National events continue to offer uncertainty as some cities defund police departments and attacks on regular citizens continue to increase. Defending the lives of our family, friends, and ourselves is as important as knowing how to drive or keeping a reserve of food and potable water. And while learning how to shoot and apply defensive tactics can be intimidating for a regular civilian, this article encourages new firearm users to take the first step or further their basic firearms experience and training with tactical courses.
One might encounter new gun owners who have never been to the firing range or taken time to read the user’s manual because they are too busy in life, don’t have a budget for training or ammo, or are simply overconfident in their skills. Yet practice is everything with firearms, and if new users do not take the time to practice or train, their own weapon might possibly be used against them or their family by an assailant. Having a firearm at the ready is not a fix-all solution; tactics and weapons-handling training are an important part of a full package to which the new firearm user must be dedicated.
For personal weapons selection, a gun owner should have a basic shooting session first. Many ranges offer rental weapons and instructors on standby to assist. If you are a new shooter, admit it! Joking around, lying about experience, or pretending to be John Wick, yet having zero experience, can easily end in a deadly accident.
In their haste to buy new firearms, first-time users may also rush the proper selection of a weapon. Some models may be scarce or unavailable as backorders are now normal. In some cases, users have purchased firearms that are not optimal for their size and skill level. Some buyers make first firearm choices on the coolness factor or brand name from pop culture, but those choices are not usually in stock for long. The best first firearm for some may be from a relatively unknown company – and for less money. Check out reviews of the firearm before you buy it so you can be confident of your decision.
Discovering your preferred model of firearm and caliber of ammunition takes experience. Generally, the smaller the caliber, the less recoil action on the weapon. For example, a .22 is excellent for learning shooting fundamentals, and ammo is inexpensive, but it is not a reliable self-defense weapon for stopping power. Non-popular caliber ammo is more expensive and feeds pistols that are not as common or considered special or exotic. Good common choices for most shooters include 9mm for a pistol and .38 for a revolver.
Unless a shooter’s hands are very small, he or she should choose the midsize model of a pistol or revolver. This selection is not only for stability control of the weapon, but also for ease in reaching levers, magazine release buttons, or safety switches/cocking or de-cocking on some models. The flip side of this choice is that it is not easy to shoot a firearm that can double as a keychain accessory. Be sure the pistol can be a realistic primary defense weapon and not a backup weapon as originally intended.
The choice for carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) again depends on the shooter’s size and how he or she prefers to carry. Concealed carry of a weapon is a serious responsibility, and it may take some time to have one issued, depending on the state. Just about every state in the US requires completion of a course for CCW. Even if a course is not required, a new shooter should take the course anyway to understand legalities of CCW.
Again, welcome aboard, new firearms users, and enjoy your learning experience! Our website users are of all levels of experience, from beginners to world-class-level instructors and decorated veterans. Expect many more firearms-related blogs for all levels in the future. But most importantly, always practice good safety techniques and handle weapons as if they are loaded at all times.