View Full Version : More newbies at the range....

Dave McC
August 28, 2002, 05:19 AM
Work and family have interfered a bit with my trapshooting lately, but I squeezed in a session last night. I arrived at PGC with my TB, 100 rounds, and a strong desire to obliterate 100 little clay discs.I had range 8 to myself, the ATA shooters had already shot and left.

I shot 23/25 the first round, and had racked my TB to wipe off some sweat when a range employee happened by.He was a clean cut teen of high school age and was carrying some ammo. He inquired if I had turned in some range tickets and I responded.

Up on range 9 were two couples. No vests, hats, pouches, or the other stuff we tend to wear when we've done this before. I jerked my thumb at them and said,"Newbies?".

"Brand new".

I then asked who was instructing them.

"I am".

Sayeth I," Have you done much instructing?".

Quoth he,"Not much",and looked at me expectantly.

I sighed and told him to send them down for a quick session of Shotgunning 101. He waved at them and the trooped on down like they'd waited for an invitation that had just been issued. I guess it had....

They'd two rental shotguns between them.They'd two boxes of shells, and two range tickets, planning to split a round and box between spouses. Both were the rentals were 391s, one a 12 and one a 20 gauge.Both had long stocks,and were obviously too long for the ladies.

Upside, the 12 gauge ammo was 7/8 oz Fiocchi, a vey light kicking load.

So, first the safety talk,a check for eye/hand dominance,a demonstration of form and stance, and then we hit the range.The men went first with ten rounds each, and despite their seemingly insurmountable urge to stop the swing, stand sideways to the target, and aim, they broke a few birds and had fun.

Then the ladies stepped up to the plate. One was obviously doing this to please her husband, but the other WANTED to bust those clays.

And when she smoked a bird,the grin on her face told me another shotgunnner was born.

The lady that was pleasing her husband seems to have fun too,and the group thanked me vociferously before trooping back to the club house to turn in the rentals and look at shotguns for sale.

BTW, I tried one shot in that 12 gauge 391, using one of my trap extras from my belt and pouch set.

Smoked the bird, negligible kick. I could learn to like a 391...

The light was fading and my furlough near ending,so I grabbed the TB and shot another 23/25.

The kid was sitting on a bench when I finished, and thanked me again for the lesson. I mentioned that I liked to teach people because lots of folks had taken some time and trouble helping me, and paying it forward was a good thing.

He looked at me strangely, and said something like....

"Maybe you don't remember me, but you got me started last year. I was out here with a crappy little 20 gauge and you had me hitting some clays pretty good with it"....

I didn't recall the incident, there had been a fair number of newbies and some had crappy 20s. After a bit it came back to me, tho, and we talked a bit about shotguns and shooting.

And as I climbed into the Taurus and let the pony run for home, I reflected that paying attention to a newbie and helping him/her out was helping us ALL out.

One more person that enjoys shooting means one more pro gun voter.

One more person that enjoys shooting and knows shooters is less liable to fall prey to the lies of the Bradys and Kellermans of this world.

One more person that enjoys shooting means there's one more citizen on the street more able to defend his or her self,family,community and nation.

And one more citizen able to understand this....

August 28, 2002, 08:45 AM
Good goin Dave!

August 28, 2002, 08:49 AM
very cool, Dave... one problem...

When you climbed into your taurus, isn't it a bit more correct to say "let that BULL run for home"? :D

August 28, 2002, 01:46 PM
Very cool Dave. I love getting new folks shooting.

August 28, 2002, 01:55 PM
Dave obviously imagines his Taurus to be a vintage Ford Mustang convertible. Cherry red, no doubt.

Dave R
August 28, 2002, 04:53 PM
Thanks for sharing that, Dave.

Is it time to resurrect one of your posts on instructions for newbies? I see a new crop on this board...

Dave McC
August 28, 2002, 05:26 PM
Thanks,folks, nice to know the message is getting out.

"Let that pony run for home" was a saying of my Grandmother,mostly Cherokee/Choctaw and all Texan.
It's now one of those family sayings among Clan McC.

Dave R, maybe, but let's keep suggezting the Search Feature. Easier on me(G)...

August 28, 2002, 05:59 PM
When are you moving to OKC?????? ;) I wish I could run into someone like you at the range I go to. People there always seem to stay to themselves and the only time they break that code is to stop someone from doing something dangerous.

August 28, 2002, 06:44 PM
And yet another star on your GOOD medal Dave.

"And when she smoked a bird,the grin on her face told me another shotgunnner was born. "

That is such a heartwarming experience, got me grinnin readin of your doin it for her.


August 28, 2002, 07:03 PM
It made me grin too!

Good going Dave. You and I share a passion for helping the newbies to have fun and hit a few targets. Some of the finest moments in my shooting life have been helping a kid hit their first target. The look on a 10-14 year old boys face when you offer up an expensive O/U for him to try a few shots seems worth the price of the piece to me too. I really enjoy new shooters and their enthusiasm.

August 28, 2002, 09:50 PM
Those new shooters are our replacements.

He he, the old farts of the future ?


August 28, 2002, 10:51 PM
Thanks for sowing the seed for future.

August 29, 2002, 12:31 AM

August 29, 2002, 12:45 AM
I always enjoy your shotgun posts, Dave.

Good to hear...I don't give much money to pro-gun orgs (just renewed for a 3-yr membership to the NRA last week tho) but I do try to take lots of new shooters to the range.

Dave McC
August 29, 2002, 05:42 AM

Huke, some ranges and disciplines seem more open and friendly than others. Benchresters tend to be a quiet lot, and often keep to themselves or folks they've known for quite a while. As always, generalizations are suspect.

I'm a raging extrovert and that must be a factor.

A note from the past....

Even before Pop became Scoutmaster of our troop, he was active in the Scouts.At one campout, we brought shotguns, an old trap, lots of ammo and clays. All the boys took turns, and hits were applauded by all.

Most of the men I knew were vets, guns were everywhere, and shooting was an honorable activity carried on by good citizens.

It was a given that we Scouts would be in the military someday.I lost contact with most of the boys, but I can think of one Bronze Star, several PHs,a Presidential Unit Citation and a number of pretty little yellow,red and green ribbons earned by boys from that troop.

Duty, Honor, Country...

Now, activities like that would be prohibited for most Boy Scouts and kids in general by local ordinances, prejudice, and so on. Fewer kids shoot, partly because they see their dads only on alternate weekends, partly because we've moved to an urban/suburban demographic. So, more folks are ignorant of what guns and gunning really are and get their input from Dan Rather and his ilk.

Knowledge is the light that banishes the darkness of ignorance. Every person with first hand experience of lawful and ethical gunning is an ally, and we sure could use more allies.

I note an ad for a candidate on TV cites that "He's not afraid to take on the NRA". How much would you like to bet that he's experienced with guns? And that he's playing to those with the same amount of experience?

I briefly watched a debate between James Carville and Wayne Pierre last night on CNN where Carville was saying that a community banning guns was OK if it was a majority decision. I guess he figures the rest of the Bill Of Rights is just as malleable to community standards. If a majority of viewers wanted Carville to shut the heck up,I guess he'd be OK with that too...

These folks crawled back under their rocks on 9-11-02, and now they're re-emerging. Every new shooter is more light and less darkness.

(Dismounting from soapbox)....