A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shooting The Buckmark

QJ and I hit the range this afternoon to squeeze off the first shots from his Browning Buckmark. Before we began shooting I familiarized him with the controls. Click to enlargeWhen he was ready, he took the pistol and began getting all his shots in the black. QJ was thrilled. I was very pleased to see that he grasped the handgun in just the grip that I had taught him, one that will easily transfer over to larger calibers.

When I noticed that QJ was taking quite a bit of time lining up his sights, I introduced him to the concept of a flash sight picture. For almost a half hour Q worked on flash sighting from low ready, while I provided a verbal buzzer. He was as pleased with his progress as I was, and the trembling quest for a perfect sight picture was eliminated.

We noticed a gentleman arrive to our left with a shiny new black plastic box with a big G on top. "Let's sit out the next hot range and observe," I told QJ. My student saw why as the fellow stuffed a full magazine in his Glock and chambered a round with his finger on the trigger.

"He shouldn't be doin' that!" exclaimed QJ.

"Just sit tight, he'll be out of ammunition shortly," I replied.
Click to enlarge
Sure enough, fifty rounds later, the fellow had ten or twelve holes in his target, or at least in the cardboard surrounding it. The rest had failed to strike the target at all, screaming past it to the berm, or popping up tufts of dirt from the ground in front of him.

"That's a classic example of learning to shoot without instruction or guidance," I told QJ quietly. The newcomer began to pack up his 9mm plastic fantastic and we resumed the line.

"Now I see why you have me on a 22," QJ said.

"Yeah, you can't miss quick enough or frequently enough to save your hide," I responded, "For the gun to do it's job, you have to be able to do your's." QJ nodded in silent agreement and returned to showing how it is done.



Blogger MauserMedic said...

Reminds me of one of my to-do list items when I get home: Get my NRA Instructor certification. Your student there is younger than most of the members of my shooting club; we need to start bringing in younger people, and especially females, to get our replacement rates up.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

I am terribly impressed with your training technique.

I would have found it difficult to resist the urge to offer help to the 'other' gentleman in your story.

That may have given him the instruction which he so dearly needed. On the other hand, it may have served to do nothing more than to piss him off about 'that arrogant know-it-all, Xavier'.

But it would have denied your accepted and accepting student the object lesson.

I admire your restraint, and your sagacity as a trainer.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Restraint is difficult sometimes Jerry.

As much as what I stated above, I was also teaching Q to watch other shooters, both good and bad. I'm one of those folks who believes we can learn from everyone, especially people who fail or do things wrongly.

The ROs are responsible for range safety, and they were eyeballing this fellow pretty closely.

One of the first things that I found as a teacher was that I can waste a lot of time if I try to teach the unwilling. It's sad but true. We often want to teach everybody, to help everybody.

The student has to be able and willing to accept and integrate what we are teaching. The goal of teaching is learning. The learning is up to the student, not the instructor.

My card is in the range house, as are those of several other instructors, better than myself. I will gladly teach anyone who approaches me, and is willing to memorize the Four Rules. The path of the studious is to seek out instruction. Learning is not a welfare state. The student must be proactive in their learning. Otherwise the results will be futile, and the effort could be better spent on the willing student.

5:47 AM  
Blogger The Duck said...

But only a few see the light & contact an Instructor, most think that the way they shoot is on par with everybody else.

7:33 AM  
OpenID westofthewest said...

My Buckmark was probably the best firearm investment I've ever made. Really helped my pistol shooting because I can afford to shoot it so much.

I'd be real interested to see how you clean it though. I hate taking it apart because the sights almost always need to be re-calibrated when I get it back together.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Broadsword said...

QJ, nice shootin' pardner!

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy following QJ's progress.

I've also been enjoying your range adventures with your daughter. I'd like to see her reaction if some guy at a gun or sporting goods store were to suggest to her that, as a female, she might find it easier to use a revolver than a semi-automatic "because you just have to put the bullets in these little holes."

My son and I were "window shopping" in a sporting goods store one day when an older couple came by to look at handguns for the lady; the clerk actually said that to her. My son just gave me that "Mom, he's not talking to you!" look so I didn't comment.

Anyway, I'm a fairly new shooter myself but I'm thinking about eventually becoming an instructor myself.

Keep up the good work, Xavier!

Another nurse with a gun.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must admit that you are an excellent teacher; and, I am very happy QJ is taking seriously the learning....for looking at his grip on the Buckmark -- I know he's getting the basics down and it makes me realize I should revisit slowly doing some basic drills as I seem to be picking up some bad habits I need to nip in the bud--think it has to do with the web & meat of my hand and how I'm, for some reason, changing the grip while squeezing.
As far as I'm concerned, if he were here and wanted to go to the range with me, I'd be happy to have him along. I'd wouldn't even a problem having him point out flaws he might see in my stance,grip, etc.

1:15 PM  
Blogger dropdownstairs said...

Well I am sure

on a unrelated topic
you will have to change our blogroll...
The firearms inventory of ArmchairGunShow.com, and the Old Town Station Dispatch mail order catalog, along with other neat stuff that has accumulated over the years, will be sold at the K&S Nov. 20, 21, & 22 firearms auction in Topeka.

2:55 PM  
Blogger TheBronze said...


2:57 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Thanks Xavier and Q. For now I am living vicariously thru Q buying and shooting his Buckmark - great blog! Looks like Q has a great shooting pal and vice-versa. I beat myself up when I think of having sold my Buckmark Varmint. Go figure - I got pretty good wihout open sites and no scope. Buckmarks are Quality, so reliable and inexpensive to shoot. I am going to get a 5.5 Field version when I scrape enough zincs together. I have a S&W Victory model 38 special on layaway at a local pawn shop - thanks Xavier for all the info regarding the Victory and your experiences! It is nothing fancy but I am looking forward to shooting that too - do you want to sell those faux stag grips Xavier??

10:18 PM  

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