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A Woman's Guide to Firearms (1987)



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Credited cast:
Marisa Wayne ...
Dylan Purcell ...
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Release Date:

15 November 1987 (USA)  »


Box Office


$50,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

The best video for new shooters
30 December 2012 | by See all my reviews

Every handgun instructor should consider using A Woman's Guide to Firearms in class. Even with men.

Note that when I began with "every handgun instructor" I'm including full-time professionals, part-time volunteers, and people who take friends on their first trip to the range. Viewing A Woman's Guide to Firearms is also a good first step for new shooters on their own, as they begin the process of finding an instructor and selecting a firearm.

I've been a civilian shooting instructor, through NRA, Texas Hunter Education, and Texas concealed carry, for thirty years. I have been using this video in my new shooter classes since 1988. Out of all the beginning shooter videos I've viewed it is the best for several reasons:

First, it's a story. The plot is a beginning shooter, Lee Purcell, who owns a gun but doesn't know how to use it. Her neighbor, Geoffrey Lewis, is taking some lessons from an instructor, and recommends the school to Lee. She nervously signs up. Being a story it engages the viewers and keeps them interested.

The second advantage the Guide has over other instructional videos is that the central character is a beginner. Therefore beginners viewing it relate to her far better than they do to scenes of pistoleros blazing away. There's a real sense of "If Lee can do this, so can I."

Third, it uses a relaxed, positive teaching method that emphasizes the basics without getting caught up in details. The instructors concentrate on safety and having fun, so the teaching applies to any new shooter, whether the student's aim is self-defense, hunting, target shooting, or safety.

Fourth, it provides a logical, step-by-step approach tailored for someone who has never held a firearm. I typically have several women a year who come into class admitting they are afraid of guns. (Not to say men aren't afraid. It's just that women will admit it.) The video's logical progression from "this is a gun" to knocking down targets with a semiautomatic, when duplicated on the actual range, works. After my students complete their first class, typical reactions vary from "that was empowering" to "is there any more ammo?"

Those are my students. How do Lee and Geoffrey do? View A Woman's Guide to Firearms and find out.

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