I spent most of my Sunday (April 26th) at the Sir Walter Gun Club coaching new shooters. I volunteered for a Women on Target event a few years back and now it’s become a habit. These are scheduled in the spring and the fall and are advertized as “rain or shine”. We had great weather last November but we started this event with rain. The weather was wet & cold for the first half of the day and stayed chilly in the afternoon. I got to try out my rain gear and it did keep me dry. We set up canopies over each shooting station to keep shooters out of the rain but everything got damp.
I set the alarm for 5:30am so I’d have time for breakfast before leaving the house at 7am to assist with setup. I remember thinking… “Why did I agree to do this?“. I instructed at the reactive pistol station. We had two bays and at each bay we had 50 minutes to teach 6 women to shoot a 9mm pistol at steel targets: if you hit them they fall down. It provides great visual feedback. Once we gave every lady the opportunity to shoot 15 rounds of 9mm (S&W M&P), we also let them shoot a S&W 67 revolver (.38 Special) and explained the different between shooting double and single action. We worked with 3 groups of 6 before lunch and 2 groups after lunch in our bay.
I personally instructed about 25 ladies. I don’t consider myself an experienced instructor but I can help a brand new shooter get the basics right, help them build confidence and insure every one stays safe. My co-instructor was very seasoned and he helped with the women that found this to be challenging. We were very serious about calling the range hot and cold (to reset targets) and checking in each time before going hot again.
Typically our groups of women have shot .22 pistols before rotating to our station for larger pistols. The first group has not. This group included a women that was very quiet and tentative. I talked her through stance, grip, sight alignment and trigger control. She looked apprehensive. Then she shot. I think it took about 3-4 tries before she hit the first steel target. Wow! She went through a transformation! She broke out into a big smile and said, “I can do this!”. Once experience like that will keep me coming back, getting up early and staying out in the weather.
More about the Women on Target Events:
There are two “Women on Target” events (NRA sponsored) in the spring and in the fall. They are intended for women with little or no shooting experience. They are hosted at two local private ranges in the Raleigh/Creedmoor area. Each event is limited to 60 women. Groups of 12 women rotate through 5 different types of shooting clinics during the day. The events run from 8am till about 4pm and are rain or shine.
The attendees are all ages, a mix of races, and can include multiple generations of women from the same family. Come with your family, your friends, or just come alone (I did).
- Oct 10th, 2015: Durham County Wildlife Club: Pistol, Rifle, Archery, Skeet and Trap
- Nov 1th, 2015: .Sir Walter Gun Club: 22 Pistol, 9mm Reactive plinking, High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Skeet
You must mail in your application on a specific date as they won’t take them before that date and tend to fill up quickly.
If you’d like more details, please send me a private message and provide your email address. I can email you the flyers/application forms.
I’ve attended as a participant and as a volunteer instructor in the past and most ladies are smiling and confident by the end of the day! This group provides a safe, positive experience.