Sunday, August 30, 2009

Two 'rookie' females dominate men in NRA pistol classes

You can learn a lot when you're supposed to be the teacher. I've learned that from many years, 30+ and counting, as a Sunday School teacher. My students have taught me at least as much if not more than I have taught them about the Bible and about life as a Christian.

And after my first two classes as an NRA Basic Pistol instructor, I've learned the most from the two students who supposedly knew the least about shooting a pistol.

In my first class, I didn't get any photos because I was busy teaching but my prize student was a woman named Janet, who shall hereinafter be referred to as Annie O. the 1st. She had virtually no experience with handguns, just a bit of back-yard shooting with her husband Jim with her Kimber .45 ACP pistol and Charter .327 Magnum revolver.

I just stole a photo off her facebook page she took of her very first target with a Springfield XDM 9mm, shot at 7 yards. She just bought this pistol and fired it for the first time. That's her husband Jim holding the target.

In my first Basic Pistol class, Annie the 1st shot my two .22LR pistols, Walther P22 and S&W 22A-1, both very well, hitting what she aimed at consistently. Then she moved on up to my Steyr M9-A1 9mm and my Sig P229 .357 Sig and did exactly the same. She finished off with my S&W 14-3 .38 Special target revolver.

In addition to me, two other men were shooting the 14-3, a fairly heavy 6"-barrel revolver, with .38 Special +P ammo, which is quite loud. So Annie the 1st said she didn't want to shoot it. But at the end of the range session, she changed her mind and guess what? She shot it as well or better than any of us men.

And yesterday, I had my second NRA Basic Pistol class with three men students, all with varying levels of handgun experience. One had worked in law enforcement, one had Army experience, the third had been shooting for years.

And the one female student in the class was Lori, who hereinafter shall be called Annie O. II. She had almost no experience with handguns. She had shot her husband's .38 Special snubnose and didn't like it.

The first photo shows Annie II shooting an M16 at the bench under the watchful eye of my buddy Leon. He's rangemaster for my NRA classes, a retired Air Force sergeant and long-time 4-H shooting instructor. Guess who shot closest to the bullseye with Leon's M16?

If you said anybody but Annie II, you guessed wrong. Same for everything else Annie II shot from among the handguns, she shot them all and shot them well. The second photo is Annie II shooting my S&W 22A-1 sitting at the bench and third is her shooting standing. The old fat guy in the red t-shirt and gray hair watching in both those photos is me.

Like Annie the 1st, Annie II watched and listened to the men shooting the S&W 14-3 with .38 Special +Ps and said at first she didn't want to shoot it. Then Leon talked her into shooting his M16 and she loved it. So she decided she'd try the 14-3. By then the men were shooting at a full-size silhouette target at 100 feet. Up until then, Annie II's longest shooting range with a handgun was 50 feet.

She sat down with the 14-3 at 100 feet and nailed that blueman target better than all the men!

Some people got it and some people don't. Two women shooters who just happened to be the first two women students I had as an instructor have been the best shooters I've had so far.

Annie the 1st could do something I couldn't from the get-go, which is shoot with both eyes open. I've never been able to train myself to do that, but she could do it naturally and did it very well.

And Annie II is another natural-born talent with firearms. Don't say women can't shoot guns.

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