Saturday, March 07, 2009

A Day at the Range

Last Sunday I worked a table at the gun show being held in conjunction with the TSRA annual meetings. I was working a recruiting table for the North Texas Gun Owners. I had a great time passing out information and talking politics with fellow gunnies. At the gun show I met a couple of gents from across the pond, one from the UK and one from Holland who mentioned that they didn't get to do all this gun stuff at home. So of course I invited them out shooting.

The initial plan was to head out to the outdoor range, but when they called last evening they asked if 11 could shoot with us. I said sure and started making plans for hosting 11 new shooters at the private range. Only problem is that 11 guests far exceeds the rules for guests so I came up with a different plan.

This morning I called the Winchester Gallery Gun Range, explained my situation and reserved 5 adjoining lanes for this afternoon. With this many new shooters the indoor shooting range was a better idea anyway. Specific lanes with target retrievers make keeping an eye on safety issues much easier.

I also called Paul, a reader who has offered his help in the past and let him know what was going on.

I met the guys at a gas station off of I20, it turned out that only 8 showed up and 2 of them were shooters (sigh of relief on my part). We caravaned to the range and got set up. The folks at Winchester Gallery did a great job of getting us set up with adjoining lanes at the beginning of their busiest part of the day.

Paul met us at the range and helped with getting everyone settled in and understanding the basic safety rules. We covered all four but I only stressed two for this shoot. Keep the barrel pointed down range at the backstop and keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Your gun malfunctions, keep it pointed down range at the backstop, keep you finger off of the trigger and I will come help you clear it. The guys did a great job of shooting safe today, I was very pleased.

I did not take many pictures because I was busy keeping an eye on things and helping out where needed. Here are a couple that I did take, maybe the guys will email me a few more that I can add later.

An indoor range, our group alone putting more than a 1000 rounds of .45 and 9mm down range, and you might end up with a bit of smoke.

A less smoky picture of some of the targets.

What all did I bring? The Ruger Standard .22, V's Browning Hi-Power, the Ruger SP-101 .357, my Kimber Pro Carry and the Para USA Gun Blog .45. One of the two guys who was a shooter brought a loaded Springfield .45. I think each gun we had on the line had someone who found it to be his favorite. The Ruger Standard's biggest fan was from Malaysia and had never even been around firearms before. It was a very big deal for him to even pick up a gun, much less shoot it. He did an outstanding job with that Ruger.

For one of the guys, each time he moved up a caliber, that gun became his favorite. By the end of the day he was shooting full house .357 magnum out of the SP-101 and 230 gr. +P's out of the .45's.

I had a blast and I am pretty sure that a good time was had by one and all.

Now it is time to relax with a Fuller's Vintage Ale, a fine end to a great day.


Old NFO said...

Thanks for taking those folks out! I hope it will give them a much better impression of America and Americans than they get off the news!

Haji said...

This post is officially stamped "neato" by Haji. Good on ya for exposing a bunch of new shooters to a fun, SAFE experience. Well done!

Anonymous said...

John, What can I say about today. We all had a great time, the lads all told me how much they had enjoyed it. A big thankyou to you once again, for taking the time and trouble to take eight strangers out on the range, and showing us how to enjoy a good afternoons shooting. I'm sure if you asked Jan and I would have gladly cleaned the weapons for you as well. Just so we could have held them a little more. I would also like to thank the range, for being so frendly and going out of thier way to accomadate us. So thankyou as we say in England 'your a top bloke'


Mulligan said...

good job !!
whole lotta shootin' goin on today. Elk Castle's classroom parking lot was full and Alpine range was pretty much standing room only.

Anonymous said...

John, I would like to thank you again for your hospitality and showing us how generous some people can be. I really enjoyed this opportunity to shoot with different guns so big thanks for this great day..


Robert Langham said...

Good job! None of us has to do it all but everyone needs to do something. I'd say you did a pretty big something.

TexasFred said...

There are so many things that we take for granted here in the USA, just owning and shooting a gun is one of the most taken for granted things I can imagine...

To have folks that have never been allowed to so much as pick up a gun being given the opportunity to actually SHOT guns, well John, you did a great thing! Kudos..

John R said...

It really was my pleasure to do this, I had a great time.

Hey Haji, nice to see you have finally started your own blog, nice job.

Ride Fast said...

[...] A braver man than me [...]


Anonymous said...

That is great. I'm the educational director for Students for Personal Safety at the University of Houston. Last week we taught 8 people on how to shoot a handgun. I believe that our communities will be safer when more people know how to properly defend themselves and their families.

Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

John, once again as Nigel and Jan have said, THANK YOU so much for the day of shooting. Not only for the day its self but the kindness you showed towards 8 strangers. Boys and their toys certainly has a new meaning for myself :)