Learn the basic principles of safe gun handling
Many first-timers, for whom the activity is just a recreational thing. With that in mind, we stresses the importance of learning safe gun handling’s four basic principles:
- Consider the weapon always to be loaded.
- Keep your finger off the trigger.
- Point the firearm in the safe direction. In other words, only aim it at the target if you’re on the range’s firing line, and keep it holstered everywhere else.
- Always know what your target is and what’s behind it (also referred to as the “backstop”).
Bring along an experienced friend.
One of the main requirements to go to a shooting range is for first-timers to take a fundamentals course before getting started. Even so, we stresses the importance of attending with at least one experienced shooter—especially if you’re going with a larger group. “It’s hard to teach four, five, six, seven people about firearm safety, and then keep them safe when they’re [on their own].”
Choose a larger version of a smaller pistol.
Any first-time shooter should start off with a smaller-sized pistol, such as a .22 caliber, .38 caliber, or a 9mm. However, it shouldn’t be too small.
The biggest misconception is that little guns don’t kick. Little guns actually kick way more than big guns. We always have to go through the spiel of ‘Don’t get the itty bitty 9mm, because it’ll hurt to shoot it. It kicks real hard. Get the medium or the large 9mm, and it’ll kick much less.’ It’s much easier to handle.”
Don’t put your thumb on the pistol slide.
When you learn to shoot a gun —specifically semi-automatic weapons— beginners always put their thumb on the top of the rear of the slide. referring to the top part of the gun that moves backwards when fired. You could get injured that way. We caution you to make sure you put your thumbs on top of thumbs instead of the slide.
Never wear a V-neck.
One overlooked aspect of gun range etiquette is the attire. Some fashion choices are more obvious: not wearing open-toed shoes, for instance, goes without saying. But visitors should also think twice about donning any kind of V-neck shirt. And if you hold the gun loosely, then the round will go backwards and go down your shirt. Kind of embarrassing.