Equal Rights

One of the great stereotypes those of us who are employed by gun ranges have developed is the guy with his girlfriend teaching her to shoot teacup hollywood weaver with his 40 caliber Glock.  It happens all the time and it poses a great frustration to us as range staff because we want everyone to have a great time at the range and we all know this girl would often have more fun if she were learning on a .22LR from someone who actually knew how to shoot.  The best we can usually do is give very small pointers (often taken as much less of an insult from me than my male counterparts) or hope that one of them asks if there’s anything they can do to make the experience more fun or help them to shoot better, which sometimes they do.

I saw something on the range yesterday that reminded me of this: a girl with her brother teaching him to shoot teacup hollywood weaver with her 40 caliber Beretta, and that just sucks for him.  Everyone deserves to learn to shoot with a little .22, even if you progress to a 9mm more quickly because you have that extra upper body strength to muscle the gun around rather than having to learn to shoot in such a way that utilizes body mechanics.  Beyond this, everyone deserves to learn to shoot correctly.  As important as getting women into the industry is to me, and as much as I love seeing the women’s training classes and everything develop it’s just as important that we continue to increase overall participation in the shooting industry.

While these particular grievances are less common it pains me just as much to see the gender rolls reversed.  I want everyone to enjoy shooting, everyone to have awesome guns, and everyone to take pride and care in their training.


  1. Shellie,

    I could not agree with you more. The lady friends that have learned to shoot with me all start with 22lr and progress from there. Only when they(And I) feel confident that they can handle bigger calibers do I move them up and let them try some of the guns I have. I enjoy seeing women participate in the shooting sports but they have to learn safety first before anything.

    Dan Cain, Sr.
    Saint Albans, WV

  2. I wish I had started with a 22lr. It took me years to get rid of the flinch I developed. I love my ISSC M22 pistol – I can shoot that all day! And do!

    1. Laura,

      As many years as I have been target shooting I still enjoy my 22s. I bought a Sig Sauer Misquito a few years ago and love the gun; however, it is temperamental and will only work reliably with CCI
      mini-mag. Anything else and it is jam city. #njoy your range time. Here in West Virginia we have a number of ranges that are fun to shoot and just plink with.

  3. I think some guys should swallow their pride and go down to a .22 for a while. They can only look so good shooting the floor with a .45.

  4. I recently took a friend who said she had shot pistols before, and I did not think and decided to use my M&P40. Once we were on the range she went from happy to scared by the end of one magazine. I quickly noticed that the situation could have gotten really bad, so I rented a 22lr pistol and also took the time to teach her proper grip (since part of the fear came from the gun wildly recoiling). Once the proper gun and grip were used the range trip turned back into the fun event that was planned. My mistake was thinking my friend was at the same level or capable of the same level as I was. Gender aside, I think it is easy to forget that almost all of us started with 22’s and many never went on from there.

  5. I learned to shoot with bb guns, air rifles and air pistols. I then went to a .45 1911 at the age of 13. I’m no he-man, that .45 scared (and excited) the heck out of me. I then went on to shoot .22 rifle/revolver and various other firearms and I still enjoy shooting pretty much anything that has a trigger and sights.

    I understand the need to tell folks how they should start, but a blanket, “get a .22” is short sighted. Not everyone does things like we want them to. I’m pretty sure if a 1911 .45ACP was the first trigger I pulled, I’d still love guns.

  6. I can see why people start off on the wrong gun at an outdoor range without a rental desk – if it’s the gun you have, it’s the gun you shoot. But when it’s only like $5 more to get a decent trainer at the same desk you buy your range time from… I don’t get it.

    I shoot mostly .357 magnum and 38’s myself, but when I bring a new shooter to the range the first thing I do is go up to the desk and ask for a ruger mkII.

  7. a girl with her brother teaching him to shoot teacup hollywood weaver with her 40 caliber Beretta, and that just sucks for him.

    I agree. She should have been using a lightweight .38, because everybody knows that’s the right caliber for a man’s gun.


  8. I probably shoot ten rounds of deuce-deuce for every centerfire round I shoot.

    There’s no way I could afford to get in the kind of trigger time it takes to keep what little skill I have from evaporating without .22LR.

  9. Don’t forget the Dad’s that try to teach their 10-12 year old boys with a .40 or .45 as well. Bonus points if the Dad keeps snapping out an angry “No! You’re not doing it right.”

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