April 10, 2017 at 6:51 am #11180
For the past 2 or 3 years I have toyed with the idea of getting a gun permit and buying a gun, but I have never fired a gun in my life. Ideally I’d like to find an instructor to teach me one-on-one at first just so I don’t go in completely stupid to a pistol basics course or go to a gun range looking like an idiot. I also have a bit of social anxiety. I honestly have no idea how any of this works and have a few questions.
1) If I go to a gun range with no experience looking to rent and try out guns would there be someone to help me?
2) How did you all get started?
I’m in central Indiana if anyone wonders my state of residence.
April 10, 2017 at 8:03 am #11181Jami ShawParticipant
I completely understand where you are coming from. I never fired a gun until I was getting ready to apply for my permit either. I had visited a gun range with my dad, but never had the chance to fire his gun. Do you have a friend/boyfriend/husband that likes guns and could go with you? I find it helps my anxiety when I have a friend go with me. Every range i have visited was very nice. The guys/girls working there are usually very helpful when you rent a gun to shoot and if you explain that you need help with it. For instance, I had a revolver that I was comfortable with but wanted to try a semi automatic, so my husband took me to a range while we were on vacation. A store I had never been in before. I talked to the guy behind the counter and explained what I wanted so he helped me pick out a gun to try, and then told the range officer to help me once I made it to the range. Most of these guys are really nice, I don’t think I have ever had a bad experience with the range officers, they are usually even more friendly than the guys behind the counter selling the guns. The range close to where I live now offers a ladies night that gives women a chance to learn how to use their guns with help from very patient trainers. I would suggest looking for an event like this at any of your local ranges. The gun range is really becoming much more female friendly and most expect for woman to be new to shooting. Have fun\, but definitely talk to the range officer to get help.
God Bless the USA
April 10, 2017 at 9:04 am #11182
Thanks for replying! Unfortunately I don’t know many people who likes guns – this is probably due to the fact that I am rather liberal politically although do support responsible gun ownership and use, which sometimes is perplexing to people! I do have one friend (a woman) who I know has visited a range once or twice, so maybe she could take me with her.
I have thought about contacting Lori Winstead (who posts on these forums) as I know she is an instructor only about an hour or so away from where I’m located. However, I’m not sure if an instructor would find it odd that someone who has never even picked up a firearm wants to inquire about private instruction.
April 10, 2017 at 2:11 pm #11183Charlotte FParticipant
Your questions are all normal.
I think your idea of contacting the instructor on this forum who’s near you is an excellent idea! Perhaps she can do as an instructor did for me. I read a lot on-line about conceal carry weapons, when I was interested in getting my first semi-automatic. I hired an instructor for 1 hour after talking on the phone and explaining I needed to try lots to ‘get a feel’ and they recommended the range nearby that offered the most rental guns. The ‘rentals’ and ‘range time’ (i.e., lane rental) were included in the price of instruction! Also included free were eye and ear protection. My private instructor pulled a dozen or so guns from my list and those other women seemed to prefer. We then spent some time in a classroom reviewing gun and range safety, how the guns worked, and trying ‘racking the slide’ on some semi-automatics. More than half the guns ruled themselves out when I learned about the safeties, magazine capacity, couldn’t rack the slide or found the gun too big or heavy for my hands or conceal carry (in my opinion).
The student has to buy the ammo, which you can do at the range, depending on the gun(s) you think you want to try. So after investing $80 in ammo, we spent the next 45 minutes on the range, and I learned some guns I didn’t even want to fire for various reasons, others seemed ‘too light’ while others I kept returning to.
I hired a private instructor to do the same thing again a week later. When I shot ‘my gun’, I knew it.
It’s nervewracking for most of us to hire an instructor we’ve never met for a potentially dangerous yet lifesaving venture such as our first visits to a gun range. The range is LOUDer than you could imagine. But the instructors are usually very well trained and love working with newbies! So ask lots of questions, try to breathe in and breathe out, and just push yourself to embrace the opportunity to learn a new skill!
Wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, I prefer long sleeves and a baseball hat. You see, ‘hot brass’ or spent cartridges – from the guns you’ll fire and those in adjacent lanes, may fly back at you or bounce off the floor, which can be shocking and unnerving. By being covered up somewhat, you may not even notice most of them.
Try to find a way to enjoy the process. You may find a new sport, hobby, or confidence in knowing you’ve the skills to protect yourself should there ever be a need. Keep us updated on how it goes?
May 5, 2017 at 8:41 pm #11253StephanieParticipant
I just wanted to say hello. I’m also brand-new to guns and hoping to become proficient, but I wasn’t sure where to start. Personally I think it’s a great idea to contact the instructor you mentioned. I’m looking for one myself, but I admit I feel a little uncomfortable because I’m starting from square one, too. I started by finding a very inexpensive basic safety class offered by a local gun store, and I’m considering taking a more comprehensive online course through the NRA. I’ve also just purchased my first gun and signed up with a local gun range to get some practice. Everyone was a beginner at some point. Just look for some resources to help you get started.
Best of luck
April 10, 2017 at 7:06 pm #11187MiriamParticipant
Last July my dad decided he wanted to be a cowboy, so he went to a range and signed us up for a basics of gun handling course. It was maybe a two hour long class that involved teaching basic gun handling and safety, and then a little bit of range time. It was informative and really quite simple, and cost of the gun rental, ammo, eyes, and ears were included in the class fee.
The best thing about the range is it’s so loud, you don’t need to attempt to have a conversation, you can just be in your own head. It does take some time to tune out the BANG.BANG.BANGBANGBANGBANG, but you’ll learn to do it. And coming from another person with social anxieties, I actually prefer a busy range, now. In my experience, unless you are shooting something exceptionally loud, or you are shooting exceptionally well, nobody else will take notice of you.
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Miriam.
April 11, 2017 at 2:33 pm #11191
I decided since you said you had some anxiety and took a class I could work up some courage and do the same. I signed up for a pistol basics course for women only (which makes me more comfortable) next month on the 16th. The range I chose has a large range of rentals, so I hope they can find one that fits my hands decently well.
I’ll report back!
April 12, 2017 at 5:17 pm #11193SarahParticipant
When I started learning how to shoot my boyfriend taught me. He was in the Navy for 24 years and he was on the Navy/ Marine Corp shooting team. And he has been nothing but patient with me while teaching me how to shoot and safely handle a firearm. And he is the one who encouraged me to my CCW permit since he has one as well. And tell you the truth. I had been thinking about it even before we started dating in December of 2015.
I first time he took me to the range I scared poopless! Not gonna lie! He rented a few guns for me to try.Along with his .380 Bursa. Some I liked and some I didn’t like. And I found that I kept coming back to the Smith and Wesson 9mm shield as my favorite. And that is what I carry as my every day CCW. And I love it! My boyfriend liked my gun so much. He decided to get his own! So now we having matching pistols! It nice that we can share ammo and magazines too!
I must admit my boyfriend did kinda create a monster!! Because I love going to the range with him! I fact I was just there yesterday! And went threw 75 rounds!
April 24, 2017 at 7:35 am #11205Karen BParticipant
My husband and I took a basic handgun class when we decided to purchase handguns. My husband has been a hunter all his life, but he had no experience at all with handguns. We both learned a lot! I think a pistol basics course for women is a great idea! And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you are at a range. After we took the class we started renting handguns to try out and the first time we stood there like dummies and said, “What do we do first??” The range officer couldn’t have been nicer! Just remember that everyone in the place would prefer that you ask a million questions rather than make one mistake. Oh, and one more thing. Once you start shooting, you’re going to get hooked! You’ve been warned.
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