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Shooting Industry March 2010 - Page 22

Arms Arms and the woman ntroducing new shooters to the shooting sports is a major goal of everyone involved in the shooting industry. New shooters are the lifeblood of the shooting sports and the only way to ensure its future. Dealers need to actively court new shooters to keep profits up — and women are an excellent group to focus on because they tend to direct their family’s leisure activities. If a woman is a fan of shooting, her family will follow. Ladies respond very favorably to firearm education, and basic handgun classes are a great way to draw in new customers. Gun shops that don’t have a range or are not in partnership with a nearby range may struggle to cash in on lucrative firearms classes. Students want hands-on gun experience, and without a range, gun shops will find it hard to compete. Airguns, however, offer a handgun training option that is simi- Lisa Parsons-Wraith Airguns Expand Training Options For Dealers I lar to the real thing — but doesn’t require a regulation gun range. Response, conducts the class. “This is a safety course,” Leanda said. “I teach basic handgun safety, marksmanTeaching The Fundamentals ship, gun cleaning and range etiquette.” Faith Armory, located in Temecula, He covers all the basic aspects of handgun shooting, and then incorporates airgun training as a safe way to introduce novice shooters to the basic rules of firearms. “Our reason for going to airsoft is mostly safety and teaching the fundamentals,” he said. “We have found that after this training, the stuThe KP45 Tactical (left) dent is more prepared to and the M1911DS, both attend more advanced from KWA, mimic the courses. Novice stustyle and action of most dents are less intimidated semiautos on the market. in handling a real gun.” Calif., hosts a women-only basic handIn his class, Leanda uses the KWA gun course in a regular classroom facil- KP45 Tactical and KWA M1911DS. He ity that incorporates airguns. Joel Le- emphasizes that because the airguns are so anda, owner and operator of Defensive realistic, students are trained to treat them Choosing Proper Self-Defense Guns T he class featuring airguns is a basic introduction to firearms. Leanda recommends that his students attend a follow-up class held at the gun range to get experience with standard firearms. When it comes time to buy self-defense guns, he has some advice. “I recommend internal hammer J frames — Model 442 Smith & Wesson or similar models — to be carried in a purse, bag or in jacket pockets,” Leanda said. “These types of hanguns can be fired from inside a purse, a bag or from jacket pockets. If you try to fire a semiauto or a revolver with an exposed hammer inside a bag or purse, there is a chance it will jam because of the action of these types of guns.” For regular carry, Leanda recommends handguns that do not require a lot of manipulation to get them into action. “Again, a revolver is great for regular carry, but for semiauto, I recommend Springfield XD series, Glock pistols, Smith & We generally don’t see the scared look of a first-time shooter at the range after airsoft training. “ Wesson M&P series and similar pistols. The less buttons to manipulate, the better for the shooter,” Leanda said. “Bottom line, regardless of my recommendation, it is still the buyer’s choice.” Regarding caliber, he says .38, 9mm, .40 and .45 all do the job. “I carry a 9mm most of the time, but some will say that it does not have the stopping power of the .45,” he said. “That’s true, but this is where training comes in. We cannot rely on the assumption that a .45 will stop an assailant. We have known instances when a .22 stopped an attacker.” If the lack of a gun range has kept you from conducting hands-on firearms classes, consider the airgun option. It’s a great way to ease students into firearms and show them how fun and rewarding shooting can be. Airguns also offer customers a less expensive training option — which is sure to appeal to budgetconscious women. ” 22 MARCH 2010 Read SI DIGITAL

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