TOP 10 things new shooters need to know
Guns are tools.
Just like any rational person wants to have a fire extinguisher in their home before a fire starts, guns are tools you want to have available before The Bad Thing happens. After all, you never know what might happen. Tools do you no good if they are not immediately available to you when you need them most. That also means you must know how to use them. Just having a fire extinguisher isn’t enough if you don’t use it when there is a fire; just sticking a gun in a safe and ignoring it isn’t going to be enough if you’re suddenly in need of it to defend your life or the lives of your loved ones. You need to both have a gun in advance of a life-threatening attack and know how to use it!
#1: TAKE A FIREARMS SAFETY CLASS BEFORE YOU EVER PICK UP A GUN
Before you decide to go shooting at a gun range you should investigate taking a gun safety class. It is extremely important to get a hands-on look at gun safety and how firearms function long before you are standing at the firing line.
#2: PICK UP GOOD FITTING EYE AND EAR PROTECTION BEFORE YOU VISIT THE RANGE
While you can rent these at most gun ranges, you will want to make sure that yours fit perfectly.
#3: FIND AN INSTRUCTOR AT YOUR LOCAL RANGE
Let this individual know your skill level and what you are looking to accomplish when you visit the range for the first time.
Most ranges offer a variety of gun safety classes for the inexperienced shooter to become familiar with firearms and safety.
Call your local range to learn more about available classes and which ones would be the best fit for your experience level.
#4: LEARN HOW TO SQUARE UP YOUR SIGHTS
Simply putting the front blade into the notch of the rear sight is not enough. You need to learn how to properly square up your sights and develop a consistent sight picture when engaging a target. You will want to understand how to hold the gun in relation to your body and how to reacquire a sight picture after the gun recoils.
#5: DEVELOP A CONSISTENT AND REPEATABLE GRIP ON THE GUN.
The main support hand does not need a vise-like grip on the gun, but the supplemental hand (the left hand for a right-handed shooter) should exert firm pressure on the grip of the gun.
#6: CHOOSE THE RIGHT CALIBER AS A NEW SHOOTER.
It makes no sense to belly up to the range with the latest bear-slaying magnum revolver in tow – you will have little fun and the overall experience of shooting will be marred by sore hands and blistered fingers. A smaller caliber semi-auto pistol is a great choice for most new shooters.
#7: EXPECT IT TO BE LOUD
Most new shooters are shocked to find out how noisy an indoor shooting range can be – and that is even when using quality ear protection. Part of the preparation as a new shooter is to prepare for this noise, as well as the concussive blast that accompanies each pull of the trigger.
#8: LEARN HOW TO SQUEEZE THE TRIGGER
Dry fire the gun in a safe environment and only after you have determined it is unloaded. This will help you learn the nuances of the gun without compounding the blast of the firing gun.
#9: ASK QUESTIONS FROM THE EXPERTS
Never be afraid to seek expert advice when you feel it is warranted. Guns are complex tools and can be deadly when used incorrectly. Gun specialists love to talk shop with new shooters, so take the time to connect with seasoned shooters who can give advice that is learned over the years.
The Range Safety Officer would be more than willing to answer any questions you have and even suggest shooting classes to help you become more familiar with firearms safety and training.
#10: HAVE FUN
There is no feeling like shooting a gun, and the experts at whichever range you choose, can help you create a memorable and rewarding experience the first time you pull the trigger.
**all credit goes to the original posters who are referenced below**
- Ainsworth, Kat, and Kat Ainsworth. “10 Things New Gun Owners Need to Know.” Pew Pew Tactical, 5 Apr. 2020, www.pewpewtactical.com/things-new-gun-owners-need-to-know/.
- “10 Tips of First Time Shooters.” The Range 702, 21 Nov. 2017, www.therange702.com/blog/10-tips-for-first-time-shooters/.
Information gathered by Taylor Smith.