"Guns are always loaded."
No, that wasn't me (well, yes it was me, earlier). We had some folks come in to town for a big meeting at Internet Security Startup, and neither Austin (not his real name) or Alejandro (not his real name, either) had shot before. Well, that was just a Crying Shame, so we made plans to head out to the range.
Since I'm a security-oriented guy, I made sure they studied the Four Rules, as well as what happens when you don't scrupulously follow them.
We started with the Sig-Sauer P239 in 9mm*. Austin and Alejandro soon were shooting it like old hands. We were joined by another colleague (a regular at the range), who wanted to shoot this:
You can imagine the interest when he came in with this. We had the P239 all loaded and ready to fire. Austin set it down (pointing down range, well done Austin!), but I warned our new colleague that the pistol was loaded.
That was when Alejandro reminded me of the Four Rules. "Guns are always loaded."
Heh. And well done, Alejandro.
We also shot the Springfield XD, in the more manly .45 ACP caliber. This is a very nice pistol, and they took to it like ducks to water. Austin in particular had wanted to shoot something "bigger", and his groupings were impressive for a first outing - better than with the Sig. He lives in Great Britain, and as a subject of her Britannic Majesty is pretty well screwed when it comes to learning the finer points of pistol shooting. Alejandro isn't really any better off, as a subject of Mayor Richard Daily. He was better with the XD than with the Sig as well.
So, two new shooters, from two places where pistols are verboten. Plus a little automatic happiness. Not bad for a first outing.
And their boss sought me out yesterday, to tell me that based on their chatter on the Monday Morning conference call, this was the Best. Meeting. Ever. Double heh.
* As a footnote to last week's range reprot about the Sig P239, I tried it Double Action. It's very interesting. You load the magazine, put the magazine into the pistol, and release the slide. A round is now in the chamber, and the hammer is cocked. To carry not in Condition Zero, you use the de-cocking lever to lower the hammer. To fire, it's a long, double action trigger pull; subsequent rounds are all single action.
It's even more interesting because there is no safety. De-cocking the hammer seems to be the way to make the pistol safe. At least, as safe as a gun can be ("Ees not safe. Ees gun.")