At special request of Angel Baby Girl, Dearly Beloved loaded up his pick'em up truck with gear on Monday morning. When she showed, she had her brother, my Tall Son, in tow. And of course I was going as well. So, anyway, off we went to a friend's ranch where there is a rather rustic but completely safe range.
I think I'll let the Dearly Beloved tell the story - -
We went over the Four Prime Rules of Gun Safety on the drive. To their credit - -all aboard having heard them previously -- no discussion was needed. On arrival, we stapled up targets, 9" paper plates.
Holly's Tall Son shoots fairly often with his pals. ABG seldom has the opportunity, so this trip was mostly for her benefit. She wanted to shoot the .22 rifle her mom gave her when she was about 14, and the shotgun her father had given her. She's also interested in learning better how to manage a handgun. H wants ABG to have a pistol available for apartment security. I brought an assortment, to let her make her own choice of what she wants.
We started off with her Winchester .22 bolt action, a quite accurate older model repeater. She dry fired first, as she did with all the guns. Then she shot from about 20 yards and had no problem keeping all her shots on the paper plate. We worked on her stance and trigger press a bit, and the only question was the size of her group. Then we tried the rather beat-up Ithaca Model 37 16-gauge pump shotgun, her grandfather's bird gun. Only one problem: It doesn't shoot. A broken firing pin needs a gunsmith's attention. She fired a few shots from my AR15 and did okay, but didn't like the scope. I removed it and she was far more comfortable with the metallic sights.
We started on handguns with my short barrel Browning Buckmark .22 at 20 yards. ABG shot it with very consistent accuracy. By the second magazine, she was shooting a group. The girl has native talent, and NO bad habits to overcome. She shot another .22, a Smith & Wesson Kit Gun with a two inch barrel. At 10 yards, she shot it very well, both single action and double action.
Now she fired an S&W four-inch .38 revolver, a stainless steel model 64. She shot both single action and double action. She kept them all on the plate, and her DA group was a LOT smaller. Hummm - - This kid is a noticeably good shot. I'm an enthusiast, and I can give details of how well she shot other handguns. In short, she's a NATURAL. She is athletic, strong, and has excellent hand-eye coordination. My brother was that way. I became a pretty good shot with rifle and pistol by dint of hard work and lots of practice. All anyone had to do was show Jerry how to operate the particular gun, and he could shoot it well. ABG is the same.
She shot a Browning Hi Power 9mm, a Glock 19, and her mom's Kel Tec P11 and P32. Predictably, she shot them best in about that order. I had her shoot the KTs at about 10 feet, because of the rather difficult trigger. She shot a 1915 Colt .380 and a Walther PPK even better. I had her shoot a Chief's Special Airweight with light .38 loads. She kept each and every shot on target from 15 feet. This is NO small feat, friends. Some veteran police officers can't shoot an alloy frame .38 snubby as good. The Model 37 is NOT an easy revolver to shoot well. She finished the orientation shooting a Government Model .45. She kept her hits right on the paper plates and then badly damaged a big rock on the berm at about 30 yards. Amazing.
After that, I just played range officer and kept ammo and magazines sorted out while she, her brother, and her mom shot whatever they wanted to. They perforated paper and aluminum cans, two-liter bottles, and half a case of overage grapefruit.
Next trip, ABG can choose whichever guns she wants to shoot - - Probably not over three or four. We'll work on smoothness and speed. I predict she'll not need a LOT of training before she'll want to go to a match. ;)
Many thanks to the Dearly Beloved for reporting on a wonderful day at the range. The Family that shoots together, stays safe together.