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Old 07-04-2012, 10:47 PM   #1
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Default First Time Shooter

Today I had a friend come over for her first time shooting a gun. Her husband recently passed away and left her several guns, including two Glocks and a S&W 4013 in .40 S&W. She wants to keep one gun for home defense yet she has never fired a gun in her life, that is until today.

I started off by sending her the Safety Rules (thanks Kilogulf59 for posting those and Winds of Change for making it a sticky in the Training and Safety section) and having her familiarize herself with those a few days ago. Today we had her guns out as well as several .22lr handguns and rifles, a GP100 .357 mag with downloaded .38 Specials and a .380 Beretta. She liked shooting the .22 lr Single Six and the 10/22 the most, also shot the 22/45 semi-auto. The downloaded .38's and the .380 were too much for her and we did not have her try the .40 as the recoil is way too much for her at this point.

There are some issues she has that I would like some advice on. Most difficult is that she wears contact lenses. In her right eye she has a reading prescription and in the left eye she has a distance prescrip., she says that she is right eye dominant but when she sights the rifle she shows left eye dominance. With the Single Six she was doing pretty well nevertheless and hitting the targets as long as she didn't spend too much time trying to acquire (she shoots with both eyes open and can't seem to close one eye.)

She did OK with the scoped 10/22 but only after I placed a patch over her left eye.

My thoughts are to ask if she has some prescription glasses to wear rather than the contacts. If that doesn't do it all then the eye patch would also be used. I figure over time she will be able to transition to shooting with both eyes uncovered and open once she learns how to concentrate on the sight picture.

Her long-term goal is to have a gun for home defense. I think the .40S&W is too much gun for her, even with time and training I am not sure these guns will be ideal for this purpose. She did like the revolvers for their simplicity. I figure over time and with practice the .38 special in a revolver would be a good choice.

Maybe a 28 gauge shotgun would work, but I don't have one for her to try out. We do have a .410 shotty but that is not, in my opinion, a good choice for HD.

Anybody have any advice?

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Old 07-04-2012, 10:58 PM   #2
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I have a .410 and 12 gauge Mossberg pistol grip. The 12 kicks like a freakin' mule. I love my .410 because it's fun to shoot in general and would take care of business if needed. Maybe a 20......

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Old 07-04-2012, 11:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Zombiegirl View Post
I have a .410 and 12 gauge Mossberg pistol grip. The 12 kicks like a freakin' mule. I love my .410 because it's fun to shoot in general and would take care of business if needed. Maybe a 20......
The 20 is still a kicker. The 12 kicks harder, especially with slugs or even buckshot. That's what I am trying to avoid. I don't want to frighten her, so we are keeping it light for now and hoping she will work her way up, but even then I think the 20 would be too much.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:28 PM   #4
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Are her contact Rxs the same for each eye or different? In other words can she switch contacts so her she can use her nearsighted correction on the same side as her strong hand?

I’m left eyed cross dominate. When I shot bull’s eye, I just put some frosted tape on the left lens of my safety glasses and shot with both eyes open. Now I’m finding the isosceles position less problematic for shooting L eyed, R handed than the Weaver or a Weaver variation.

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Old 07-04-2012, 11:34 PM   #5
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I am cross eye dominant left handed right eyed and I started forcing myself to shoot both eyes open a few years back, it took some practice and a little effort to break myself of closing the right eye but I figured it out.

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Old 07-04-2012, 11:35 PM   #6
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The 20 is still a kicker. The 12 kicks harder, especially with slugs or even buckshot. That's what I am trying to avoid. I don't want to frighten her, so we are keeping it light for now and hoping she will work her way up, but even then I think the 20 would be too much.
I really don't like shooting shotguns. I have shot a 16 gauge and it hurt. But I can't really shoulder them properly because I'm so short.

I think she may build herself up to shooting a larger caliber handgun. The first time I shot, I did not like a .40 cal. It scared me. But after getting more comfortable I'll shoot any handgun someone puts in my hands. Give her time, let her build up confidence and get comfortable and she will get 'braver'. I also used to have a bad time racking some semi-autos but now I know to just grab it and rack the darned thing.......but I agree some are very difficult for me to rack.

Keep working with her, Vikingdad. You are a good friend for helping her along with shooting. Did she enjoy shooting or does she feel it's something she has to learn to be safe? If she enjoyed herself she'll go much further than if she considers it a chore.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:48 PM   #7
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My wife didnt even wanna shoot a 22. Haha. I finally got her to shoot a old 25. Caliber pistol then her next achievement was a Ar-15, and she screamed for a good solid min afterwards HAHA ...

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Old 07-05-2012, 03:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Vincine View Post
Are her contact Rxs the same for each eye or different? In other words can she switch contacts so her she can use her nearsighted correction on the same side as her strong hand?

I’m left eyed cross dominate. When I shot bull’s eye, I just put some frosted tape on the left lens of my safety glasses and shot with both eyes open. Now I’m finding the isosceles position less problematic for shooting L eyed, R handed than the Weaver or a Weaver variation.
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Originally Posted by blucoondawg View Post
I am cross eye dominant left handed right eyed and I started forcing myself to shoot both eyes open a few years back, it took some practice and a little effort to break myself of closing the right eye but I figured it out.
She is cross-eye dominant right-handed and left eye I guess (though she said she is right eye dominant). I think she is a little confused because of her contacts. We did try having her shoulder the rifle left-handed (on the stock 10/22) but that was not going to work and shooting a pistol left handed was out of the question.

I think blocking her left eye is the way to start her out and then down the road we can work on shooting with both eyes open and unobstructed. Perhaps working on her stance with the isoscles rather than the weaver as we did today.

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Originally Posted by winds-of-change View Post
I really don't like shooting shotguns. I have shot a 16 gauge and it hurt. But I can't really shoulder them properly because I'm so short.

I think she may build herself up to shooting a larger caliber handgun. The first time I shot, I did not like a .40 cal. It scared me. But after getting more comfortable I'll shoot any handgun someone puts in my hands. Give her time, let her build up confidence and get comfortable and she will get 'braver'. I also used to have a bad time racking some semi-autos but now I know to just grab it and rack the darned thing.......but I agree some are very difficult for me to rack.

Keep working with her, Vikingdad. You are a good friend for helping her along with shooting. Did she enjoy shooting or does she feel it's something she has to learn to be safe? If she enjoyed herself she'll go much further than if she considers it a chore.
She did enjoy herself, I think she will develop into a good shooter. She depended on her husband to keep her safe and that is the motivating factor now that he is gone. She did mention that she is the victim of an attempted rape but never did think about getting a gun after that experience. I didn't ask how long ago that was but she did offer that it did force her to be more situationally aware at all times and for several years after she would not go out in parking lots alone and such things. We live in a no-issue county in CA so getting a CC permit is impossible in any event. This is just for home defense at this point.

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Originally Posted by ZocalypseSupporter2012 View Post
My wife didnt even wanna shoot a 22. Haha. I finally got her to shoot a old 25. Caliber pistol then her next achievement was a Ar-15, and she screamed for a good solid min afterwards HAHA ...
My wife doesn't shoot much at all, I can't seem to get her to go to the range and when she has she will only shoot her .25 Beretta Bobcat. I have never gotten her to shoot anything else. Even today when our son asked if she would come down and join us she declined. I really wish she would learn to shoot more than just her little Bobcat.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:08 PM   #9
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A steel 9mm handgun w/ light might work for her. The heavier firearm will help tame felt recoil and the light is simply a must on any defensive weapon.

What cal are the Glocks? A compensated barrel might help.

What stance are you teaching her? That may have something to do w/ it. Not using proper fundamentals and technique is usually the problem.

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Old 07-06-2012, 02:37 AM   #10
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A steel 9mm handgun w/ light might work for her. The heavier firearm will help tame felt recoil and the light is simply a must on any defensive weapon.

What cal are the Glocks? A compensated barrel might help.

What stance are you teaching her? That may have something to do w/ it. Not using proper fundamentals and technique is usually the problem.
The S&W is aluminum framed and the Glocks are Glocks. A steel frame would indeed help, but I think time is what she needs.

All of her guns are in .40S&W. One of the Glocks is compensated and the concussion was way too loud for her.

A different stance would probably help but dealing with the cross-eye issue makes it difficult to get her in a proper stance. I am not an instructor by any means, just a hillbilly who is trying to help her out.
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