So, my mom has been in town for around a week now. She has been talking about possibly getting a gun of some sort in her house for protection. My first thought is maybe a 20ga double barrel shotgun for simplicity's sake. Well we talk about it a lot and I decide to get out my wife's M&P9 and my S&W model 66, just to show her some basic handling and safety things.
We decided to go to the range tonight. Now, she hadn't really ever shot a handgun before today. She has shot some long guns in the past. She said the last time was when she was sixteen. So that was a number of years ago. I approached it as if she were completely novice to everything related to firearms (essentially, she was).
She did very well. She was very safe, and listened well to everything I said. We were just shooting some of my 9mm and .38 Special reloads. I load them all pretty mildly. Well she didn't really enjoy shooting the revolver. She said it was too heavy and she actually felt the recoil more. Well, that's understandable because it is .38 Special compared to 9mm, with the same size bullets. The .38 has a tad bit more powder behind it. I personally figured the weight of the .38 would make up for it, but I think what did it for her was the design of the gun. We all know semi-autos are built to reduce recoil slightly better.
So, she only shot a couple rounds through the revolver. No big deal. She shot about 30 or so 9mm, and at first was a little scared of it and actually took her support hand (left) off the gun when it recoiled. I corrected her and she stopped doing it after another shot or two. After she got in the hang of it, she did very well. After a magazine she said she wasn't scared of it anymore.
She seemed to have a really good time. I, of course, enjoyed taking her as well.
I know, I know. Some of you are gonna say "why didn't you start her on a .22?" Well, I thought about it. But honestly I thought she could handle the relatively mild recoil of the 9mm in my wife's full sized M&P. She did, too, because she simply listened to what I was telling her about how to hold the gun and this and that and the other.
Especially after tonight (but also before), I have absolutely no problem starting a new shooter on a full sized 9mm, as long as I think they're gonna listen very well. My mom did, and she had a great time, and is considering buying a handgun now. I of course explained the whole buying process. She wants to wait until I'm home to help her anyway, but she at least understands the process (hold a lot of guns first, rent some that feel the best, shoot it a couple times, then maybe buy it), so she wouldn't be lost if she had to do it on her own.
All things considered, was a very good night.
[sorry for the long post