How to Shoot a Gun For The First Time
So, you think you want to start learning how to shoot a gun, but what does that mean? Should you just go to your local range? You may want to see how it feels to shoot before you get into it, after all guns are an investment in time and money.
It can be overwhelming to try and figure out where to start when you have never shot a gun before. Here are the suggestions I have to get you started.
Firearm Safety Rules
This is the must first step. Anyone who will even be around guns needs to know these rules. These rules are in place to keep yourself and those around you safe and unharmed. Please read out full article on the firearm safety rules here Firearm Saftey Rules.
How To Shoot a Gun Basics
If you are like most women and me, you do not want to be caught off guard. I like to prepare myself before any new endeavor I take on. I would suggest you prepare yourself with a basic understanding of how a pistol works. You don’t need to know everything, however, knowing the basics helps with your confidence when you go shooting for the first time. There are two great articles that go over these basics
Basic Gun Handling
I think it is very important to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of what is involved when shooting a gun. We have an article on almost every aspect when it comes to shooting a gun. These four articles I would say are a must-read to help familiarize yourself with these fundamentals and to grow your confidence before firing your first shots.
Quality firearms instruction is an important component of learning how to shoot and shoot safely and accurately. Although I strongly encourage you to take training classes, I realize that at this stage, you may not be ready to, but put it on your “Must Do” list. The below articles are for you to read and see what exactly you will be doing when you go to shoot. it’s imperative that if you choose to handle a gun while reading these that any gun you handle is UNLOADED. Any time you are practicing your gun handling skills with a gun, it MUST be unloaded. Check and double-check to make sure there is no ammunition in the gun or in the area where you are practicing.
If you want to go further you can find all the gun handling articles here How to Shoot Gun articles or enroll in our online gun basics course. Learn on your own time! Find out more here Women & Guns: The Basics.
Shooting Your First Shots
If possible, have a friend or family member who has solid experience and who is committed to firearm safety with guns take you to the range for the first time. First of all, it’s just less intimidating to go with other people, and having people there that you are comfortable with can make the experience less stressful.
You may not have yet purchased a gun, and that’s totally ok. Perhaps the people you are going with have a gun appropriate for your first shots. If not, don’t sweat it, most ranges offer rentals. Call the range before you go to verify that they do and that they have a variety of calibers and models to select from.
It is very important that they or the shooting range staff provide you with hearing and eye protection. They should review the Firearm Safety Rules, the layout of the range, and the basics of gun handling with you. They should have you fire your first shots with a lower caliber gun, such as a .22. Smaller caliber guns are just easier to shoot. They have less felt recoil (how much the gun moves when fired) and for just starting out, the lower the recoil, the more you can really concentrate on the basics of gun handling as well as feel confident with your first shots. Once you get the feel of it and are comfortable you can try a slightly higher caliber if you like.
The important thing is that you are comfortable. Only you know if you are ready to try higher calibers or larger guns. Don’t let anyone talk you into shooting a gun that you are not ready for or comfortable shooting.
I am not suggesting you need to be an expert in gun handling before you go shoot for the first time. However, I have found that when women are prepared and do a little research, they are much more comfortable when they take this first step. Let’s face it, shooting a handgun for the first time can be scary. When you prepare yourself so that not everything about guns is brand new when you go, it drastically helps with the process.
Shooting a gun is serious business, but it is also fun. As you become more comfortable and confident I think you will find out just how fun it can be.