Firearms Myths: Which Ones Hold Water? | USCCA

A few years ago, my daughter was in awe of a particularly awesome long-range shot executed during a television drama. My little freckle-faced kid turned to me and said, “Daddy could you do that?” I laughed and said, “No, and he couldn’t either!” In the movies, folks don’t eat or drink water for days or, bleeding from serious wounds, manage to leap over tall buildings. They don’t reload, don’t carry extra magazines and wear shoulder holsters backward. Separating the cinema and myth from reality is important for anyone interested in firearms for personal defense. Myths perpetuated over the years and repeated by those who should know better could lead to deep legal trouble or a toe tag in the morgue.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

This is just the start. Great article, but before getting into the list of things, I would like all members of the forum to note something. When you see a new shooter at the range or gun shop, help them out. Keep in mind the hollywood portrayal outlined above is most likely that person’s only firearms training and experience. So, help them be safe and gently bring them back down to earth so they dont hurt themselves or do something they did not intend to do.


I agre: very helpful and timely article. And, excellent guidance offered by Brian139. It’s in everyone’s best interest to offer feedback when we see it will be helpful. The more respectful and clearly it is offered, the greater the likelihood that it will be received and put into practice by the recipient. This kind of supportive communication also helps to underscore the “defensive” nature of our commitment to a concealed carry lifestyle. We care about our safety and that of others. Daily carry and regular training is just one part of that commitment. I know that I have benefited from others taking time to share either positive feedback or feedback for improvement. Actively reaching out in a sincere and helpful manner when we see an opportunity to assist someone who is like-minded, well — that’s more rubber meeting the road, if you will. Thanks.


I couldn’t agree more, as a newer shooter. I really appreciate added tips and feedback. That is not to say I want someone standing over me correcting every single mistake I make everytime I shoot. Having someone stop by the bay I am shooting at and giving me some tips is greatly appreciated. I have recently been part of an incident that a fellow shooter thought the best way to correct something was to start shaking, breathing heavy, and belittling the shooter.

It almost ended the person’s desire to shoot again. Thankfully another instructor found out and reached out to help the person out. The whole process put the shooter on the spot leaving the message a single mistake meant they were dumb and doing everything wrong. I believe anyone who has been around long enough, would recognize that humans, even trained humans will make the occasional mistake. How that mistake is handled by others can be the difference of someone wanting to learn more or wanting to avoid shooting all together.

As dangerous as guns are and as costly as a single mistake can be. The goal should always be to encourage over harsh correction. The more responsible gun owners we have the less likely we will read it about it later. Along with the more likely we will have a strong voice in ending needless laws in the future. Every gun mistake seems to spurn the talk of a new law based on one person’s actions.

What I have seen repeatedly in the gun communities I have joined is a lack of acceptance and tolerance for new shooters. I have actually left groups and avoided joining organizations for this vary reason. It seems like a large percentage want to keep out new shooters and only have those that have been around for years. I get the need and desire to not have change in other clubs but when it comes to the 2nd amendment. We should encourage more members and get to know the people around us. No we won’t all agree with everyone, that goes against human nature but someone always fits in somewhere.

We are already under attack from the anti-gun world. That problem alone should speak to the need for gun owner unity. We all have different backgrounds and different beliefs but as a whole we all agree on the right to defend ourselves. We all follow the laws and rules as we understand them and do our best to improve our skills. A gentle conversation will always help to reinforce that we belong here and we have more to learn. Over a persons desire and need to prove they are so right that they have to make someone else feel like a lessor person.


Roger35. I believe anyone who has been around long enough, would recognize that humans, even trained humans will make the occasional mistake. How that mistake is handled by others can be the difference of someone wanting to learn more or wanting to avoid shooting all together.

I couldn’t agree more with that statement. I’ve seen people walk away because someone was over teaching. When I introduced shooting to my wife. I showed her all the safety rules, showed her how to load, showed her all the safety features on the gun, told her how the sites work and said there’s the Target… Have fun. And I watched her the hole time and she knew I was there if she had a question. But she blew threw a 100 rounds and said ok. I’m done. And she did good.

I think if you hover over someone the only thing they’re going to learn is impatience.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I could not have expressed it any better. Reason and common decency need to rule the day and can be helpful guideposts to all of us, including those of us who practice the concealed carry lifestyle. As one point of reference, I’m the only one with a Prius in the parking lot of my local range — and there’s more than a few owners of rather large pickup trucks parked there with whom I’ve shared helpful and rewarding conversations and tips. Strip away the surface, and the core Is where it matters.
Kind regards.

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Thank you @Roger35 for sharing your experience. As you are a new shooter, I am very curious to your experiences and your journey. Sometime when you have a moment, would you be willing to write up what made you decide to become a gun owner and a CPL holder, how you approached purchasing a firearm, how you learned to use it, etc. I am also curious about any misconceptions and preconceived notions that you had? Also, what could the 2A community have done better to assist you along this journey? I think that by listening to stories from new shooters, there is a lot the gun community can learn to make ourselves better and to attract and encourage more people to become gun owners. I know that is asking a lot.

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@Roger35, I actually just created a new thread for my question. Thank you

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Loved the article Firearms Myths, which lead to helping others on the range. . . do you know how many men don’t want to take comments/criticism/advice from a woman? Even a woman holding a bigger gun? hitting on target? if they are polite, they’ll sort of listen, but then go off and do their own thing anyway . . .

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Two points;

One, yes… blanks can cause damage and kill, and yes movie stars have died. There is a wad that comes out and at very close range can do serious damage.

Two, ‘racking’ a shotgun may very well save the day. I knew someone who, while stationed OCONUS had to deal with local unrest, riots, civil disturbances… and when several came up the stairs of the building he was in, he ‘racked’ the shotgun and suddenly those who came up the stairs were tripping over themselves to get back down the stairs.

It is true, if it had been terrorists, they might not have bolted, but he was well versed in how to deal with that also.

While most movies show absurd situations… there are some real life considerations. GySgt Carlos Hathcock, known as ‘White Feather’, who actually terminated an enemy with one shot at long range … sniping… with an M2 HB .50

Hija la, Candace. My sister could go on for hours on just this subject. She was for many years a lead firearms instructor at our agency’s basic academy, but she resolved those sorts of questions succinctly with her revolver skill set. Old School PPC (1500 possible) her usual score was 1475-1480 range.

With regards to using lasers - I’m a strong supporter of using these aiming devices. I am farsighted so it’s very difficult and slow to focus and align the front and rear sights on the target because I can’t focus up close. With a laser I’m able to focus on the target and see the impact point directly on the target. Furthermore, the laser provides a far more accurate visualization of the impact point than iron sights. I’m also able to more rapidly re-acquire my aiming point when making follow-on shots. I can also get on target more rapidly with a laser. Both iron and laser sights must be aimed and proper trigger control is required to be accurate but I believe that to say that people should use iron sights and pass on laser aiming devices isn’t good advice.

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OK, Teflon is not molybdenum disulfide , Teflon is " Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene that has numerous applications. The well-known brand name of PTFE-based formulas is Teflon by Chemours.Wikipedia.
Molybdenum disulfide is an additive to heavy duty grease.

Claude I do understand your personal needs in regards to the lazer however so many new shooters buy a firearm with a lazer for the wrong reasons. These shooters are looking for simple target aquisition without basic shooting fundamentals. A good shooter still needs to know the line of sight from eye to rear sight, front sight and point of impact is crucial. Even with these things in place we still don’t connect the dots if our grip and trigger pull is not correct. As an instructor I tell my students my biggest fear is that in a critical situation a lazer shooter will hesitate if the red dot doesn’t come on and YES this will happen at some point. However the weapon will still go Bang. Be on target and pull the trigger.