Went to the range today with my son, so he could participate in the "Sunday Pistol Shoot" that one of my instructor friend runs. I know my son is safe, and can shoot quite well, but I feel he could benefit from some formal training. And I always enjoy training, and pick up a few tips.
I wound up helping the other two instructors quite a bit, and helped several of the new shooters in the class change some things they were doing wrong that had the potential to become bad habits.
The class was only 8 students, with my son and myself, and six women. They were all interested in the type of gun my wife has (A S&W TRR8), and one of the ladies there has the same gun. Several of the ladies were quite petite, and had trouble racking the slide on full-size semi-autos, and loading the magazines. We took them all in to the gun store that's part of the range, and taught them how to pick a gun they could safely and comfortable shoot. Some rented revolvers, and a couple rented smaller semi-autos. We stressed that if you're not comfortable with the gun, you won't shoot it properly, and probably won't enjoy going to the range for practice.
One of the ladies had a very nice small-frame revolver with Crimson Trace grips, but was having trouble shooting it. She was trying to use it with the laser turned off, and the gun had no "proper" rear sight. It was sold to her at another gun store, by a counter guy who said "My wife has one of these, little lady, and it'll be *perfect* for you!".
So now she's in the market for another revolver until, she said, she's "good enough at the basics" to use her snubbie with the laser grips.
We stressed to them that as new shooters, they should NOT feel the "I'm no good at this" mood that many new shooters have. It's a new activity to them, and like all new activities, it takes time to learn how to do it. We encouraged them at every step, worked closely with them, and by the end of the session the ones who were having problem had markedly improved.
Some of them had very good marksmanship skills, and the rest *will* get those skills with practice.
One other thing impressed me about this group of ladies. They weren't the type who had been mugged or assaulted, and "wanted a gun for protection". These women were interested in learning about all different types of handguns, safety, and how to use them effectively. They weren't they types for who "the gun thing" was a passing fancy, or the type who would take a class or two, and then "know all they needed to know". These women were serious, and WILL continue their training. I could tell by the questions they asked, and how they behaved on the range, that they have the gumption to continue to learn, and will turn into fine, safe shooters. It was very refreshing to see such enthusiasm, and support for our Second Amendment rights.
My son impressed the instructors, who recommended he move on to the more advanced classes, including the Tactical Handgun classes.
So all in all, it was a great day at the range, and I was privileged to help some new shooters hone their skills.