Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Baby Vulcan Smiles...

Brad_in_MA sends in a New Shooter report. I don't know if I can claim credit for Brad or not (it's been that long since we met, I don't remember if I got him started in shooting or helped him along), but he's now taking new shooters to the range on his own. I'm so proud. Here's his story:
I finally made to the range as instructor to a "new" (aka long-absent) shooter.
We'll call my returning shooter George, not his real name. The last time he fired a weapon was long ago in scout camp. I don't know George's exact age, but he's a bit north of 50. According to my math, that's a ~40 year absence.

I decided to make the first trip .22lr only. I had an open box left over from bloggershoot and we pretty much finished up that box.

A few days in advance of our meet-up, I gave George the four rules. Drilled 'em in. George is a good student. We had one situation where my Ruger pistol had the action open, a verified empty chamber, and no magazine inserted into the grip. George correctly called that the pistol's condition loaded. He "gets" it.

After arrival and a brief chat about the range being hot or cold, I have George the first magazine. George and I worked on his grip and stance, using the isosceles method. He seemed to like that so I didn't try anything different.

George liked shooting my Ruger Mark-III 22/45 and ran the better part of a dozen magazines worth of ammo. We focused on staying on the target and not on precision shooting. We also talked about grip, as George was doing a bit of tea-cupping. I think I've got that resolved.

I had a misfire mid-way through a magazine which I immediately turned into a teaching opportunity. The misfire allowed me to go through the steps of holding downrange for a minute, dropping the unfinished mag, clearing the chamber, and dropping the round into the dud bucket. George did ask about putting the dinged round back into the mag for a second try but I opted to drill for safety and call the dud as dead, dropping it into the dud bucket.

Next we ran a few 'tubes' of ammo through my Marlin 60 rifle. George thought the rifle was a HOOT. He liked it even better when I announced I purchased it for $79. I also did a compare and contrast of .22lr next to fodder for my Mosin Nagants. George was glad I didn't bring one for our first trip. Next time around, I'll bring my M44 so he can experience the fireball and KaBOOM. I think he's ready to blow some 7.62mm holes through one of my zombie rat targets.

In short, the end-of-session smile George gave me was easily worth 50 times the value of the ammo we expended. George wants to get licensed in MA so I've also offered to be his counsel for navigating the MA licensing mine field. He lives in what I believe is a 2A friendly town so once George takes his safety class, he should have no issue getting an unrestricted Class-A license.

The most rewarding part of the experience for me was not shooting, but rather sharing a hobby I quite enjoy. There's also a certain satisfaction in realizing that I know enough to begin the transition from student to teacher. While I'm still learning, as lots of shooters much more experienced than me can attest, the transition is a fulfilling one.

In short, I very much look forward to my next "new shooter" experience.
I have nothing to add to this except "bravo", Brad.

That is all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


libertyman said...

Excellent -- well done Brad.

.45ACP+P said...

And that folks, is how it gets done. "George" will pass on the tradition, too, most likely.

Brad_in_MA said...

Liberty, .45ACP,
Thank you both for the accolades. I already have new shooter #2 ready to go, we just have to find a time in the calendar that works for both of us.

Jay, my journey into madness began a long time ago when I was a yoot. My interest was fostered one summer when I went to scout camp and has been simmering along ever since. Fast forward from the late 1970's to about 2004. Between you, a certain white South African gun blogger with a girl's name, and a few other factors, the planets aligned. So while you were not the sole force, you did have substantial impact.

Next up for me is to get through My Progeny becoming a Bat Mitzvah, get my finances in order, and get myself a centerfire pistol. Jay knows after about 5 magazines worth of ammo, I was really liking the Ruger SR9c, even the neutered MA-compliant (spit) version.

- Brad