How To Make Sure The Bullet Hits What It’s Supposed To
If you are a new gun owner or maybe you are just getting serious about shooting sports as a hobby or even self defense, there are three critical first steps you want to take to make sure that a bullet leaving your firearm never hits an unintended target. Our goal is for your ownership and usage of your handgun or other firearm is both an enjoyable experience and a safe one for all of your life.
Step 1: Take a Basic Firearms Class
Any local gun store should have knowledge of who in your area provides NRA Basic Safety classes; or, visit NRAInstructors.org and search for an appropriate class in your area. There are different courses for pistol, rifle, shotgun, self-defense, safety.
When looking at the classes, check pre-requisites if any so you take classes in the proper order.
Take any and all classes appropriate for what you hope to use the firearm for. Yes, I know it takes time and some money. NRA courses are typically worth the money. Instructors have to be certified so while it is possible to get a variance in instructor quality they all should at least be competent to provide the information you need.
Remember, the life you save by taking a safety class might be your own or a family member.
Here is what you have to gain:
- Less chance of ever having an accidental discharge (AD) which could be lethal to someone or damaging to property
- Less chance of embarrassment if the AD does not hit anyone
- Less chance of imprisonment if the AD does hit someone, and having to live with it…
- More self-confidence when on the range or around firearms
- The ability to help pass down a fantastic sport and skill to future generations (children, grand-children)
- You may even make a new friend at the course
Step 2: Learn Your Gun
One thing that is both frustrating to me and surprising is the lack of quality documentation that comes with a firearm in the box. They don’t even tell you how to clean and oil it properly!
With all of the liability issues I would expect every gun to be delivered with a manual as thick as a phone book, and in fine print besides, covering everything down to what clothes to be wearing when using their product.
What you typically get, though, is a mere pamphlet in microscopic print. Do read it, but don’t stop there.
Fortunately we now have YouTube.
If you want to learn about your new firearm, or better yet when researching a potential handgun purchase, go to YouTube and look for reviews, maintenance tips, take-down and cleaning, etc.
As you scan the videos, look for the number of views relative to the others available. Once you choose one, look at the ratio of thumbs up to thumbs down. This will give you an idea of how helpful the video is according to the “market”.
Spend some time with your new firearm, practice the recommended field-strip procedure, make sure it is properly lubricated and fully understand every part of it before ever loading ammunition in to it.
Enjoy these benefits (at the minimum) from knowing your gun:
- More enjoyment in owning
- Less chance of embarrassment at the range
- Your firearm will last longer and serve generations when taken care of
- Self confidence in any situation involving your firearm
Step 3: Learn Shooting Fundamentals
Don’t make the mistake so many of us are the victims of, where you simply pick up a gun and start shooting at something!
Just like any sport, shooting has fundamentals that if learned properly from the beginning can save you decades of frustration, extensive time on the range shooting hundreds of dollars of ammo trying to un-learn bad habits ingrained into your muscle memory from shooting incorrectly.
Again, thanks to the internet there are resources available to learn the proper fundamentals of shooting whatever firearm you wish to shoot.
When it comes to pistol shooting, I have a course right here on PistolSnipe.com that can help you learn to shoot a handgun right from the beginning or help you correct decades of bad habits and misinformation like I had to do.
Being able to hit the target you are shooting at has many benefits, such as:
- More fun on the range when you do shoot
- Higher self-esteem from seeing your target bulls-eye shot to shreds
- Accolades from others
- Less chance of ever experiencing the horror of accidentally shooting what you did not intend to shoot
- It may save you life someday in a self-defense situation
A gun is not something you just go out and buy then tuck in a drawer in case you ever need it. It can be so much more, but it can also be a potential problem for you if not handled responsibly.
Have more fun when you shoot, enjoy the sport more and also experience the satisfaction of knowing you have a way to protect yourself and the ones you love besides.
I hope this has helped you find a path to the kind of shooting experience you have been hoping for.