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Old March 10, 2001, 02:36 PM   #1
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
Hit the range today, and a couple things came up I'd like to discuss....

The range wasn't very busy, and as I set up three young folks came up. One was a trap puller, his GF came along for her very first time shooting a shotgun, and a male friend. All toted shotguns, she had a rental Franchi 20 ga semi, with a stock about 2 inches too long. As the line started, her boyfriend set her up on the #3 station, told her to watch what he did, and THAT was all the instruction she got. After watching her fumble a round or two, I backed off station #4 and racked my gun. The trap guy thought I was disgusted at having to shoot with beginners and said something to me about leaving the line. I replied that I was going to help her out.BTW, it was the kids and me, nobody else on line, no one waiting.

So, it started. After going over safety(she wasn't careful enough about keeping her shotgun pointed downrange) and getting her into the the best position I could, she got a few birds, resulting in a 10 Megawatt smile. Meanwhile, her BF was hitting a few more with his Mossberg, using an exaggerated crouch right out of an action movie. At the end of the round, the trap guy positioned her close to the traphouse at station #3,and she fired on straightaways until her shells ran out. She thanked me, and all the kids(all nice kids,despite too many earrings)headed back to find another rental gun with a shorter stock and to warm up a mite.

So, why in H*ll did her BF think all she needed to do was shoot? Her form was guaranteed to hurt her after a few shots, her gun did not fit and she was definitely out there alone. My guess is, she never would have fired another shotgun in her life.

But, a few minutes with a modicum of instruction left her eager to do it again,having fun, and busting enough birds to show she was learning.A properly fit shotgun might have had her hitting more than her BF.

I've seen it over and over. A tyro is willing and able to learn, but some guy with more glands than sense sets her up to fail and to hurt a bit.

IF THEY WANT THE NEWBIE TO SHOOT WITH THEM, WHY DO THEY NOT WORK AT IT? Skipping one relay at trap to walk the rookie through and give a bit of instruction about stance, postion,swing,etc is low cost,easy and pays off immediately.

If someone you know wants to learn to shoot, get them a shotgun they can use, and some instruction. If they get to the point they outshoot you, so be it(G)....

Dismounting from soap box....
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Old March 10, 2001, 03:21 PM   #2
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Join Date: January 12, 2000
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,298
You did a good deed, my friend. I am glad to hear that your were warmly recieved, and not re-buffed by the boyfriend.

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Old March 10, 2001, 04:43 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 31, 2000
Posts: 1,127
Well done Dave.

I've seen the same approach taken by fathers and their sons and seen the sons grow very discouraged when they miss bird after bird. A little instruction goes a long way.

Chalk up another clay shooter on your scoreboard.

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Old March 10, 2001, 07:40 PM   #4
Dave McC
Staff In Memoriam
Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
The BF had pulled trap for me, and I can get away with more stuff than a younger man. I'm a big ol' teddy bear type, looking kinda like Santa and kinda like the Grandpop most kids do not have these days.

And this could have gone wrong. However, I did it w/o showing I thought the BF was a dunce,so he felt less threatened than he would have otherwise. Tact is essential at times like this....
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