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Thread: Family comfort with guns, small OC report.

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    Regular Member Blueslant's Avatar
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    Family comfort with guns, small OC report.

    So I was finally able to convince my wife to go shooting with me today. While I am from the south and have been shooting since before I could properly wipe myself, my wife is native to the northwest, and the extent of her shooting and handling experience is a .22LR bolt action.

    Her first concern was that the gun would go off when she didn't want it to. So I took the Sigma out. Trigger is like modeling clay, and you have to mean it for it to go off. She did really well by the end of the day, but she was still just not too comfortable with the concept of a gun as a whole.

    Anyone have any ideas on how to help increase that level of comfort for her? I don't expect her to be packing like Nugent, but I would like for her, down the road, to at least be comfortable enough to be able to manage one if the need arose.

    Overall a fun day, we both had a good time.

    As far as the OC portion goes, I decided to OC for the entire time. Bought gas, ammo, targets, some other shooting supplies, etc. Everything went just fine, but considering the stores I was in, I suppose this was to be expected.

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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    Try the Lacey Cabelas "Women on Target" program.
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    Regular Member Blueslant's Avatar
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    Thanks! I went through and looked at some of the information posted. Currently attempting to find something a little bit closer to us. Only thing I see currently in a reasonable price range is October, but I'll continue looking.

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    Family Comfort With Guns

    have her check out the http://www.corneredcat.com/ website and the book by the same name.

    Ed

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    Regular Member Dave in Edmonds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRuger View Post
    have her check out the http://www.corneredcat.com/ website and the book by the same name.

    Ed
    Cornered Cat is a great site with lots of good info for anyone, not just women.

    With my wife, she took a handgun safety class from my buddy Earl at Buck's Gun Shop. She had a desire to learn, but had never even handled a gun, much less fired one. The class gave her the confidence to shoot and now we enjoy the hobby together. We have a membership at Wades and go shooting every other Sunday, usually with other like-minded friends.

    Edit: Wade's has a women's handgun class. http://www.wadesguns.com/classes/
    Last edited by Dave in Edmonds; 05-20-2012 at 12:27 AM.

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    Regular Member Blueslant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRuger View Post
    have her check out the http://www.corneredcat.com/ website and the book by the same name.

    Ed
    Really good information there, I'll have her look at that once she wakes up.

    @Dave, Will have to try to convince her to look into some classes like that. The distance is the more problematic of those at the moment. Just not easy to get her to drive several hours for that. I am hoping that with more time her interest level may increase to the point that she might be willing to, or that I can find something fairly close.

    Gotta figure out how to multi-quote
    Last edited by Blueslant; 05-20-2012 at 12:32 AM. Reason: ....

  7. #7
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    I have many guns, and several different caliber pistols...the only pistol my wife is comfortable with is her High Standard Trophy .22. She will shoot the others, but she does not like too.

    She likes a 380 (CZ83) better than a 9X18 (CZ82), and the 9X18 better than the 9X19 (CZ85) or the .38 cal colt revolver (that one was actually a gift to me from HER father). I have others that she likes even less, but she does like to shoot that High Standard .22. I'm not totally sure, but even with electronic shooting muffs, the noise seems to bother her.

    My suggestion, get a .22 pistol, or get a gun (example a CZ75) that you can get a .22 conversion for. Set it up as a .22 and see if she doesn't like that arrangement better. After she is really comfortable shooting it as a .22, change it to it's original design caliber.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueslant View Post
    So I was finally able to convince my wife to go shooting with me today. While I am from the south and have been shooting since before I could properly wipe myself, my wife is native to the northwest, and the extent of her shooting and handling experience is a .22LR bolt action.

    Her first concern was that the gun would go off when she didn't want it to. So I took the Sigma out. Trigger is like modeling clay, and you have to mean it for it to go off. She did really well by the end of the day, but she was still just not too comfortable with the concept of a gun as a whole.

    Anyone have any ideas on how to help increase that level of comfort for her? I don't expect her to be packing like Nugent, but I would like for her, down the road, to at least be comfortable enough to be able to manage one if the need arose.

    Overall a fun day, we both had a good time.

    As far as the OC portion goes, I decided to OC for the entire time. Bought gas, ammo, targets, some other shooting supplies, etc. Everything went just fine, but considering the stores I was in, I suppose this was to be expected.
    She will get comfortable with it in her own time. Not everyone is instantly comfortable with guns. Most people are not comfortable with something they are just learning; it takes time. Have patience and let her proceed at her own pace, not yours. Once she gains some confidence with what she's doing she will feel more comfortable. I loved shooting pistols from the first time I shot one in '09, but it took awhile before I was actually comfortable with it.
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    Regular Member Blueslant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    My suggestion, get a .22 pistol, or get a gun (example a CZ75) that you can get a .22 conversion for. Set it up as a .22 and see if she doesn't like that arrangement better. After she is really comfortable shooting it as a .22, change it to it's original design caliber.
    Currently, the smallest thing I have is a 9x19, and noise is her big gripe with it as well, I've been window shopping on a .22LR plinker, just for the sake of letting her get used to shooting without having to deal with the noise/recoil.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueslant View Post
    Currently, the smallest thing I have is a 9x19, and noise is her big gripe with it as well, I've been window shopping on a .22LR plinker, just for the sake of letting her get used to shooting without having to deal with the noise/recoil.
    Added benifit to a .22 is cost. You can shoot a lot of .22 for very little money. I really like High Standards...especially the old ones from Hamden CN. Granted a Trophy or a Victor are a bit pricey for 40+year old guns, but they are reliable and accurate, High Standard also made "plinkers" (A, B, Sport King etc) that can be purchased inexpensively as can most of their wheel guns. High Standard also made a 1911, and a .22 in a 1911 action.

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    Regular Member Blueslant's Avatar
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    I'll check those out. Aside from a very few specific guns, I only buy guns that are absolutely made in the USA. It wont bother me to pay a bit more for an older model, just so long as it works, is reliable, accurate, and US made.

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Blueslant, I live in Yakima and have a Ruger 22/45 with a Red Dot Sight and a Bersa 380, both great guns for new shooters.

    A good training facility is The Firearms Academy of Seattle located in Onalaska, WA where Kathy Jackson from Cornered Cat is a handgun instructor.

    PM me the next time you go shooting and see if we can meet up.

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    Last edited by BigDave; 05-20-2012 at 10:02 AM.
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    Regular Member decklin's Avatar
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    I'm sure you've noticed by now that people here are recommending a class for women. One reason is women learn differently from men. I have had to completely change my style of instruction when it comes to my wife. It turns out she doesn't enjoy being treated like just another guy. Who knew?
    One thing I would recommend is, for lack of better words, let her play with the gun. What I mean is make sure the firearm is unloaded and she can go through the functions. Magazine release, racking the slide, slide release, dry fire, aiming/point of aim etc.
    My wife seemed like she was afraid breaking the gun. So she played with it a bit, always practicing the fundamentals, and got comfortable with it.
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    Regular Member SpyderTattoo's Avatar
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    How far south are you? I have a good friend (female) firearms instructor, that teaches out at the Black Diamond Gun Club. She really loves to teach other women gun-safety skills.
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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    In my limited experience I have found that having multiple females on the firing line helps a great deal. Females have less testosterone to get in the way of basic weapons instruction.
    Decklin was spot on about women having a different thought process.
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    The first thing I would do is to tell her why it's important to you that she goes shooting. Touch on her emotional side for better communication. "I want you to be good with a gun so that you'll be able to defend yourself. With home invasions and muggings on the rise, I worry about you."

    Second, find out exactly what bothers her about shooting. Based on what you've said, I sense three possible issues.

    1. Technical unfamiliarity - The best way around this is to make everything as simple as possible. I'd recommend getting some dummy rounds and spend time with her just operating the gun and it's features without being on the range. This will have the practical effect of helping her know the gun better and the psychological effect of it no longer being an alien object. It might also be a good idea to have a revolver for her as they seem less complicated. As far as a gun going off accidentally, I'm not sure how to directly address that except to cock the gun and throw it against the wall a few times. (If a gun fails this test, you don't want to keep it anyway.)

    2. Recoil - A lot of smaller women feel pain from the shock of recoil. The best way to deal with this is to have the heaviest frame you can get for the size of ammo you are using. Stay away from polymer frames altogether. I carry a large frame .357mag and I frequently fire .38spl in it. It has only slightly more recoil than my .22.

    3. "Guns are bad" - There's a lot of local cultural attitude about how guns equal violence. If you were arguing with a man about this, you should show him all the statistics that disprove this. For a woman just let her fire it a few times and ask "does that make you want to hurt someone?"

    If it turns out that she'll only use a .22, don't be dismayed. She'll still be developing all the skills necessary for larger firearms and can get in a lot more practice for the money. I'm far more afraid of a woman that can cut a ragged hole in a target at 50ft with a .22 than the average guy I see at the range with a .40 shooting 20in patterns at 7ft.

    Finally, I'd highly recommend you watch your emotional state when teaching her. If you start to get frustrated, women are far more likely to react to this and it will all be a bad experience.
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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    Added benifit to a .22 is cost. You can shoot a lot of .22 for very little money. I really like High Standards...especially the old ones from Hamden CN. Granted a Trophy or a Victor are a bit pricey for 40+year old guns, but they are reliable and accurate, High Standard also made "plinkers" (A, B, Sport King etc) that can be purchased inexpensively as can most of their wheel guns. High Standard also made a 1911, and a .22 in a 1911 action.
    High Standards were manufactured in Hartford (really early) and (early) Hamden, both in Connecticut. Later High Standards were manufactured in Houston, TX by a different company that purchased the brand and designs. Yes, all totally made in the USA. For a revolver, the "longhorn" was a really nice pistol, comes with both a .22lr and .22mag cylinders. That is their revolver I like best.

    For semiautos I like both the Victor and Trophy (both were compitition pistols manufactured in the 60's, and were very expensive back then) They still are not cheap, but are super pistols.

    My wife's Trophy has 3 barrels, (4", 5.5", 7.25") a compensator, weights and .22 lr slide, and a .22 short only slide (and a .22 short only barrel, 5.5".) Changing barrels is by pushing a button, pop one off, pop another in...not much harder than popping a magizine out. Adjustable trigger pull weight and distance, fully adjustable rear site, super little gun. Parts, barrels, slide kits..etc, are available from Brunells still.

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    Regular Member jt59's Avatar
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    Lots of good advise here....you should take any or all of it....

    I was in the same boat with my wife. I wanted to get her interested in shooting and to lessen her fear of guns....2 years ago.

    We started with a simple trip to the range, she had breakfast and I shot trap..I'd always had a pistol or two around but when I decided to start OC, she wasn't really a supporter. Mostly because she was concerned about public reactions... but, over time she began to relax and gave it up with all the positive comments while we wandered around at the Freedom Fair last summer....that's all gone now and I OC every where with her and she is very comfortable.

    I picked up a Colt .22 target pistol for her to start out with....and after a few sessions, she got comfortable and turned out she was a pretty good shot...since then she's tried some of my other handguns, auto's, wheel guns and has shot the .22 for a year and likes it the best....sometimes she wants to go to the range a few tmes a month, other times she can not go for 3 or 4 and not miss it....that's Ok too.

    Since the start of this journey, she's read the cornerd cat stuff and I make a point to raise her SA to crime everywhere, home break-in's and things she never paid much attention to but now does....

    This month, she's signed up for the womens shooting class from Cabela's the end of June...SHE decided that she wanted to get her CPL (done), and decided the .22 isn't the gun she wants to take the class with and is in the process of picking out her own gun and is angling toward a Kimber, .45 four inch barrel as a "range gun". She says that she doesn't think she wants to carry.....although for the first time, while she was talking to the gun clerk at the store, I heard her ask if the 4" Kimber could be carried concealed and they had a discussion about clothing and set up's....I said, nothing....

    My point is much the same as Ruby's.... she has to do this at her own pace, you need to be OK with her getting so far and then deciding she's done or supporting whatever decision as she moves ahead....

    It took the better part of two years to get here with my spouse....Patience, small moves....she had to overcome 60 years of bias', but it's working out.......Good luck with yours
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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Training, then practice, practice, practice.
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    Regular Member HK_dave's Avatar
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    i tried teaching an old girlfriend (hard core liberal) to shoot. took forever to talk her into going to the range.
    went through all the parts of the gun, how to make sure it's unloaded, etc...
    so i got her to the range with a friend's borrowed Jennings .22, pretty unimposing gun.
    reviewed the safety rules and i would shoot first to show her.

    first shot and she freaked, she's out the door. wouldn't have anything to do with it.
    at least the range owner understood and refunded my range fees.

    ugh.
    my sister-in-law was the complete opposite, luckily. total Annie Oakley with a .44mag Blackhawk.
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    Regular Member Dave in Edmonds's Avatar
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    I just wanted to add today's experience.

    The Wife and I had our bi-weekly Sunday meet and shoot at Wade's today with 8 friends. Of those, two were women who were shooting a handgun for the first time, one of those shooting for the first time period. The lady who had never fired a handgun really enjoyed the experience and said that she'd like to learn more. She was asking us what kind of guns they were and a few technical questions about them. By the end of the 90-minute session, she was hitting pretty decent groups at 25 feet. The woman who had never shot a gun said that she didn't really consider the outing "fun", but that she liked learning about handling and firing them, since her husband has several hand and long guns. She even took one pop with his Model 29! She said "never again!", but she was willing to try it. The group was evenly divided between men and women and I think that goes a long way towards making the women comfortable. Having my wife say "Do you want to try my .380? It shoots really easy" carries more weight than a guy saying "here, try my .357 Magnum. It don't kick much."

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    Regular Member rapgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    Training, then practice, practice, practice.
    I am of the school: training, then practice, practice, practice, then training, then practice, practice, practice, etc. Like riding a motorcycle, training on the basics about once every 5 years is always valuable. We get the little things reinforced.
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