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Old March 7, 2006, 03:34 AM   #1
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"Can I shoot some clay pigeons?" she asked.

In another forum a man asked for advice on getting his wife involed in some clay pigeon shooting. A lot of good advice was given. I decided to add my experience with my wife and a few other women. I thought it would make a good post here, too, as it might help some current (or future) husband enjoy shooting with his wife. Women, of course, can add especially good insight on this topic.

In my case, my wife had shot with her dad when she was much younger. She had little desire so far as I could tell to go shooting again. My family had gone shooting each summer as a kid and we were having a reunion in our old stomping ground. I suggested we do a family shoot and everyone agreed. As I organized it my wife saw my determination and how important it was to me.

I made sure I never excluded her by saying things like "You can watch the kids while I go shooting with the guys." Instead I suggested we go shooting in two shifts so everyone gets a chance. It turns out some didn't want to shoot and were happy watching the all the kids. She wanted to come with and give it a try.

Looking at the variety of handguns and rifles, her suggestion was to start small and work her way up. "Great idea," though I. "How about starting with this one?" she asked in all seriousness, pointing to an 8-inch Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum. Since "up" from there was shoulder mounted, we started with a .22 and worked up to it.

*** Start with a very light-recoil firearm. ***

After going through the array of firearms it turns out the .22 and 9mm were much too boring for her. She liked a little more action and feedback. Her favorites were the .45ACP, .44 Mag (a "soft" shooting .44 Mag), and the Ruger Mini 14. And boy, was she good! We setup clay pigeons along a natural backstop and she started shooting them single-handedly with the .44 at 20 yards, about a 2/3 hit ratio. (She is not petite, being an able-bodied 5'8" farm girl).

She confirmed that she hadn't been shooting for over a decade while I re-examined my technique. ("Just what gun did you shoot with your dad way back when?" "I'm not sure, I think it was a black one, though." Gun aficionado she is not.)

After purchasing my first shotgun almost a year ago, her family was getting together for July 4th. I suggested to the male in-laws that we do some clay pigeon shooting. They were all for it, though had not been shooting probably as long as my wife. We arranged to shoot on my in-laws' in-laws' ranch. They had a number of brothers that liked to shoot so we would all go together.

It all started and my wife jumped right in. Her younger sister, who had brought these two families together, decided to give it a try once she saw my wife having fun breaking clays. It helped that her new husband was having a great time and we were all taking turns. Well she tried it out and started to break some, too.

Then the wife who had elected to watch from the house, after seeing the two women shoot with smiles, came and asked if she could give it a try. "Absolutely!" we said. A slight pause for a little coaching from a brother-in-law and we were back at it. She broke several and had fun.

*** Have other women there. Seeing them break clays (or even just shoot) is empowering. ***

Chapter 3:
Now we are back to my side of the family with my younger brother's new in-laws. A family with six daughters and the father wants to teach them to do some shooting, feeling bad that he never had before the youngest two were about to graduate from high-school. (My brother had invited his father-in-law to sleep over and go shooting while en route to a bowl game.)

These women were a bit more delicate than my wife. Their father had given them some good basic instructions. They were excited to go to the bowl game, but had little desire to shoot, especially a shotgun. Their father explained they each had to break two clays to earn their ticket for the game. The father had a very nice walnut-stocked semi-auto Browning to use, but they still hesitated.

For some reason, my wife was all fired up to go shooting. I think she just loved to be there with other women. (Note to self to arrange some more of that.) She loads the only shotgun I have and walks up to the firing line and asks, "Can I shoot some clay pigeons?"

Short pause as they all look at her holding a parkerized Mossberg M590-A1 9-round SpecOps-stocked combat shotgun. "Honey, you can do anything you want with that," says the dad. First clay: dusted in one shot. Second clay: shoot-breaks-rack-shoot-breaks biggest remaining piece. After a few more (I was just beaming, and maybe starting to sweat a little for the pressure to perform now) she asked if anyone else wanted to try.

Now the ladies literally lined up to shoot. My wife, with no prodding from me, started to give them pointers on stance and form. "You want to put the back of it right about on your bra-strap." The dad and I looked at each other. "That's one I wouldn't have thought of," we didn't say. And the ladies took it from there. One hesitated a little. My wife suggested,"Just imagine you're a pioneer woman and have to get a rabbit for dinner." With a couple of shots into the tumbleweeds for practice, that proved to be enough encouragement.

Each one shot and broke clays with both guns. The smallest one even PREFERRED the 8-9 pound Mossberg. I think she was the one who mentioned "I don't know if I want to shoot that one; it looks mean." Maybe the extra weight helped reduce recoil.

It was a fun and productive day. All the ladies shot a few different guns, including a .22 handgun, and smiled after breaking a clay pigeon with a 12ga (with light loads). I heard later that a couple of them had bought a .22 target pistol for themselves when they got back home.

*** Have another woman show them AND coach them. Let the men stand back. ***

You can give more pointers later if THEY want. The point at first is to give them enough to be safe and have fun. Note that my wife has not had professional lessons or classes, does not compete, read these forums, go shooting as often as I do, or even talk or think about it as much as I do. She just wanted to have fun and was happy to have other women with her. It works wonders.

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Old March 7, 2006, 10:28 AM   #2
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Thumbs up!
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Old March 7, 2006, 04:12 PM   #3
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Well done!
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Old March 7, 2006, 09:29 PM   #4
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Thanks, I love happy endings....
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Old March 8, 2006, 03:16 AM   #5
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well done post bro. thanx.
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Old March 8, 2006, 08:13 PM   #6
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I gotta find me one of them
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Old March 8, 2006, 11:05 PM   #7
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This thread could almost be a "sticky...... needs pics.
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Old March 9, 2006, 12:57 AM   #8
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Thanks for the kind remarks. Sorry, I don't have any pics, just some great memories. Even if I do bring the camera it doesn't usually make it out if the bag since I have more fun with the guns.

Does anyone else have some good shooting stories with the better gender?
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Old March 11, 2006, 12:23 PM   #9
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As I've stated on another forum...
When I met my wife she was anti-gun...With a little encouragement...I.E. showing her I'm not perfect...she agreed to shoot "a-little".

We started real old bow and some arrows, worked up to BBs and then to the .22lr. It took a little while and some intentional misses on my part, but in the end she loved it and now has given me Carte Blanche on purchases!

Does it really get any better than that?...Now if I can get her to hunt with me...Maybe that will open Carte Blanche on Huntin' Trips too!
"I may disagree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."-Voltaire

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"The Addiction to Guns, The only addiction to ever SAVE a life!"- Me
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Old March 11, 2006, 06:53 PM   #10
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Your story reminded me of my brother's wife. She was also very anti-gun, to the Sarah Brady degree. She didn't like the idea of him keeping a gun in the house for any reason, even protection. That is, until she woke him up one night because there were very suspicious noises outside. Then she didn't mind the presence of a gun so much.

She still wasn't hip to the whole "shooting is fun" idea. My brother invited her out to the local trap range a few times with no luck. When the topic came up one day she asked, "So when are you going to take ME to the range?" Twenty-seven seconds later they were backing out of the driveway with a 20-gauge side-by-side, ear plugs and glasses, a bunch of ammo, and a double range fee. I wasn't there but it sounds like he was very encouraging. She thought it was OK to shoot at the clay pigeons, but when she broke one she loved it. I think she hit five on her first time. Now, this is her first time shooting anything, with any gun, ever. They've been back and she's improved her scores. For a while I think it was almost a regular weekly thing.

She has now divested herself of the VPC thinking and has even accepted her own handgun, a gift from her husband. How's that for a happy ending?
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Old March 14, 2006, 10:30 AM   #11
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good call man and well written at that too.
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Old June 11, 2010, 08:56 PM   #12
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That was a good story. I think your father in law was accidentally shot your wife. It reminds me with my uncle General when he shot his wife when he taught that it was a hold aper.
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Old June 11, 2010, 09:53 PM   #13
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My wife was never "anti-gun" (she was an Army medic for 6 yrs), but wasn't comfortable with them.

She was okay about having them in the house, as long as I had a safe.

Got my CCP & she looked at me askance a few times, when she'd see me strapping my 1911 on, but got used to it.

She was accosted/attacked on the way to work (no injury/loss- inside locked car, thank God) & decided she wanted her own gun & to get her CCP.

Bought her a Walther P22 for her birthday. Went to the range, gave her a "one over the world" on safety & marksmanship & turned her loose. She loved it. Asked to try my 1911s & the .357. Starting asking, "can we go the range this weekend?"

Took her CCP class & shot like a house on fire. Decides she wants "more" gun. Handled a Walther PK380 & loved it. Bought it for her & after a range trip she loves it.

Dunno if I'll ever get her busting clays (nervous about trying- I'm a CRAP wing shot), but at least she's now comfy with with guns & enjoys shooting.
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Old June 12, 2010, 08:21 AM   #14
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Awesome! - At 52% of the population, we NEED to get them involved to help ensure survival of our sport - if momma's happy, EVERYBODY'S happy........

(And she'll have no problem letting the kids participate)
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Old June 12, 2010, 11:02 AM   #15
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My buddy's wife and adult daughter weren't anti gun, they'd just never shot a gun before. Like many women, they were a little apprehensive about breaking into a male dominated environment. Like learning to drive, some tasks are better left to the professionals instead of family members.

Last April, with my wife along as moral support, they attended a ladies only instructional shooting clinic at our gun club. The ladies started off with classroom instructions followed by live firing at the club's pistol and short rifle ranges. After about 5-hours at the club, the ladies returned home with freshly perforated targets, certificates of completion, NRA swag and new found enthusiasm.

The Women on Target clinic was sponsored by the Women of NRA.
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Old June 14, 2010, 07:09 PM   #16
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Does anyone else have some good shooting stories with the better gender?
Yeah. I may have to write a book someday. When we decided to get into shooting, I was not an experienced shooter. The first thing she shot was a S&W 629 - with full-house Magnums. She handled it pretty well, but had enough after the first couple rounds. Now, she loves shooting either of her .357's, my M29, 9mm, .45 ACP, 12-Gauge and pretty much whatever she can get her hands on. We went to Appleseed in the Spring, and she even earned her Rifleman patch. That was to my exclusion, and she was the only woman there that managed it. We've had some great times together and a lot of those times have involved shooting.
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Old June 15, 2010, 07:04 AM   #17
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Good Man , well done
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Old June 15, 2010, 11:07 AM   #18
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I guess them Mormon girls like to shoot. That is my experience too....but with Jack Mormon girls, but that is a different story.
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Old June 15, 2010, 11:58 AM   #19
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Heh, when I met mine, she was jealous of my gun! She now carries a 4" Springfield XD Service Model in .357sig because she doesn't like "those baby guns!".
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