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Ladies Forum A place for our female Calgunners to discuss, share and interact without the 'excess attention' sometimes found in online forums.

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  #1  
Old 09-21-2009, 10:31 AM
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Default "Tip Sheet" for how to properly get women into shooting.

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.
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Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:43 AM
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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.
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Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
--Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishment"
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:46 AM
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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,


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Old 09-21-2009, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SwissFluCase View Post
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.

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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.
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Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
--Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishment"
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:28 PM
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last 2 women i took shooting looked at the .22 revolver went pfht..and shot up all my 45acp..lol
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:40 PM
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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,


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Old 09-21-2009, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissFluCase View Post
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
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Old 09-21-2009, 4:29 PM
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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.
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Old 09-21-2009, 4:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
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!!
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Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
--Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishment"
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Old 09-21-2009, 5:09 PM
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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.
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Old 09-21-2009, 6:38 PM
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Hand size matters. Single stack autos are more enjoyable for smaller hands.
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Old 09-21-2009, 6:42 PM
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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.
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Old 09-21-2009, 6:53 PM
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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!
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Old 09-21-2009, 6:59 PM
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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.'
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Old 09-23-2009, 4:02 PM
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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.
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Old 09-24-2009, 3:00 PM
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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/2009.../1002/BUSINESS
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:50 AM
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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.
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Old 09-25-2009, 1:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Steyrlp10 View Post
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
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Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
--Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishment"
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Old 09-25-2009, 1:11 PM
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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.

Last edited by professionalcoyotehunter; 09-30-2009 at 9:57 AM..
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Old 09-25-2009, 1:20 PM
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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
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Old 09-25-2009, 1:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bdsmchs View Post
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)
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Old 09-25-2009, 2:33 PM
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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.

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Originally Posted by Steyrlp10 View Post
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.
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Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
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Old 09-25-2009, 8:02 PM
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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.)
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:10 PM
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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.
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Old 09-26-2009, 8:44 PM
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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
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Old 09-26-2009, 9:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Steyrlp10 View Post
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!)
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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.................

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Originally Posted by katokat View Post
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.

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  #27  
Old 09-28-2009, 8:57 AM
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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)
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:58 PM
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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.
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Old 09-30-2009, 7:33 PM
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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.
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Old 09-30-2009, 8:23 PM
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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.
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"To maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the system must depend;" - John C Calhoun
"If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:44 PM
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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.
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"If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:27 PM
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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.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:09 AM
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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.
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Old 10-01-2009, 8:30 AM
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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.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
Megan,

Great job!
thanks!
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!

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Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
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. )
'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
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:32 AM
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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...
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Old 10-01-2009, 1:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steyrlp10 View Post
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....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steyrlp10 View Post
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
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"If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:19 PM
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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.
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Old 10-05-2009, 2:51 PM
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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.
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Old 10-06-2009, 4:50 PM
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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
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