Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Range Report - AR-15 with #2 son

Cliff's Notes version: he loved it. We'll do this again.

I won't go much into technical details, since I've covered this twice already. The technical is the same - accurate, easy to shoot, nice rifle.

Instead, I want to focus on the experience of shooting, I'll also not repeat what I said in a comment over at PDB's, about Appleseed, other than to say that shooting has to be fun for new shooters. Otherwise, they won't go back, and you'll end up shooting alone.

#2 son liked things that I hadn't even thought about. For example, it was really easy for him to load the magazine. This has never been a problem for me, but it has been one for him. Removing the frustration while reloading was a clear win for him.

He also liked the almost total lack of recoil. Both my regular readers hear me whine about recoil all the time, but I'm perfectly comfortable with something packing a little oof, like .30-.30 (mmmm, Lever Gun!). Him, not so much. But even I noticed: between us, we shot 80 rounds of .223 - I had a big old bruise the last time I shot 40 rounds of .30-.30.

But these are "hygiene" features. Removing a bad experience here reduces the chance of that "I didn't have a very good time" experience. But the most important component of fun is hitting the target. #2 son was ecstatic. I won't post a pic, but all his prairie dogs were very satisfactorily perforated.

I'd go so far as to say that the AR-15 might be the ideal gun for a first time shooter. There are two downsides:
  • It's a fairly significant BANG, especially when compared to a .22.
  • The ammo is quite a bit spendier than .22. Quite a bit.
However, you should balance that with the upside:
  • The first time shooter might think "I'm shooting a real rifle. I can do this, it's not unpleasant at all."
  • The first time shooter might think "Holy cow! I'm hitting the target!"
  • The first time shooter might think "What's the big deal with 'Assault Weapons'?"
  • The first time shooter might think "This is fun. I should do this again."
Not much of a Range Report, but y'all really don't need another discussion of gas ejection thingamabobs, and you have a bazillion better places to get it. We're turning into AR fanboys chez Borepatch because it's just plain fun to shoot.


none said...

I thought the AR clone I shot was fun and accurate but it had a weird sound like a piston with a 'schlock hiss" after every shot that was a little tough to get used to.

Borepatch said...

I thought the AR was fun, but if left to my own devices likely would shoot something else. But getting the family to the range with me is made out of win. ;-)

none said...

Yep. I'm going to take my kids to do .22's now that they are old enough to follow directions.

doubletrouble said...

Ted, you're right in that new shooters need to see the FUN in it all. I think the Appleseed folks are trying to instill the "rifleman" mindset- when you're doing what is required of you to be a rifleman in defense of her/his home/state/country, things aren't always "fun".
Discipline counts, as well as learning that the shooter may experience something that is less than comfortable.
I had to learn that stuff w/a DI kicking me into submission to obtain the correct position. Off putting? You betcha.
Did I learn what I needed to do?
Right again.

You can't shoot Teletubbies ALL the time...

Borepatch said...

But ... butt ... I *want* to shoot Teletubbies!