Pre-Range Briefing for New Shooters

We’ve talked about taking new shooters to the range a number of times. It’s a great way to open their eyes to how responsible gun owners can be. (Unfortunately, they may see some not-so-smart behavior out of others :confused: )

Here are great pointers for taking a new shooter to the range:

Have you taken a new shooter to the range? How did they feel about the experience?

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Lots and lots of them :grin: so far, every one has had fun. Nearly all have wanted to go again, the one exception being a gal with a lot of fear who just wanted to not be so panicked about her husbands hobby.

The article is pretty good. I’d add a discussion of proper clothing… high collar shirts, brimmed hat, no open toe shoes or sandals, and a discussion of what to do if you collect some hot brass.

Also point out the bathrooms… in advance.


I’ve taken a few new shooters out. As @Zee pointed out clothing was talked about before leaving.

I can’t remember where I got this from but the first thing I do with a new shooter is take them up to the line. The gun is unloaded (they don’t know this), I have them aim and talk about how to hold it. Then as they are aiming i tell them just drop it and let it hit the ground. I do this and explain to them that if for whatever reason they drop it never try to catch it. Its metal hitting dirt it’ll be fine. But if you try to catch it you may accidentally pull the trigger. It seems odd but so far it has helped relax their nerves a little. Then my corny joke of you’re not going to hurt the gun. If you do don’t worry you don’t need a gun anyways.


Several. Before I put up the first target, we go over the safety rules. I then, show then how the firearms we have that day work. Then eyes and ears. Then hang targets. Then I load them. I set them on the table, barrel down range. Then, I pick up a pistol, and fire some slow, controlled rounds, so everyone can see what is going on(slides moving, flames coming out of cylinder gaps and so on). Then I reload, set it down, and instruct the “shooter” to pick up the gun, without touching the trigger until instructed. It’s always a good time. Never had a complainer yet.

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Oh, also, first time they shoot I load 1 round only… and I explain thats so no matter what happens, even if they were to drop the gun, nothing could go wrong and they are safe. We stay with 1 round only until they feel confident. Might be the next mag. Might be a dozen, it’s all good.


I have taken a few to the range including people who asked my (adult) daughter if I would take them. Some went on to get their CC while others just asked if I would take them again. One of the first time shooters went on to get her CC and became a bi monthly shooting buddy for about a year until our schedules got in the way.

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I have a particular pet peeve for first time shooters. NO PHONES on the line EVER! I want what you are doing to be the sole focus of your world for however long you are there. There is something about staring into a phone that completely removes you from the reality of where you are and what you are doing.




When i take a new person to the range, i always show them how to shoot with irons, 3 rounds per mag. Then once groupings get better, I add more rounds.

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