By Catherine Lindsay
At MAGS Indoor Shooting, Moriarty, NM, I teach a 6-hour Ladies Intro to Shooting class. This is a ladies-only class, for both novices and semi-experienced, teaching the basics: safety, basic parts of semi-auto/revolver & how they work, components of a round, loading magazines, proper grip & stance, and finding your sights. After the classroom time, we go to the range, where the ladies are able to shoot a .22 pistol, a .22 rifle, a .38 large-frame revolver, and any gun they have brought with them (usually a small-frame .38 revolver, a .380 semi-auto, or 9mm).
I use my Ruger SR1911 for classroom demonstration, mainly becuase it is large enough that the ladies can see all the moving parts from their seats and because it is my favorite! The “dummy” guns are based on full-size Glock & S & W M & P. Throughout the class, the ladies get to handle all the guns and they find that the full-size guns, both real & “dummy”, are more comfortable in their hands then the smaller guns they either own or have had suggested to them by SO’s/salepersons.
Once we get onto the range, many of the ladies want to try the 1911, as they have never shot one before. What some have told me: “Bigger/heavier=harder to shoot”, and “I was told I was too small/frail to handle a .45”.
Once the ladies are shown the proper grip/stance and how to operate the external safety, the first shot is almost always a big surprise to them, as they are used to a longer/heavier trigger. Each subsequent shot is controlled & the resultant holes can be coverd by the hand. They are also surprised by the controllable recoil, as they are used to a small revolver. I explain to them that the weight & size of a gun aids in recoil control. The ladies are so pumped by the fact that they CAN shoot a big gun!
I think the ladies leave my class more open-minded as to what they may choose to shoot/carry in the future.