New Shooter Report

A longtime friend and former roommate recently bought a house, and the wife and I decided to buy him a shotgun as a housewarming present. Knowing he wasn’t a gunnie, I had planned on something unscary like a double barrel 20 gauge. Not knowing if he would actually accept it, I told him of our plan–lest I end up with a 20ga side by side sitting in the safe for eternity.

His reaction: “No, you’re buying me a handgun.” Deal!

I took him to a couple of gun shows so he could handle some pistols and get a feel for what was comfortable in his hands. I took him to the range to try out a Bersa .380 when he decided he really liked the way a Walther PPK felt. Turns out that in Double Action mode, his trigger finger can barely reach the trigger on that style gun. Back to the drawing board, but now he had a good idea of what shooting a handgun feels like and what to look for when trying to find a new model. He put about 150 rounds total through 5 or 6 different pistols that day and thoroughly enjoyed it.

At the next gun show, we bought him a Kahr E9. The E9 is basically a K9 with plastic adjustable sites and plastic grips. The next day we went to the range and he got to shoot his gun for the first time:


I was very pleased with his performance since this was only the second time in his life he’d shot a handgun. He shot “minute of bad guy” at what I call front-porch distance (3yds) with a compact 9. I gave him some instruction on sight picture and grip, and showed him how to feel for the trigger reset in between shots. I also explained to him the need to get a sight picture after every shot and the importance of follow through.

After 150 rounds through his own gun that day, he’s hooked. He went home and bought two spare magazines online. He went back to the range the next weekend and shot another 150 rounds or so and came back to my house where I showed him how to field strip and clean his gun. This weekend he’s going back to the range again, this time without me.

He’s already talking about getting a carry permit and wants to observe some matches. He made a comment about buying a .22 so he could get more trigger time and I had to tell him to slow down. My advice was to buy a thousand rounds of 9mm and then see how long it takes to go through that. If it takes a year, there’s probably no need to buy a .22 trainer. If it takes 3 months, it might be a good idea.

Later, he told me that when we were roommates he was really nervous that there were guns in the house. Now, he wants a carry permit. I love it.

Oh, added bonus: Last weekend a friend from the TFA was there practicing for a match at Knob Creek. So Drew got to shoot a machine gun on his second trip to the range:

Like the man says, this is why we win. The anti’s can’t go to the anti-gun range or the anti-gun show. Our stuff is a lot more fun, too.

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