Monday, January 14, 2008

E and the Revolver.

Took E to the Old Homestead yesterday, since he needed to pull his pony's shoes, and I wanted to pick some stuff up anyway. We made the drive down there, and Mamaw and Farmmom had lunch ready for us, fried chicken and all the trimmings. E stuffed himself, and then we sat around a while visiting, until Farmmom reminded us that if we were going to go out to the ponies we should get a move on.

Running by the house to get Rebel's halter, Farmdad grabbed a couple of rifles and a .22 revolver to send with us to play with. The day was warm enough that the prairie dogs were up and moving around. Fun stuff.

So, we get Rebel all taken care of, and took the long way around to get into the pasture because of the mud. First of all Ed got a shock when he realized that there were hoofprints where we were.

"Have you got horses in here too?"

"Um, yeah, the same ones that were up in the corrals."

"You mean they've got all this space?"

"Yeah... I told you there was room for them to run and play."

"Well yeah but.... I can't even see the corrals!"

Once we were shooting, it was even more entertaining. The breeze was a little cold so we just rolled the windows down on the pickup and kept the heater running.

"This is so redneck!"

"Yeah, and?"

"I love it!"

Then, he decided he wanted to switch rifles, and try the one with the scope. In his attempt to render the bolt-action rifle safe, he pulled back the bolt and tried to unload it... of course, he touched the trigger once the bolt was open, and the bolt slid right out, so pretty much rendered it as safe as possible.

"What the heck? Um... Farmgirl... I think I broke it."

"It's not broken, it's just ready to clean now."

When it started getting good and cold, and the prairie dogs were bedding down for the night out of the breeze, I asked him if he wanted to try a few rounds on the revolver.

Keep in mind, when I showed him what dad had sent he got all excited, calling it a "Yosemite Sam gun."


"You have shot a handgun before, right? It's different than a rifle."

"A couple of times, yeah."

"Ok well just ask if you have any problems with the revolver."

"Ok, um, I have a problem."


"How do I load it?"

It all went down hill from there.

First thing off he steps out and stands beside the truck, aiming at a pop can that I told him to set up as a target. He squeezed off one round and I looked over to check his aim..... and felt a sharp pain in the part of me that Farmdad beat proper shooting into.

E was standing facing his target dead on, both arms straight out and elbows locked, leaning back with his head cocked to the side like the Victrola Dog. He looked like he thought the dang gun was going to come back and bite him.

"E! Stop! I thought you told me you'd shot a handgun before!"

He stopped, surprised, said "I have, but never at a target," and popped off another round.

I bailed out of the pickup, went around to his side and said "Stop. Give me that. Jeez a strong breeze would knock you over in that stance... this is how you do it." I showed him weaver stance, while explaining how each limb is positioned.

"But why?"

"See how balanced I am? Nothing is going to rock me in this stance, I can hold it for as long as my arms hold out, and I can bring my gun back on target from recoil faster."

"Oh. I see."

So, he tried it, and his aim got a little better. (Who'da thunk it?)

"Ok, now, sight down your arm and through the sights."

"What do you mean through the sites? I'm lining them up!"

"Don't focus on your front sight. Focus on your target, and put the blur of the front sight on it. Then, take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and squeeze the trigger." *Bang!* "See how much better that was?"

"Yeah, it makes sense now."

"Try a few more."

*Bang!* "OW! Holy crap what did I do?!?"

"Well, I wasn't looking at your hands at the time, but judging by the black smears on your thumb I'd say you put your thumb by the front of the cylinder and got yourself a powder burn."

So we covered, again, the proper placement of his hands. I think he'll probably remember that part next time.

He's excited to go back and shoot some more prairie dogs... and he's a little bit put out at handguns. He never did manage to hit the pop can, but he was getting close enough to make it dance.

Next time, I'll take a couple of the semi auto's in the larger calibers. Of course, he told me I sounded like a rap song when I told him that next time I'd bring a "nine" and a "forty five" for him to play with. I would have hit him but I settled for telling him that if he stood like he was holding a snake at the end of his arms when we shot the larger calibers he was going to get knocked on his butt.

We'll get him there. Boy wants to be a cowboy and can't shoot a dang revolver.... it's a crime.


mustanger said...

Well, you know, we all start learning somewhere. From the sound of it, E's probably starting to find out what all he doesn't yet know. I think that happens to most of us.

The bolt action .22 rifle... removing the bolt on that one sounds like the .22 I learned on when I was a kid. Does J.C. Higgins ring a bell?

That part about him getting his thumb forward of the cylinder... I was watching Personal Defense TV a few days ago and Clint Smith covered that. It seems a lot of folks will grip the revolver like that thinking it's more solid. But they don't realize how much gas is blowing out the cylinder/barrel gap. Clint Smith put a piece of paper around the revolver- .357, I think- and fired it... the gas blew right through the paper. Now imagine if that was somebody's hand. The imagery ain't purty.

Mark said...

Wait until you get him a REAL hawg leg to shoot, an old S&W Mod 29, or a .454 Casull. Make sure he'swearing gloves though :)

mustanger said...

"A real hawgleg"... a Super Blackhawk falls in that category too. But as .44's go, for just general shootin', I'd go with .44specials and load light and go for better accuracy. I do have some Hornady 265grSP's loaded to 1300-1400fps to deer hunt with and they kick pretty good. hehehe

Farmmom said...

But he seemed like he had a wonderful time. :D

mustanger... again said...

"But he seemed like he had a wonderful time. :D"

That also showed through Farmgirl's telling of it. And that's great to hear.

Fyremandoug said...

Reminds me of my Daughter and a friend of hers out at our range "If you forget and point that pistol in a unsafe direction I'll kick your ass"
I guess I made an impression on her when she was young

HollyB said...

Good on you, FG, for teachin' him proper stance and safety. Just keep reminding him and he'll remember.
About those Semi-Autos...impress upon him the importance of proper grip so he doesn't get a slide bite.

mustanger said...

Regarding the semi-autos, I second HollyB's comment on getting the right grip.

I also just remembered... and this has been recommended by some of my internet and shooting buddies... I'd say put one round in the magazine at first. That way, the slide will lock back and a first-timer won't forget the weapon's hot and turn around. Then put two in the mag and do a double tap to slidelock. When they're okay with that, give 'em the full mag. That said, I went straight to the full mag, but I'd been shooting guns a while before I got my first 1911A1.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the Blog.

You'll do a little better if you focus on the front sight and leave the target blurry with a handgun.

It's front sight, press. Repeat as needed.

Good luck at school.