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Old 05-16-2018, 01:20 AM
scoobysnacker scoobysnacker is offline
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Default A pleasant experience at the range...

My nephew came into town this week with a friend from college (they're going to school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for you guys up there), and yesterday I took them out to the range for a little fun and new experience.

Just to clarify- I'm down in south Louisiana, where owning firearms is a pretty common thing. Even the local Democratic politicians I know, own some nice handguns, and one carries a snubnosed .357 S&W (not getting into politics, just noting it's a gun-friendly place to live). My nephew is acclimated to this, but his friend Nick was actually an English citizen studying engineering over here. So this was truly a first for him; he'd never had the chance to even hold a firearm before, let alone shoot.
Along with that inexperience, he also had a pretty serious medical condition as a kid, resulting in his right arm (dominant) being very weak- he's a big guy, but his grip was almost flaccid.

My son and I own a good bit of firearms, but we wanted to keep it simple and streamlined, so we only brought a few:
Ruger Mk II in .22
Daewoo DP 51 in 9mm
a fullsize 1911 in .45
and a couple surplus rifles my son chose, a Mosin Nagant and an SKS.

It was a joy to introduce Nick to our pastime. First up was the .22, and I chose the Ruger as it has always been dead reliable, as well as attractive and accurate. It didn't fail us this time either. Despite his initial nervousness (he wasn't "reluctant", but worried that his grip could be an issue, and again guns as a whole were new to him), he quickly relaxed after a couple shots. "This is easy- and FUN" was his comment during the first magazine, I think more to himself than to us; and he fired off maybe 4 mags without a problem.
Our range is indoors but allows any ammo, and also has plastic bottles you can choose to shoot at, along with paper targets. After getting his bearings with a silhouette, he wanted to go for the bottle on the last magazine, and made satisfying contact at 7 yds easily.

I mentioned he's an engineering student... his next choice was the 1911. In comparing the various pistols, he noted the extra heft of that, and (correctly) determined that the greater mass would soak up the recoil. I smiled as he started giving me a few equations regarding that, before the first shot! Sure enough, he fired off a magazine, and said "yeah, really not bad at all". He actually had more trouble with getting a good grip (he used a very firm offhand grip, while maintaining control of the trigger with the right hand. Might have made some purists cringe, but he was safe and effective. His paws were big enough that his left hand enveloped his right, so he "shot" right-handed, but in reality his right hand was primarily just trigger). Recoil wasn't an issue.

Then we shot the Daewoo- I chose this one as the 9mm since I recently replaced the trigger bar, and had shot it a lot to determine it was in fact running good again. And while doing that, I've come to really appreciate that it's a very nice shooter with some unique features.
And again, our new English friend took to it both as a shooter and as an engineering feat. We discussed the differences from the 1911, as a more recent design - incorporating the DA/SA trigger. Then discussed the major gripe that came with that development (different trigger pull), and the Daewoo's remedy- the "triple action" feature. For those not familiar with it, Daewoo (and now Lionheart) have a unique hinged hammer assembly, so that once cocked, you can flick the hammer back to an uncocked state, and the trigger will return to the same long pull as DA, but with the same lighter weight as SA. Dryfiring safely (with a dummy rd), we went over the different pulls. It was funny because I was explaining it to him in a basic manner, and you could see the "engineer" in him processing and grasping it at a mechanical level deeper than I do. Gotta admit, he stumped me when he asked why more guns don't share that design; I just shrugged and said I guess it was because most makers considered the heavier pull as an additional safety, and the consistent trigger was more the territory of the striker designs now.
He did have one failure to feed in the second mag, a limp-wrist (which he acknowledged as it happened, his arm was getting tired). The gun was clean the rest of the time, 1 more mag for him and probably 300 rds total for the group.

He passed on firing the rifles, but did enjoy analyzing the 7.62 rds, noting that the ammo became smaller as it became more modern (54R to 39mm). We discussed the practicalities of modern urban conflict, and once again the engineer came out in him, noting the greater efficiency of a smaller rd and load when you're not (usually) engaging at longer distances, vs the ability to have a smaller and more controllable semiauto as compared to a long bolt-action.

Sorry, that's a long and wordy post, but I had a blast as an "ambassador" for firearms, and I really enjoyed the warm and very honest smile it brought to a young man who not only came from a culture where it wasn't available to him, but also had a physical impediment that caused him to fear he might not be able to handle them.
Afterwards, I think my main regret was not thinking to include a Hi-Power for him, or that I don't own any British surplus arms. It would have been nice to let him handle something "from home".
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:45 AM
DumpStick DumpStick is offline
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I like hearing these stories; the ones about someone completely unfamiliar with firearms being introduced to them in a good environment.

And, coming from a family full of engineers and mathematicians ( I hate math. I can do it, I just dislike it intensely), I completely understand an engineers propensity to dissect everything.

It's interesting watching someone, who may have been raised thinking guns are inherently evil, find out that owning/shooting a firearm doesn't instantly reduce one to a slobbering, murder-intent idiot.
Instead, there is a great deal of fun to be had, and skill to be developed in the sport.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:07 AM
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Sounds like a good way to spend a day!
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:52 AM
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Bubba, ya done good!
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:16 AM
mauser9 mauser9 is offline
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Maybe he will smartin up and move to Louisiana.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:39 AM
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But did you feed him some good ole creole food? Maybe fried gator tail and seafood gumbo?

Good job!
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:17 PM
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I really enjoy the experience when I or someone else at the range has the opportunity to introduce someone to the shooting sports. Great post Snoobysnacker.
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:28 PM
MichiganScott MichiganScott is offline
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Reminds me of the time I took a Moldovan foreign exchange student to my club. I don't know who had the most fun. He took his targets home as trophies.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:44 PM
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Default I think you did a boon....

I think you did a boon to all mankind. That's really something making sure that he had a good first day out with the special considerations. I'll bet his interest grows from here on out.

PS: I really like his adaptive method of shooting pistols. I wonder how he would be shooting left handed?
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:22 PM
scoobysnacker scoobysnacker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAFireman View Post
But did you feed him some good ole creole food? Maybe fried gator tail and seafood gumbo?

Good job!
WELL...

Appetizers- blackened gator and barbecued shrimp

bowl of seafood gumbo, with a small bowl of crawfish etouffe on the side

fried shrimp poboy with side order of sweet potato fries

Told him he'd probably want a nap afterwards
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:30 PM
scoobysnacker scoobysnacker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
I think you did a boon to all mankind. That's really something making sure that he had a good first day out with the special considerations. I'll bet his interest grows from here on out.

PS: I really like his adaptive method of shooting pistols. I wonder how he would be shooting left handed?
I think he's right-eye dominant, and I suppose before his illness he was pretty set as a righty. I'm lefty, so it wouldn't have been an issue from my standpoint... but I just watched and let him do his thing. He was safe, so I didn't want to push. I know that could be a turnoff, if not done properly.

That's why I didn't push the rifles. He'd had a good time and was fine sitting back and relaxing and watching. Both have good slings and could have been controlled easily enough.
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:40 AM
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I'm left eye dominant and I shoot handguns right handed. Have for my entire life.
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:33 AM
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Was at our range awhile back and was shooting my CZ82 in 9x18 mak. this young boy about 10 years old kept glancing at the mak. told him if he brought hid dad and if he said ok he could shoot a few rounds. He was back in a flash with his dad. First shot with one round,each sucessive round added one. Never seen a kid so happy. Dad looked interested so explained how it worked and loaded 10 rounds. Dad did pretty well. Every once in awhile I get a chance to share some of my toys under supervision.and both parties walk away with smiles on their faces. What truly amazes me is the number of ladies who shoot 45 autos. And some of them are darn good. Frank
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:04 AM
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Sounds like you all had a good time scoobysnacker, and I know what you mean about giving someone who comes from a background that is alien to gun owning and shooting a chance to learn and participate in our sport. A couple of years ago I went out to the range I belong to (The Fusilier Complex out by Arnaudville) and another member had brought 3 young adults from New Zealand out to the range to give them some shooting experience and it was a pure pleasure watching these three enjoying themselves tremendously and they actually shot pretty well. Two of them actually shot my 629 Classic loaded with some light 44 rounds loaded to around 44 Special power and they also shot some full power 357 rounds out of one of model 27s too. I don't know what kind of hoops they have to jump through back in New Zealand to own firearms, but I could see the wheels turning in a couple of them trying to figure out how to get into shooting when they went back home.
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