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CHS
09-21-2009, 11:31 AM
Ladies, I would like to work on getting together a "Tip Sheet" that can be published in PDF format (for easy printing) and passed out to men at shooting ranges, gun stores, etc that will help them better understand the differences between Men and Women so that they can actually get women into the shooting sports.

All too often we hear stories from women that hate shooting (or worse, hate guns!) because some guy played a trick on her, or didn't know how to properly appeal to her and get her shooting properly.

What would be great would be if we can get CGN/CGF's approval on this and passed out at gun shows at the various CGN/CGF booths!

What I'm thinking is just a single page (front only or front and rear, but only a single page regardless) PDF with a few tips. Each tip maybe a half to one paragraph.

For example, I've taught quite a few girls how to shoot and gotten a few of them into it. There are DEFINITELY differences between men and women. For example, men just care that they're shooting. Women seem to want RESULTS. I find that women enjoy shooting a lot more when there are reactive targets, or they can see their bullet holes impact if shooting paper. Trap and Skeet have always been very positive in my experience for getting women into shooting for the first time. Hell, my GF now likes to go shoot trap more often than I do!

More examples:

- Fit and comfort of a firearm is much more important to women than men. If a woman is uncomfortable shooting a gun, she won't enjoy shooting at all.
- A womans BF/SO is not always the best person to teach a woman.
- Don't be pushy. If a girl wants to shoot the .22lr all day long, don't try to get her in a 9mm. If she wants to shoot the 9mm, she'll ask.
- Don't overload her with information. Guys love tech and hearing about all kinds of cool stuff. Concentrate on getting a women just enough information so that she can safely operate the gun. She'll come to you when she wants to know more. Let her ask the questions, don't bombard her with answers!

Ultimately, the goal is to get more women involved in the shooting sports. Guys want to see more women at the range, and women want more female friends to go shooting with, but MOST IMPORTANT, the more people into shooting, the better our 2A is supported!

So I definitely need good solid female feedback on this project. Keep in mind, this is going to be primarily aimed at MEN introducing NEW women to shooting.

I know we've got all kinds of awesome macho .44mag-packing women on this site, but you've been shooting a lot longer than the women this will ultimately benefit :) So please keep in mind the "new shooter" aspect of this.

CHS
09-21-2009, 11:43 AM
Just to clarify something.

The reason this sheet should be aimed at men is purely due to numbers. Men VASTLY outnumber women in the shooting sports. If we're going to get large amounts of women into shooting, we need to appeal to the numbers, and that means we need more men introducing more women into the shooting sports.

But to do that, a lot of men need to change their attitudes or way of thinking and doing things.

A lot of people say that shooting is just a naturally male-oriented sport, and I somewhat agree, but I think that's also because men just don't know how to properly introduce women to it. I want to change that.

SwissFluCase
09-21-2009, 12:46 PM
I've taken a number of women to the range. I would put forth the following based on my experience:

Allow her time to become familiar with the weapon before you get to the range. This is also a good time to find out if she has the hand strength to operate the slide.

In reference to the above, revolvers are golden. My Glock 26 with the .22lr conversion is great too.

Some women like to dress up to go to the range. I discourage low cut blouses and open shoes. It's all fun and games until hot brass goes... down there.

Shoot-N-Cs make her results easier to assess.

There are many others, but I tried to pick the ones that stood out to me.

Regards,


SwissFluCase

CHS
09-21-2009, 1:18 PM
Allow her time to become familiar with the weapon before you get to the range. This is also a good time to find out if she has the hand strength to operate the slide.


That was one that I was going to mention and totally forgot. It must be stressed that men and women are not built the same and women generally have less wrist strength than men. This is important from a recoil perspective and ties in to the "fitment" tip.


Some women like to dress up to go to the range. I discourage low cut blouses and open shoes. It's all fun and games until hot brass goes... down there.


You're totally right. I completely forgot to mention that. Stress the correct style of dress. But yeah, I've noticed a lot of women do tend to dress up a bit when going to the range.

w55
09-21-2009, 1:28 PM
last 2 women i took shooting looked at the .22 revolver went pfht..and shot up all my 45acp..lol

SwissFluCase
09-21-2009, 1:40 PM
Good point, w55. My girlfriend turned her nose up at the Glock with the .22 slide and straight for the Sigs. I generally have a .22 option, and any pistol that would be appropriate as a duty weapon. No titanium ultralights, pocket pistols, etc.

I'll post more as I think of it. It would be nice to have it written down. This is very important to the cause.

Thanks!

Regards,


SwissFluCase

Z.1
09-21-2009, 1:46 PM
Allow her time to become familiar with the weapon before you get to the range. This is also a good time to find out if she has the hand strength to operate the slide.

In reference to the above, revolvers are golden. My Glock 26 with the .22lr conversion is great too.


good tips, i'd definitely like to hear more... took my girlfriend to the range for the first time about a month back. She was having a lot of trouble racking the slide and kept getting stovepipes with the 9mm (wasn't bending her elbows???). wish the range had some .22 revolvers for rent - would be nice for her to start with something simple and with little recoil.
... guess i'll just have to buy one :D

CSACANNONEER
09-21-2009, 5:29 PM
Last time I was at SHOT, I remember seeing some great publications targeting female shooters and some targeting juniors. I don't remember any names right now but, if I find any of the samples, I'll see if there is anything in them and/or let you know the titles and publishers.

CHS
09-21-2009, 5:37 PM
Last time I was at SHOT, I remember seeing some great publications targeting female shooters and some targeting juniors. I don't remember any names right now but, if I find any of the samples, I'll see if there is anything in them and/or let you know the titles and publishers.

Please do!!

Merc1138
09-21-2009, 6:09 PM
Don't start someone with a pistol sensitive to limp-wristing(ie: glock). I wouldn't say that really applies to women specifically, just people in general. I mean think about it, someone new isn't necessarily going to know what a decent grip is, or know what to expect out of the recoil. If you have to step in every time they fire a round to clear a stovepipe, it's not going to be helpful to the experience.

That's my 2 cents at least.

Sunshine
09-21-2009, 7:38 PM
Hand size matters. Single stack autos are more enjoyable for smaller hands.

AbbyCat
09-21-2009, 7:42 PM
Definitely let her choose which type of gun she wants to learn and what caliber. And please...it doesn't serve any purpose to have her 'just try' some big .44 mag just for fun.

Also, recognize that the type of shooting she wants to learn may not be the same as her BF/SO.

CSACANNONEER
09-21-2009, 7:53 PM
Definitely let her choose which type of gun she wants to learn and what caliber. And please...it doesn't serve any purpose to have her 'just try' some big .44 mag just for fun.

Also, recognize that the type of shooting she wants to learn may not be the same as her BF/SO.

When I taught a 13 year old, very petite, girl how to shoot handguns. She wanted to shoot the 44. I still flinch real bad when I shoot it but, since the first time she picked it up 7 years ago, it's been her favorite handgun and she can't mix soda cans at 25 yards with it. Hell, I can't get it to group better than 10' at a distance of 10 feet!

AbbyCat
09-21-2009, 7:59 PM
When I taught a 13 year old, very petite, girl how to shoot handguns. She wanted to shoot the 44.

But that probably is the exception and the not general for a 'tip sheet.' ;)

CSACANNONEER
09-23-2009, 5:02 PM
But that probably is the exception and the not general for a 'tip sheet.' ;)

I agree but, I also will allow a new shooter to shoot a larger caliber gun as soon as I feel that he/she is capable of it. I use to allow children as young as 10 to shoot my 50BMG (before I registered it - so, it was legal to do in Ca.) if both I and his/her parents thought it was alright to do so. After a shot or two, new shooters (unless they are just trying to "compinsate") tend to go back to .22s anyways. Heck, in many ways, I prefer shooting .22s too.

CSACANNONEER
09-24-2009, 4:00 PM
Here's a good place for anyone, including women and children, to start researching different shooting sports to decide which one(s) they would like to try: http://www.usashooting.org/getStarted.php

Also, you could contact the NSSF http://www.nssf.org/index.cfm?AoI=generic and see if they have any tips for you.

If you know a woman thinking about learning to shoot and/or buying her first gun, she's not alone as you can see by this article:

http://www.telegram.com/article/20090920/NEWS/909200526/1002/BUSINESS

Steyrlp10
09-25-2009, 12:50 PM
All of you are obviously very experienced on this topic and understand the complex nature of teaching a woman about basic pistol.

Aside from beginning with a revolver and then going onto a semi-auto, the other thing that enticed me to the range was fresh coffee and donuts. Now that I've been living at various ranges for the last two decades, I return the favor -- I can't walk into a match without the guys asking where's their stash - lol (I am now known as the Donut Lady -- and yes, I shoot with cops!)

I've never considered myself a girlie girl, but one of the biggest complaints I get from my GFs when they're guests of mine at ranges is the state of the restrooms. This is not to generalize, but if you want more women to show up, someone's gotta take some responsibility for housekeeping.

CHS
09-25-2009, 2:04 PM
All of you are obviously very experienced on this topic and understand the complex nature of teaching a woman about basic pistol.

Aside from beginning with a revolver and then going onto a semi-auto, the other thing that enticed me to the range was fresh coffee and donuts.

Hey, at the end of the day we're still men and don't ALWAYS fully understand the female "mystique" :)

ANYTHING you can add is going to be helpful.

Can you expand why you preferred learning on the revolver over an auto?

And I think everyone, male and female, old and young, loves donuts and refreshments :)

professionalcoyotehunter
09-25-2009, 2:11 PM
I take my wife to the range and let her shoot whenever she wants. I will be at A Place to shoot in San Francisquito canyon tomorrow morning with her. If anyone would like to meet there and shoot my Mini14 or My Mauser 300o .30-06 and others just hit me up.

mmartin
09-25-2009, 2:20 PM
oooooo! I want to play!
ok, so I've got like 3 minutes and can't begin to put all my thoughts down in that time... I'll go back through my posts over the next couple of days because I've posted a BUNCH of stuff already on various threads that are specific to this...
if you want to get a jump on it, you can just search my posts. or in a couple of days I'll have it put together.
I'm all over this project...

I think you're totally on the right track with this approach. this WILL work and the reward is that 52% of the population opens up to the possiblility of becomeing shooters and 2a enthusiasts.

this is a great first step, I've got more ideas already brewing behind this once tihs is done...

SO excited...
I'll help you put this together if you want help on the layout and such (write is part of what I do for a living...)
Megan

Steyrlp10
09-25-2009, 2:53 PM
Hey, at the end of the day we're still men and don't ALWAYS fully understand the female "mystique" :)

ANYTHING you can add is going to be helpful.

Can you expand why you preferred learning on the revolver over an auto?

And I think everyone, male and female, old and young, loves donuts and refreshments :)

Before I "expand" (lol,) I'd like to thank you for trying to put this together for other people. It sure would have been helpful for me back in the early 80s where I was trying to keep up with the gun lingo and different disciplines competitive shooting offers. A shooting glossary would have been great!

For me, it was an equipment problem with the semi, so I went to the revolver early on. It was a Ruger Mark II, but I didn't realize the front sight wasn't pinned tight. During the shot, there was just enough movement out there (spin city!) that the end result looked like I couldn't hit the side of a barn. My then husband (now ex - yeehaw!) told me I was pretty useless and blind as a bat.

Pretty depressed at that point in being a lame-o, I tried a revolver (Model 66.) Geez, at 25 yds, I was keeping it in the black. Amazing!

Then I got the bug and started pin shooting. That's when I thought all Colt 1911s were too pretty to lay under glass and had to come home with me.

For now, I'm back to Bullseye. All my target pistols are semis now, but for me, learning the sight picture, squeeze, and proper stance were easier to learn with a revolver. This has helped me enormously on the 50m line.

Best of luck with compiling your tip sheet!

P.S. If you ever shoot at Coyote or Chabot on Range 5, I'll have the donuts ready for you =o)

CHS
09-25-2009, 3:33 PM
I think you're totally on the right track with this approach. this WILL work and the reward is that 52% of the population opens up to the possiblility of becomeing shooters and 2a enthusiasts.


^^^^ This right here people. Megan has summed it up in 1 sentence far better than I was able to. But THIS is what we're going for.

The numbers don't lie, 52% is a LOT of Americans.


For me, it was an equipment problem with the semi, so I went to the revolver early on. It was a Ruger Mark II, but I didn't realize the front sight wasn't pinned tight. During the shot, there was just enough movement out there (spin city!) that the end result looked like I couldn't hit the side of a barn. My then husband (now ex - yeehaw!) told me I was pretty useless and blind as a bat.


That's actually pretty funny. My Ruger Mark II started doing the exact same thing recently until I cranked that sucked down and loctited it!

I appreciate the tips. I think revolver vs. semi-auto probably fits in with the "information overload" section. Revolver controls are just easier to use than a semi, and there's less to forget.

pax
09-25-2009, 9:02 PM
Double up the ear protection: Both earplugs and muffs. Low pressure disposable foam earplugs may be more comfortable for smaller ear canals. (I like Howard Leight Laser Lite and Max Lite.)

NeoWeird
09-25-2009, 11:10 PM
I'm interested in this, and I HOPE I can add a bit here and there.

I'd like to point out one fact: Women are NOT Men. That may seem obvious to most but it's VERY quickly lost in the details. Guys, generally, don't care about dirt, grim, old worn out stuff so long as it works, etc but women generally don't want to share in regards to personal things, and they especially don't want to feel like they are being neglected or a third wheel. Let them know, with new and proper gear, that you both want them there and that they are important enough to warrant the investment of their own gear. When you get to the range, devote as much time as needed to the ladies comfort. If she's the type that doesn't need to be helped every step of the way, then give her breathing room; on the other hand you may have to avoid touching a gun at all the first coupld trips to get her to come around and feel comfortable with the idea of shooting without someone helping her along the way.

The difference between your hand-me-down cracked foam ear muffs with your old scratched up range glasses that have been sitting in your glove box for the last two years and a new $50 set of pink ear muffs and more chic tinted range glasses can be the difference between her feeling like she is riding the vintage train at Disneyland and her riding a broken down cart drawn by a donkey in TJ.

Now not all women like the whole 'pink' thing, so don't just assume and get her something that might alienate her, but if she wants pink polka dots on her ear muffs then let her have them. So your first range trip has a couple less boxes of ammo; the payoff of her having her own stuff to use will be more than enough incentive for her to want to go most of the time.

This is of course just a gateway to the bigger stuff. Give her her own ear and eye protection and she will want to use them. That means she'll want to go to the range if for nothing more than to use them. Long enough at a range and she might just want to try something that looks fun. That may be after the first round of shooting, it may be after several trips to the range without her touching a gun.

Like many other things, when it comes to shooting, women need to know that they are important, that they are safe and secure, and that they are free to progress at their own pace no matter how long other people might think they are taking. So don't nitpick if they are not standing right the first time they go shooting so long as it's not a hazard to health. Don't grab the gun from her to show her how it's 'really done'. Don't get frustrated and huff and puff. Give her the time to do it and she will be more inclined to continue doing.

Oh yeah, also a little hint. Nobody likes to be showed up. 'Throw' your first couple range trips. Open those targets up and get those tire sized targets at 7 yards. Turn that potentially embarassing target into a 'not so bad' target for her.

katokat
09-26-2009, 9:44 PM
Pink - Yuck. PLEASE let her pick out her own gear/gun. If she's into pink, fine, but don't assume.

Nothing makes me feel more uncomfortable at the range than guys goofing off, worse if they work there. It's important that she feel that this is a safe hobby. Professionalism, please, and a respect for other shooters.

Second the comment about bathrooms.

Keep to basics when beginning to discuss guns. Don't need to be overly technical unless she asks. Ask her questions to see how much she knows already, what she wants to learn, and the motivation behind it (self-protection, hobby with BF/SO, competition, etc.), and then tailor discussions and training to that.

Good luck with the list -
Kato

CSACANNONEER
09-26-2009, 10:36 PM
the other thing that enticed me to the range was fresh coffee and donuts. Now that I've been living at various ranges for the last two decades, I return the favor -- I can't walk into a match without the guys asking where's their stash - lol (I am now known as the Donut Lady -- and yes, I shoot with cops!)


P.S. If you ever shoot at Coyote or Chabot on Range 5, I'll have the donuts ready for you =o)

Guns & Donuts???????? Are you married? I haven't shot at Coyote Point in at least 25 years but, now that I know donuts are involved.................

Pink - Yuck. PLEASE let her pick out her own gear/gun. If she's into pink, fine, but don't assume.



The idea of color accessories is a good one. I looked into having some custom blue inserts made for my SP101 so that my wife would feel that it was hers. She really liked the idea and I think it would have made shooting more enjoyable for her.

Steyrlp10
09-28-2009, 9:57 AM
Lol... yes, please visit Coyote again.

Even if you're not into International Bullseye (this Oct 3 is Free, Standard, and Air Pistol), you're more than welcome to hit the dessert cart. Our potlucks are pretty good too where I crack everyone up by making a 5 lbs tin of potato salad and/or fried won ton.

Shooting may be a male dominated sport, but when you're a well-fed man on the line and a happy camper, I think it makes life easier on everyone. On the days where my groupings resemble a shotgun pattern and the poor guy scoring me needs a calculator, well, he remembers I'm the Donut Lady, and all is then forgiven =o)

Electricboy
09-29-2009, 11:58 PM
i generally start everyone off with my mini 14,30-30, 10/22 then go to the pistols. i'm thinking i'll have them start with my 9mm, then xd 40, then xd 45. After the 40 they will probably be leary of the 45, but i will explain it has a less dramatic effect and all should be fine.

but tips would be great. looking forward to them.

mmartin
09-30-2009, 8:33 PM
bdsmchs asked I collect up the notes from other threads... so this is the collected set.

Megan: sometimes it's best if a neutral third party does the teaching. spouses teaching each other things doesn't always go smoothly. besides, if the extra implication of authority and skill comforts her and gets her past her fears, who cares who does the teaching? nice if she trust/respects the hubby to do the teaching, however, we're not all naturally skilled teachers. whatever gets her there, I say it's all good.

Megan: we don't just shoot at these things, we talk (we're women after all...) ... right to self defense... who gun control actually impacts... 2a... how they'd feel if they had to actually defend a loved one, especially a child... how they'd feel if they were not able to do so... how they'd feel if they called the cops for protection and the cops didn't get there in time... how an agressor who proceeds in the face of a armed mother protecting herself or her children is the one who's making the choice to put his life at risk, not the mother protecting her cubs... you know, the works.

especially with moms, thiking about protecting their children is a powerful viewpoint, as is how they'd feel if they weren't able to. also useful to get them picturing how their children's lives would be impacted if they failed to protect themselves. that in combination with knowing they *can* control a weapon, can do so without great fear, while knowing how to protect their children *from* that weapon can be greatly empowering. enough to shift people's position sometimes. and then, the fact that it's fun just sweetens the pot.

Woodguy: I don't think that most non-gun people are afraid of guns, they are afraid of gun owners.
Megan: I can't speak for "most", however, the women I know who are afraid are by and large afraid of the gun itself.

Wash: She wasn't afraid of the gun, she was afraid of herself. She thought that if she picked up a gun she would start murdering everyone around her. Other than that she seemed like a rational person.
Thesus: Because she apparently believed the "liberal" hype that guns turn people into murdering psychopaths. I have had several people say the same or similar thing to me. . . They feared they didn't have the control and would do something wrong with it. I believe this is part of the reason so many people think that we as gun owners are scary. . . we must be unbalanced like them and therefore we must all be prevented from having guns.
Megan: which goes to my point that women are afraid of the gun... I know women who think the same way... not because they really think they are latent mass murderers, but because they have so much fear wrapped around the gun... that guns kill innocent people... that they feel as if the gun will make them do it. not a rational thought, but an emotional reaction... that they won't be able to control the gun, and the gun is evil and violent. that picking up the gun is enough to allow the gun to make them do it. the idea quickly devolves into how they'd feel if they killed someone... someone innocent... say a child... say their own child. their massive discomfort with the anticipated guilt and remorse around that clouds their thinking so badly that they can't consider picking up the gun without the feeling of having murdered an innocent child. not rational. none the less, for women who are fearful and are plugged into emotion first and rational thought last, it's a real experience. the only antidote I know is to get them to consider how they would feel if someone attacked and killed that same child as they stood by and did nothing... even though they could have stopped it... because they wouldn't pick up a gun that was at hand. if they can get there, plug into the maternal protective instincts, they can get to understanding the intent and control is with the person, not the gun, and now you have something to work with.

cmccon: I'm of the majority here....though married to an Asian...whom I'm trying to convert to the dark side.....She think guns kill....I'm trying to get her to understand that people kill, stupid kills, but guns sit there until you pick them up and pull the trigger..... Supposedly one of these days my cop buddy is going to teach her to shoot....I hope.
cousinkix1953: Remember this the next time you guys are watching the evening news on TV. The anchors will talk about gang bangers stabbing each other on the street. Tell her that knives kill and that the kitchen drawer is full of them. Same story with drunken drivers. Cars kill people too; so why does she have one? A gun cannot load itself and shoot somebody without human help. Knives don't magically escape from a kitchen drawer and stab somebody all by themselves. You'll not likely ever see a car drive itself and hit somebody either. Only a brainless fool refuses to recognize that bad people are the common denominator in all of these cases...

kylagwolf: I have also heard the comments what if I drop it might go off and kill someone. I have also heard the same things you have. I have to admit to being female and worried about what if I drop the gun. Heck I have dropped mine. I can say when my HK hit the ground all it did was make a loud thunk and bounced once. It took someone willing to take me out to teach me to shoot for me to see that guns were not this evil scary thing to be afraid of.

megan: I'll admit to that same fear, although it's pretty low level anymore. seems there's an antidote to most fear... usually experience. maybe there's a practial experience in here that would help...
ok, now don't y'all get your bloomers in a bunch, I'm just thinking out loud here, but maybe deliberately dropping a gun (no not your favorite) with a snap cap in it on a suitable surface (say a rubber mat) is a useful illustration as part of a class. you can tell people all day long "no, nothing horrible will happen" but if you show them, they may believe you. maybe a discussion of what guns are not so susceptible to going off if dropped (say, a revolver) and why they're safer under those circumstances would be a useful as part of addressing these fears.
leaving the fears unaddressed just lets them incubate and grow, so getting them out and handled point-for-point matters, especially to those with high fear reactions.
I'm thinking a good outreach program for fearful people would have a way of addressing all the "what ifs"...
what if I drop the gun?
what if it accidentally goes off?
what if I actually have to shoot someone?
what if I accidentally shoot someone?
what if they take it away from me and use it on me?
what if it's in my purse and I can't get to it when I need it?
and once past those,
what if I can't get to my gun when I need it because it's locked up?
a whole secondary line of exploration there...

Hamster: nice to see some ladys on here and hear their points of view. sometimes i forget women are for the most part emotional first and then logical second. the way i got my mom into sports is not by explaining the rules of the game, instead, i told her what i knew about the players. about their families, the hardships they overcame and then my mom really started liking the game. she cheered for the player and learned the rules over time.

megan: I spend so much time teaching women that I know what works and what doesn't. for a great many women the emotions have to be very calm and quiet before logic takes hold. and as you so correctly identified, if you can get them to connect with the people aspect, you can get them interested. see I figure if you could get shooting ranges equipped with a coffee shop and some light fashion shopping, you'd get a whole lot more women... "yeah, Susie, Cheryl and I are popping over to the range for a latte and some shooting. We'll probably shop for some new shoes while we're there... you want to go?"

8-ball: I firmly believe that women are the target to grow this movement... and I don't mean the average woman that frequents this board... no offense intended. I love women shooters and take my wife to the range as often as possible.
Women who are not currently part of the movement/sport are put off by the typical pro second amendment persona and attire. We would help our cause by being mindful, when confronting the uninitiated woman, about our appearance. There is only one first impression, as cliché as that may sound, and opportunity should not be wasted.
I go to the gun shows and see the folks manning the booths, walking the aisles, etc. I see shirts with skeletons, blood spatter, assault rifles. Then there are the camo clad, sling slathered, combat boot shod, unkempt uni-bomber types. It isn't inviting. It is scary. It is counter productive.
Talk to any candidate running for office, they'll tell you just how important that impression is. Or you can disregard it at your own peril.
Those who I've spoken with are rife with fear over children being killed in gun accidents, or guns getting in the wrong hands, or if guns weren't available...etc., etc., etc.
There needs to be a campaign, at least statistics put together in an intelligible format that compares child deaths by gun versus toys... child deaths by gun versus the number of child lives saved... These are the issues that motivate the women I've talked to. It would be great to have a fully sourced booklet to hand out... not an invitation to a meeting, or to join the NRA, or this board for that matter.

mmartin
09-30-2009, 9:23 PM
more...

wildhawker: 8-ball, very, *very* important points. I would really like to put together a committee of Calgunners that develops concepts and designs for women's and gender-neutral Calguns gear.

locosway: curious, last night I asked her if she would shoot someone if they were trying to rape her. She said yes, but only to wound them. My mind was boggled for a minute, so I asked her why. She said because she wouldn't want to go to jail for murder.
Megan: I'd bet money that hiding behind that is "because I can't imagine living with knowing I've killed someone."
maybe it's genetic, the maternal protective urge, or maybe its just the way we're raised, but we've been taught to value the lives of others above our own. stupid stupid thinking when it comes to defending yourself.
one antidote? get them to think of protecting themselves as protecting their children's mother... how will her children do if their mother is killed? how will it affect her children if their mom is injured or having to deal with the consequences of having being raped? how will it affect her husband to have to raise their kids without her? if you can get those maternal protective urges lined up on the correct target, you can put them to work properly.

locosway: How has society, particularly women who are often the target of crime because of their smaller size, become accustomed to thinking it's ok to be a victim or violent crime? Honestly, if someone big guy was trying to stick me in the no-no spot, I'd be out for blood.
Megan: the way many women have been taught to think I hear it more often than not. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard women say about their theoretical attacker "but what if I really hurt him?" D'OH! that's the POINT! HE was going to really hurt YOU and he wasn't worring about THAT!
but... you've got to start with where their thinking is to move them to something saner and more useful.
see, sometimes we take the wrong view... when training for self defense, many women worry about living with having killed someone after an attack happens... they think they can live with being raped better than they can live with having protected themselves by killing someone. killing is worse than rape, so in their mind, now THEY'VE become the bad guy.
they aren't always willing to entertain the idea of living with the expected guilt if they can just think about stopping them with a flesh wound instead.
it's the old Roy Rodgers Shoot-'em-in-the-gun theory... or maybe just a flesh wound to the shoulder or the leg... just enough to make them cease and desist...
what they're not thinking about is living with having been raped, with having lost their sense of ever being safe in the world again, with remembering being raped when they make love to their husband, with their husband and their children having to deal with them in their new fearful and damaged post-rape incarnation, with their husband's anger and frustration for not having been able to prevent it, with his rightful desire to go torture and kill the SOB and rightful anger that he can't, with their children's loss of security and increased fear.
'cause let me tell you what, when you put all THAT on the balance, the side holding "guilt for having killed an evil SOB who was trying to rape me" gets much smaller.

locosway: I think many more women would be on board with the gun deal if they knew that they had a right to use a gun if attacked. Rape isn't a joke, and it's not ok. Short of hanging these people from their testicles over a molten pit until they fall in, I think a bullet from an attacked citizen is just as good.
Megan: it's not that we don't know we have the right. I'm guessing most women KNOW they have the right, but actively *CHOOSE* not to exercise it. it's that we fear 1) the guilt, 2) the consequences, 3) other things that might happen if there's a gun around, and 4) we aren't taught to think this through properly.
many of us are pre-wired to become a tasty snack for some predator, and much of what we're taught lines right up with that. our instinctive self protective drive is not encouraged and not trained up. frankly, it's not very lady-like, and it doesn't make you very sweet and compliant, a cooperative good citizen, virtues much approved of in girls.
proof? how much is out there in terms of advise about not fighting back? taught all over the place. You hear it in the news about how some woman fought off an attacker, and what's the accompanying LE spokesperson saying? "we don't recommend fighting, you could p***-off the attacker more and be hurt worse." like we are supposed to COOPERATE with the attacker.

locosway: ...She said yes, but only to wound them. My mind was boggled for a minute, so I asked her why. She said because she wouldn't want to go to jail for murder.
Megan: "...for murder." see there's the telling part. she didn't say "... for killing someone in self defense." she anticipates she'd come out of that situation feeling like *she* was the bad guy, the agressor, the one who did the wrong. I worry that under those circumstance I'd go to jail for killing someone in self defense...

Megan: - where can I shoot him that will make him stop without killing him and not accidentally shoot her (bullet goes through, or hits a bone and...)
- AAAAHHH! "without killing him?" how'd that get in there?
<sigh> it's in the wiring. I don't *want* to kill someone, I just want to protect her and make him stop.
<sigh> dang, did I say "someone" like it was any old person on the street? I should have said "some evil violent murderous SOB or rabid crazed madman".
I have no doubt that if he got up and came at me, I'd shoot him square center of body mass and keep shooting until he stopped moving in my direction. and yet... there it is. I was trying to figure out how to shoot him to make him stop without killing him. in spite of the fact that he's raping and beating a woman in full view of everyone on a city street, in the middle of the day, with no intent of stopping even at gunpoint.

turinreza: just tell her chances are very low she will get sent to prison for protecting herself and killing a guy. But for sure you will get sent to prison for enacting revenge on the guy who raped her.

audiophil2: I also taught her to push the frame on the 1911 forward rather then pull the slide back. Have your mom try that to see if it is easier.

meganm: big advocate of renting and trying *many* different guns to find what fits. what fits me best is the glock .45 (full size 21), but it takes much more strength to manage than the taurus.
suggest you start with letting her hold the various things that are available for rent at your range and see what she likes the "feel" of before you decide what to trial shoot. if it doesn't feel comfortable to her unloaded, chances are she's not going to like shooting it.
her comfort level with the gun is what will have her practice and use it if needed. really important to get one she's happy handling and shooting.

sterylp10: S&W Model 66 with .38 loads for her. that was the first gun I used at the range because it's a revolver. Simple and not a lot of moving parts.

mmartin
09-30-2009, 11:44 PM
Francis Marion: "Shoot like a girl... if you can!" How many times have I seen couples attend our marksmanship clinics, often it's the male who is the gun owner and shooter, and the lady, being a very good sport, is sort of 'dragged along'. And then the surprising thing that happens is this: the guy is set in his ways and somewhat reluctant to change the way he shoots. The lady, in contrast, listens to the instruction, IMPLEMENTS the instruction, and therefore shoots VERY WELL right off the bat. Hence, shoot like a girl, if you can!

patriotnmore: The trick for getting many women interested in guns is to make it fun. Take all the tactical part of it, out of the experience. I think the value of a .22 rifle and handgun are forgotten by men for more macho appearing calibers.
A .22 has much less noise, recoil, and is much easier to learn on. On top of that, open air shooting of steel targets that reset themselves gives instant gratification when hitting it, and the cost to buy a few different setups wont break the bank. In addition, it's much easier to learn solid marksmanship skills on the low recoil .22.
Setting up some close, medium, and far targets, will provide challenges she can be successful with. Then, with a nice picnic basket of delicious goodies to snack on and eat lunch, and a big comfy blanket under some shade to talk and get to know each other, along with some great scenery, I think all but the most high maintenance girly girls, would have a great date.
I think putting a little thought and effort into the experience, is more telling for a woman, and is an important factor of the date experience, and sets you apart from the other guys doing dinner and a movie.

wildhawker: make it comfortable and fun (sidebar: .22s are grossly overlooked, and larger calibers do more to instill fear and bad habits than anything else). Let her take her time and dive in at her own pace, If she still doesn't like shooting, then it may not be her thing- we all have preferences, and not liking guns doesn't always equate to "anti".

emilio: if a gal asks i just tell 'em straight up: shooting is fun and safe, and i'm able to better defend myself and my family. most girls soften up over the family bit and my spiel on the decline of self-confidence and personal responsibility in America.

sheepdog1968: In my early 20s, I found that women seemed to be more open with going to the range and enjoying it. I started them out on 22s for the whole recoil thing.

Now in my early 40s, the women I meet in their 30s and 40s, seem to be less interesting in trying new things. Could be true of all of us at this age. What I have done, is been willing to pay for them to take a few hours of private instruction from a woman I know. I am willing to be present or not, whatever makes them more comfortable.
I have also found the protecting family thing helps easy the anxiety of women. I also point out that there could be a situation where I am not home and it might be up to them to protect the family.

sterylp10: Don't let it get you down that some women just aren't so hot on the idea of a man owning multiple firearms, knowing how to use them, and is probably her first reliable defense next to her own moxie (if she can drag it out from the basement.)
However, I get flack from other women who, for whatever personal reasons, don't like guns -- or the people associated with them.
Those guys don't give me trouble -- their wives/GFs do. It's endless complaining how dirty outdoor ranges are (it is a range, duh!), how boring the gun conversations are (well, I think spending 8.5 hours each day at the mall is tedious), etc., etc. I tried to let them see the bright side -- their men are at the range, not hurting anyone, and not at a strip joint making asses out of themselves with community funds!

shantel: I loved the thrill. I'm still very much a girly girl but I love that I can hang with the boys and I have actually shot better than my boyfriend

draankol: I’ve taken several dates to the shooting range, including several 1st dates. It’s a good place to go, in my opinion for a couple of reasons:
1. It gets the fact that you are a gun owner and enthusiast out in the open, first and foremost, so it’s on the table and there will be no surprises down the road later.
2. It gives you a chance to either shoot with a nice woman who knows how, or a chance to educate properly and help build the correct habits in a new shooter.
3. It’s a great opportunity to show a new shooter all the reasons why guns are no more dangerous than a newspaper, a butter knife, a pen or a car; all of which are things they most likely have in their lives and use everyday.
4. From a dating perspective, it gives you a chance to see how someone will react in the uncomfortable “non-talking” situation, as chatting at a shooting range is challenging at best.
5. Most importantly- it gives you the opportunity to let a person who is uneducated about guns, an anti-gunner or had just never considered shooting as a hobby or pass time a chance to see what a responsible person can do with a common tool for self defense. I often, as do a lot of educated gun owners, refer to my guns as tools, as that is what they are. Would you use a spoon to drive a nail into a board? No, just as you would not use a hammer to eat a bowl of pasta. A woman once asked me why I would shoot an intruder in my home with my .45 and not just use a baseball bat, and that’s what I told her. Seems to make sense to me.
You’ll always find people who don’t understand guns, just like you’ll always find people who don’t understand one thing or another: cars, cooking, wine, whatever. But pertaining to guns and shooting, always teach gun safety first, before even putting a gun in their hand. Teach range etiquette, familiarize them with the range rules, show them the proper way to aim, use the B.R.A.S.S. method, and they will usually see that shooting is not just a mindless, thug activity and that shooting ranges are not populated entirely by conspiracy theory freak shows, weekend Rambos and criminals.

masameet: I can tell you from my own experiences last year that I wasn't all that thrilled about shooting the first two separate times I tried it. Two male friends invited me to shoot their handguns. Got to try a Ruger .22, a copy of a Walther .22, and I think a XD .40. Didn't care much for the .22s but the XD was fun to shoot.
About a month later, out of curiosity and a sense of, Well, I might as well get it done! lol, I took an NRA pistol course. Was pleasantly surprised to find that with some professional and near personal instruction, I liked shooting. Took me about a month later to find my first handgun. Did all the online and in-store research on my own too.
Just because your fiancée does not show the level of enthusiasm you'd like her to show about your favorite hobby, at least she's there with you on occasion. Most women are willing to be with their loved ones and try things out. Anyway ask her if she prefers shooting handguns over rifles. Or if she'd rather do something else while you're out at the range. And if she has a favorite hobby, do you share her enthusiasm for it as well?

tht: we found a new range owned by a local shooter's club (which we joined) where the benches are under trees and the side of the range are also lined with trees, providing some shelter from the wind. She wants to go out there with her USPc and squeeze off a few rounds. I guess she didn't like having the sun constantly on her when we were shooting at her grandfather's farm.

movie zombie: and if she's happy with the smaller calibre, let her have at it. a smaller calibre is better than one she has but won't shoot because she's afraid of it. besides, if she shoots the smaller calibre for awhile, she'll get bored and come to you asking to use your pistols and end up wanting one of her own.

bdsmchs: What the firearms industry needs to realize and take into account are the fundamental physical differences between males and females. Women are built differently, and so they need guns that take this into account.
Women have a smaller and weaker skeletal structure, and especially have weaker wrists than men. Because of this they need guns that reduce and soften not only the overall felt recoil, but the actual recoil impulse. Sharper and shorter recoil impulses are not good for the female's wrist. You need a longer recoil impulse (like a .45 vs 9mm) to make the gun more pleasant to shoot.
Before she got her own 1911, my girlfriend could shoot my 1911 all day long in .45 without any strain on her wrists. She couldn't last more than a box of ammo on my friends 92fs in 9mm. The overall recoil is basically the same, but the impulse of the 9mm is much sharper, so it batters the female wrist in ways that the .45 doesn't. It seems backwards, but sometimes bigger IS better

pnkssbtz: Maybe if the ladies of calguns could put together a list of firearms that they feel have the requisite ergonomics and meet the recoil control issues? Just simply listing firearms that you all feel comfortable with (and ones that you don't) would be great for other beginning and novice female shooters looking into new handgun purchases.
I for one would appreciate very much such a list so that I when I purchase handguns in the future, I could do so with the intent of purchasing ones that would be most likely enjoyable to shoot for my mother and other female friends.

Merc1138
10-01-2009, 12:27 AM
I read through this a bit more just now, and something else popped into my mind after reading the posts mmartin gathered together, .22's make for a far cheaper date than .45's. Nothing wrong with thinking about your own wallet, right? I mean, if you take someone out to the range for the first time, assuming this is a date, and you're covering ammo, I'd rather buy a couple boxes of .22lr than a couple boxes of .45acp and find out whether or not I convinced something shooting can be fun.

patsline74
10-01-2009, 1:09 AM
Nothing to add, but just wanted to say awesome thread, I will be following it as I'm trying to get my girlfriend into shooting. She's very pro-2a and doesn't mind guns at all, just has never shot. There are some very good tips I will try to implement.

CSACANNONEER
10-01-2009, 9:30 AM
Megan,

Great job!

Someday I hope to "shoot like a girl" myself. I've had the pleasure of instructing a few young girls and a few women about different shooting disiplines and more than one has been able to either shoot as well as me or better than me (with a certain gun) in a short period of time. This can be a problem though. I've seen guys get embarrassed because their better halves can outshoot them and they just pack up and leave. These poor women probably never get to go shooting again. So, to all the women out there, if you have a man who has a machismo problem and he's willing to take you shooting, you might want to consider not always hitting the center of your target. You know exactly where you are aiming. If you hit a foot right of the target but that is where you were aiming, both you and he will feel good about it. Better yet, dump the jerk and find someone who won't feel threatened by you.

mmartin
10-01-2009, 12:30 PM
Megan,

Great job!
thanks! :D
I'm going to sift through the threads looking for the list of recommended guns for smaller hands...
then it's off to try to put this all into a 1-page guide!

Someday I hope to "shoot like a girl" myself. I've had the pleasure of instructing a few young girls and a few women about different shooting disiplines and more than one has been able to either shoot as well as me or better than me (with a certain gun) in a short period of time. This can be a problem though. I've seen guys get embarrassed because their better halves can outshoot them and they just pack up and leave. These poor women probably never get to go shooting again. So, to all the women out there, if you have a man who has a machismo problem and he's willing to take you shooting, you might want to consider not always hitting the center of your target. You know exactly where you are aiming. If you hit a foot right of the target but that is where you were aiming, both you and he will feel good about it. Better yet, dump the jerk and find someone who won't feel threatened by you.

ha! yep many of us are familiar with the tricks of dealing with the male ego... sometimes it's just a matter of switching the focus... 'cause you know that any man that teaches me and helps me improve my skills is excellent in my eyes. I might end up outshooting him, but truly I couldn't have done it without him, he gets the credit for being a capable teacher. I'm not shy about saying "look what so-and-so taught me to do!" just gotta learn to take pride in the teaching as well as the shooting.

Last time we went trap/fun shotgunning I out-shot the hubby... (I finished 3rd out of about 45 shotgunners, only 2 other women.:43: )
'course I've got a lot more hours in on shotgun than he does, and he always kicks my butt in handguns... working on that though, because he's a pretty fine teacher. and my hero.
and it really doesn't hurt that he's quite ok with bragging on my skills.
Megan

Steyrlp10
10-01-2009, 12:32 PM
Ditto, thanks Megan. I nominate you to be the CalGuns Secretary =o)

As for some men who can't handle their GFs/wives who outshoot them, that's just plain sad. My ex was like that -- and I thought he would be proud of me -- NOT

Luckily for me, I continue to go to the range and have kept all my shooting friends. I value their input as I do the comments on this site -- very helpful when it comes to tinkering with things that go BANG - lol...

mmartin
10-01-2009, 2:13 PM
Ditto, thanks Megan. I nominate you to be the CalGuns Secretary =o)
ha! declined... now if you want to nominate me to Executive Thread Researcher....
As for some men who can't handle their GFs/wives who outshoot them, that's just plain sad. My ex was like that -- and I thought he would be proud of me -- NOT

Luckily for me, I continue to go to the range and have kept all my shooting friends. I value their input as I do the comments on this site -- very helpful when it comes to tinkering with things that go BANG - lol...
had that experience too... I've got 2 exes, one was always competitive with me and that just never went well. fortunately this hubby takes equal pride in his skills and mine... he shoots well or I shoot well, it's all in his bragging rights. secure guy=happy wife.
and always good to have lots of friends that want to help play with your toys... er, guns...
megan

762cavalier
10-02-2009, 11:19 PM
This is an awesome thread as i have just become an NRA pistol instructor. I enjoy teaching women to shoot as their ego doesn't get in the way. Like has been said the listen to instruction, then implement it. I am proud when a lady I have taught can shoot better than me,

some things I have noticed and has been mentioned. Double up on the hearing protection. women seem to have more sensitive hearing when it comes to live fire, and if she flinches everytime another shooter fires then she will not enjoy the experience.

Do NOT take the gun away from her and show her how it is done. It is insulting.(at least that's my take on it)

PATIENCE is the key. Let them learn at their own pace. They will advance much faster than if you try to push them along.

Just my .02 cents worth

P.S. I am still trying to shoot like a girl.;)

Angie
10-05-2009, 3:51 PM
Great stuff, almost all of the things I would've said has been mentioned. :)

Add: Don't hover! Stand back and give her some room, don't be critiquing her stance and skills and make her nervous. Stand a little way behind her, if she needs your help you are close enough to help but not so close to bother her. (Does that make sense?)

I'll think of more to add shortly.

Asphodel
10-06-2009, 5:50 PM
Pretty much anything I could say has been covered.....I'll particularly concur about clean bathroom facilities, and fresh best quality coffee.....and, ideally, nice, high quality pastries instead of the common public-safety-issue greasy doughnuts. Potluck munchies are also an excellent idea.

The most important qualities for men to remember when shooting with women at a range, or anywhere, for that matter, are simple respect and courtesy, which really should be ever so obvious. Just remember that women are individuals, not a 'monolithic bloc'.......what one woman prefers, another may not.

One minor but useful detail, for revolvers and light rifles, is to make up lpw-recoil 'range loads', down at minimum loadbook specs. Granted, low-power loadings may not cycle the generality of automatics, but they work quite well in revolvers.

(an example of this is a friend's daughter, who is of rather 'slight' or 'delicate' stature. She 'fell in love with' my Smith M29, 44 mag, but fired with loads at the lowest loadbook level for 44spl. Likewise, I've seen very good results with 38spl wad-cutter loads, loaded down to a minimum loading, at the 50ft. indoor range.)

cheers

Carla

SecondAmendmentgirl
10-07-2009, 9:21 PM
I like both revolvers and semis. I do know what you mean about the Colts. I shot several pythons and the accuracy and balance on them are pretty great. Think I need to do some more pushups at the gym. I started off hitting everything I wanted,then a few minutes later, my arms got tired and my shots were landing on the floor it seems ;).



Before I "expand" (lol,) I'd like to thank you for trying to put this together for other people. It sure would have been helpful for me back in the early 80s where I was trying to keep up with the gun lingo and different disciplines competitive shooting offers. A shooting glossary would have been great!

For me, it was an equipment problem with the semi, so I went to the revolver early on. It was a Ruger Mark II, but I didn't realize the front sight wasn't pinned tight. During the shot, there was just enough movement out there (spin city!) that the end result looked like I couldn't hit the side of a barn. My then husband (now ex - yeehaw!) told me I was pretty useless and blind as a bat.

Pretty depressed at that point in being a lame-o, I tried a revolver (Model 66.) Geez, at 25 yds, I was keeping it in the black. Amazing!

Then I got the bug and started pin shooting. That's when I thought all Colt 1911s were too pretty to lay under glass and had to come home with me.

For now, I'm back to Bullseye. All my target pistols are semis now, but for me, learning the sight picture, squeeze, and proper stance were easier to learn with a revolver. This has helped me enormously on the 50m line.

Best of luck with compiling your tip sheet!

P.S. If you ever shoot at Coyote or Chabot on Range 5, I'll have the donuts ready for you =o)

SecondAmendmentgirl
10-07-2009, 9:40 PM
I think men forget that women are still women when at the range because of the overwhelming numbers.

A lot of the pointers here (in the thread) are common sense when you think about them. Things you wouldn't do at some NRA benefit would be the same things you wouldn't do at the range.

Don't act like an idiot, swear or swear loudly.

Women like to keep their hands clean, and moisturized. Some have expensive manicures we'd rather not ruin. :) Keep hand sanitizer (the waterless kind) at the counter, tissue box at arms reach, and put a small bottle of moisturizer in the bathroom or behind the counter for them would be pretty fantastic (taking these out for them at the counter without asking, or bringing along in your bag would be even MORE impressive!).

Have some shooting gloves (small sizes). I have shot some pieces that pinched the hell out of my hand. And while boys might just dismiss it and think, no pain, no gain, girls won't like it.

Don't make fun, or laugh, even if you think she 'gets' you. It's not that we don't have a sense of humor. But between men, the competitive nature can withstand a lot of poor behavior. For a woman, in a strange, loud place, it will certainly make the difference between someone who will shoot again, and someone who won't.

And on the subject of colors... I'm into them. You don't have to push for pink everything, but have them (colors, that is) available, and hanging out in the open, whether it be earmuffs, or red glock! BTW, they exist, I have one, they're ****ing cool! And just for the record. If I had a large or unlimited budget, I wouldn't mind getting a pink Hello Kitty AK or whatever. It matches with my HK (that's Hello Kitty, not Heckler & Koch) T-shirt! :p

Steyrlp10
10-08-2009, 12:28 PM
Great stuff, almost all of the things I would've said has been mentioned. :)

Add: Don't hover! Stand back and give her some room, don't be critiquing her stance and skills and make her nervous. Stand a little way behind her, if she needs your help you are close enough to help but not so close to bother her. (Does that make sense?)

I'll think of more to add shortly.

Ditto - don't mess up our hair (hee-hee)

Steyrlp10
10-08-2009, 12:34 PM
I like both revolvers and semis. I do know what you mean about the Colts. I shot several pythons and the accuracy and balance on them are pretty great. Think I need to do some more pushups at the gym. I started off hitting everything I wanted,then a few minutes later, my arms got tired and my shots were landing on the floor it seems ;).

Don't ever feel that you have to expend all the ammo you've brought to the range. It's fun to destroy stuff once in a while (pumpkin chucking), but as the guys mentioned, the cost of ammunition tends to add up, especially CF ammo.

Even when practicing for a match, I try to put in the simulated time for the courses for fire, but I won't over do the shooting. No use is getting sore and discouraged.

Btw, have you seen what a nice Colt Python is going for these days? Woohoo!

Vanguard
10-08-2009, 4:58 PM
I'm all for getting as many Americans into shooting as possible. Firearms are one of the tools that built this country, and people (both women and men) shouldn't be afraid of them. Women are usually a tough crowd to convince when it comes to guns though. This thread has some good suggestions...some things I never would have thought of. Thanks, Megan, for pointing me over here. :D

EdCo
10-09-2009, 12:26 AM
Great thread!!! I'm going to take my cousin and her friend to the range soon and need as much info i can get to make it a great experience for them.

Francis Marion
10-13-2009, 9:47 AM
So we'd like to get more ladies to the range to enjoy and properly use firearms. How do we do this with other recreational activities, with bikes, jet skis, hiking? Just bring the whole family, and structure the activity to include the needs and body size of the family. Just like any fun family day out, you go together and maybe even enjoy your favorite restaurant on the way back and talk about what you did and learned.

Time, firearms, targets, and a plan can be assembled to fit the needs of any group. Kids too young to shoot can always walk around with one adult while the other adult shoots with the older kids, or stay home/do alternate activity with the other parent. Creativity, a skill which every parent soon masters, is all you need. Kids don't need to spend a lot of time at the range to have a fun time, and as they get older, they'll probably ask you to stay longer. "Fun" targets like soda cans, balloons, water jugs are good, in addition to paper. No to mention the cultural value of caretaking that kids will learn in the way they see the family using the land: Yes, we enjoy shooting outdoors, but we always pick up our trash, and more besides. This and many other positive values flow from shooting.

So even better than bringing Mom to the range is to bring the family.

Formal programs also exist, such as NRA clinics and my favorite, Appleseed rifle clinics.

Shooting heritage should be passed along to the next generation, giving them both technical proficiency and safety. Although most gun owners can teach safe handling, I think it's also true that most gun owners are shaky regarding the basics of shooting technique. It's just because people haven't received any formal instruction, that's just how we're set up in the US, informally for the most part.

But if one of the family members receives instruction in basic technique, it makes a vast difference in the quality of the technical skill imparted to the family. Do include the family in shooting, and make sure you know the fundamentals of form, breathing, trigger pull, etcetera. for the firearms you use.

If you structure shooting to include the family, you'll include Mom too. An activity that's fun will be looked forward to; so if the family isn't having fun shooting, adjust something.

Ladies want to know why you're asking them to do or not do something, so be prepared to have reasons underpinning everything you ask them to do. I strongly encourage the 'teacher' to get basic, formal instruction (I don't care how long you've been shooting) before teaching another person. Otherwise, the student will be nonplussed after the tenth "I don't know".

As a life time shooter, but very recently formally-instructed shooter, I know of what I speak. Get qualified, and then spread the good word.

masameet
10-13-2009, 2:31 PM
I've known a few really good male shooters, and they're the ones to always say women are better shooters than men. Why? Because we women listen well to good instruction. Plus we don't have that damned male ego that says, I know what I'm doing.

Tell any woman you're teaching that. After a few minutes she'll prove you right.

Honestly I think it's really because we like being precise with tools. As well as being good listeners. :)

Hartz21
10-13-2009, 8:41 PM
I think this is a great idea.

Some women might not be intimidated by the size of the gun at all so make sure you let them know that it's not the caliber of the gun that matters but the accuracy they will be able to have and their ability to control it. For some women a .45 is nothing but for others a .22 will be plenty.

The comfort of the weapon is important too. I have larger palms for a woman and I can be picky about how it feels in my hands. I prefer a lot of S&W's for this reason.

Make sure the basics are gone through prior to getting to the range. Loading the weapon, safety, how to hold it, how to use the sights, how to stand, and what to do when all shots have been fired. Sometimes not knowing the little things can be intimidating.

I think the most important thing is to make it fun. Music, targets, gear, pictures can all be good for making the day.

CSACANNONEER
10-13-2009, 8:47 PM
I think this is a great idea.

Some women might not be intimidated by the size of the gun at all so make sure you let them know that it's not the caliber of the gun that matters but the accuracy they will be able to have and their ability to control it. For some women a .45 is nothing but for others a .22 will be plenty.


Then, there are ones like masameet, who ride their bike hundreds of miles, camping with a bunch of people she just met and not thinking twice about sitting down behind the trigger of a 50BMG.

masameet
10-14-2009, 9:22 AM
Then, there are ones like masameet, who ride their bike hundreds of miles, camping with a bunch of people she just met and not thinking twice about sitting down behind the trigger of a 50BMG.

You're so awesome, Greg! :)

And easily one of the best male shooters I've ever met.

... For some women a .45 is nothing but for others a .22 will be plenty ....

Well ... As a gal who went from a .22 Buckmark to a 1911 in a matter of months, I can tell you the recoil of a .45 is frickin' scary. Took me a while not to anticipate and flinch.

CSACANNONEER
10-14-2009, 9:32 AM
You're so awesome, Greg! :)

And easily one of the best male shooters I've ever met.



Well ... As a gal who went from a .22 Buckmark to a 1911 in a matter of months, I can tell you the recoil of a .45 is frickin' scary. Took me a while not to anticipate and flinch.

You need to meet more male shooter then!

As for anticipation recoil, it's not just a girlie thing! For the life of me, I can't not anticipate recoil when shooting my .44mag or bigger handguns. Or, maybe I'm just in touch with my feminine side.

Steyrlp10
10-14-2009, 12:32 PM
Then, there are ones like masameet, who ride their bike hundreds of miles, camping with a bunch of people she just met and not thinking twice about sitting down behind the trigger of a 50BMG.


She's my hero!

mmartin
10-14-2009, 2:50 PM
such good information here... anyone else want to contribute?

this weekend I'm going to take a crack at turning this info into two quick-guides:
1) one for how to get women started shooting
2) one for beginning women shooters themselves

any additional thoughts welcomed...
Megan

CSACANNONEER
10-14-2009, 2:56 PM
Megan,

Early on in this thread I mentioned having a magazine geared towards women shooters. I can not find it. I did manage to scrounge up a Jrs shooters magazine though. I also found a couple of other USA Shooting team publications featuring women shooters but, I'm not sure if those would help you. If you want them, let me know and I'll get them to you though.

CHS
10-14-2009, 3:21 PM
Megan,

Early on in this thread I mentioned having a magazine geared towards women shooters. I can not find it. I did manage to scrounge up a Jrs shooters magazine though. I also found a couple of other USA Shooting team publications featuring women shooters but, I'm not sure if those would help you. If you want them, let me know and I'll get them to you though.

I found a womens shooting mag (actually, Angie found it) at a gun shop in AZ a while back. I think it's laying around my room somewhere.

If I remember correctly, it's one of the publications put out by the SAF.

Actually.... Looks like I found it:

http://www.womenshooters.com/

mmartin
10-14-2009, 3:33 PM
Megan,

Early on in this thread I mentioned having a magazine geared towards women shooters. I can not find it. I did manage to scrounge up a Jrs shooters magazine though. I also found a couple of other USA Shooting team publications featuring women shooters but, I'm not sure if those would help you. If you want them, let me know and I'll get them to you though.

yes thanks!
PM inbound
megan

mmartin
10-14-2009, 3:34 PM
I found a womens shooting mag (actually, Angie found it) at a gun shop in AZ a while back. I think it's laying around my room somewhere.

If I remember correctly, it's one of the publications put out by the SAF.

Actually.... Looks like I found it:

http://www.womenshooters.com/

going there soon as I'm off duty!
thanks, megan

taloft
10-16-2009, 9:13 AM
Since I mentor for the Women On Target program here in San Diego, I thought I'd throw out some suggestions for the guys. Remember, safety is lesson #1 and you should be stressing it throughout the lesson.

1. Brush your teeth and take a shower. No one likes to be crowded by a smelly oaf. As a matter of fact, please do this any way.

2. Always ask before you touch your student. You don't know her background or the reasons she wants to learn to shoot. You don't want to make her uncomfortable. Plus, it's just common courtesy. I usually ask for permission right at the start of the lesson. Then I let them know I'm about to adjust their grip, or whatever, right before I do it. This way they know it is part of the lesson and that I'm not getting fresh with them.

3. I usually explain the logic behind a concept as I'm demonstrating it. Women are excellent communicators. If you do a good job of explaining they will pick it up much faster. Visual cues backed with verbal ones are a winning combination.

4. Most women want to know why something is to be done a certain way. Be ready to explain the logic behind it. This instills another level of comfort with the activity and helps cement the concept in their mind. Besides, you should know the reasons behind what you're doing.

5. Correct only as needed. Micro managing isn't appreciated by anyone. Unless her actions are unsafe, wait until she is done with the current string of fire to correct a problem. You should be standing back and to the left of a shooter. This allows you to see what is going on and be able to quickly step forward and take control if needed without crowding your student.

6. If they are learning on a semi auto, load one shoot one then load two shoot two. Once you are confident they can handle it, give them a full mag. This applies to all new shooters regardless of sex. Nothing will scare off new shooters like an uncontrolled burst of fire.

7. Give them a chance to ask questions along the way. You'd be surprised at the things they will ask that you never would have thought of. I usually finish an explanation of a concept with, "Do you have any questions?"
This allows them to ask about parts that may be unclear to them. Be prepared to paraphrase. Sometimes people don't understand something on the first go round or your explanation wasn't all it could have been. Encourage questions.

8. I've found that some women just can't seem to grasp how hard they should be holding the gun. Just replace their support hand for your own. Then they can get a tactile impression of just how hard they should be holding the firearm by how hard you're squeezing their hand. Also, you can have them hold steady and show them how much rearward pressure the support hand is supposed to be applying. This is much easier than saying 60/40 or 70/30 etc.

9. Feelings are important. If they don't feel good about what they are doing or don't feel comfortable, they will not do it again. Ask them if they are having fun. Ask them if they have any concerns. Now is the time to address these issues. Do this often. Tell them it is okay to be nervous at the start. Reassure them along the way. Tell them when they are doing something right, not just when they make a mistake. You'd be amazed at how much this simple step will increase their enjoyment of the activity. Don't be patronizing! They already have a daddy and you're not it.

10. Be polite. You need to be firm as an instructor but, you still need to be polite. Remember, no one likes dealing with a *****.


That sums up most of it. As far as caliber goes, once they show confidence with a .22 I make the offer of a larger caliber. As long as they are happy, I'll keep offering to step it up. I let them know that they can go back at any time. The idea is to let them explore their comfort zone with various firearms. Most like to stick with the .22 or a 9mm but, a few have ramped right up to .45 and beyond. It really depends on the shooter.

Oh, save the politics for after the lesson. They seem to be much more receptive once they have seen how much fun firearms can be.

ETA: Also, teach them the high ready position and encourage its use when their arms get tired.

mmartin
10-16-2009, 10:00 AM
Since I mentor for the Women On Target program here in San Diego, I thought I'd throw out some suggestions for the guys. .

really really nice list, thank you for contributing.
I will be talking with you about your existing program too... how to feed it.

megan

pax
10-16-2009, 4:01 PM
I subscribed to Women & Guns for a number of years, until I decided to simplify and cut back on the magazines coming into the household. Good magazine as I recall, lots of articles about CCW, gun and gun product reviews, and women involved in different shooting organizations (cowboy action, defensive). They also have a forum (http://womenandguns.servertalk.in/womenandguns-forum-1.html).

And no, I am not the pax from that forum.

doodoostain
10-21-2009, 10:23 PM
this is a great thread. my wife and i started shooting at the same time. we took one of those beginner courses together for my birthday. and since day one, she was a better shot than me. as a matter of fact, we went again last night and she consistently gets her shots within an inch of the black. last night, one of her targets the black part was completely blown off the target. meanwhile, i'm happy when i hit the paper.

i'd be a liar if i said that it doesn't sting a little, but to be honest, i couldn't be prouder and happier. i think there's a lot of good input on this thread because i know that she enjoys shooting more because she can see results.

i also agree with megan that explaining the scenarios in which she would need to know how to handle a gun is really important. after the shooting course, i told my wife that i wanted to get a gun for sport and home protection. i also told her that i would not get one unless she agreed to get comfortable and competent with it together. at first, she was reluctant but when we started talking about scenarios, her "maternal instincts" (in quotes because we don't have kids) and/or paranoia took over and did the rest.

of the seven times i've gone to the range, she's gone with me 4. the only hurdle left for us, is not the desire, but the actual and real fear of the gun . . . sound, flash, recoil. every time we go, it takes her about 15 shots for her to get comfortable. for the first shot, she usually has to pick up and put the gun down on average 5 times. in my situation, i just try to be patient because i'd hate for her to not enjoy shooting. i just tell her to step back and relax . . . that she doesn't have to rush but she also has nothing to be afraid of. i try to get her to just grip it and rip it but i think that's going to take some time.

i'd defintely like a copy of anything you put together and if you need another set of eyes, i'd be happy to proofread (since my job also involves a lot of writing, boring writing, but writing nonetheless).

mmartin
10-22-2009, 7:52 AM
this is a great thread. my wife and i started shooting at the same time. we took one of those beginner courses together for my birthday. and since day one, she was a better shot than me. as a matter of fact, we went again last night and she consistently gets her shots within an inch of the black. last night, one of her targets the black part was completely blown off the target. meanwhile, i'm happy when i hit the paper.

i'd be a liar if i said that it doesn't sting a little, but to be honest, i couldn't be prouder and happier. i think there's a lot of good input on this thread because i know that she enjoys shooting more because she can see results.
nice!
very cool she's doing great, and that you support her, very cool.
best simple advice I can give you is 1) slow down, 2) breathe, 3) find your sight picture, 4) squeeeeeze the trigger slowly, 5) wait for the gun to fire.
I started out with a lot of anticipation of noise and recoil and that made me jerk the trigger and react. as I get more skilled, the advice hasn't changed much... same rules, just finer adjustments. my first really good day of handgun shooting happened because my coach was standing right behind my left ear saying "slow down, breathe, squeeeeeze, slow down, breathe, squeeeeze".

of the seven times i've gone to the range, she's gone with me 4. the only hurdle left for us, is not the desire, but the actual and real fear of the gun . . . sound, flash, recoil. every time we go, it takes her about 15 shots for her to get comfortable. for the first shot, she usually has to pick up and put the gun down on average 5 times. in my situation, i just try to be patient because i'd hate for her to not enjoy shooting. i just tell her to step back and relax . . . that she doesn't have to rush but she also has nothing to be afraid of. i try to get her to just grip it and rip it but i think that's going to take some time.

women need to take their time getting there, once she's comfortable she'll start firing faster. we just don't like to feel out of control with something that could be dangerous.

going to the range at least once a week will help. we tend to lose confidence rapidly between experiences until we've really built up a base. more frequent trips lets us build on last sessions experience, instead of having to retrace that ground. at least 2xWeek works well, 1x will do, but more than that and we lose confidence.

what are you shooting? if she's having trouble getting ready for that first shot and having a lot of reaction to the flash and bang, you might want to try renting something with less horsepower... a couple of hundred rounds of 22 in a couple of weeks is a big help. we get to pay attention to the rest of the experience (handling the gun, getting the sight picture, firing) without the surprise of the bang and recoil, it's less to track and process and manage. after some 22 shooting, then switch to something bigger. can do both in the same day, or maybe do a couple of weeks of 22 only then switch back.

i'd defintely like a copy of anything you put together and if you need another set of eyes, i'd be happy to proofread (since my job also involves a lot of writing, boring writing, but writing nonetheless).

I'll call on you for that soon as it's ready, thanks!
megan

Steyrlp10
10-22-2009, 12:09 PM
Since I mentor for the Women On Target program here in San Diego, I thought I'd throw out some suggestions for the guys. Remember, safety is lesson #1 and you should be stressing it throughout the lesson.

1. Brush your teeth and take a shower. No one likes to be crowded by a smelly oaf. As a matter of fact, please do this any way.

2. Always ask before you touch your student. You don't know her background or the reasons she wants to learn to shoot. You don't want to make her uncomfortable. Plus, it's just common courtesy. I usually ask for permission right at the start of the lesson. Then I let them know I'm about to adjust their grip, or whatever, right before I do it. This way they know it is part of the lesson and that I'm not getting fresh with them.

3. I usually explain the logic behind a concept as I'm demonstrating it. Women are excellent communicators. If you do a good job of explaining they will pick it up much faster. Visual cues backed with verbal ones are a winning combination.

4. Most women want to know why something is to be done a certain way. Be ready to explain the logic behind it. This instills another level of comfort with the activity and helps cement the concept in their mind. Besides, you should know the reasons behind what you're doing.

5. Correct only as needed. Micro managing isn't appreciated by anyone. Unless her actions are unsafe, wait until she is done with the current string of fire to correct a problem. You should be standing back and to the left of a shooter. This allows you to see what is going on and be able to quickly step forward and take control if needed without crowding your student.

6. If they are learning on a semi auto, load one shoot one then load two shoot two. Once you are confident they can handle it, give them a full mag. This applies to all new shooters regardless of sex. Nothing will scare off new shooters like an uncontrolled burst of fire.

7. Give them a chance to ask questions along the way. You'd be surprised at the things they will ask that you never would have thought of. I usually finish an explanation of a concept with, "Do you have any questions?"
This allows them to ask about parts that may be unclear to them. Be prepared to paraphrase. Sometimes people don't understand something on the first go round or your explanation wasn't all it could have been. Encourage questions.

8. I've found that some women just can't seem to grasp how hard they should be holding the gun. Just replace their support hand for your own. Then they can get a tactile impression of just how hard they should be holding the firearm by how hard you're squeezing their hand. Also, you can have them hold steady and show them how much rearward pressure the support hand is supposed to be applying. This is much easier than saying 60/40 or 70/30 etc.

9. Feelings are important. If they don't feel good about what they are doing or don't feel comfortable, they will not do it again. Ask them if they are having fun. Ask them if they have any concerns. Now is the time to address these issues. Do this often. Tell them it is okay to be nervous at the start. Reassure them along the way. Tell them when they are doing something right, not just when they make a mistake. You'd be amazed at how much this simple step will increase their enjoyment of the activity. Don't be patronizing! They already have a daddy and you're not it.

10. Be polite. You need to be firm as an instructor but, you still need to be polite. Remember, no one likes dealing with a *****.


That sums up most of it. As far as caliber goes, once they show confidence with a .22 I make the offer of a larger caliber. As long as they are happy, I'll keep offering to step it up. I let them know that they can go back at any time. The idea is to let them explore their comfort zone with various firearms. Most like to stick with the .22 or a 9mm but, a few have ramped right up to .45 and beyond. It really depends on the shooter.

Oh, save the politics for after the lesson. They seem to be much more receptive once they have seen how much fun firearms can be.

ETA: Also, teach them the high ready position and encourage its use when their arms get tired.


Excellent post, thank you. Wish you were teaching classes in my area when I was struggling with the basics 29 years ago.

Oh, and I wish my ex took your first point seriously!

mosinnagantm9130
10-22-2009, 8:59 PM
This thread should be a sticky. Excellent info all around, info that I'm sure many guys ( like myself ) were looking for.

bden
12-04-2009, 12:28 AM
From bden's wife...

First, this is a pretty cool thread and since I've only go shooting on rare occasions there are some practical tips I'd recommend..

Don't set-up next to someone with a loud gun, and definitely not to the right. I've had a neighbors brass end up hitting me a few times, which made me jump every time he shot the rest of the trip.

Particularly the first couple of times at the range, when they are ready to leave, it's time to leave. If you're tired or bored of shooting and aren't interested or knowledgable about guns, a gun range can very quickly turn into a less than stellar experience, even when the shooting itself was fun. Plus, guns can get heavy quickly when you haven't shot before or don't shoot often.

With the last tip.. I usually bring a book or a magazine to the range with me, so when I get tired of shooting I have something to do if bden wants to keep going. This works out really well for both of us, so if someone wants to bring something else to do - let them!

Another tip, offer to load the magazine. I can get about 7-8 bullets in the magazine and then my fingers are just too weak. With our new magazines I'm lucky if I can get 5 in. (He's doing stuff to break in the new mag, but until then...)

Definitely agree with other folks tips on using shoot'n'see. I hate using anything other than those.

We recently got a shotgun and have been trap shooting. I love it, but do whatever you can to soften the recoil. We have recoil pad and I still can't do it as much as I'd like.

Last thing two things I can think of.. have water or soda with you and try to pick a day or time when the range will be slow.

HalveNaught
12-04-2009, 4:10 PM
^^ Good tips! HalveNaught's wife is going out Sunday to shoot, she hasn't gone since she was a little girl so these will all come in handy.

FreedomMom
12-04-2009, 11:16 PM
Hi-new to the forum (just purchased my first pistol-9mm 1911 Springfield!!!) and haven't read all 7 pages of posts, but wanted to add what my experiences have been taking new shooters out for the first time. (I've been shooting since I was a kid, so not my personal experiences but being with friends at their first time to the range) We started with a .22 rifle, bolt action-one round at a time. the rifle was always stationary on the table, we didn't even attempt to teach them how to hold it standing up. then we moved to a .22 single action revolver to reduce the risk of accidental miss-fire or handling. then finally to a .22 pistol (Browning Buckmark) with only 1 or 2 rounds at a time.

I got a friend of mine who was TERRIFIED of guns to go shooting with us, and doing it this way was really great for her. She could shoot the rifle, but not have to handle it too much (pick it up), then she could try the small-ish revolver that didn't seem as intimidating as the pistol and with only one round at a time a safer choice for a first handgun experience. And after she was ready, we moved over to the pistol, but only 1 or 2 rounds at a time. After she was shooting pretty well with the pistol we gave her a 9mm M&P-1 round only. After she shot it, the recoil of the stronger round shocked her so much that she was finished and didn't want anything else to do with the 9mm.

Us ladies are so different in our reactions to guns, some may love a .45 pistol right away, others just want a gentle approach like we gave my friend. But either way, if it's too intimidating or the gun is too big it will most likely turn them off for good.

I shot a .45 1911 a while back (with what I suspect was a pretty heavy home-load) but even with my experience shooting (not afraid of recoil-I LOVE shotguns) I was pretty intimidated by the kick that .45 gave me. It wasn't fun for me at that point, it felt like I was fighting with the gun instead of having fun shooting. So for someone who isn't afraid of guns to have a .45 pistol feel way too intimidating at first, imagine giving that to a new woman shooter for the first time! Forget it!

Thanks for letting my put my 2 cents in!

Addition:
my Sis-who is no stranger to hunting with shotguns and rifles was flinching so bad (in anticipation of the recoil) when she first tried to shoot at .45 pistol that she hit the ground and broke the target stand!

five.five-six
12-04-2009, 11:22 PM
just tell them that it is expensive and if they start shooting, they will drive their husbands into the poor house


the ranges will be overrun with women


:shrugs: it works for everything else

doodoostain
12-04-2009, 11:52 PM
Update:

So it's been a couple months that my wife and I have been going to the range. I think she on average went with me, every other time that I went. We started her on 9mm and at one point, she was so jumpy with the flash and sound that I suggested she shoot .22lr until she's a little more comfortable.

She didn't want to do this because she was afraid that she would never want to go back to 9mm if she got comfortable with the .22lr. As a result, we worked to help her overcome her fear. My one goal was to get her to enjoy going shooting, so anytime she said she was done for the day, we would wrap it up and go home.

In anycase, two things that helped her overcome the fear of the bang and the flash . . . first, having her spend less time actually trying to aim and having her just pull the trigger 3-4 times with the muzzle pointed at the target, with minimal time between shots. second, having her try a .40s&w right after a 9mm, so she could see that there is not a huge difference between rounds.

today was the first day that she truly enjoyed shooting i think. until today, she just went with me because i liked it. but today, she really hogged the lane. made me happy to see her overcome her fear. now we really need another gun, so we don't have to share a lane.

bombadillo
12-26-2009, 12:34 PM
http://corneredcat.com/Men/wifehateguns.aspx

Thought this was great!

Steyrlp10
12-26-2009, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the article -- I had to smile.

In a way, that would work for the husbands out there who aren't into shooting so much. I'm lucky that mine offers to always clean my guns after a match, but with the exception of a gun being the tool of his trade, he could care less about all the competitions I lose myself in.

He is supportive of me, but I know that he rather be on the water while I'm sloshing through the mud and trying to squeeze instead of jerk in 35 mph winds. Fortunately, I get my match schedule for the year as he does for bass tournaments. It's not even Jan 2010, and we both know where we're going to be on the weekends.

He shoots with me when he's not fishing, and I fish with him when I'm not shooting. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed at this point that he doesn't decide that we should squeeze in another competition sport although I think I really like the idea of learning how to drive like a cop :)

bombadillo
12-26-2009, 11:49 PM
Oh boy, then you need to buy a little miata or 240sx and go autocross for awhile. Take a couple of precision drivers courses and you can get your fix for driving fast there. That is some of the most fun you can have with your clothes on!! Or get a cheap ninja 500 and do some track days. Thats a blast and cheap to boot.

wooger
12-27-2009, 8:23 AM
Buy a late model stock and go short track racing!

Steyrlp10
12-27-2009, 11:35 AM
Lol... fast cars and guns -- woohoo! My other half is constantly amused by the time I spend on here and the interesting posts that need to be read. Thanks for your input; I think all this activity will keep us young.