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Old March 19, 2006, 12:47 AM   #1
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Ever observe other shooters at the range?

I was teaching my girlfriend to shoot today. There was alot of downtime for her to rest her arms and also because she takes a long time to make her shots and I started looking around. I like the shooters you dont notice, I always notice the idiots.

Lots of idiots around me today, rapid firing and not hitting crap. I think alot of us probably look at peoples targets if they are close enough to us and rapid firing.

Two middle aged guys shot next to me today sharing a stainless* .357 revolver, I tried to read the name on the side but that part of the brl as well as almost the entire wheel was covered in black soot. At first I thought maybe the finish had been burned and changed the coloring but the more I looked the more it looked like actual soot/grime on the wheel and the brl right by the wheel. They diddnt bother to put up new targets and just used the ones from the people before them. The people before them hadnt been very good shots and neither were they. Bullets all around with no grouping to speak of, unless you could all your bullets on the same paper as a "two foot group". To give them credit, they did strike a nice pose as they shot one handed as fast as they could pull the trigger, very tough looking. They only shot 1 box each, so they were gone pretty quickly, they even nodded to each other and grinned and generally seemed very satisifed when they left.

Alot of other rapid fire shooters today, none had any kind of group as far as I could see either and Ive never even seen a revolver in that poor condition berfore, worst shooting Ive ever seen.

Last edited by gac009; March 19, 2006 at 08:30 AM.
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Old March 19, 2006, 01:21 AM   #2
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At what distance was the shooting? I'll watch the targets of other people. I don't really watch how they shoot, what style they are shooting.
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Old March 19, 2006, 07:51 AM   #3
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I always keep an eye on other people's targets so I can compare them to mine. I also try to see what they're firing.

Most of the time here's what I see (at an indoor range). 80% of the people tend to set their targets up at around 7 to 8 yards. Of that 80%, I NEVER see any type of consistency in terms of groupings...they're pretty much all over the target. Those that rapid fire tend to be all over the paper, not just in the bullseye. Of the 80% that keep their tarets within 7 to 8 yards, 90% of them use silhouettes rather than COM or bullseye's. I go every week, sometimes twice a week, and I NEVER see any of these same people at the range.

What do I derive from this? Either the vast majority of the folks that have guns are not terribly serious about learning how to get good with them, or I am extraordinarily anal about refining my shooting skills. Personally, I believe the former is the case.
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Old March 19, 2006, 08:29 AM   #4
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ready for this, ok here it goes.....15 feet. The range I go to starts off really close on one side and moves further and further down on the other. I think the furthest is 25 yards. Almost all of the shooters want to shoot at the closest targets, the 25 and 15 yard post are always empty.
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Old March 19, 2006, 08:40 AM   #5
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I have seen a lot of terrible shooting. Probably everytime I go to the range.

Usually, the best shots are the old-timers that have 1911s. They usually are shooting bullseye style though, but I have seen them in other stances.

The crowd I see that shoots like crap the most are: younger guys, guys training their girlfriends, and people with tactical plastic.

Most people with Glocks, Sigs, HKs, and even XDs aren't very good usually. I am talking @ 7 yeards missing the target or they have foot wide groups if you could call it that.

I don't think they go to work on their skills. They go to have an adrenaline rush by shooting, look cool with their lady, or just try to be "badass" with their tacti-cool pieces. It's very sad and I would not want any of them with a firearm on the street or protecting me.

Also, most of them choose calibers which they cannot control and would be better off with a lighter caliber.

And finally, last time I was there, there was a LEO teaching his girlfriend to shoot a "12 gauge" and trying to show his skills. At 7 yards he missed the entire silhouette target with 5 shots. He hit the corners of the paper and the arm of the target. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen while shooting at the range. And he thought he was good, and was just having an "off" day. I know I have off days, as everyone does...but man, missing with a long arm at that distance, that many times....was just not right.
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Old March 19, 2006, 08:42 AM   #6
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every time I go to the range I see people shooting with no eye protection on
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Old March 19, 2006, 08:48 AM   #7
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I never really thought about people looking at my targets when I'm done. I get lazy and cheap and don't feel like walking downrange to change my targets. When the bullseye gets full of holes I just pick out an empty spot on the target, put a hole in it and try to hit the same hole. Sometimes I try to hit the corners of the paper.

People probably see this and think, man, that guy can't hit the broad side of a barn.
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Old March 19, 2006, 09:03 AM   #8
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Every time I go to the range I make a point to walk up and down the lanes at least once or twice while I'm there. I do it on the off chance that I'll see that one person who is trying to learn to shoot but is all by themselves. I'm not intrusive about it or anything but if I notice someone obviously trying to shoot well but "teaching themselves" so to speak, allot of times I'll say hello and offer up a quick pointer or two. Usually after the quick pointer helps, they're interested in having more help.

Now, I'm not a certified instructor and I don't charge anyone for my advice/tips/pointers/whatever. I just do it because I love the sport of shooting and I want people to learn how to shoot properly. I can think of more than a few occasions where I helped out a fellow shooter and it's always well received. It's a good feeling to know you're helping people learn good shooting habits.

As for those morons who want to shoot as fast as they possibly can and hit everything BUT the target, well, they're just good for comic relief.
He is greatest, who is trained in the severest school.
-General Thucydides, 424 BC
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Old March 19, 2006, 09:28 AM   #9
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Every American a cowboy with a six-shooter

One of the great enduring myths; every American a shooter.

Accurate shooting takes a certain amount of natural ability. It also requires practice, practice and practice to get even better.

Ever go to a basketball game and watch some players shoot fouls. Sometimes they are college scholarship athletes and sometimes NBA pros. Some still have trouble hitting the "broad side of a barn" it seems.

Decades ago I had an acquaintance who taught police marksmanship training. Some of his stories were scary about the inaccuracy.
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Old March 19, 2006, 09:31 AM   #10
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I check out the other shooters. Primarily, I want to make sure I'm not standing next to some goofball. If the guy is really nutty, I tell the RO.

I remember one guy who brought his girlfriend there. From what I gather, she was interested in him and in some other guy they both knew but wasn't there. So the guy who was there starts telling her how to shoot, and she says, "So-and-so said I was supposed to do it this other way." The guy says, "Don't listen to him. He doesn't know -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-." The guy then loads the gun and proceeds to fire off a full mag (15 rounds of 9mm) and completely misses the target. About then, the RO steps over says, "Sir, you're shooting up my support pilings. From now on, you need to aim at the target. If you hit my pilings again, you'll have to leave the range."

I think the girlfriend's giggle was probably more embarrassing to the guy than getting a warning from the RO.

Secondarily, I like to see what other people bring to the range. Sometimes you'll find a serious shooter there with a nice rig, and you can get into a pretty interesting conversation. Sometimes, they'll even let you shoot a mag or two.
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Old March 19, 2006, 09:55 AM   #11
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They go to have an adrenaline rush by shooting,
Another possible reason.......
I was shooting at the base range on an AFB when a young Airman showed up, broke out about 5-6 boxes of 9mm, a half dozen hicap mags and his pistol.
He hung some paper, loaded the mags and proceed to burn ammo. He went through all of his ammo in short order. When he saw me watching he just grinned and said "Therapy". (I think he was seeing something/someone other than the target downrange. )

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Old March 19, 2006, 10:21 AM   #12
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I'm that guy

Well maybe not exactly. Although I have burned 1200 rounds in the last two days practicing double-taps at 3-4 yards, but I'll get to that in a minute. I've only been shooting for about three months now, and average 400 rounds a week at the range. I can easily put all my shots within a 5" group out to 20 yards or so. I know thats nothing to bragg about, but it does fall into the "kill" ring on a silhouette target. I've taken a class to get my CHL (texas) and have on on the way and spent my range time practicing what I considered to be good defensive shooting (WTH did I know?) . When I took my CHL class, I outshot all the other people taking the class and the ones recertifying. Again thats not bragging, because I'm really not all that good, thats only telling you how bad the other peeps shooting was. One person was even shooting their gun for the very first time!! All this under my belt I was pretty comfortable with my shooting skills. Then last week I went to my first IDPA match. Keep in mind, I can easily put all my shots in that -0 ring COM. Anyone who has shot a match knows what coming next. All my practicing and I cant even remember shooting the first stage of the match. .Shots were placed wildly with some completely missing the target altogether. Second stage went a little better, but man, if I had gotten my CHL and carried without ever having that match experience, I would definately be unprepared for an actual confrontation. It looks like there is alot more match shooting in my future to try and best prepare for shooting under stress.. I know for myself the defensive shooting classes are for the most part to expensive for me. I try to do my best picking up tips from other shooters and the web. So if you see me at the range shooting rapidly at a target 3 yards away, give me tips on controlling recoil and proper stance, not judgement. -zeke
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Old March 19, 2006, 03:29 PM   #13
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Every range session. Mostly see what other people are shooting, several
times other shooters I have seen let me try their handguns, and I have let people try
mine. I see a lot of lousy (IMHO) shooting, but if people are there to have
fun, "it's not for me to say" (to quote a Johnny Mathis song). Eye and ear
protection are mandatory at the ranges I go to. I note those stalwarts who
wear only ear plugs. I wear plugs and muffs, though I have been blessed with
fairly acute hearing.

Last edited by SIGSHR; March 20, 2006 at 03:09 PM.
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Old March 19, 2006, 03:43 PM   #14
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Not to worry Its good for the industry
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Old March 19, 2006, 07:38 PM   #15
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I always observe the people next to me on each side. I just want to be sure I'm not being swept by the muzzle.

It seems like 85% of those ar lousy shots. Lots of fresh out of puberty SWAT wannabes with the thigh rig holster.
Worst of all are the couples on a date. Nobody seems interested in teaching their partnet to shoot, they just hand them the gun and let them empty it in the general direction of the backstop.
A couple of months ago, I see some guy "teaching" his girlfriend to shoot. He hands her this giant (44 or 454) revolver, with no instruction. She fires one shot, and the gun flips up and smashes her right on the forehead. Lots of blood, but no serious injury.
I guess he wasn't getting any that night
My grandmother was born in 1911.
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Old March 19, 2006, 07:41 PM   #16
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I just like to take a look around every once and a while to make sure no one is accidently pointing a gun at me. Get a feel for who are nuts and who aren't. Watch the nuts like a squirrel!

And unaimed bullet hurts just has much as a dead on bullet.
Insert witty, comical, and/or significant quote here.
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Old March 19, 2006, 07:47 PM   #17
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Know what you mean....

I tend to avoid the shooters who are teaching their girlfriends how to shoot.
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Old March 19, 2006, 08:30 PM   #18
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Once while shooting next to Mr. watch how fast I can shoot I did this.. Put the prettiest little group dead center in the bulls eye for him (without his knowing hehehe!) Boy was he proud! Sorry but I just HAD to do it.
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Old March 19, 2006, 09:39 PM   #19
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Perhaps it's not about being "a serious shooter".

Maybe for these people, it's about being able to hit
a man sized target at acceptable self-defense ranges.

Not everyone is an IDPA geek, or a hard-core reloader
or a bullseye expert. Maybe they just go to the range
ocassionally to make sure thier peice still works, and
that they can still "hit the broad side of a barn".

Not everyone is a gun nut, after all.

standard issue/
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Old March 19, 2006, 09:58 PM   #20
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Last month I had the priveledge being next to a goober who was trying to teach his girlfriend to shoot. He brought 2 guns, a Glock .45 and a S&W .460magnum. It didn't go over very well.

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Old March 19, 2006, 10:13 PM   #21
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Generally, I just make sure people around me are safe. Other than that, I don't really care what their targets look like. I try to be in and out of my usual indoor range within 15 min. shooting usually 72 - 80 rnds.

Frankly, I feel there's a lot of making-fun-of-the-person/people-who-shoot-worse-than-you attitude from reading the responses of this thread. We all have to start from not knowing how to shoot, so the next time you have the extra time at the range to notice how poorly somebody shoots, perhaps you can go over to him/her and provide some free pointers.

I've started actively shooting since last August, and when I frist started shooting 8 months ago, I probably look like the fellow who's not hitting paper and rapid firing. I say this because I actually when thru that, after firing a mag w/o getting a nice group, I get frustrated and rapid firing ensues. So, the next time you see someone doing the above, he/she may just be a new frustrated shooter.

Anyway, after 8 months, I find myself usually having the best looking target in terms of grouping and distance. Usually, if anybody beats me is the 1911 guys, but I know how easy it is to shoot that pistol Give them my HK P2000v3, and they miss on the DA then complains about the high bore axis
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Old March 19, 2006, 10:49 PM   #22
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have you all not taught your wives/girlfriends how to shoot, or is it that you prefer the single life?
Silencers have NEVER been illegal !
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Old March 19, 2006, 11:15 PM   #23
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Im not making fun of anyone, Im not the best shooter ever but I think there is a difference between attempting to shoot well and wasting your ammo as fast as your gun will shuck it out.

As for people teaching their girlfriends, we take it pretty seriously. No goofing and she is coming along pretty well. She cant shoot a whole lot because her arm gets tired so I may be in the marked for a nice light .22lr for her.
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Old March 19, 2006, 11:29 PM   #24
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I had to give my P22 to my wife. Thankfully she let me keep the can
Silencers have NEVER been illegal !
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Old March 19, 2006, 11:30 PM   #25
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hey man i wear a thigh rig! and i draw from it at the range am i no wanna be swat
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