Skip to comments.MILLER: Learning to shoot a gun(DC)
Posted on 11/01/2011 5:18:17 AM PDT by marktwain
At the same time as I trudge through the Washington, D.C. bureaucracy in my attempt to get a legal handgun for self defense, I need to learn how to safely operate and shoot a gun.
I have no experience with guns. Although my father had a handgun while I was growing up -- Baltimore is less safe than D.C. -- he hid it from us and never talked about it. I only know that he had it because as a kid, I found a revolver under the drivers car seat. He told me never to touch it, and that was the end of the discussion.
In contrast, my editors father taught the rules of gun safety and took him to a shooting range at 10 years old. So my editor offered to teach me the basic safety rules and skills and then shoot his guns at the range. Since he cant legally bring his guns to our office in Washington, I went to his house in Virginia for the lesson. Its remarkable how different the gun laws are once you step over the Potomac River.
He started by handing me a Kahr K40 in 40 caliber by the handle and telling me to "always check to see if the gun is loaded, even if someone tells you it is. He then showed me how to take out the magazine and then pull back the slide to check if any bullets were in the chamber. I had to pull hard to move the heavy steel slide. Know what is behind where you are aiming, he said. I pointed the gun a pile of phone books on the floor.
He scolded me: Finger off the trigger. Never touch the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
I've done exactly the same thing for a number of people, but my technique is a bit different -- because I don't own a .22 handgun.
I always start people with a revolver. It's heavy, but is easy to control. It's easy to operate, and I use it to make sure they are holding it correctly. I've seen novices hurt themselves badly because they forgot the slide on a semi-auto slams back when you fire.
That's just stupid in so many ways. Both access and knowledge need to be age appropriate for children.
I have enjoyed reading about her progess. This series would be very informative reading for total novices to gun ownership.
My carry gun is a S&W stainless .357 Model 641. I tried shooting a .380 a couple of years ago, found that it tended to jam, the magazine was difficult to load, and the slide nicked my left thumb on the way back, a problem I never had with the slide on my Beretta .40. In short, I vastly prefer the hammerless S&W as a carry gun over a .380, even though the S&W only has five shots.
She still needs to learn more about ammunition components. The objects she refers to as “bullets” are actually cartridges. It’s only the thingey that comes out of the muzzle that’s a “bullet.”
maybe someone can teach her the difference between bullets and cartridges
Hey, give her some credit.
At least it wasn’t an AK-47 assault revolver.
Now that the Supreme Court (In Heller) has struck down D.C.'s law making self-defense with a handgun in one's own home nearly impossible, it seems that the District has endeavored to make the ownership process as difficult as possible. The words "shall not be infringed" within the 2nd Amendment do have real meaning and in my view must be read as incorporated into state law as well.
I can only contrast the author's experiences dealing with obstacle after obstacle (17 steps) to obtain a handgun ownership license - much less a concealed carry permit - with my own experience in New Hampshire, where no ownership licenses are required. And all that is required for concealed carry is a simple, single-page application along with $10 to your town's Chief of Police. Within 10 days (usually sooner), you must be issued a permit, or else denied only for a very specific set of public safety reasons.
NH law has also been amended recently to allow for concealed or open carry nearly anywhere in the state, and may well be amended further to remove the need for concealed carry registration entirely (as is presently the case in VT, AK and AZ). And I dare say our city streets are a good deal safer than those in Washington... or Chicago or Philadelphia or New York, for that matter.
A very nice gun which I've been temped to buy myself, and an excellent choice for CC. I also used to carry a .380 due to the compact size, but found that it sometimes had feed issues with JHP ammo, and also a surprising amount of felt recoil which caused the flange above its grip to bite into the webbing between my thumb and forefinger.
I traded it in for a nice compact .45 (Taurus Millennium; 10+1 double stack mag) which fits my hand better and has considerably less recoil even given the larger round.
My experience was over Thanksgiving weekend of 2009 when I went shooting with a cousin of mine and his wife. She was trying to decide on a carry gun. We both tried the .380 and decided that, if it were the only carry gun available, we’d probably not want to carry. As you mentioned, it had a nasty recoil, one worse tham my S&W firing .357 ammo! Bottom line: I advised her to do as I do and get a hammerless revolver for her carry gun. She’s done that with a S&W .38 special and is very happy.
I like a Kahr CW9 (7+1) for its concealability.
The Kahr appears to be a very nice, slim-line 9mm at a reasonable price. However (as with Glocks) I do tend to be hesitant about the lack of an external safety on CCW’s, especially if you’re carrying inside the waistband.
I use a wide elastic band with a pocket that guards the trigger. Plus, the trigger pull is significant as a safety feature, and I have not had any trouble or concerns. Very concealable IWB and adjustable to many kinds of clothing regimens.
With a DAO pistol, you do have a long trigger pull, but I’d definitely practice drawing technique (unloaded, of course) as much as I could. My carry has both a strong-side thumb and grip safety, so I’m quite comfortable with keeping a round “up the pipe” while inside my Uncle Mike’s waistband holster.
I’ll bite...what’s a DAO pistol? I don’t like abbreviations.
Sorry, I generally try to avoid unnecessary abbreviations but sometimes I get tired of typing. ;-) DAO semiautomatics have a lengthier, harder trigger pull.
Thanks. I should have known. I agree. I had to think about it before selecting this, and I decided that with my lifestyle, I was safe to use it.
The sales guy told me it was the number on back up weapon carried by police, but I don’t know if it was true. It was not part of the sales pitch, because I already paid for it when he said it.
I would not be surprised if the Kahr was popular as a back-up, due to the fact that so many cops carry 9mm’s (often Glock 22 or Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm). The Kahr is so light and concealable compared to full-size sidearms, and of course, the ammo is interchangeable. Smith also has a nice little compact 9mm that even comes with a Crimson Trace laser sight, but it’s over $800.