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View Full Version : Reintroducing a Senior to Shooting


eltee
10-08-2009, 4:00 PM
My dear old uncle has not fired a shot in over ten, maybe 15 years. He is 87 years old. He is a decorated WWII vet., a long time shooter and hunter, and was a huge influence on me when I was young. He shot competitive skeet and trap, and did alot of hunting. In those days, you hung your guns on the wall, usually under a mounted deer head. Other guns were in a case with glass doors. Alot of wild duck and venison meals at his house when I was young.

His wife (my aunt) and their close friends (another senior couple) and I arranged today to take my uncle shooting. He was like a little kid, every few minutes it was, "Are we there yet?" Couldn't really be sure if it was short term memory loss or childlike anticipation...maybe a little of both.

We started out at the pistol range. Although his memory is going, he instinctively displayed gun / range safety protocols. He forgot one of the guns he wanted to shoot, but he remembered muzzle control, etc. on the line. I put my Kimber .45 in his hands, knowing he had spent years in the '40s shooting a G.I. Colt 1911. His 1st shots were high and wide, then he started to nail them.

We went over to the trap range. He had two very fine shotguns. I reviewed the protocols with him. He couldn't remember if he brought ammo for them (he did) but within minutes he was powdering clays, including doubles. The look on his face was memorable. His muscle memory, timing, instincts and experience all kicked in. His wife and the other couple were clapping when they saw him blast those clays out of the sky. He's so hard of hearing that when he neglected to replace his hearing protection, he didn't notice until I told him (the gunshots did not bother him w/o protection! :rolleyes: ).

I don't know how many range trips he has left in him, but today he showed the world that at 87+ years old and not having fired a gun in at least a decade, he could still put his sights on the target and shoot with the best of them. He actually outshot me on the trap range. He's a little slow and unsteady on his feet, he can't hear well, his memory comes and goes but his eyesight is great (he was an aviator) and he reflexes sharp and when he had a gun in his had he looked like a young man again. It's been a great day.

retired
10-08-2009, 5:36 PM
He's a little slow and unsteady on his feet, he can't hear well, his memory comes and goes

Sounds like you have been watching me eltee.:D

You did a good thing for your uncle and your aunt too. Your uncle had a chance to have a good time and your aunt had an opportunity to see your uncle do something he really enjoyed. I am sure that made her happy also.

Good man.

armygunsmith
10-08-2009, 6:19 PM
What a memorable outing, thanks for sharing. I had the pleasure of shooting next to a guy who brought out his grandfather who was a war Veteran. I'm not sure which war. The guy was letting his grandfather shoot a 1911. He was a little unsteady at first, but was soon killing the X ring. You could see the concentration and determination in his eyes while he was shooting. I wondered how many enemies might have met their maker at the end of the 1911 he carried.

Steyrlp10
10-09-2009, 11:47 AM
Very nice -- sounds like a fun time for everyone!