This past weekend I had the pleasure of working with someone who had never fired a firearm…I mean every. She comes from a family who enjoy firearms, but she never took to a liken no matter how persuasive an argument was made.
Without getting into details she came to the decision she wanted to learn on her own. I’m glad she did and knowing that I would have one chance to really sink the hook we had to keep it short and sweet.
So much information, so little time
So, with a finite amount of time what do you actually cover? There is so much to cover, that is why we have training classes, but knowing that wasn’t the answer the next best thing was to spend about an hour and really concentrate on the basics. How does this story end, well it was definitely a happy ending. While the hook may not be sunk too deep it is in there and with a few more range sessions who knows.
The little blaster that could
This was also the first time I used a 22LR pistol with a student, well that is not entirely true, just this model. It was a student supplied Walther P22 and I have to say I was really impressed with this little blaster. While not something I would choose for self defense as I have said in the past “a gun is better than no gun.” This little blaster is just a miniature version of their P99. I’m not a fan of the paddle magazine release and the slide actuated safety is nice for a student, but my biggest complaint was the double action. Very difficult for a first time shooter so we by-passed it and shot everything from single action.
Again, what do you choose to cover with a limited time. As an intelligent women we focused on firearm safety and manipulations right off the bat. Worked on some basic gun handling and then performed some warm up drills. Once some familiarity is in place I feel you can start to concentrate on marksmanship.
As I have been asked what about my recipe for success, it was pretty simple. I worked on sight alignment first. Since that is the easiest to master. I mean, how difficult is it to learn sight alignment. Once you understand sight management I find you don’t have to spend much time on it and rather devote the majority of training time to trigger management.
So, from there we worked on the “two step” trigger management process. Step one, touch. Touch and take up the slack so you are resting on the sear wall. Step two, squeeze. Squeeze the trigger unit the round discharges, but squeeze past the point of ignition. We used progressive drills to reinforce each of these micro lessons. Using a coach/student method I handled the trigger management at first and then gradually turned it over to her, eventually turning everything over to her and I mean everything.
She loaded her magazines, then made ready and was able to fire multiple magazines at close range very accurately. Gaining confidence we took her back and even with the added distance her marksmanship was still pretty good. The little blaster did an excellent job. It’s small frame and light recoil made it a perfect firearm for a beginner. I will see this little blaster in my inventory very soon. All in all a great experience and hopefully another firearms enthusiast is added to the community.