Thursday, October 30, 2008

New partners in the second amendment, and polite range instruction.

Xavier has a post up about a friend of his he has been teaching to shoot. This post in particular is a treasure trove of information.

part 1
part 2
(part 3 linked in the above paragraph)

This series should be the HOW TO for introducing new shooters to the sport.

As we discussed what he had learned and accomplished, QJ asked me "Why did that guy let me shoot his gun?"

"People who shoot want other people to shoot," I replied. "There isn't a more inclusive group of Americans around. He recognized you as a good guy, someone learning to shoot. He wanted to help. You exercising your rights helps him preserve his. We are all partners in preserving the second amendment."

Very right.

He also likes to point out the other shooters at the range who did not get training, and lacked the basic fundamentals. At first, it seems good for a chuckle, but it's more bothersome than humorous.

Certainly, there is nothing wrong with turning cash into flash and noise (that's why we buy fireworks!), but I think we should all take every opportunity we can to politely (VERY POLITELY!) show up these shooters.

I've only had success one way; shooting their gun. There are a number of ways to do this, you can choose whichever works best for your favorite range.

I'm a good shot. It took a lot of practice, and I'm a pretty humble guy, so believe me when I say it. When I shoot someone else's gun, I take extra care to make sure I outshoot them. This shows them two things;

1. The gun is not the problem.
2. They could be better.

Some people just don't care how well they shoot, and that's fine; but most want to shoot better, and jump at the opportunity to get some free advice from someone who has proven they know what they're doing. Even if they don't ask for tips, they have a goal, and a reference for improvement.

You've probably seen the indoor range anomaly where everyone's targets are around the same distance. When someone shoots at one distance, other shooters want to see how they stack up at that distance. When someone breaks the pattern, and pushes their target all the way to the back, you'll see the other targets move back. People want to see how they compare. It is a sport after all...

A month ago I was at the range, practicing standing position with my 10/22. After stacking shots at the closer ranges, I pushed the target all the way to the rear (50') so my inaccuracies would be accentuated. Two others were shooting at 30 feet pretty quietly. Usually there is a little bit of chatter. When I offered to let them shoot my 10/22, they both declined, and one commented he wouldn't even be able to see the target all the way back there. I almost offered to take off my glasses and shoot again, but thought that would seem boastful. Seeing the target isn't the problem. As long as you can identify the fuzzy blob of your target, and put your front sight in the middle of it, and squeeze the trigger correctly, you hit. The next week, I saw the same gentleman shooting his .45 at a target at 50 feet. He wasn't grouping on the paper, but he was hitting it. Two weeks later, I saw him again shooting his .45 at 50 feet, with greatly improved groups. Each time I saw him he went out of his way to greet me warmly. Might he have done that on his own? Sure. Might I have encouraged him? I'd like to think so.

No comments: