A friend’s son recently got married and moved out on his own. He’s 20 years old and ready to take on the world. He recently mentioned that he’d never shot anything other than a shotgun and the occasional airsoft gun. This was a situation that was crying out to be remedied. Fortunately I know just the person to do it. So we spent some time at home with an airsoft pistol – going through some basic gunhandling and safety fundamentals – then headed to the range. . .
I put an Advantage Arms .22 conversion slide on a G17, showed him how to load the magazine and the gun and handed it to him. We went over grip, front sight, slow trigger press and I let him go at it with the target set at three yards.
We corrected that backwards leaning stance a bit and let him shoot the .22 for a while. After 30 or 40 rounds, a respectable 3-inch grouping took shape on the target. Time to try a larger caliber.
Next, I popped a TSD Combat Systems 9mm slide on the pistol, and we loaded up some parabellum. Here is video of his first two shots of 9mm ever. Be patient.
He really did a great job taking it slow and easy, just as we talked about. He didn’t know what to expect and I tend to talk too much.
The RMR simplified the sighting process, while making any trigger technique issues glaringly obvious. After a magazine, he’d produced a single 1.5 inch hole with just a couple flyers. Not bad at all for a first-time shooter. The “kid” learns quickly and we took down that target for him to take home.
Then let him shoot the G19 with open sights and finally we finished the day with the .45 cal G30sf:
Watching this last video, I think the confidence he gained handling the pistol throughout our session is obvious.
But here are a few things I learned in teaching a new shooter:
-Electronic hearing protection is really helpful in allowing communication when instructing.
-Hand-eye coordination is hand-eye coordination. This young man is a reasonably accomplished basketball player, and had no difficulty learning and implementing the fundamentals very quickly.
-Don’t forget eye protection! I usually just wear my prescription glasses, and had to borrow a pair of safety glasses for my student.
-Take someone shooting. This weekend. Today. We all know someone who’s curious about guns. It’s as fun for the teacher as it is for the student and it introduces another gun muggle to the shooting sports. I can’t think of a bigger win-win.