Sunday, June 20, 2010

June’s Have A Go Day

We’ve had so many bookings for our monthly “Have a Go Day” that we’re running two this month. The first of which was today.

We had 20 people booked in, however only 15 turned up, which isn’t a problem :) … Four club members had volunteered to help so there was a good ratio of helpers to visitors.

The Chief Instructor and I had spent some time during the week working out how we were going to run it and he was happy for me to take the lead today and just be there to keep me on track!

Yesterday after training we had spent some time setting up the range, which was good as everyone decided to turn up early! We quickly got them signed in, checked them for ‘eyes and ears’ and were ready to get underway by noon.

I welcomed them to the club and gave them a quick run down on how the day was going to go and the basics of safety. We then had them shoot Glocks, Tanfoglios and Revolvers as we did last month.

We had decided to change the rifle section a bit from last month and this time we went with a bolt action .22 rifle and a .22 lever action. Last month we had four rifles and they had 10 rounds for each one and things really seemed to drag … This time we went down to the two and with 5 rounds each. It worked better, but it still dragged a touch. Next Sunday we’ve arranged to have another lever action and another bolt action so we can split the people up and get them through this section a bit quicker.

The visitors however seemed to enjoy the rifle shooting and there were some very good shots amongst the group.

Once we had put the rifles away we brought out the shotguns, and a .357 rifle. We had three shotguns for them this month – the over/under; semi-auto; and my Tuffy.

Prior to shooting the shotguns we pulled a shell apart, burnt the propellant and fired off the primer. I think this is a great thing to do with ‘newbies’ as it gives them a very good idea of what they’re actually shooting.

We used paper targets for the .357 and Tuffy, but at the suggestion of a member of the GBC chat – Caleb – we decided to use pepper poppers for the other shotguns. It worked brilliantly!

Once they finished the shooting we thanked them for coming and they headed up to the club house.

My brother had rung up on the Friday to see if he could bring his family up to the “Have A Go Day”. As we were expecting 20 people I suggest that they come up afterwards and we do a mini one for them followed by a BBQ.

They arrived just after 2.30pm – giving us enough time to grab a cuppa :) He had stopped off and bought some KFC for us as well, which was gratefully received.

Once we finished eating we got the guns out. My brother has two kids – a 12 year old girl and a 15 year old boy. So I decided to start with the .22 pistol.

Again we started with a safety lecture, then moved onto holding and aiming the pistol. I then loaded one round for them and let them shoot that. Once I knew that they were going to be okay with the gun we gave them 10 rounds. They all shot the .22s and then we moved onto my 9mm Springfield.

Then the 9mm Glocks and Tanfoglios. By this time my husband had turned up with my two girls and they were interested in shooting as well. Both girls shot the Springfield and the Chief Instructor got out his air pistol which Miss 6 absolutely loves so she shot off 20 rounds before letting anyone else have a go. I think everyone of these hit the centre area of the target!

While she was shooting the Air Pistol, we had moved onto the revolvers with the others. I got out two revolvers, one was quite small and the other was huge. I gave them a choice as to which one they wanted to shoot and I was surprised that they all decided to shoot the large one! Apparently it looked like a “real gun”.

After Miss 6 had finished with the Air Pistol she too wanted to try the revolver, luckily she chose the small one! I was very surprised that she actually shot three rounds, normally she doesn’t like “loud guns”.

The rest of the group had moved onto trying the Air Pistol. They were quite surprised how difficult it was to actually fire accurately (they were all trying the one handed approach).

We then put all the handguns away and got the rifles out.

We decided to bring out three .22 rifles, the single shot; lever action and bolt action. Miss 6 LOVES the single shot (well it is hers and her sister’s) and took her time lining it up and shooting. She insisted on doing everything herself – loading it, aiming it and working the bolt. She was very accurate too (she shoots resting on sandbags!). After she had shot 5 I dragged her away so her sister could have a shoot. Miss 8 likes shooting the rifles as well, but she didn’t want to rest on the sandbags. We negotiated a compromise (as the gun is too big for her to hold unaided) and she lined it up and then would tell me that it was right and I would just support the front. Her shooting was very accurate as well.

Everyone switched around and tried all the rifles. The bolt action seemed to be the favourite. Once everyone had finished Miss 6 HAD to have another go of HER rifle.

We then put the rifles away and got out the three shotguns we had used in the morning.

My girls don’t like the noise of shotguns so they left the range to go play with some other friends who had turned up for the BBQ.

We again opened up a shell and explained all the different bits and burnt the propellant etc. And then they got to shoot! My niece fell in love with the Tuffy and shot it three times (the Tuffy does kick like a mule so I’m hoping she’ll be okay tomorrow). My sister-in-law was hilarious when she shot it (after she had shot the over/under and semi-auto and was already sore), the Tuffy really didn’t make it any better! The boys had to shoot it at arms length as well as off the shoulder but they didn’t like it as much as my neice.

By this time my husband had the BBQ ready, so we put the guns away, cleaned up the range and headed for some food and much needed beer.

Long, long day but lots of fun!!!

AND we get to do it again next weekend ......

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