Introducing Guns to Inexperienced People

I have given instruction to 1st time shooters. It’s all about safety. Until gun safety is completely understood and demonstrated by the new shooter, the range isn’t an option. It is always a good idea to direct the new shooter to a class given by professionals. I taught my wife to shoot & also signed her up for a woman’s only beginner class. She said that she got more out of the class than my personal instruction so hats off to the pros

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I typically schedule new folks to take a Basic Pistol Class. As part of the class I incorporate Blue Guns and SIRT pistols for Grip, Stance, Trigger Pull, Sight Picture/Sight Alignment, and Operation of controls.
When we get to the range, I do a medical briefing, review the safety rules, and start them shooting with a .22.
If the student then wants to buy a handgun I let them shoot some of mine so that they can determine what best fits their hand, budget, and the method that they intend to conceal carry.

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Agree 100%. I’ve been a certified NRA instructor for 12 years, in beginning and advanced, but have stayed with the basics from experience. The most dangerous (and obnoxious!) are the one’s who come into class to qualify for a CCW saying they’ve been shooting for years. These are also the most hard headed when it comes to safe gun handling. Full plastic replicas are available. I know most of these can only be purchased if you are a certified instructor but I have seen them on some firearms websites.
This will give the new shooter the “feel” of having a full sized gun in hand. Also the safest way to teach them the correct way to handle them. The revolver is a fairly simple gun, easy to load, fire and, with some instruction, easy to understand…start with a .22. Less recoil and not quite as intimidating. I’m a big fan of the Ruger .22 semi as it’s (so far) indestructible and very little recoil. The semi’s are more demanding in knowledge and require more one on one instruction.
One of the first and most important lesson also is making sure the novice always keeps the gun (loaded or not) pointed away from everything but downrange or the target. I even lay the plastic guns down pointed down range.
You never ever want to take any gun for granted that it’s “unloaded”. I have friends who learned the painful way about “unloaded guns”. Also be WAAAY careful that you are very knowledgeable in handling guns first.
Happy and safe shooting. :cowboy_hat_face:

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I actually always start them off with a ‘blue gun’.
You can find them relatively cheaply on Amazon or via other sources, and they give me the ability to cover grip, stance, safety (to a degree), etc without causing the person too much anxiety.

I then move to a fully unloaded and cleared semi-auto. Something full size like a Glock 17 or comparable. I run them through a load/unload drill, safety on/off drill, clearing the firearm, etc. all using dummy rounds.
Then I pivot to an unloaded revolver, going through the similar steps.

Then on the range for the first time, I’ll use something like a Ruger Wrangler or a S&W 617 which are both incredibly affordable to shoot and very user friendly for first time shooters. For semi-auto, I’ll use the Mark IV or something similar.

Safety is always paramount. I’m quick to call out any infraction immediately and give my ‘student’ (friends/family) a heads up beforehand that I will be calling it out.

Good luck and good for you for growing the population of educated firearms users!
Train, train, train.

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I don’t own a gun yet and know virtually nothing about them. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ever fired one and I’d have a couple fingers uncounted still. So I don’t know what to buy and am ignorant of the sport. Do professional trainers expect you to have your own gun before they sign you up for training?

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Please take NRA Basic Pistol or a similar introduction-to-pistol class. Many clubs have “loaner” guns they will let you use for the shooting portion. Take it very slow and don’t pull the trigger on buying a new gun (see what I did there?) until you are super comfortable and confident with basic handling and operation. Your experiences after will be much better in the long run.

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@David_0, major kudos for doing your research and learning about firearms and carrying before you jump into purchasing a firearm that might not work for you! I’ve seen too many people come to the range with a firearm that they cannot comfortably hold, much less shoot.

A lot of ranges have rental firearms that you can rent for your range time/private instruction. Do you have any friends who shoot? It might be worth taking a lesson from an instructor, then invite your friends to the range with you to try a few of their firearms. (Offer to pay for the ammo if you do!) Just like a car, try something very similar to what you want before you buy.

If you’re a USCCA Member, there are a number of great resources in your USCCA dashboard including guides to help you pick out your first firearm. (USCCA.com and login at the upper right hand corner to get to your dashboard.)

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to answer your question, none of the trainers I know expect a new individual to have their own firearm. Many states require training and licensing before you can buy a gun. Generally, I’ve seen .22lr pistols and revolvers in beginner classes, and instructors are often glad to show and share their larger cal. guns after initial training is completed proficiently.
Strictly amateur here, but training some coworkers (yup, offer to pay for ammo and it’s expensive these days, so learn from your shots) I can offer them subcompact, compact and full size striker fired guns and subcompact and full size hammer fired. Steel, plastic, single and doublestack etc…which helped immensely when they went to buy their first gun.

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