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Education / Training Teach me to shoot: Part 15

Teach me to shoot: Part 15

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot.

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

Teach me to shoot

by Jack Cooper

This report covers:

  • Quick update
  • Jill’s new student
  • Jill goes alone
  • The OK Corral wasn’t quick and clean
  • No touch-a da trigger!
  • Summary

It’s been almost 5 years since I wrote the last part of this report, and I have been asked several times to continue it. It is the fictional story about one of our readers who teaches a woman how to shoot. It then branches off and he teaches her girlfriend to shoot so she can hunt with a flintlock. It’s an interesting series and I recommend that you read at least the first two reports that are linked above before you start today’s material. I will write it to stand alone, but it helps to know what has gone before.

Quick update

Jack and Jill were married in 2019, and they are good shooting buddies today. Jamell, Jill’s girlfriend, learned to manage her flintlock fowler and in 2020 she took an American Elk on a guided hunt. She can hold five shots from her fowler in a 6-inch circle at about 50 yards and she took her elk at 45 yards after a lengthy stalk. 

Jill’s new student

You may remember that Jill is a surgeon. One of her patients is a woman who told her that she wanted to get a handgun for self defense, but her uncle who promised to teach her to shoot had botched the job miserably. He told her that revolvers are more reliable than semiautomatics and he gave her a snub-nosed .38 Special to learn to shoot with. The gun recoiled so much that it frightened the woman and she abandoned her shooting lessons after the first time at the range. But she told Jill she still wanted to learn how to shoot. Wasn’t there a better way to go about it?

Little did she know she was preaching to the choir! Jill had turned to Jack, who eventually became her husband, to learn to shoot, because she had a similar experience with a macho boyfriend years before. Jack listened to her story and then walked her through easy steps to learn:

  • Gun safety and etiquette
  • Learning how the sights work
  • Starting with a Daisy 499
  • Moving to an air pistol
  • Moving up through firearms

Jill told her patient, Karen, that she was now an accomplished shooter, thanks to the training she had received. She would be pleased to pass it along if Karen wanted to learn. Karen jumped at the opportunity!

Jill goes alone

Jill discussed this with Jack and they decided she should do the training alone. Karen felt intimidated by men, whom she thought would all be like her uncle. Jill understood perfectly and decided that on the first session that would be about gun safety and etiquette, she would start out by letting Karen tell her all she knew about shooting.

The OK Corral wasn’t quick and clean

Karen started out by telling Jill that she knew she could never handle a gun like Wyatt Earp at the OK Corral. She was surprised when Jill told her that Wyatt Earp couldn’t handle a gun that well, either. Hollywood and books have romanticized the 30-second gunfight in which the shooters stood as close as 6 feet apart and missed each other repeatedly! Jill told her that when they were finished with this training Karen would be able to put five shots from a powerful handgun on a playing card at 45 feet. Karen just laughed!

Hunting Guide

No touch-a da trigger!

For their first session Jill took along a pellet pistol, the Crosman 2240 she had learned to love. She used it to teach all the aspects of gun safety and she corrected Karen, when she said she wanted to learn to shoot “real” guns”. Jill told her the 2240 was as real as they come. And then she explained the difference between airguns and firearms — they are all real.

When Karen took the pistol from Jill the first thing she did was put her trigger finger around the trigger! Jill stopped her right there. She told Karen to never touch the trigger until she was ready to shoot. As Karen withdrew her finger Jill asked her, “And, if you were ready to shoot right now, what would you be shooting at?” Jill thought about it for a long moment and then realized that the muzzle of the pistol was pointing at Jill! When she realized that she pointed the muzzle away and Jill taught her the first rule of gun safety (airgun or firearm makes no difference) — never point the muzzle at something you don’t intend shooting

When Karen responded that all shooters she has seen always have their fingers on the trigger, she was assigned to watch a short video on firearms safety, which Jill modified to include airguns, because “they are all real guns!”

When Jill asked Karen where “all the shooters she has seen” were, Karen thought about it and then smiled sheepishly. “In the movies, I guess,” was the answer. The point was made.


Not a single shot was fired in this first training session. Jill decided to use her Crosman 2240 pistol to train Karen on safety and etiquette because, unlike the Daisy 499 that Jack had used with her, it was possible to illustrate unsafe acts more easily with the smaller handgun.

Next session will be Karen’s first session shooting, though there will be a review of the safety rules and some training on the sights and trigger control first. Stay tuned!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

50 thoughts on “Teach me to shoot: Part 15”

  1. I am glad you have resurrected this series.
    We have tens of thousands of new people joining the shooting sports within the last year for various personal reasons.

    We can all be ambassadors and welcome them.

    I need to re read the series because I need to refresh my memory on a few things.

    One of our new employees has asked me to teach her how to shoot.

    Luckily our employer is very supportive of the 2nd Amendment and your right to defend yourself in the workplace.

    Again, Thank you..


    • Ian!

      It has been a while since we have talked.

      Well, it has finally happened. On June 9th, RidgeRunner finally ordered a soda gas gun. I will soon be the proud owner of a Crosman 2240. I guess I had better stock up on fizzy water cartridges. 😉

      • I agree with Derrick, I need a moment to let the gravity of this event to soak in…

        Welcome to the greenhouse gas crowd…
        The 2240 is the Ruger 1022 of the airgun world.

        Your only limitations to what you can do to it is your pocket book, and your imagination..

        A pesting carbine built on a 2240..

          • Thank you. At one point in time, I thought I had “outgrown” the 2240 platform. But truthfully, it is so versatile it is always a variation that is suited to a specific purpose.

            That gun in the photo is the one 2240 I regret selling.

            I built 2 of them, a less fancy version (plastic grips, and red dot sight) was sold to a police force in Mississippi, for indoor pest control. (Inside city buildings and retail stores at night and such).

            I can not fully replace the one shown because some of the parts are no longer sold, or the maker is no longer alive.


        • Derrick & Ian!

          ROTFWL! I really had no choice. Steve Corcoran is sending me a set of walnut grips for this thing, so I had to get one. I will most certainly upgrade it with a metal breech and a trigger upgrade. A stock adapter might happen in the future also.

          • RR,

            You should enjoy it. It will be a nice tinker toy. The grand son will most likely enjoy it also. In fact,…if you do start modding it a bit, it would make an ideal candidate to introduce a kid to the insides of a gun and modding them. I have one, but it is still stock. Some people go absolute ($) bonkers with them.


      • RidgeRunner,

        I had to read your post three times and then I checked out the window to be certain Rodman Edward Serling wasn’t standing outside in the rain. This must be..
        The Twilight Zone!


  2. WOW! Five years!!! Already? …Gezz, time is passing fast!

    Glad to see you continuing this series BB. It’s always a good idea to review the basics – especially concerning gun safety. Will reread the whole series these weekend.


  3. A very good video indeed. The part about the ejection port facing up when the weapon is placed on the bench is something I will be sure to look out for in my own shooting.

  4. BB: When I got back into airguns a little over a year ago, I remember reading this series and the one about the non-shooting Mom who wanted to teach her sons to shoot (and many others). Although we haven’t branched into handguns (yet), I found those posts invaluable, as my own instruction was much more, shall we say, informal: reading the user manual of a Crosman 760 when I was 8 or 9 years old and reading Outdoor Life articles by Jim Carmichael.
    Thank you for everything you do for the shooting sports in general and airguns in particular.

  5. BB,
    When I switch from bench rest target shooting to offhand target shooting, the force of pulling the trigger seems to moves the group over to the right. I shoot left handed. If I were right handed, would my groups move to left? The benched groups are better.

  6. When I competed in 25 yd Bullseye in (shudder) NJ, one of our mottos was “there’s no such thing as too much safety”. Accidents happen when one gets careless, tired or thinks just because they’re the only one on the firing line, they don’t have to practice safe protocol.

    Shoot safely, my friends.

    Fred formerly of the Demokratik Peeples Republik of NJ now happily in GA

  7. BB,
    The OK coral shooting is a great example under what catagory? Training? This incident is similar to the Florida FBI shootout I think. Look at the photos of how A Texas Ranger handled Bonnie and Clyde. Decisive come to mind. I think intention is very important when gun handling.Only a few short years from the OK legend to the dust bowl really.

  8. To BB and fellow readers. A little off topic, but still related to the theme of new airgunners, of which I consider myself one, still:
    Some of you may recall that I bought a Umarex Embark spring piston rifle to teach my kids to shoot. My youngest was having trouble consistently hitting within 6″ at 10 yards off a sandbag, although he passed BB’s “triangulation” exercise with flying colors. He was getting discouraged, so I wanted to remove as many gun-related hurdles to accuracy as possible. I knew from reading this blog that some rifles can be very picky when it comes to how they are held when shot and the pellets that shoot well in them. So I have made it my mission to learn everything about our Embark and its preferred diet. I was inspired to try many different pellets in an effort to find one that it likes the best, and find the best way of holding and shooting it. In the end, I learned a lot about the Embark and shooting in general from the perspective of one who has been recently reintroduced to airguns and figuring out for myself all the things that I’ve been reading about in this blog.
    Although the “regulars” on this blog know all of the following things, the main things I have learned from this exercise are:
    1) BB and the folks on this blog are an invaluable resource–a treasure trove of knowledge that can be mined over and over, simply search the blog and dig in.
    2) Some guns like the Embark absolutely need to be broken in and lubricated to smooth out and give good accuracy. Don’t give up until you have shot at least 500 pellets, and keep notes of your observations (if anyone would like to send me their airguns, I will gladly perform this service for you ;o)
    3) Some airguns like the Embark definitely like certain pellets over others, so get a few and start testing.
    This blog is a great resource for many different airguns to give you a headstart on which to try first. Through testing, I was able to narrow down what I think is the best pellet overall, the best “value” pellet, and by next week I will be able to choose the best non-lead pellet for my Embark. With your encouragement, I would be happy to share my lists of pellets tested and my picks, as I am inspired by all of you who are so generous with your wisdom and knowledge. Hopefully someone new to this great sport and hobby will find that information helpful in some modest way.

  9. B.B. and Readership,

    I enjoyed the NSSF training video never can get enough looks at good range instruction. As I watched the video i did notice not a range rule violation but a best practice omission. Note that the female shooter had a scoop neck top on. An errant ejected case could find its way into that top; the potential resultant flailing as the HOT case follows Newtons Law on Gravity has resulted in some scarry moments on any number of ranges. The Instructor, to his credit, did make note to mind your ejected cases. Lest you think I am picking on woman’s clothing remember the guy in the next lane with the light blue Polo Shirt…it was open at the neck! The instructor’s shirt was also unbuttoned at the collar as well as his sleeves were rolled up on his forearms creating gaps.
    I prefer to wear a long sleeve turtleneck or mockneck shirt. If I roll up a long sleeved shirt it goes above the elbows. Any button or zip shirt/blouse/top should be closed completely while there is a risk of HOT case ingestions.

    Remember it is just a Best Practice until you have had or get to see a HOT CASE incident…which will burn it into your memory.
    Also another reason to shoot airguns!


    • Shootski,
      Just saw this; reminded FM how, about 3 years ago, a very hot .22 WMR case ejected from my Keltec PMR-30 and lodged itself between the tongue of a loafer-type shoe and the top of my left foot. This left a nice burn mark before I was able to shake the hot brass out, which took weeks to heal enough for the burn mark to disappear. FM is grateful a large-caliber cartridge was not involved.

      • FM,

        I usually wear lace-up boots or high-tops but only to avoid rolled ankle with all the brass on the deck (floor or ground) for landlubbers! Never thought about my penny loafers doing me in with a HOT case!


    • I never thought about it until now, but I guess that is why the Navy insisted on long sleeves, and fully buttoned shirt when at the range for weapons qualifications. They did not strictly enforce those rules when in civilian attire but heavy shoes, and long sleeves were required.

  10. B.B. and Readership,

    Time to stir the pot and get the reply and reader HIT count up! LOL!
    I thought my last reply would get you all going but ZIP! NADA! So this is going to be SCIENCE based:
    Direct from Silencer Central
    “The best suppressors are generally made of 100% titanium. Titanium is an ideal material for suppressors as it is both lightweight and works better than steel or aluminium at cooling hot muzzle gas. This, of course, makes for a quieter gun.”

    What is wrong with the firearm Silencer concept for airguns?

    What makes for a GOOD airgun suppressor?


      • Mike in Atl,

        Interesting Video! Could be a factor…
        Only half credit!
        What is wrong with the firearm concept for airguns needs at least a guess Mike!


        • Shootski,

          What is wrong with the firearm Silencer concept for airguns? I do not know but it would seem that a firearm silencer would be overkill on an airgun.

          Airguns do not create the pressure and temperature like firearms but I think a firearm silencer would work but not be as efficient as one designed for airguns where you can use cheaper plastic and composite parts.

          There is your guess.


          • Mike in Atl,

            You got the major issue with the use of firearm Silencers on airguns $$$…I guess that means you get Full Credit!

            The airgun Silencers should be much cheaper then they currently are but the issue is we don’t have economies of scale given that they are sold in very low volume.
            BB.’s blog on the 22 Rimfire vs airgun Db is going to be interesting.


          • More of a comment to shootski–Crosman sells a plastic monocore insert for some of the NP rifles. Its less than $2 last time I checked. Its pretty easily adapted to other airguns and works well.

  11. B.B.,

    You really snared me with your early mention of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral grew in its legend thanks to numerous magazine articles and then pulp novels building it up. Then the movies came along. The actual gunfight took place in a small alley near the O.K. Corral, not at the livery stable itself. The area was so small, the participants couldn’t help but be six or so feet from each other. It was likely a “spray and pray” thing. Actually, very few famous Old West figures were skilled, expert gunfighters, the best known ones being John Wesley Hardin, Wild Bill Hickok, Luke Short and a handful of others.

    Everyone even remotely interested in the Old West should visit Tombstone, a day trip from Tucson and a beautiful drive in the Spring when the desert is in full bloom.


  12. Wow! You all must be busy doing other STUFF!
    I only got Mike and Derrick to comment about what is up with airgun Silencers!
    I have been reading on other Blogs what the airgunner World beliefs about them!
    Even the big and little manufacturers don’t appear to have made any use of some real acoustic science. This is a repeat failure of the air powered shooting industry that has become an expected condition to me!
    An airgun silencer is really nothing more than a Safety Relief Valve that is vented to atmosphere. Folks there is a great deal of scientific R&D that has gone into those S.R. Valves and almost Nothing, Zilch, NADA, of it is being used!



  13. B.B.,

    “Sound Pressure Level
    Sound pressure levels are usually specified at 1m from the source and 1m above ground level or at the height of the centreline.”

    Just for test STANDARDIZATION; which I know you are very familiar with due to your OT&E background might be a good place for everyone to start.


  14. Everyone,

    A basic reference Silencer is a two bottle contraption with an inlet bottle-choke-bottle and an outlet; you can think cans or chambers but the bottles translates better into other languages! That is about where we are with maybe a baffle hee and a spring there and maybe some ports and a bit of foam or Felt thrown in for good measure!

    END of RANT!


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