5 Tips for First Time Shooters: Preparing for the Unknown

This blog is dedicated to people venturing to the shooting range for the first time and seeking guidance to navigate the experience with confidence among seasoned enthusiasts. Whether motivated by an interest in the sport of shooting or driven by the need for personal protection, commend yourself for taking proactive steps to familiarize yourself with firearms. Below are fundamental tips and recommendations tailored to the beginner shooter embarking on their first trip to the range.

Start Small

If you have never handled a gun before, starting with a manageable caliber is paramount. It is common practice for beginners to initiate their shooting journey with a .22 pistol or revolver, gradually progressing to higher-caliber options such as .45 or 9mm as comfort and proficiency develop. Starting with a .22 caliber provides a gentler introduction to the handling and recoil dynamics of shooting.

Learn Proper Firearm Handling

Prioritize learning the correct techniques for handling and holding a firearm. While many ranges offer instruction, conducting preliminary research can boost your understanding. Key considerations include refraining from placing your finger inside the trigger guard until prepared to fire, maintaining trigger finger positioning alongside the firearm when not actively engaging targets, and ensuring the thumb crook remains positioned beneath the slide to avoid potential injury from the slide’s rapid recoil movement. A seasoned enthusiast can also help you with your grip, stance, and aim when you are ready to begin shooting.

Uphold Range Safety Protocols

Adherence to stringent safety protocols is non-negotiable at any reputable shooting range. A cardinal rule dictates that the firearm’s muzzle must consistently point downrange, a principle rigorously enforced by range monitors to safeguard patrons. Violations of safety rules can lead to expulsion from the premises, underscoring the importance placed on maintaining a secure environment for all participants.

Wear proper clothing and protective gear

Prioritize personal safety by donning appropriate protective gear, including eye and ear protection. Protective eyewear and earplugs or earmuffs are indispensable accessories, safeguarding against potential eye injury from ejected casings and minimizing auditory damage from gunfire. Additionally, opt for clothing that provides coverage for exposed skin, particularly arms and neck areas vulnerable to contact with casings during shooting sessions. The casings are hot, and if they touch your skin, you risk not only yelping in pain in front of everyone but also having the entire place hit the deck if you swing your gun around in the excitement.

Practice Proper Hand Hygiene

If you are planning to spend the day slinging lead, it’s a good idea to take breaks to wash your hands, especially if you intend to eat afterward. Frequent hand washing serves as a crucial preventive measure against lead contamination, a known hazard associated with handling firearms. Avoiding contact between contaminated hands and your face, eyes, and mouth mitigates the risk of lead ingestion, safeguarding your overall health and well-being. Embarking on your maiden voyage to the shooting range necessitates a combination of respect for firearm safety protocols and a commitment to personal preparedness. By adhering to fundamental principles of firearm handling, prioritizing safety measures, and maintaining proper hygiene practices, first-time shooters can approach their inaugural range experience with confidence and proficiency.

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