In survival/shtf/teotwawki/preparedness blog world, writers will often pose the question: What did you do to prepare this week? Then some readers respond describing what steps they took. This week I did something different. I helped someone else prepare …. sorta …. I took a newbie to the shooting range.
“Shooting range” is a loose term. Since shooting range dues went up last year, and the wife got laid off, I didn’t renew my membership. The “shooting range” I now go to is a gravel pit where all kinds of people shoot and no one seems to care. It’s hard to step anywhere without stepping on spent shotguns shells. “Targets” in the form of old computer towers, monitors and paint cans are strewn everywhere. Yes, it’s a virtual toxic waste land!
I love it! It’s free and even as un-environmentally friendly as it is, watching plastic pieces of old computers break all over the place as you smack ’em with semi-automatic handgun rounds is …. pretty fun.
The guy I took had shot a gun just once – and get this – it was an M-16 at private indoor range in Las Vegas – LOL – first (and only) time firing a gun! He said there were two guys standing right behind him the whole time ready to gun him or anyone else down that might go nuts. I’m sure the short experience wasn’t cheap. He saved the target, all proud of himself …. yes, guns are a foreign subject to this guy.
He saw my hunting pictures, inquired, and hinted around that he really wanted to know more about hunting and shooting. So I invited him to go shooting and we met after work. I brought my deer rifle, 12 gauge pump, semi-auto 9mm, and snub-nose .38. I brought a variety so he could experience a range of guns. The guy knew nothing about the guns. There are also a lot of people out there like this.
Taking someone shooting for essentially the first time is always an interesting experience. We met at Dick’s Sporting Goods and he bought the ammo, I told him what to get. I described the safety features and mechanics of each gun, but I could tell by his face that all of the fast “technical” information was a bit overwhelming, something you forget when you already know this stuff. I fired a few shots to demonstrate each gun first and I only let him load a few rounds to start, so he wasn’t operating with full mags.
I had to keep saying, “take your finger off that trigger” when he would pause to ask me a question or otherwise move the gun off target. The novice (and the stupid) don’t realize how important this is, especially in semi-auto land.
He did well, though; all things considered. I tried to explain the importance of proper shoulder posture for the rifle and shotgun, but he didn’t seem to get it, so I just let him fire the way he was standing – then he got it. He adjusted more correctly the 2nd time, but it still wasn’t right, so he decided he didn’t like the long guns as well, because they “hurt his bicep” and he wasn’t used to them. Fine – whatever. So he shot off the rest of the handgun rounds and I got to keep the remaining shotgun slugs and .308 cartridges. (Sweet!)
The experience reinforced the notion that WTSHTF, you can’t just give a gun to your friend and expect everything to be fine. In a long-term SHTF situation, you’d need lots of target ammo to both show others how to shoot and to stay sharp; kinda like the importance stressed on SHTF target practice in Parable of the Sower.
– Ranger Man
BTW: What did YOU do to help someone ELSE prepare this week?