Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Breaking Ice

I tell new shooters two surefire ways of breaking the ice at a new range or club.  Most of us don’t see this as a problem.  At a match or training activity we simply admire the persons handgun or rifle and introduce ourselves. 

But for some, especially the very new shooter, that’s a difficult gambit.  They may not know what the other person is holding and they fear a cruel rebuff.  I have better solution.

We all get ego strokes when we’re asked to share our expertise.  (Aren't all blogs about ego?)  Try these two and you’ll be surprised at the interest you can generate.

Question One:  What’s the best gun for self-defense?
It will quite often be the gun they are carrying at the moment and are usually willing to show it to you.

Question Two:  What’s the best bullet for stopping power?

You can keep the conversation going if you throw a log on the fire once in awhile.  Try:
  • That’s pretty big/small to carry/conceal, isn’t it?
  • Wouldn't a faster and lighter/slower and heavier bullet be better?


Having asked these questions, just remember you’re under no obligation to outfit yourself with their recommendation.

Here are the real answers, but let me look around… left…overhead...uh-huh...check six…Okay.  I want to keep this a secret between you and me.

The real answer to One is a totally reliable gun and ammo that you have on you when you need it.  Question Two is a trick question.  It’s not the bullet, it shot placement that counts.

having the wrong gun is better than no gun
Well, I did say any caliber, but with the exceptions of a .25ACP and a Nerf gun, I believe what I said is valid.

I knew a retired judge who wanted his CCW.  In the course of training this 86-year old former Marine who now suffers from chronic arthritis and carpel tunnel, discovered he couldn’t shoot the recommendation of his peers - a Glock in .45ACP.  He also realized he couldn’t shoot a .38 Special revolver.  But finally he found he could shoot and hit the target with a Ruger MKII .22 LR.

Did I tell him that was the wrong choice?  What?  Are you nuts?  I told him to expect to have to shoot several times and to have a reload.


Say it with me:  “Better to have a little gun with you when you need it than the best gun in the world on your dresser at home.”  Say it again a little louder, 'cause I can’t hear you. 

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