Confessions of a Newbie: What mistakes did you make?

We have all been there. Just learning about guns, first time at the range, first time holding a gun, first time cleaning a gun.

What mistake you made still sticks with you to this day?

Share your experiences to help those who are just starting out know we all started at the same place. :slight_smile:

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Holsters. Spent way too much time reading about what was new, cool, and hot on the internet and have quite a pile of holsters I’ll never want to use again for various reasons. Students however benefit from my mistakes, they go through boxes of them and I tell them what I do, did, or didn’t like about them.

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I recently took a friend to the range who just purchased his first handgun. He always said he grew up with guns, but he was obviously really nervous about owning one. We went to the range and it was instantly apparent no one had ever taught him to properly treat a gun. A couple hours later he was still nervous but at least he wasn’t moving his head around to try and line up the sights.

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Agree with @WildRose with the holsters. I’m sure we all have a box of lessons.

I would’ve saved a lot by getting a gun belt sooner. Sometimes it’s not the holsters it’s the belt.

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Lesson 1)
Not getting a teacher sooner - My first ex and I bought a shotgun for home defense and I learned to shoot it on the trap range - trial and error. It wasn’t until much later that I got lessons and it changed my shooting MUCH faster than just struggling through it. Get A Coach. Coaching Matters. it’ll save you money, time, and the risk of doing unsafe things. Plus its way more fun to shoot when you’re better at it.

Lesson 2)
Don’t teach what you’re not qualified to teach. During the time I was learning to shoot the shotgun, I made the mistake of taking my never-shot-a-gun-either sister to the trap range. It was a BAD way to start her off for a lot of reasons. I didn’t know enough to teach her or set her up for success. It wasn’t safe, because I didn’t know how to teach her TO be safe, and I didn’t know how to coach a new shooter to keep them from doing unsafe things like finger-on-the-trigger when it shouldn’t be or keeping the muzzle down range. Plus I started her on the same gun I started on… a 12 gauge pump. It wasn’t a fun experience for her, and it was a scary experience for me because… NOT safe and I could see it wasn’t but I had no idea how to fix it. :scream::sob::grimacing::no_good_woman::no_good_woman::no_good_woman:
Eventually she learned to shoot competently and well enough to have fun, but it was a really rough start, and at my hands.
It’s part of why I’m passionate about teaching well - because I started so badly.
Now I really push people to start with a qualified trainer, coach or teacher. Your spouse / sweetheart / sibling / parent / uncle / neighbor may be a great shot (or maybe not as great a shot as they think) but unless they’re a firearms teacher… get a firearms teacher.
and yes… I’m a fan of taking people in your sphere of influence to the range so they can try shooting, especially when they’re in a teachable moment and you can change their views… but I say that with trepidation as well, always remembering how that was the first time I took my sister shooting. If you’re going to take friends, and you’re not a teacher, think about inviting the most experienced (pro or amateur) teacher you know to go with you.

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Hand grip, and thumb placement, two whammies.

.44mag handgrip and thumb position both bad wound up with a split thumbnail.

Glock 17L bad thumb position slide bite resulted.

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Those two scars on my left thumb from a poor grip. One of those it only happens once lessons!

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Youch! I dont have any slide bite scars, but I’ve got a scope scar in my right eyebrow… last time I ever crawled up the stock! The problem was the scope wasn’t set up for me, it was someone else’s rifle and didn’t fit me… and it bit :dizzy_face: :face_with_head_bandage: :expressionless:

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That is the beauty of the Red Dot! My bug out bag has Kel-Tec Sub 2000 with a red dot zeroed at 50 yards. Never close enough to the optics to get a black eye.

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To quote one of the best operators I ever knew, “Never bet your life on a set of batteries”.

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The iron sights still work … just in case!

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My Vortex Spitfire 3x works with and without batteries. I just like with batteries better and I go have a Vortex spare battery keeper mounted on the firearm as well

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