Taking some first timers to the range. Tips?

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by sputnik1988, May 6, 2013.

  1. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

    I've been talking to a co-worker about shooting and he has decided to meet me at the range in a few weeks. He also wants to bring his wife, but neither have even held a firearm. Obviously, safety will be the main concern but does anyone have any tips to make it more enjoyable?

    I really want to add these two to our community rather than having them leave with a sour taste in their mouths.

    I appreciate any help.:eek:
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  2. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    Make sure to show them how to be safe and don't do the range douche thing and put too big a gun in their hands to get a laugh. I can't count the times I've sen some idiot try to get some 110 # girlfriend to shoot a 44 mag and it's the first time they have shot a gun in their lives. All this does is turn off what might become a new member of the gun owning public. The perceived laugh is just not worth it. Start small and work up to anywhere they might be comfortable.

    WE owe it to ourselves, other gun owners, and new would be shooters to show we are safe and responsible gun owners. WE have many bad stereotypes as it is.

  3. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    Start them both off with 22LR.

    Let them know that more powerful

    stuff is available, but wait till they ask,

    to let them shoot the stuff.

    IME, the ladies are first to ask for the

    larger calibers.

    Bring water, and you'll think you are moving at a slow pace,

    but it will be a fast pace, for the noobs.

    We always have a great time, and go out for a late Lunch

  4. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

    Absolutely, the main guns used will be a Ruger SR22, a Henry .22lr and a Marlin .22lr. I completely agree.
  5. mchoitz

    mchoitz New Member

    Don't try to one up them. If you do shoot, shoot with your other arm. Nothing is more discouraging than absolutely sucking. Took a friend out with the clay thrower, didn't miss my first 15, then he shot, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, and done. He went back to the .22 pistol and hasn't showed enthusiasm towards shotgun shooting since.
  6. trip286

    trip286 New Member

    I second this. Personally, I wouldn't shoot at all. Just concentrate on them, safety, and fun. Get them to challenge each other. They're married, they're obviously comfortable with each other, so see of they have a competitive steak in them, but make it FUN and safe. Offer a prize for whatever criteria you see that may be important to them, such as safest shooter.
  7. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    No matter how bad they are, they are doing GREAT!

    Sometimes I have found that if I stress "watch the front sight" as they are shooting, they get on paper.

    Don't have too many shooting at one time that you cannot keep an eye on all.

    There are times I do not shoot when teaching others. I will demonstrate holds, positions, or other things, but will not shoot a firearm even though I am at the range for hours.

    Oh, and as others have said, stress safety, have all use eye and ear protection, and have fun!
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  8. trip286

    trip286 New Member

    That's the truth! How many people actually score ten ring hits on their first trip to the range? I personally consider putting a bullet in the right general direction for a first timer to be a great success.
  9. robertusa123

    robertusa123 New Member

    i allways start newbee with a 22lr rifle. allthow mine is a semi auto i only load one round at a time first then to a 22lr relover, semiauto then and only then to someting with a kick. the main things i stress is sight picture and keeping that dam finger off the triger tial your ready and only radey to fire. then of course all the standards of safe shooting if you have someone thats relly shy shooting a hand gun you cant go worng starting with a 22lr relover loaded with cb shorts
  10. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

    Safety 1st!! Then start them off close -up and don't move 'em back until they're regularly hittin' the X ring.

    Have her go before him, in order to put less pressure on her to compete and more pressure on him.

    Move back in to close range at the end to "leave them with a good taste in their mouths".
  11. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

    Before you go... Email them the you tube video below. I did this with "virgin" neighbors earlier this month and another FTF member shared this idea with me. I had them watch it in there own home several times before we went to the range and it went very well.

    A brief rundown on range rules upon arrival and I did not have to correct a single safety issue.

    Beyond that just be POSSITIVE, let em have fun, and be ready for the wife to outshoot her husband... Hope his ego can take it because it happens every time! :D

    Good Luck and thanks for creating new shooters. It is by far the biggest contribution any of can make to the cause.


  12. Squawk

    Squawk New Member

    I agree. I don't shoot when I take a newcomer to the range. I took my mom and dad to the range back in November. My dad had never fired a gun and my mom hasn't shot since she was in the National Guard over 20 years ago. At the time, all I had was two 9mm pistols and a .38 snubnose. Both enjoyed it. My dad so much he went and bought a Beretta 92fs. And since then had bought a Taurus 1911. He has over 500 rds 9mm and 250 .45 Auto. To say he is hooked is an understatement. He wants to go shoot more than I do.

    Main thing is to show them safety and etiquette. 3 rules come to mind.

    1. Always treat a gun as if it is loaded.

    2. Always keep the gun pointed downrange.

    3. Only put your finger on the trigger once you are aimed at the target and ready to fire.

    My dad has actually turned into a more accurate shooter than I. My mom hasn't been back but she fired M-16's, 1911's and .50 cal machine guns. So the adrenaline rush of firing for the first time had been lost long ago.

    I'd start with .22LR. Move to .380/9mm. Then .223. Then .45 Auto. Then .30 caliber rifle and/or 12 gauge shotgun.

    The main thing is to make it safe and fun. Always say good job when you go look at the target. Even if the groups are 18".
  13. rifleman77

    rifleman77 New Member

    Start with pistols show them how to load the mag. Lock your slide or open your cylinder and show them how to hold it and explain the sights. Let them fire a mag just to get the feel. With newbies you end up burning alot of ammo and you don't get to shoot alot. But it's good to get other people involved. I've taken my buddy a few times got him to buy a S&W .40 and he sucks. He patterns like 16" in all directions but getting better. We took his old lady once and she was double tapping in a couple mags. I told him if someone breaks in give the gun to her.
  14. engineer88

    engineer88 New Member

    My recommendations:

    1. Start with a short range safety brief - keep it brief and just cover the basics. Like keeping finger off trigger, muzzle awareness, blah blah

    2. Start with dry fire.

    3. Start with small calibers.

    4. Let them shoot and don't over correct them. Make. Sure they have a good time. Don't critique technique immediately, just make sure it's safe.
  15. Anna_Purna

    Anna_Purna New Member

    I would even go as far as in their or your home, before you go to the range, let them hold them (empty) while you explain the safety's and how an auto blows backwards and a revolver rotates, and where not to hold either of them. If they show any signs of playing with it like its a toy (knowing it is empty), or unknowingly pointing it at you as they 'admire' it, then maybe it would be best to not take them out on a firing range until they get the basics of being safe down.
  16. KJG67

    KJG67 New Member

    All good stuff. Depending upon the vibe from them, I agree with Anna that maybe a quick safety review and touch/feel session at home before going to the range may be helpful since they've never held one before, just for comfort sake and so they don't get overwhelmed with everything going on at the range.

    Also be sure to give them a good large silhouette target and keep it close to start. Putting holes in paper anywhere feels good. If they pick it up quickly, great - challenge them with a best of 5 shots or other ways to mix it up.

    Don't one up them as was said - I accidently did that to my son last week. He was having difficulty sighting a new rifle last week that we had just picked up. Got a little frustrated and said he was done. I picked it up intending just to put a few down to see what the issue was. Well, it wasn't the rifle. He'll get over it, but isn't as excited to go back out with it again. No need for you to shoot really, but if you do, just remind them you've been doing this a long time and started out the same way.