Teach me to shoot: Part 12

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot. Today I will be taking over. I’m going to show you how to hold a 1911 pistol one-handed for the best accuracy. This was requested by reader levans, but several of you own 1911s, so this should be of interest to many.

This report covers:

  • Learned from a champion
  • Distinguished Pistol Shot badge
  • Elmer Keith knew something
  • It’s all in the hold and the trigger action
  • The thumb controls the recoil
  • Lock the elbow
  • Cantilever the shooting arm
  • Other pistols?

Learned from a champion

Readers who have been with us for years know this story, but for the benefit of the newer readers, here is how I learned this technique. I was running a pistol range for my cavalry squadron in the Army and the squadron commander, LTC Bonsall, arrived on range in his jeep. I had never seen a lieutenant colonel at a small arms range before. I’m sure they went, just never when I was running the range. The colonel introduced himself, because I hadn’t met him yet — he was that new. Then, he asked to qualify. Well, sure, he could qualify. It was his range, after all!

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Welcome, fellow Jedi!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Back in the day
  • Parallax
  • Twist rate and rifling styles
  • Velocity versus accuracy
  • Oh, how far we have come!

I was going to show you a brand new spotting scope today, but something came up that I want to address. I don’t always respond to your comments these days — there are simply too many of them for me to cover. But I at least scan all of them and I read many of them.

Yesterday it dawned on me as I was reading the comments — many of you are ready to take your test to become full-fledged Jedi knights! A few may even go on to become Jedi masters. Well done, my enthusiastic Padawan learners!

Whenever I write about a technical subject I cringe, thinking of all the questions it will bring. That used to be bad, because I had to answer each any every question myself. But that isn’t the case anymore. I have been following conversations between Bulldawg76, GunFun1 and ChrisUSA and I am amazed at the level of expertise being displayed. I remember when each of them first started commenting on the blog, and they don’t seem like the same people anymore.

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Teach me to shoot: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot. Today Jack and Jill look at possible defense weapons for her!

Our guest writer is reader, Jack Cooper. Take it away, Jack.

Teach me to shoot

by Jack Cooper

This report covers:

  • Harsh recoil
  • Defense is always a tradeoff
  • Obey the law
  • What about a 9mm revolver?
  • Snub-nosed tradeoffs
  • The test
  • Ouch!
  • What’s next?

B.B. had prepared me for an onslaught of questions from you readers that never came! I told you last time that I trained Jill on a Ruger Single Seven chambered for the .327 Federal magnum, but she shot the smaller, less powerful .32 H&R Magnum cartridge. I thought at least one of you would ask why.

Harsh recoil

The answer was recoil. While the .32 H&R Magnum is a powerful round, the .327 Federal Magnum is much more powerful and would have recoiled significantly more. Besides loading heavier bullets, that cartridge has twice the chamber pressure of the .32 H&R Magnum. Gun writers describe the kick as “snappy,” which is gun writer-ese for “don’t go there.” I did not want Jill to try that round, since her previous experience had been with a cartridge that recoiled far too much for her small hands.

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The Daisy 853: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy 853
Daisy 853.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Before the 853
  • Daisy and the NRA
  • The 853
  • Specs
  • Lothar Walther barrel
  • Peep sight
  • Front sight
  • Single-stroke pneumatic
  • Trigger
  • Overall evaluation

Wait a minute, B.B.! This is supposed to be an historical article. How can you write about the Daisy 853? It’s still being made and sold today. Yes, it is, but this is still an historical report. Why? Because the Daisy 853 is more than just one 10-meter youth target rifle. It’s the rifle that started it all for American youth shooters!

Before the 853

Before the Daisy 853 the youth shooting programs in the U.S. were fractionalized. They did exist, but mainly they shot .22 rimfire target rifles at 50 feet. The arrival of the 853 unified the American youth shooting programs under the auspices of the National Rifle Association. The 853 was (and still is) an affordable target rifle that was/is sized for youth shooters.

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Teach me to shoot: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot. Today Jill moves to firearms!

Our guest writer is reader, Jack Cooper. Take it away, Jack.

Teach me to shoot

by Jack Cooper

This report covers:

  • The range
  • Start shooting
  • .22 Magnum
  • .32 revolver
  • .32 H&R Magnum
  • Boyfriend

The range

This is the first day Jill will shoot a firearm with me teaching her. Her last experience was in college, when a boyfriend had her shoot a .357 Magnum revolver as her first firearm. I would never do that. In fact if it was up to me, she would never get to shoot a .357 Magnum revolver at any time. She isn’t up to it — any more than many men I know. A .357 recoils so heavily that most casual shooters are unprepared for it.

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Writing this blog

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • It started small
  • No stinky
  • Best possible pictures
  • Colorblind
  • Bully pulpit
  • The dime
  • Teach me to shoot
  • That’s all, folks

This morning I took a nap after feeding the cats and having my own breakfast. As I slept, Edith came to me in a dream and said, “You should write about what it has been like to write this blog. I think a lot of your readers would like to know how you feel about it.”

When I woke up I thought, why not? I can’t test any airguns today, and maybe there are few things you guys would like to know about the eleven years this blog has been active. So, here goes.

It started small

The blog was Edith’s idea from the start. She told me what a web log was, and said instead of just writing a public diary, I could write articles about airguns — just like when we published The Airgun Letter. She told me I should try to limit the words to around 500, to make it possible to get out a blog 5 days a week.

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Teach me to shoot: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot. Jill encounters her first difficulties today, and they throw her for a loop!

Our guest writer is reader, Jack Cooper. Take it away, Jack.

Teach me to shoot

by Jack Cooper

This report covers:

  • Ready to go!
  • What am I doing wrong?
  • Sight picture not perfect
  • Try the Mark I
  • Blowup
  • How far you have come
  • The talk

Ready to go!

We met the next evening and Jill was more enthusiastic than ever to get started. We got right to it and I watched her get into the offhand shooting position we had practiced the evening before. It was obvious she had been practicing, because she got into position almost as quickly as I do, and I’ve been doing this for many years. Then she started shooting.

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