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Thread: Refresher on coaching a new shooter

  1. #11
    Like JCN, I do some dry fire at home also. Also mag changes w/ couple of dummy rounds, so the slide locks back after maybe 2. I take that opportunity to show them exactly what the slide is doing so they understand how that chunk of metal could hurt their hand. I also spend several minutes explaining the range, lane, dividers, etc layout so they understand ahead of time the physical layout. We used to shoot indoors mostly so there was the typical lane w/ a table setup. At any shooting pause I liked to have them lay the gun down on the table pointing away of course. At our current outdoor range, like peterb, I take a pop up card table w/ me. Because the built in table is behind where we stand to shoot and I don't want newbies walking back to that table and maybe waving the gun around. If I forget the card table, when they pause, I take the gun from them and reinforce keep it pointed down range. Their first 20 or so rnds at the range I like to load just 2 or 3 per mag. Gives them a chance to stop shooting but they don't have to say can I stop for a minute. As they get a little familiar, at some point I do like MickAK. Let them empty a 10 round mage shooting at a brisk but natural for them pace. One friend was taking so long to try to line up the sights I think his arms were getting tired. He actually got better hits w/ the brisk 10 rnds because he was not concentrating on the perfect sight picture.

  2. #12
    Rob Leatham's "forward pressure" drill is useful for new shooters -

  3. #13
    I also like Rob Letham's philosophy for teaching new shooters in this video -

  4. #14
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    TEXAS !
    I also recommend going over safety rules, handling and basics via dry fire somewhere other than the range prior to the first time at the range.

    The less novel / less stressful / less exciting environment allows better retention by the student.

    I also start brand new shooters with 1 round in the gun for the first few rounds for safety purposes.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    If I could go back to being someone who knew nothing of guns, I would have loved it if my coach/instructor/guide at the time was able to get on the trigger with me so that I could feel what a proper trigger press was supposed to feel like.

  6. #16
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Thanks, everyone. It went well; he wasn’t completely new to shooting after all, just “is there a safety on this Glock as opposed to that Glock?” kind of new. He was safe and accurate (1” groups off hand at 7 yards) and wants to go back!

  7. #17
    Thank you for giving someone a positive shooting experience!

  8. #18
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Kansas City
    Glad it went well. I took a brand new shooter out a few weeks ago and couldn't get him to use a proper grip. He would grip like I showed but reverted back to the screenshot after a new mag. He had a blast though so he'll have to shoot on his own dime if we go out again.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  9. #19
    (1) A little dry-fire if possible away from the range. I'm not married to doing it off-range, as my normal range is pretty quiet.

    (2) Point it in that direction only.

    (3) No pointing it at people. No stupid selfies.

    (4) Finger here until you're aiming at the target. Then finger to trigger.

    (5) No touching guns when anybody is downrange. Stand next to me at all times.

    (6) Let's take a few minutes to read these rules that are posted (mostly just to start the habit of reading the posted rules every time).

    (7) Have fun.

    Outside of safety and not getting hurt, I couldn't care one whit about technique. Not sucking is Trip Two. The only other thing I would add is for long-range rifle, I emphasize no sky-loading; bolts only close on cartridges when the crosshairs are on-target.

  10. #20
    I use Larry Mudgett’s methods for any new shooters who ask for my instruction.

    Fundamentals early on are really important to prevent issues developing which can take hard work to fix after only a few dozen rounds, for a new shooter. Dry-press training, and a very thorough instillation of the four rules are what all my students get before anything else. Then trigger control drills, trigger control drills, and more trigger control drills, followed by assisted live fire, then skip loading. A flinch on a dry press in skip loading leads to another series of dry-press drills until they get it right.

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