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Old November 14, 2016, 09:28 PM   #1
MikeGoob
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Starting someone off on a 22 backfired?

I picked up a neat little Ruger SR22 to loan friends at the range, Basically to help train people.

I used it for this purpose once last year with a very inexperienced shooter. He loved the 22 but halfway through our range time I wanted to show him some other guns, 9mm, 38, in different sizes.

He hated it---wanted to go back to the 22 and later at the gun shop he wanted to get a 22 for self defense!

I've always heard you should start people on a 22 but now the next time I take someone out, I don't want them to start on a 22 for fear of the same thing happening! Did I do something wrong?
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Old November 14, 2016, 10:26 PM   #2
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IMHO, no. The .22 is still the best way to start. Let him shoot the .22 for a while and gradually work around to more powerful pistols for SD/HD.

Is there some immediate pressing need for a more powerful gun? Did he testify against the local mob boss or is he being chased by drug dealers? If not, there is likely no need to press him about a "better" gun or caliber. The truth is that most gun owners shoot for fun; only a very small number have a real need for a SD handgun. So if he wants to shoot for fun, let him. Even if you feel a need for a SD gun, not everyone does and nagging a friend to do as you do (and think he should) is one way to ruin a friendship.

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Old November 15, 2016, 09:11 AM   #3
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Nope, you did good.
Especially when he liked it enough to buy his own .22.
Lots of folks are happy with .22s and don't want or need anything else.
Who knows, once he's gotten more experience, he'll probably do what we all did - get a more powerful pistol anyway.
All thanks to you and your .22.
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Old November 15, 2016, 02:26 PM   #4
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I always start first timers with my SR22. I've never had them complain when I move "up" to the 9.
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Old November 15, 2016, 08:14 PM   #5
MikeGoob
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Thanks guys. I guess I just want to help my friends and relatives to advance when they may not be ready. And true, some may never want to get into self defense. Its something to think about...
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Old November 15, 2016, 09:18 PM   #6
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If you have access to a suppressor on a 9mm, that may be the way to go. I know it's just physics but it's amazing how the extra weight on the muzzle helps to tame recoil. It also eliminates muzzle blast and much of the noise. I almost don't even enjoy shooting unsuppressed anymore.
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Old November 15, 2016, 10:06 PM   #7
Bartholomew Roberts
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Suppressor are huge with making the experience better for any new shooter. I remember letting a new shooter shoot my suppressed AR15 (my first suppressor) and they were having a great time. Then they shot another AR15 without a suppressor and the look of shock and fear when they pulled the trigger was tangible. Part of that was my fault for not managing their expectations because I already knew what an unsuppressed rifle sounded like and I forgot to convey that information to them; because I didn't think it was significant.

Now I know better and I can guide new shooters through that transition better.
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Old November 15, 2016, 10:32 PM   #8
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The commonest mistake beginners make is to buy into the "big gun" idea that nothing smaller than a .454 is "enough" for a handgun. The "big gun" promoters tout those monstrous guns with bone-breaking recoil and earth-shaking noise and newbies too often believe nothing less is a "real he-man's gun".

So if the newbie is not completely turned off on shooting, he can't hit a barn at 10 feet, has quivering hands and a permanent shell shocked expression, but is convinced any less gun is not worthy of being used by a "real he-man". Sad.

Believe it or not, subjecting your bones and muscles, not to mention ears and eyes, to brutal punishment and calling it fun is not being a real man - it is being a real idiot.

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Old November 15, 2016, 11:22 PM   #9
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With new shooters, one of the other issues is the noise. Even with good hearing protection, a 22 is a lot quieter than a high-pressure round like a 9mm. Your friend has just learned to sit up; now let him learn to crawl, then walk, then run.
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Old November 16, 2016, 08:53 AM   #10
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I always start new shooters on 22lr but I always make them take one shot from a 44spl with a 240g bullet.(LIGHT LOAD)
This helps over come the fear of recoil and puts into prospective the differences in gun/caliber size.
Most new shooter are timid and afraid of the recoil.
I have found that once they experience the recoil from a larger gun they settle in and learn much faster and with less intimidation.
At that point they feel much more at ease with the 22lr and progress much faster in the learning curve.
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Old November 16, 2016, 10:38 AM   #11
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Is his name Bill Burr?

https://youtu.be/7leSF_FE658
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Old November 24, 2016, 11:25 PM   #12
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My normal progression for new shooters is to start them on a .22. Next we try a 3" SP101 with .38 special wadcutter target loads. The combination of the mild recoil and bigger, easy to see holes in the target, seems to encourage them to try standard pressure .38 specials. If they prefer the auto, I go to a full size 9mm (BHP) as being easier to shoot than the subcompact, lightweight ccw that many of us carry.

That's usually enough for the first few times out. I save the snubbies, mini 9s and snappy little .380s until they get more comfortable.

If they're still having fun, we can bring out the big guns.
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Old November 25, 2016, 03:12 PM   #13
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I also always start first time shooters on a .22. Once they are comfortable with that I offer to move them up to 9mm. Then progress to heavier stuff.
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Old November 27, 2016, 10:30 PM   #14
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I always start with my 22lr single six with one chamber loaded.
If a new shooter loved that set-up and decided that was all the farther they wanted to go it would be fine with me. One shot of 22lr is still better than crying on the phone while they wait for police. In most situations it will likely also do the trick as few will not choose flight one any bullets start flying.
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Old November 28, 2016, 12:53 PM   #15
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People who start on a .22 often develop sloppy, lazy habits for how they hold the gun and how they (don't) control recoil. Without truly good grip instruction (which is rare at beginning levels), these people can take their lazy, not-firm hand position and really hurt their hands by holding the larger calibers loosely, without good control. This makes them more likely to not want to move up, or to quit the larger caliber before it seems they've even given it a real try.

(By the way, for counter balance: People who start with larger calibers -- most notably, but not only, the .40 -- often develop a lasting flinch pattern that takes serious work to eradicate.)

There are other reasons to not want to move up from the .22, including poor hearing protection or an exaggerated understanding of what recoil feels / will feel like. Lots of people psych themselves into fearing recoil, who would not be bothered at all if they had someone intro it to them in a matter-of-fact, no-big-deal kind of way. (And plenty of people do have that helpful friend, and fear it anyway, mostly from lack of trust or understanding; I'm not blaming helpful friends here.)

Some people have low tolerance for recoil for the same reason that some people show up to the dojo once and then never work out again -- they're (for lack of a better word) kind of wimpy. These folks may need to be eased into it, but that assumes a level of willingness that may not be present in the first place. Some can be challenged or mock-insulted into it, but that's a tricky dynamic that very much depends on the relationship between that person and their helpful friend.

Tricky dynamic to work around in any case.

And no -- in the absence of strong, physical reasons otherwise, the .22 caliber is not ideal for self defense. There are exceptions.

pax

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Old November 28, 2016, 03:49 PM   #16
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
People who start on a .22 often develop sloppy, lazy habits for how they hold the gun and how they (don't) control recoil. Without truly good grip instruction (which is rare at beginning levels), these people can take their lazy, not-firm hand position and really hurt their hands by holding the larger calibers loosely, without good control. This makes them more likely to not want to move up, or to quit the larger caliber before it seems they've even given it a real try.

(By the way, for counter balance: People who start with larger calibers -- most notably, but not only, the .40 -- often develop a lasting flinch pattern that takes serious work to eradicate.)....
All of which reinforces the utility of a good instructor and the importance of a well managed introduction to shooting for the novice.

As I've mentioned before, I help teach Basic Handgun classes with a group of instructors. Probably 80% to 90% of our students had never touched a real gun before. Our class enrollment runs 20% to 40% female. We have students of all ages from early 20s to us more seasoned types. We've had entire families attend together. Most of our student show varying levels of anxiety at handling real guns.

We go through the course material in a step-by-step, measured and supportive way, doing a lot of "hands-on" work with the students. The students handle a variety of revolvers and semi-autos under direct supervision, one-on-one, of an instructor. They use dummy rounds to load and unload the guns, dry fire and generally learn how things work and feel, and they get continual safety reinforcement. These initial hands-on exercises help students get familiar with handling guns and lay a foundation for safe gun handling habits.

Then in preparation for live fire, and after talking about how to actually shoot (grip, stance, sight alignment, trigger press, surprise break, focus on the front sight, and eye dominance), we work one-on-one with students on grip and stance using "blue" inert training guns.

Before going to live fire with .22s, the students shoot airsoft (the quality type) in the classroom so they can get a feel for sight alignment and trigger control (and reset) without the noise and intimidation factor (for beginners) of firing real ammunition.

After the students fire their 25 rounds of .22 (working one-on-one with an instructor), we put out a variety of guns from 9mm to .44 Magnum so the students can get the experience of firing the larger calibers. Shooting the centerfire guns is at each student's option. Most fire them all, but some choose not to.

When someone has gone through our program, it's not uncommon for her/him to be shooting 1.5 to 2.0 inch groups at seven yards with the heavy calibers. A few months ago, a petite young woman who had never fired any type of gun before out shot everyone, including her husband, with the .44 Magnum -- putting three rounds into about an inch at 7 yards.

This group (six rounds at seven yards) was fired during the last part of the live fire period at one of our Basic Handgun classes. It was fired by a middle aged woman who attended our class with her two adult daughters. She had never fired a handgun before our class; she had fired a rifle only a few times. It was fired with a Ruger Red Hawk -- three rounds in .44 Special and three in .44 Magnum.


And here is one of her daughters looking with an instructor at a group of six shots she had just fired at seven yards with a Colt Python (three rounds of .38 Special and three of .357 Magnum). She had never fired a gun before.

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Old November 28, 2016, 03:57 PM   #17
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A 22 Winchester magnum rimfire semi auto pistol is not so bad for self defense --- but I would prefer a somewhat higher caliber pistol.
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Old February 18, 2017, 07:44 PM   #18
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I've taught a few people to shoot and I almost always start them off with the .22 LR to teach them the basics and build their confidence. This is after I show them all of the basics (safety rules, grip, stance, sight alignment, and trigger pull) on an Air Soft. I feel it reduces the likelihood of flinching and anticipating the recoil when they move up to the larger calibers. I taught my wife's aunt who is in her 60's and she did great, even up to the .45 acp. In fact, I believe that was her favorite. Then again, she was shooting my Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special. LOL
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Old February 18, 2017, 10:23 PM   #19
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He may eventually get bored of the .22 and move up to more viable calibers for a carry gun.
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Old February 18, 2017, 11:17 PM   #20
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Regardless of age, a person that has never shot a firearm should start with a .22, hearing protection and an experienced shooter directly behind them. The experienced teacher should be able to quickly determine the next step in the process of learning to be a responsible shooter.
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Old February 19, 2017, 10:57 PM   #21
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Some folks just like 22's and not much else. Guy who grew up on a Florida ranch told me he learned to shoot with a 22 auto rifle and he would use it for anything because with that rifle he could hit anything. If you believe that hits count, what can you say?
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Old February 20, 2017, 12:09 AM   #22
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What ever it takes to keep them shooting. It is better to be armed with a gun you can handle than one you are afraid of. If he/she shoots a lot he/she will try something else and grow into it.
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Old February 24, 2017, 09:06 PM   #23
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I taught a couple of new shooters today and started them off on my new Ruger Mark 3 Hunter. They went through about a box of .22LR and then I moved them to my Springfield Loaded 1911 in 9mm. Smooth easy transition. We then went on to the HK P7M8, and then finally to the Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special in .45 acp. They did okay for their first time out, but had the typical new shooter issues. They jerked the trigger and rushed shots. Overall, they had a blast and kept it safe. I'd call that a good day at the range!
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