Newbie Jim

I took a Newbie to the range yesterday. I let Jim shoot my 22, first with iron sights and then with the dot. As might be expected for his first time, he struggled with the irons but did better with the dot.

Moving up, after briefing him on my 1911 wad gun, firing a couple of shots myself and then letting him dry-fire the trigger a few times, I loaded one round for him.

I said, “Don’t worry about the wobble. It never goes away. Grip this gun harder than you did the 22 and then just hold the gun so the dot wavers in, around and through the black. And while you’re doing that, slowly move the trigger straight back.”

There was a long pause as he held the gun on target but it didn’t fire.

I added, “That’s good, now just move the trigger straight back.”

A few moments passed before, finally, “Bang!”

Without looking at the target, he gave me a huge grin.

“How’d I do?” he asked.

Looking in the scope, it was a 9 o’clock X.

I grinned and said, “Take a look.”

“Wow,” he said, “That’s a lucky shot!”

“No,” I corrected, “you just did everything right.”

And to myself I thought, “Wish I could do that.”


Many thanks to Tony Brong for “Fundamentals Revisited (Sort Of)”. It brought this experience to its proper perspective.

The Newbie, Jim, did the fundamentals correctly so he shot an X.

With good equipment, correctly executed fundamentals will almost always result in a 10 or an X.

High Masters do those fundamentals 97% of the time. Masters do them 95%. Experts execute the fundamentals correctly on 90% of their shots. And Sharpshooters do them 85% of the time.

If you want an X, shoot an X.

Jim did.

Related: Pass Right, Score Left Potential Central Pennsylvania Newbies Five Years
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