First Time Shooter

Discussion in 'Range Report' started by Vikingdad, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    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?
     
  2. Zombiegirl

    Zombiegirl New Member

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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......
     

  3. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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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.
     
  4. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

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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.
     
  5. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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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.
     
  6. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    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.
     
  7. ZocalypseSupporter2012

    ZocalypseSupporter2012 New Member

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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 ...
     
  8. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    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.

    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.

    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.
     
  9. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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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.
     
  10. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    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.
     
  11. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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    What do you consider proper stance? Are you haveing her square up to the target w/ feet shoulder width apart knees bent and elbows locked w/ her chin tucked like a boxer?

    Either purchase the 40's from her so she can purchase a 9mm or find someone to take them off her hands. Do they offer a 9mm conversion for one of her Glocks? You never mentioned what model the Glocks were.

    If the comp barrel works she may just have to get used to the noise. If she ever uses it in the house it wont matter being as a non comp is to loud to begin w/. What's a few more dbs when you're already way over the threshold?
     
  12. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    I am purchasing whatever she decides she does not want to keep and if she changes her mind they will always be available for her to purchase back. I want her to be able to have them in case she wants one or all for sentimental reasons, though that is not in her reasoning right now. She did shoot my .380. which shoots similar to a 9mm (I do not own a 9mm) and she does not like that yet. I am bringing her up slowly so that she does not get scared off of guns. That is my main focus right now with the secondary focus of not letting her develop bad habits.

    She has a Glock 22 Gen 2 and a 22C Gen 3 and an S&W 4013. She is a long way off from shooting any of these at this point. Keep in mind that she was terrified of guns and had never fired a shot up until the 4th. My goal is to change that.

    If necessary we will go to a local indoor range where she can try a variety of rental guns in different calibers once she gets comfortable being around them.

    We tried the Weaver stance (that is what you describe, is it not?) and what I think is called the isoscles stance as well as bench rest. With all of them we had to deal with her sight picture first and foremost. That was the overriding challenge.

    Since she has two Glock 22's, I will not be having her shoot the compensated one any time soon. There is a disadvantage to the comp in HD and that in that the flash from the compensator renders the potential victim blind for some critical seconds in low light situations such as one would encounter in HD. If there is more than one perp, or if there is an innocent behind the perp (she has a young teenage daughter) who could get accidentally shot because of the temporary blinding caused by the compensator. Note that this is not my experience, just some cautions that I have been advised of.
     
  13. Triumphman

    Triumphman Active Member

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    First off, you're a good man to help with this Woman in teaching her to defend herself--in any way she might know how or wanting to learn how. Now, it seems she doesn't like what she has available, so now you need to concentrate on either MAKING her something she can handle and is comfortable with, OR making a new purchase by selling off her other guns. In making something, you might look at a 10/22 and all the options they have available, such as a used rifle(cheaper), and tearing it down and putting on a short 16-1/4"(legal length) barrel, along with a light synthetic stock, maybe in a tactical AR type, along with a lightened trigger and a pistol scope to keep it from her eye, and one that also has an optional "Illuminated Crosshair(Dot) along with regular crosshairs for daytime shooting(practicing) or incase of battery rundowns, which you'll need to show her how to change out batteries and for the need to replace batteries every so often for if needed at nite. Remember, this is for DEFENSE. NOT FOR LOOKS.
    Now if this doesn't work on her wanting for you to build a gun, how about taking a look at maybe a KelTec or something similar in a 9mm that takes Glock magazines? These little rifles are built very good and being a rifle in smaller caliber, you can show her that you don't need to shoulder it, but can also use it from the waist if need be, and with longer barrel, she won't have all that loud ringing in her ears from the short barrelled pistols, nor the heavy recoil on her wrists that pistols give.
    If none of these suggestions work from you or people on this forum, she needs to enroll in a WOMAN'S SHOOTING CLASS on self defense, because until she learns what can/will happen from other Women and their stories, she'll never learn what you're trying to teach her, and she needs to know, that there's a time to be a Woman and a time to be a Predator for when her life depends on it. I would also look into maybe getting a short YOUTH 410 pump shotgun. With slugs/00buck--I'll guarantee no attacker will notice when the shells start to being racked as to what size gun she has. She'll just need to learn to point it in general direction and not having a need to shoulder gun. Shouldering a gun is when you have time---if you don't have the time, then what? She needs to learn there's many ways to shoot a gun when you don't have the time. As to a 22LR NOT being effective, is just plain wrong in their thinking, and with a few 25 round magazines, you have a lot of effectiveness to back it up and still keep rifle somewhat lightweight. There will also need to be a time when handling a gun, as to not just shoot at the slightest noise/movement, but to wait for the best opportunity to make that shot count----just like hunting.
    Del
     
  14. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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    Modified Weaver (more squared up).

    Sounds like you're doing something very nice for the lady.

    —---------

    I would not recommend a pistol scope or .22. A magnified optic would be a poor choice on any firearm for her purpose.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  15. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Um. Yeah. OK. At this point I am not even thinking of building something for her. If that is necessary in the future then I will address that at that time. I am trying to get introducing her to shooting first and getting her comfortable with guns. That is all at this point.

    She has experienced an attempted rape. She knows.

    I am not going to even think of recommending a .22LR firearm for her as a HD gun. Not gonna happen for a couple of reasons. One being penetration, she lives in an urban neighborhood and a .22 LR can penetrate neighboring homes, let alone the walls within her home. Also, here in CA she is limited to 10 round magazines, period.


    No optics on an HD gun. Also, as I said above, not gonna recommend a .22 for HD.
     
  16. Triumphman

    Triumphman Active Member

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    I'm sorry VikingDad. I didn't mean to say to go out and get her a 10/22 just to build up for her. It was just a possible suggestion, in that She has other options to go with, if she doesn't like pistols or what guns she has available. I am confused about one thing. You're concerned about a 22LR pentrating a home's wall, but if you teach her what she needs, and she has a large caliber gun, well then what? You think a larger caliber like a 25ACP, 38sp, 380 or 9mm won't then, go through a wall? That's just false. You mean to tell me a home with drywall, insulation, 2x4, and a 3/4" outside barrier, be it wood, stucco(which is a concrete variant), brick, can't stop a 22 from going through, then there's something wrong with how your homes are built. Something also wrong here with thinking that a 22LR won't make for a good HD also. 22LR's have been bringing down animals as large as 250lb Deer for a hundred years without going through the other side. Just saying. Even getting more magazines to load up, isn't against the law, even if magazines are limited to 10 shells. BUT, I agree on one thing. Helping her, as this is the most important thing, and I wish you as the Instructor, and Her, as your Pupil in the best of luck.
    As to MikeJ, a pistol scope can help a cross dominate eyed person in that you can get the scopes in low 1 or 2 power, and with it away from your eyes, you keep both eyes open with gun in arm stretched, 2-handed position. This is for those that can't make out both rear/front sight in rifles/pistols and just don have the eyesight they once had. Just like a DOT/shotgun type scope on a scout rifle. However, with some training a person can learn to develop a stronger eye opposite side, but it does take time and is uncomfortable. I went through something like this growing up. My whole Family is right handed, but I'm left handed, so when it came to shooting guns, I either learned, or I didn't get to go hunting, and growing up on a farm, you learned to handle guns at a very young age, and used what you had handed to you. Now I can shoot from both sides, but with so much training to shoot right-handed guns over the years, I'm now more comfortable with my right side shooting, and all I have now, is right-handed rifles.
    Del
     
  17. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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  18. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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    Though that thing looks cool it is not what I'd consider ideal for your purpose.

    Head over to the AR forum and read a current thread on using .45 out of a carbine. I won't interject w/ my opinion. I will remind you that 5.56 has been protecting the civilized world for quite some time.

    If I didn't have a 4 y/o that's what I would use.
     
  19. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    I wouldn't even begin to think of using a 5.56 for HD. I have a bunker set up on my home range made out of a stack of railroad ties with a dirt berm behind the stack. 5.56 rounds penetrate fully through the railroad ties easily, every round. I have not tried it but it wouldn't surprise me if they would penetrate 2 railroad ties as well. These railroad ties are hardwood, not pine or some other soft wood. Using 5.56 would be foolish if you have any neighbors within an unobstructed mile, and even then......

    .45 ACP is a different story. Large frontal area, slow moving, will put down any perp in the same room. Nice to shoot as well. Still beyond her abilities at this point though.

    I was thinking the Rossi/Taurus .45 Colt/410 would be loaded with 410 buckshot. We showed her our 410 shooting at paper from 20 yards with birdshot. She did not want to try it that day though.
     
  20. MikeJK

    MikeJK New Member

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    Do a little more research on 5.56 and the virtual plethora of ammunition available in the caliber. You'll be surprised.

    Ask yourself who uses 5.56. What does your local LEOs carry to pick up where their handguns fall short. Do you think they would carry something that was dangerous? No. Departments first concerns are liability and lawsuits. How about on the Federal level? They moved from SMGs to the M16/AR family. Pistol rounds are not as effective and they actually penetrate more. Railroad ties are not flesh, bone, and blood.