Got together with 7 of my friends yesterday for a "Fun Shoot" at the local indoor range.
My former manager arranged it so she and her husband-to-be, along with some of their friends, could rent different guns to try, and get a little instruction from yours truly.
We went through The Four Rules before we went into the range, and I talked to each person about previous firearms experience. Some had shot before, and some hadn't, but all were looking forward to getting some range time.
All the classes I've had, and the classes I've helped teach, came in handy, because this was the first time *I* was the only "instructor" with the group.
We started with determining what their dominant eye/hand relationship was, I explained all the controls on the different pistols I had brought and my friends had rented, and then we worked on stance, sight picture, and proper grip.
After that, we hung some targets and proceeded to put holes in them!
Like a lot of beginners I've seen, most of them tended to lean back, rather than lean into, their firing position, and most of them weren't properly gripping their pistols.
So, after correcting their stance and grip, and explaining the sight picture to them again, the improvement was immediate.
They all went from being all over the target, to being solidly "in the rings", with percentage of "in the black" rising sharply.
A little more "fine tuning" and explanation, and all of the new shooters were 100% "in the black" at 25', and the experienced shooters were "8 ring or better".
One of the things I pointed out was that this was a perishable skill, and that if they bought handguns, they should try and make it to the range once a month, just to keep their motor skills from fading, and the stay "comfortable" with the operation of what ever firearm they bought.
We "tested" my Kimber 1911, My SIG P226, my S&W TRR-8 revolver, a couple of Glocks, and a Springfield XD.
Most people remarked about how "easy" it was to fire the XD, and how controllable it was. BUT...the XD was the only pistol in 9mm we had, while the rest were 38/357, 40S&W, or 45ACP, so I had to explain to them the differences in recoil caused by the cartridges having different weight bullets, and different muzzle velocities, resulting in different amounts of "Action-Reaction" caused by the bullets going down the barrel at different speeds. They pretty much "got it", but it occurred to me that it would be nice to have the same gun in different calibers so they could really get a feel for what just changing the cartridges does.
The only way I could show them that was to let them fire some "range ammo" in my revolver, Kimber, and Sig, and then switch to some factory loads I had with me.
The Kimber and Sig were significantly different between the range ammo and some Golden Sabers I had brought along, but the biggest difference (boom vs BOOM!) was between 38 Special range ammo, and full-load 357 Magnum I brought in my wife's revolver.
After that drill they began to understand that maybe it wasn't just the pistol that was so "controllable", and that the ammo used had quite an influence on how the pistol handled.
And then I brought out my good old Remington 870!
The range was pretty quiet, and the first round of Wolf 00 buck I let loose really woke things up.
Since we were there to help people decide on pistols for home defense, I figured it would be a Good Thing to bring along a serious home defense weapon, and explain it to people.
And yep, had plenty of stereotypes to put down, like the classic "You Don't Have To Aim A Shotgun" myth. They got to see that at 20', a shotgun still has a pretty tight pattern, and how just "pointing" it could easily result in a miss.
It was also the first time I'd fired it since I installed the "reflex" sight on it, and it few turns of the Adjusting screws to get it "on target", but the reflex sight was a great hit among those who elected to send a few rounds of 12ga downrange!
So all in all, we had a great time, I think I helped a few people, and I know I made a few friends, and people who will want some private instruction.