Same Song, Different Verse
I love it when people call Gun Talk Radio and give "range reports" on their experiences introducing others to shooting. Here's an account I wrote in 2002.
In taking a small group of folks to the range recently, I was reminded of several things we should all remember. First was simply how much fun it is to introduce newcomers to shooting. Two men and three ladies went with me to do some handgunning and wingshooting. My adult son, as you might expect, was not a newcomer. The other man had been away from shooting for years, and admitted he had never done much shotgunning. The three women varied in experience from a little to none.
We moved from a .22 rimfire revolver to a .38 Special revolver, and then branched out to include a 9mm auto, .40 S&W auto, and a couple of 1911 style .45 autos. Within the span of a half-hour, all the women were shooting the centerfire handguns well, and enjoying it. We started at seven yards, and before long, they were shooting at a metal plate from the 25-yard line, and hitting it often.
One of the women put it well, saying, "I came here to be a good sport. I thought I'd try it, but I didn't plan to enjoy it. I didn't know it would be this much fun!"
Same song, just another verse. That's the common reaction -- "I didn't know it was this much fun."
On the skeet field, though, I embarrassed myself by bringing a standard size 20-gauge autoloader. None of the women could use it well. There's just no way to learn to shoot a shotgun that has a stock more than an inch too long. Next time I'll bring one of the "youth/ladies" models, or maybe one of my mother's guns. She was only five feet tall, and her Winchester 101, Browning A5, and Winchester Model 12 all wear 12-inch stocks -- perfect for small shooters. ~ Tom
Author, outdoorsman, gun rights activist, and firearms enthusiast for more than five decades, Tom Gresham hosts Tom Gresham's Gun Talk, the first nationally-syndicated radio show about guns and the shooting sports, and is also the producer and co-host of the Guns & Gear, GunVenture and First Person Defender television series.