What Do You Need When You Are A New Shooter?
When you enter the gun world and become a new shooter, there are a lot of things to think about and do research on. Here are a few things to check off your list and look into.
Topping my list is instruction. This can come in multiple forms, online or in person. Do your due diligence and make sure you are researching and fact-checking the things you read online. The Well Armed Woman developed an online course for beginners just for this reason. All the information you need to start from a reputable source, all in one place! It makes being a new shooter not so intimidating.
Once you have done your at-home research, I highly recommend finding an instructor for in-person training or a reputable group you can practice with.
This one is a little obvious but how you go about finding your gun may not be. There are a number of articles on this site that help with this topic. Making the Decision Part 5- Finding The Best Gun For Women is a great article to help direct you on this step. You will want a gun that you are comfortable with, can handle confidently, and that will fit into your lifestyle.
We also have a great quiz that can help narrow down your search! Try The Well Armed Woman Gun Finder.
A Safe or effective locking device. The type of household you have and who lives with you plays a major factor in how your store your firearm. If you have children or elderly you are caring for, see Firearms and Your Children for helpful considerations. The BEST option in all circumstances is a Biometric Safe that allows you (and only you) very quick access to your firearm, literally, just a swipe of your finger. I have a great biometric safe that is small and effective, check out The Reach Holster Safe: A New Generation of Gun Safe is Upon Us.
Accessories For The New Shooter
A Gun Cleaning kit. The care of your gun is directly related to its performance. Regular cleaning after shooting is extremely important.
A Holster. Whether or not you carry your gun on your person, your gun should be kept in a quality holster that covers the trigger guard to prevent accidental firing.
Eye Protection. Quality eye protection is necessary for when you practice.
Ear Protection. Quality ear protection is also necessary for when you practice.
Ammunition: You will need to have quality ammunition for both practice and when in defense mode. Standard rounds are recommended and typically have a lower cost. Self-defense ammunition is recommended for when you carry your gun or have it ready for self or home protection. Ammunition Demystified is a great article to start.
This last one is easily overlooked but I highly recommend you put some thought into it. The business card of a good lawyer familiar with gun laws. It is a good idea to have a conversation with or identify an attorney that you can call in the event you ever have to use your gun. If you were in a position where you had to use your gun, having someone to call and this part already figured out can save you from making an emotional decision later. Carry the card on you at all times along with your Concealed Carry Permit.
Other items that are useful and should be considered at some point:
A Range Bag. As you will be practicing regularly – a quality range bag in which you can carry everything you need and keep it orderly is very helpful. This keeps your from forgetting something you need to practice.
Extra Magazines for a semi-automatic pistol (and a speed loader). To be prepared, the ability to have extra rounds readily available is something to seriously consider. The speedloaders will save your fingers when it comes time for all the reloading for practice you will be doing.
A Gun Case. A gun case helps to protect your gun from moisture and any debris that might be in your range bag or other area where you store you gun. These often come with locking devices which adds another layer of security in homes with children.
Dummy Rounds for Dry Fire Practice. Practice rounds or “dummy rounds” as they are known are a fabulous training tool. These allow you to practice using your gun without risk or possible damage to your firearm. This type of practice is so great for new shooters as it really lets you create good habits when learning how to use your gun. (see important rules for dry fire practice)
What You Need For Concealed Carry
If you are going to carry your firearm on your person, this will entail a whole different list. I recommend you begin reading my Beginning to Concealed Carry series by clicking here: Concealed Carry For Woman Part 1.
Continue your research with the next article Making the Decision: Part 2 – What do I Need To Know?