What advice would you give a new gun owner?

Yes, resourceful - and creative - and hopefully not to frustrated. :laughing:


More than that it’s the deeply ingrained muscle memory you have to overcome.

The student can be the most receptive to training you’ve ever worked with but once those neural pathways have been lain down and reinforced over years or decades they are extremely difficult to break.

Those of us that spent years in the military or as LEO’s can be the toughest to train because we’ve got tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of repetitions behind us.


I like to stress training, training, and more training.

If you don’t like the trainer or they make you feel uneasy in any way find another.

When people complain courses are too expensive I ask when they’re going out for a night on the town how much to they normally spend. Or ask them what their monthly Starbucks bill is or what they spend on wine per month.

Most are surprised what they spend on indulgence per month. Most agree they can give up a bottle of wine per week, cut down on their Starbucks ordering, or stay at home one weekend in order to be able to “afford” quality training once per month.


Well said. Many people start off assuming that simply being armed = being competent and prepared. Men are by far the worst in that regard. Women are far more prone to admitting they don’t know something and are overwhelmingly more receptive to and more inclined to seek out help.

As for the cost? You are right, they need to change their priorities is all. Unless you are incredibly poor everyone has not only disposable income but also something resembling an entertainment budget. If we can get them started, they’ll build confidence and find that it’s not only good to train, it is lots of fun when done right.

As instructors it’s easy to get too focused on how serious SD is. We need to keep it light, make it fun, while still keeping them in the mindset that it’s serious business.

Even soldiers in the field on a mission or training for same will still find opportunities for humor and fun along the way.


Not an instructor yet, but I think if someone is poor and serious about their defense we should be willing to offer a scholarship to those who legitimately can’t afford training.

For instance CCW classes around here cost $150+ and rarely have fewer than 10 people, average is 20. $1,500 x 10 = $1,500 / 8 hours = $187.50 an hour. I don’t believe it’s asking too much to scholarship one person per class.

I just paid for one of the women who works overnights at our local chain drugstore so she can attend some training to prepare for her CCW, she’s a first time shooter. Last month I gave a kid the last $80 he needed for his CCW permit.

I also have access to an unlimited amount of 2 or 4 Day Defensive Handgun Courses out at Front Sight in Pahrump, NV, I give those away to people serious about training. I have a great 2A Benefactor that makes these available to me as well as lifetime memberships. Finances should not prevent one from training.


You’re a good guy. Before I got serious about being a professional instructor I spent hundreds of hours helping similar people learn the basics preparing themselves to get licensed and on more than a few occasions had to help women with stalkers and “explosive” ex’s who had made direct or tacit threats or who were just guys known to have a violent history.

When it comes to LTC students if someone is in a similar situation I’ve been known to do the class for them and all they pay for is the state fees and if needed I’ll even furnish them ammo and a gun to qualify with.

It’s a lucky man/woman who gets to a point in their lives when money is no longer the key consideration in what we do or how we do it.


As a new CCW EDC, you are going to feel a sense of power. It’s just natural. It may be coupled with a sense of fear and anxiety. You will find yourself wondering if anyone notices your CCW (90% won’t because the are in Code White all the time). You may find yourself to be hyper vigilant seeking for signs of Bad Guy behavior. You will be self conscious because you are carrying a firearm. You will probably give into the urge to brush your hand against it because it is a new experience to CCW.

And, after a while, with proper training and experience, you will develop good habits. You will be able to recognize other citizens carrying. You will be able to recognize CCW noobs as well as old hands. Your carry rig will become natural so you won’t give out “tells” that your are carrying. You will CCW with a clear mind and confidence in your actions.

You are entering a new world where you and others accept responsibility as the “First Responder” to your personal crisis. Read all that you have time for to educate yourself on all things CCW. Accept that you will always be learning about better ways to CCW. A little humility can lead to gaining great knowledge.

Finally, the idea of having a gun at your side is defense.Never being in a situation where you have to defend your life with a gun while making every effort to avoid those situations is the best type of defense. Protect life, not things. Things are replaceable, lives are not.

Douglas “Gunny” Cochran


On the specific question of what advice I would give, if you are a noob to firearms DO NOT buy a gun without talking to another experienced, trusted shooter. Even a Friend of a Friend works.

If they have already bought the gun, I would advise them to keep it in the case locked securely until I or another Gun Guy or Gun Gal can walk them thru the safety rules and teach them to safely unload show clear, disassemble, reassemble, and load (with dummy rounds) before any live fire is done.

Douglas “Gunny” Cochran


I see that a lot with new carriers!

I’d go a step further to say don’t buy it without shooting it or shooting one very, very similar to it. I’ve got some friends who swear by their Glocks, but I’m a terrible shot with them. (I’m sure I’d be better now if I tried a Glock, but my first experiences with Glocks weren’t as good as they were with other guns.)


The Glock trigger is just so foreign to me after the 1911 and the M9 in the Marine Corps and then a Python as my CCW I cannot adjust to the “trigger nipple”.

Not hating on Glocks, they just feel weird.

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Yup - I don’t hate on Glock, but I do rib a few Glock-lovers here and they rib me for being a Sig-girl. :wink:

Thank you for your service, Douglas!


I’m with you, I don’t hate Glocks they’re just not for me.

When I was looking at my HK P2000SK the guy tried to convince me to get a Glock 19. Took both into the range, the Glock had a FTF every 3 rounds, the HK no issue. Plus ergonomically the HK felt better in my hand.

My M&P Shield was great until I developed dupuytren’s contracture, now it’s uncomfortable to shoot, after 20 rounds my hand hurts like hell. No issue with my M&P 2.0c or the HK.

I highly recommend shooting before you buy, and I’m not talking one or two rounds, shoot a few magazines worth to truly get a feel for the gun.

I won’t mention that on one of our hottest days here last year that a buddy’s Glock deformed in the sun


I’d go one further and say don’t buy any particular make or model without first getting some range time with the same model either going to a range that rents them or finding a friend who has a similar model that will let you shoot it.

Some guns just melt into you hand like they grew there, some will always feel like you’re swinging 4x4 post. Everyone’s hands wrists, arms, and body mechanics are different so find the right fit before laying out the dollars.

Mistakes on firearms purchases are expensive and you’ll almost never get close to getting your money back when you trade one off.


Hey Broph, it may be worth considering that it’s not about if you like glocks… i never have this problem with any glock, so maybe it’s that the glocks don’t like you :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
JUST KIDDING :laughing:

Ok so I’ve lived in Palm Springs… on a day like that its 125 degrees on the shade… can’t even imagine what temp a black gun in the sun reaches. :hot_face:
But it could be worse… he could have had a metal gun and permanently branded the back strap into his palm :scream:

LOL @Zee - it was quite comical to see the look on his face.

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The only real advantage I can think of for polymer over metal receivers is that they never get as hot or stay as hot as metal receivers.

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Weight. For those of us who are in the gender where our strength is in our legs not our arms, lighter is HUGE. Controlling the recoil of a lighter gun is far easier to master than stabilizing the arms-length weight of a heavy gun.

True, there’s some weight savings but that can also be achieved with lighter alloys like aluminum and titatium along with selective milling to reduce excess metal.

The big advantage for the gun makers is that polymer is dirt cheap, metal and milling are both expensive as is the additional labor required.

My brother ran custom 1911’s for years that had aluminum frames, aluminum slides, and titanium sleeves on all of the heavy wear points and those things were ridiculously light but insanely expensive.

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Just going to go with this:
(Lighter + I can afford it) > (super light + I can’t afford it)
And also this:
(Reliable with millions of rounds of evidence) > (custom cool but unknown reliability)
Glocketty glock glock Canik :grin: and my hubby can shoot the heavies.


As a friend of mine once put it, “A Glock is like a cheap hammer, it’s cheap, and will do exactly what it’s intended to do every time. A 1911 is not only functional art, it is a true masterpiece”.

Pretty accurate.

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