Moving to the 1911
As he was shooting his Buckmark, I removed a 9mm Colt Commander from my range bag. I locked back the slide and laid the polished blue pistol in front of him. "I'm not shootin' that thing!" he exclaimed.
"It's a nine millimeter. You've shot it before," I informed him.
"Yeah, but it's gonna kick!"
"Yes, it will, but you know how to control it," I continued. I showed him the basic manual of arms for a 1911, and then I stood a 9mm cartridge beside a .45 ACP cartridge on the bench. "I've been shooting this," I said, pointing to the 45.
QJ picked up the Colt pistol, and I showed him how to dry fire it. "You see," I said, "The trigger is very much like your Buckmark. It's not like the Beretta. This is a single action only pistol."
QJ dry fired the pistol several times. "It's like your Buckmark. When you chamber a round, it's cocked and ready to shoot. You have to engage the safety to carry it safely. In fact, it has three safeties." I showed him how the grip safety functioned.
"Ok, so where's the third one?" asked QJ.
"Between your ears," I replied. "Locked in your memory with the Four Rules. People get freaked out by this pistol because they can see the hammer cocked back. In truth, after you chamber a round on your Buckmark, the hammer is cocked back as well. You just can't see it."
QJ looked perplexed. "The thing is, once you grip this pistol properly and snick off the thumb safety, it will shoot the same way, every time," I continued.
"Like my Buckmark," said QJ.
"Exactly. The pistol is not unsafe, but you can be unsafe with it if you do not practice safe gun handling," I emphasized. "When you shoot this pistol, keep the thumb safety engaged until you have the barrel aligned with your target. Disengage it right before you place your finger on the trigger. Confirm your sight picture, and squeeze off the shot. Use the isometric grip I taught you. Same stuff, different gun."
I showed QJ how to load the 9mm magazine, and then how to insert it and release the slide using the slide stop. "It's yours to try," I told him.
QJ tentatively accepted the pistol, and slowly brought it to sights. "Now snick off the safety," I said. I quickly, discretely, evaluated his grip to ensure he would not get bitten by the hammer, and I waited as he squeezed off his first shot from John Moses Browning's brainchild.
Labels: Neophyte Shooters