idea about teaching them gun safety before going to the range. You can never be too safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Dave,

Sounds like you are good to go. I appreciate the fact you have taken the time to think thru the issue.

Good idea on one shooter and one gun at a time. I would be sure to provide immediate spot correction if necessary to any safety related issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,507 Posts
When I teach a new shooter how to use a gun, as many have stated, I teach the safety aspects before they even touch the firearm. I explain about the whats and why. When they are ready to fire I only load a single round at a time for the first few rounds, in the case of my 9 yo daughter and my .40 she hit herself int he head with my rear sights and that could have been bad with more than one round in the mag.

Good luck and have fun. Let us know how the outing goes. I may be taking my AK to a friends house to teach my 12 yo how to shoot it on Monday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,384 Posts
Everything above, but I wouldn't load a full mag at first. I'd let each of them fire one round a few times, then a few rounds a few times, THEN watch them carefully and if you feel like it's safe, let them go ahead and load up the mag.

And Dave, you sound just fine and ready. There's no "set" time limit on when you're ready to teach. I've only just held my first pistol at the end of March, and I was teaching a few folks in June/July. As long as you can communicate well and in a positive way so that they learn from the experience and can absorb and use what you teach them. And as long as you drill SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY into their heads :) I say go for it! And definitely let us know how it went!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,469 Posts
Dave, you are never too new to teach basic gun safety. Just remember it's your safety as well as everyone else's. If your friends can't demonstrate basic gun handling safety then you may have to reconsider your trip to the range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
do's and don'ts of collecting spent brass and so on.
Ok.. I've shot at a indoor range I think twice in my life.,. (Hey, Arizona is outdoor weather) ... anyway.,. I've never heard of do's or don't's of collecting spent brass?? What is it? You can or you're not suppose to? I never have at a indoor range, but ALWAYS do outdoors,...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,469 Posts
Ok.. I've shot at a indoor range I think twice in my life.,. (Hey, Arizona is outdoor weather) ... anyway.,. I've never heard of do's or don't's of collecting spent brass?? What is it? You can or you're not suppose to? I never have at a indoor range, but ALWAYS do outdoors,...
Some make you sweep up your brass. Others say you can't sweep beyond the stall in to the target area. Others just don't care.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,088 Posts
Another vote on loading one round at a time at first. Appropriate clothing includes a brimmed hat and shirt with a close fitting collar so brass doesn't land down their shirts, stuck in their glasses, or popping them in the head.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Great tip on one round at a time, will do that too.

ps that was my thread on the dowel...I'm going to buy some tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I was pleased with the 'class' and the outcome.
I made up some visuals (gun rules printed each on a large sheet of paper - large font and appropriate photos I found on the internet) which I posted above the 'gun' table. Uncovered rules one at a time as we talked and the class progressed.
We spent maybe 45mins in the garage, all ammo in separate location, weapons triple checked empty by me.
First rule we did was 'trust no one including yourself that the weapon is empty - assume they are all about to go off until YOU personally check it is safe'. Talked, demonstrated, asked participants to demonstrate. Explained the consequences of not following this rule. Mentioned real life happenings. Tested them "here, this weapon is unloaded" and handed it to them - to see that they checked it, and properly & thorougly, themselves. Had a revolver, several pistols and 2 rifles so a good range of firearms to handle and discuss.
Next the finger off the trigger rule. Talked, demonstrated, tested, explained consequences and 'what can happen'.
Next - muzzle awareness - discussed importance, some situations, how easy it is to sweep people and property accidentally, tested by asking them to pick up pistol and safely move muzzle downrange without sweeping past everyone. Used dowel rod to help show where bullet is going if careless. Caught a few 'rule 2' trigger finger infractions during this time, corrected immediately.
Had them recite the 3 rules I gave them so far, then covered some other rules as previously posted, some range safety rules, home storage etc.

Then to the range. On drive over, asked them to recite rules again.
Had them load one firearm at a time with one round under close supervision. Following range rules, then allowed them to fire on target, watching for any violation. None. so on to 2 and 3 rounds in mag/cylinder. A little less closely on supervision. (standing back but watching like a hawk). A couple finger violations, one muzzle direction violation. Immediate correction and no more violations the rest of the hour. Progressed to full magazines. Revolver jambed so unloaded it, put it away for inspection later. Shot pistols and rifles for an hour+, had a great time. All safe, lots of smiles.
Guy with an M1 offered youngster to shoot it. Should have asked him later if our guy followed the rules, bet he did.
Am following up this week with reminders, videos on safety.
Let me know if I need to do anything different.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,684 Posts
I'm always ready to teach. My confidence to teach comes from knowing I know the subject well, and being able to separate some of my subjective outlooks and form a generic curriculum. Past experiences should always be on the agenda once the basics are taught. Only then will they be accepted. If I am not fully schooled in the subject matter, then I am not ready to teach.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,384 Posts
Excellent! Sounds like it all went really well. You should be proud! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,746 Posts
Sounds like you had a fun and (most important) safe day! My wife says I'm anal about my classes and that I beat a dead horse deader (is that a word?). In other words, I repeat things over and over again. To me, it's like dog training. Dogs learn from repetition and in my classes, so do my students. If you get another chance to take them to the range for a refresher, I say go for it. The more a gunhandler is confronted with firearm safety, the more cognizant about safety they will be. Thanks for helping us all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,292 Posts
Good job Dave. Sounds like everyone had a fun and safe day of shooting. You are doing the right thing. :35: I believe it is our duty as gun owners to share our knowledge of gun safety and actively recruit people into shooting.

Like Ramrod said, I too love to teach. I came home from the range a couple of weeks back after teaching rifle shooting to a hunter's ed class and I told my wife that there is not anything that I do in life that gives me that feeling of both accomplishment and outright joy. And it doesn't matter if it's my own kid, an adult, or some kid in my class that I just met. I get the same satisfaction out of it.

I had one kid who walked up to the bench and said, "How do I hold this rifle?" He had been through the gun handling safety class, but had never actually touched one for the purposes of firing it. Within 10 minutes, with some instruction on cheek weld, sight picture, trigger squeeze and breathing, he was putting them in the black. I felt like I was on cloud 9. He said, "Man, this is fun." Heck, I was having more fun than him, he just didn't know it.

Keep up the good work.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top