Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

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fishmonger
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Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by fishmonger »

Hopefully this doesn't violate any forum rules. Each year I find a different hobby or task to take on, something that I've been interested in or wanted to learn. Kind of a more practical way to approach resolutions. This year I'd like to learn how to shoot - not only for sport, but possibly to hunt next fall.

Any recommendations on where to begin? We have a local, pretty substantial Fish and Game that has multiple ranges and offers NRA courses/instructors. Was planning to start there.

Any tips would be appreciated!
OldBallCoach
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by OldBallCoach »

I would start with the cerrified instructor..do NOT buy any weapons until after you take a class and find what best serves your needs. Be prepared for sticker shock on current ammo prices...take your time, study the laws, learn how to handle the weapon safely and enjoy.
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Raymond
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Raymond »

I would start with the local range that you mentioned. Take their firearms safety courses, as well as your state's hunter safety course.
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Sidney
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Sidney »

OldBallCoach wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 10:11 am I would start with the cerrified instructor..do NOT buy any weapons until after you take a class and find what best serves your needs. Be prepared for sticker shock on current ammo prices...take your time, study the laws, learn how to handle the weapon safely and enjoy.
Second this. Years ago when I first was taught firearms, we didn't fire a single shot until the third or fourth lesson, I think. A lot of basics about different weapons (handguns, shotguns, rifles) even down into the weeds on how rifling works and why they have such long range; breaking down and cleaning; safety ....
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Sandtrap »

fishmonger wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 10:05 am Hopefully this doesn't violate any forum rules. Each year I find a different hobby or task to take on, something that I've been interested in or wanted to learn. Kind of a more practical way to approach resolutions. This year I'd like to learn how to shoot - not only for sport, but possibly to hunt next fall.

Any recommendations on where to begin? We have a local, pretty substantial Fish and Game that has multiple ranges and offers NRA courses/instructors. Was planning to start there.

Any tips would be appreciated!
*As a consumer product and course and training suggestion per forum guidelines and moderations:

Hobby/Sport Pistol.
Ruger .22 rimfire for pistol shooting.
There are matches if one wants to get into this. NRA Bullseye competition, etc. The Olympics use the same caliber.
Ammo is relatively inexpensive though lately for various reasons, all ammo is high priced and getting harder to find.
https://ruger.com/products/markIV/overview.html
If you use a Ruger 22/45, you can also move to a .45 911 style pistol for NRA rimfire and center fire bullseye comp.
(If you buy cheap you will regret it).
Highly suggest course and training programs at the local range from beginner to advanced. Do get licensed if needed, etc.

Rifle: sport/target/competition
Depends on your sport and whether IE: long range rifle match competition or hunt (and hunt what to eat?).
So, consider the correct tool, a firearm is a tool (a thing an object), for what you want to do.
IE: Long range target competition (Camp Pendleton), then gear up for that and devote lots of practice and money toward it.
IE: Extreme long range target competition at 1000+ yards, then gear up for that.
As above, one can start with a quality .22 rimfire rifle to hone skills, etc.
Etc.


All of the above:
1
It is easy and exciting to go on a research, thinking dreaming, buying spree in all the above and get caught up in all the gear and types of scopes and all that and spend huge sums of money. But, 99% of the above happens in the skillsets and in honing one's ability to focus, calm down, etc. The best shooters at competitions do not appear to be excited, fidgity, nervous, and eager. On the contrary, they look bored, moved slow when needed, and are very calm and deliberate.
2
Sign up for a x week course at the local range, try out various rented "tools". Don't buy anything. Get educated and trained first.
Many decide that it is not for them. Or buy tons of stuff on a binge and it ends up sitting in the safe.

Did NRA Bullseye, IPSC, and IDPA competition for decades, etc, etc.
Do not hunt.
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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flyfishers83
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by flyfishers83 »

Definitely find some courses, especially so if you don't have somebody trusted to show you the ropes. I'd also recommend just swinging by a range a couple of times. It can be intimidating for beginners, so better to have a feel before you show up. I personally really dislike range shooting. I grew up shooting outside without a formal range. So that's what I like to do. As others mentioned, definitely easier to start small. .22 pistol and rifle. Also would be helpful to decide what draws you. Is it the precision, craftsmanship, concentration, or something else.

Personally, I much prefer shotgun sports. I find high quality shotguns to be more like art. Beautiful wood, engraving, etc.

This thread makes me want to swing down to our little trap range and shoot some trap. It's deer season, so I'll leave the woods alone for a bit.
conservativeinvestor
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by conservativeinvestor »

This is the worst time to get into shooting you could have picked. Ammo is expensive and incredibly hard to find. The good news is for hunting you won't need many rounds, a box to get your chosen firearm sighted in and a box for hunting should be all you need. Some hunters can make a single box of ammo last for a few years worth of hunting trips.

If you want to hunt and shoot recreationally ammo is going to be the limiting factor, this is worse than 1994 and 2008 as far as ammo availability and cost.

Do you know anyone who could take you along as a guest to shoot? You could bring your own ammo or offer to pay them for theirs, in the before times i would have let my guest shoot my ammo for free. I've introduced a number of people this way, including a few coworkers. It's much less intimidating to go along with someone who already is comfortable and knows the range you will be using.

Pay attention at work a lot of coworkers won't talk openly about shooting depending on where you live and type of job but if you pay attention maybe you can find a coworker you could tag along with if you are friendly with them and mention you are interested. Most firearms owners are willing to introduce new people to the hobby.
Bajadoc
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Bajadoc »

Start by taking an NRA basic safety course. From there you can arrange, through the instructor, a supervised practice shooting session. This will introduce you to basic firearm safety and weapon handling. You can then decide if taking on the responsibility of owning a firearm is right for you. If you decide to purchase a firearm arrange another supervised shooting session with the weapon you purchased. Once you are confident with your gun handling skills you can visit the range every once in a while for practice. You will soon become a crack shot gunslinger.
montanagirl
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by montanagirl »

I started with a women's handgun course, though there was a similar general class for getting a concealed carry permit which taught the same thing and was mostly men.

But I made the mistake of buying a revolver at the outset and found i couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it. When I switched to a Glock and practiced dry firing I got pretty good. Also took an intermediate class then took part in practical shooting practice and competition.

It was all very fun but even with two layers of protection I worried that my hearing was suffering after decades in the music business already do pretty much gave it up.

But I think the gun handling skills will stick with me.
RedDog
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by RedDog »

At some point, you may want to consider reloading your own ammunition. It’s an interesting hobby in itself and can be economical to boot.
suemarkp
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by suemarkp »

Also read your state laws regarding firearms (typically it is in the criminal section and they list all of the possible problems such as possession in the wrong places, age requirements, whether you need a permit or card to possess any firearm, transport methods that are illegal, transfer (buy/sell) restrictions, ...). Some rules are in other places (e.g. in WA a rule not allowing loaded rifles or shotguns in vehicles is in the fish and game section and not the criminal section).

Some states are draconian, others are very nice. Decide where you want to focus as there are multiple forks in the road -- handgun, rifle, and shotgun. You can also parallel those with muzzle loading / black powder arms (which in most states are not firearms and have more relaxed rules) and air guns (even more relaxed than black powder arms).

Safety is fundamental to all of them, and many of the rules are the same (never point the muzzle at anything you're not willing to shoot). Some things are unique (like how do you unload a muzzle loader besides shooting it). Good safety courses will cover a wide variety of weapons. Some people may learn with a semi auto pistol that has a magazine safety (e.g. it won't fire with a round in the chamber and the magazine removed) and think they are all like that. But most handguns do NOT have that feature and it is critical to know this.
Mark | Somewhere in WA State
makeitcount
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by makeitcount »

I have enjoyed the last ~30 years of annual hunting trips with my father and also my grandfather for a portion of those. I think it can be a great hobby to add to one's appreciation of nature if done conscientiously.
As mentioned up thread, start small (e.g. .22s) and remember that safety is key. There are no "do-overs" once you pull the trigger.
flyingaway
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by flyingaway »

Several years ago, my wife and I took a beginner's course at a local range. Unfortunately, the instructor did not show up and they put up a substitute who showed us a plastic handgun and a few tricks. I remember that he said that we should not place our fingers on the trigger when we hold a gun. Then we fired a few shots with two handguns at the range.

But I still don't know how to load a handgun. I wish they taught me more than the basics. I don't know if I should buy a gun first, then practice at a range, or I should take more courses and learn how to handle the guns. But I felt that the course that I mentioned above was not a serious one and my money was not well spent.
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vanbogle59
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by vanbogle59 »

flyingaway wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 3:29 pm Several years ago, my wife and I took a beginner's course at a local range. Unfortunately, the instructor did not show up and they put up a substitute who showed us a plastic handgun and a few tricks. I remember that he said that we should not place our fingers on the trigger when we hold a gun. Then we fired a few shots with two handguns at the range.

But I still don't know how to load a handgun. I wish they taught me more than the basics. I don't know if I should buy a gun first, then practice at a range, or I should take more courses and learn how to handle the guns. But I felt that the course that I mentioned above was not a serious one and my money was not well spent.
That sounds horrible.
All I can say is you went to the wrong range. Some (most?) are run much more professionally. You can usually tell in the first 5 min.
I have had wonderful experiences (very safe, very thorough) finding courses to introduce my wife and my son.
Intro courses should be very heavy on safety and procedure. NOT "tricks".
I suggest trying again someplace else.
MAKsdad
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by MAKsdad »

Good advice throughout here.

I would also suggest that you not ignore shotgun sports. Personally, I find skeet/trap/general clay pigeon shooting to be a lot more fun that shooting a rifle at a range. Plenty of hunting opportunities with shotguns too (maybe turkey or duck calling can be your next hobby/resolution to dovetail with this one).
malabargold
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by malabargold »

Consider sporting clays/shotguns.

Shooting moving targets is infinitely more interesting and
varied than anything pistol and rifle marksmanship has to offer.
Opinika
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Opinika »

NRA marksmanship courses are the gold standard. That's what I started with and then sent my kids to.

Your local gun range will be your best resource. Choose your mentors carefully, but you should choose one. Lots of retired military and LEO's to partner with. They love to teach.

Shooting sports inevitably get wrapped up in politics to some extent. That's probably as it should be.

It also gets wrapped up in culture. Notice in the above comments the palpable tension between shot gunners and pistol /rifle shooters. It's a very real phenomenon. When I was at the gun club I didn't even know the names of people on "the other team."

Of course nobody can stand the black powder people. They're just wierd. :D
Atilla
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Atilla »

If you're talking rifles, can't go wrong with a Ruger 10/22 for a start. My oldest one I've had going on 40 years and thousands of rounds. It still shoots like new.

If you're talking beginners handgun, Browning Buck Mark .22 is an excellent choice. Dead reliable, will last longer than you if cared for.
Last edited by Atilla on Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TierArtz
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by TierArtz »

Safety first - take firearm handling and hunter safety courses.

As for shooting, consider starting as many mid-western kids do: With an air-rifle. Midwayusa.com has a wide selection: https://www.midwayusa.com/air-rifles/br ... &cid=23173 That assumes, of course, that you have a yard to practice in and shooting is allowed where you live. I personally only buy air-rifles made in the USA, Germany, Sweden, or England. Those cost a few multiples of a good firearm hunting rifle. Air-rifles are not technically firearms and the best are used in international competitions (in AZ and UT). The most powerful can be used to take large game, such as Elk, depending on state laws.

Even now, I shoot air-rifles more often than I shoot any of my myriad firearms. I don't have to drive anywhere, and the ammunition is much cheaper. Except for not having recoil to manage, the techniques you practice with an air-rifle can be applied to hunting firearms.

If I ever buy my kids a first firearm (vs each one inheriting a dozen), a Henry brand rim-fire rifle would be my first choice. When ready for hunting (assuming larger game), buy a center-fire rifle from their offerings.

As for ammo, Midwayusa is also a good source. I've found other retailers by using Ammoseek.com.

If you were thinking of shotgun hunting, most of the above still applies.

Good luck; be safe; and have fun!
TN_Boy
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by TN_Boy »

malabargold wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 3:50 pm Consider sporting clays/shotguns.

Shooting moving targets is infinitely more interesting and
varied than anything pistol and rifle marksmanship has to offer.
More interesting to you :-)

There are various types of pistol and rifle shooting, some of them more dynamic than others.

That said, yes, if interested in the shooting sports, definitely look into the shotgun options.
SmallSaver
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by SmallSaver »

Depends on the kind of shooting you want to do. I taught myself to shoot a hunting rifle and got a lot of mileage from reading the classic hunting writers - Jack O'Connor (hunter's shooting guide), Craig Boddington (shots at big game), Wayne Van Zwoll (hunters guide to accurate shooting). They start to repeat after a while since the basics are pretty straightforward and simple. Also, be sure to buy a good .22 or similar, you'll never shoot a hunting rifle enough to get good.

I don't have any experience with self defense or "tactical" shooting, but from what I understand hands-on instruction is more important for these.

And of course get some instruction on basic safety and range etiquette. I had friends who could show me this stuff, but if that's not the case for you I'd get some training.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by TN_Boy »

montanagirl wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:11 pm I started with a women's handgun course, though there was a similar general class for getting a concealed carry permit which taught the same thing and was mostly men.

But I made the mistake of buying a revolver at the outset and found i couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it. When I switched to a Glock and practiced dry firing I got pretty good. Also took an intermediate class then took part in practical shooting practice and competition.

It was all very fun but even with two layers of protection I worried that my hearing was suffering after decades in the music business already do pretty much gave it up.

But I think the gun handling skills will stick with me.
As I recall, the 1980s is when police departments switched over to semi-autos from revolvers. This was driven by a desire for higher-capacity firearms, but in fact, just about everybody I know shoots a semi-auto better than a revolver. The double-action pull on a revolver tends to be long and heavy, and the physical grip shape and balance of a semi-auto works better for most people.

You are wise to wear plugs and muffs -- that's what I do, even when shooting outside. I avoid inside ranges whenever possible due to the noise.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

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Sandtrap
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Sandtrap »

Opinika wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:14 pm NRA marksmanship courses are the gold standard. That's what I started with and then sent my kids to.

Your local gun range will be your best resource. Choose your mentors carefully, but you should choose one. Lots of retired military and LEO's to partner with. They love to teach.

Shooting sports inevitably get wrapped up in politics to some extent. That's probably as it should be.

It also gets wrapped up in culture. Notice in the above comments the palpable tension between shot gunners and pistol /rifle shooters. It's a very real phenomenon. When I was at the gun club I didn't even know the names of people on "the other team."

Of course nobody can stand the black powder people. They're just wierd. :D
+1
The NRA safety courses are excellent.
Most retired LEO have outstanding safety protocols.
j :D
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TN_Boy
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by TN_Boy »

flyfishers83 wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 10:59 am Definitely find some courses, especially so if you don't have somebody trusted to show you the ropes. I'd also recommend just swinging by a range a couple of times. It can be intimidating for beginners, so better to have a feel before you show up. I personally really dislike range shooting. I grew up shooting outside without a formal range. So that's what I like to do. As others mentioned, definitely easier to start small. .22 pistol and rifle. Also would be helpful to decide what draws you. Is it the precision, craftsmanship, concentration, or something else.

Personally, I much prefer shotgun sports. I find high quality shotguns to be more like art. Beautiful wood, engraving, etc.

This thread makes me want to swing down to our little trap range and shoot some trap. It's deer season, so I'll leave the woods alone for a bit.
Well, the thing about not using a formal shooting range is that you need a place where you know *exactly* where the bullets go and you *know* that there is zero chance a person is downrange out of sight. Some people are not as careful about that as they should be (I'm sure you were careful). You also need to understand how far bullets will go and what they will go through.

Unfortunately, some shooters do things like take trash out into the wilderness, shoot at it, and then leave it there. We have that problem at some ranges -- people don't clean up after themselves.
1moreyr
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by 1moreyr »

conservativeinvestor wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:13 am This is the worst time to get into shooting you could have picked. Ammo is expensive and incredibly hard to find. The good news is for hunting you won't need many rounds, a box to get your chosen firearm sighted in and a box for hunting should be all you need. Some hunters can make a single box of ammo last for a few years worth of hunting trips.
Ammo is getting to be more available, i just found my mom 1000 rounds of 38 special for her revolver. it is twice the price of 2 years ago but available. truth be told , the price was the lowest in the last decade prior to covid. a lot of people felt they needed firearms in that time frame. (not going there). $25 per box of 50 is high for 9mm vs $10/box it was but so it everything else we are buying lately.

ammo has always been variable based on the political climate. when the price comes down "buy it cheap and stack it deep!" for times like this.
if you are in a state that will allow shipments to your home , there are plenty of online shippers. nor real deals however, PM me if all else fails.

I am 58 and find more pleasure in handguns now. As my eyes go to progressive lenses I can't do rifles without a scope. As most of my rifles are collectable military rifles from WWII, it would be a crime to mount a scope and ruin their originality.

i find revolvers fun for people new to the sport. it is more intuitive as you can see the parts turn.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Here’s some advice:
1) take the state sponsored hunting courses. They will emphasize safety first!
2) Always assume the firearm is loaded. Treat it as such!!
3) Never point the barrel of the tool at an object, person or thing you do not wish serious damage upon, yes it is a tool first and weapon second. Handle it in the appropriate manner.
4) Once fired, the projectile can not be stopped. Know your target and what is beyond and your surroundings.
5) If hunting, learn how to read the land and its occupants - trails, signs, food and drinking sources. Wear blaze orange. They’ll go over this in the hunter safety course. You’ll learn as you spend more time out in the field.
6) Don’t buy a particular model/caliber before you understand what action you want the tool to perform, what the underlying ballistics of the round are and the effects out in the field (short-action vs. long action, distance of target, weight, trajectory of round, sighting in) In hunting what’s most important is shot placement. You can have the most expensive firearm, the high-end latest and greatest cartridge, the best boots and clothes, means nothing if your aim is poor. There are some fine firearms out there that are “used” but perform well when you need it to without breaking the bank.
7) Learn how to clean, lubricate and maintain the firearm. Get a hold of the owners manual and read it.
8) Read - start reading about hunting, shotgun - rifled barrel and smooth bore, single shot, side by side, over and under, pump, semi-auto, size - 12,16,20 are most common. Rounds - sabot (rifled barrel), smooth (rifled slugs), shot. Rifle- bolt action, semi automatic, lever action (for the John Wayne fans).
9) Craig Boddington has written plenty about hunting. AmericanHunter.org another source.
10) Learn game anatomy. If you don’t know what lies beneath the target, how can you ensure a quick, clean put-down with no suffering?
Be safe. Have fun.
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Thu Nov 04, 2021 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TN_Boy
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by TN_Boy »

RedDog wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:15 pm At some point, you may want to consider reloading your own ammunition. It’s an interesting hobby in itself and can be economical to boot.
Reloading is fun, but I don't think it costs out for most people unless they are shooting quite a bit. And there is a definite learning curve.
MadHungarian
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by MadHungarian »

"Shooting Beginner" ?

Don't shoot the beginner!

Or maybe you could try shooting things with a Canon instead...
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

TN_Boy wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:58 pm
RedDog wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:15 pm At some point, you may want to consider reloading your own ammunition. It’s an interesting hobby in itself and can be economical to boot.
Reloading is fun, but I don't think it costs out for most people unless they are shooting quite a bit. And there is a definite learning curve.
There are some rounds that are getting harder to find and/or are just too expensive to buy. Reloading might be cost-effective there.
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TN_Boy
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by TN_Boy »

suemarkp wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:02 pm Also read your state laws regarding firearms (typically it is in the criminal section and they list all of the possible problems such as possession in the wrong places, age requirements, whether you need a permit or card to possess any firearm, transport methods that are illegal, transfer (buy/sell) restrictions, ...). Some rules are in other places (e.g. in WA a rule not allowing loaded rifles or shotguns in vehicles is in the fish and game section and not the criminal section).

Some states are draconian, others are very nice. Decide where you want to focus as there are multiple forks in the road -- handgun, rifle, and shotgun. You can also parallel those with muzzle loading / black powder arms (which in most states are not firearms and have more relaxed rules) and air guns (even more relaxed than black powder arms).

Safety is fundamental to all of them, and many of the rules are the same (never point the muzzle at anything you're not willing to shoot). Some things are unique (like how do you unload a muzzle loader besides shooting it). Good safety courses will cover a wide variety of weapons. Some people may learn with a semi auto pistol that has a magazine safety (e.g. it won't fire with a round in the chamber and the magazine removed) and think they are all like that. But most handguns do NOT have that feature and it is critical to know this.
Good thing to point out -- it is much more difficult to own a gun in some states.

One comment about the safety rules, they are simple but must be always followed. They are also overlapping (I think some beginners don't quite get this). You have to break multiple rules to shoot someone accidentally. That's the idea.

The people I see that worry me are beginners who have not really assimilated the point of the safety rules, and very experienced shooters who are sure they don't make safety mistakes ....
TN_Boy
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by TN_Boy »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 5:01 pm
TN_Boy wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:58 pm
RedDog wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:15 pm At some point, you may want to consider reloading your own ammunition. It’s an interesting hobby in itself and can be economical to boot.
Reloading is fun, but I don't think it costs out for most people unless they are shooting quite a bit. And there is a definite learning curve.
There are some rounds that are getting harder to find and/or are just too expensive to buy. Reloading might be cost-effective there.
What are some examples? I've mostly shot the common calibers like .45 and 9mm. I only reloaded .45 (5k to 10k rounds of this a year) but never bothered to reload 9mm because I could (at the time) get it fairly cheap and I didn't put anywhere near that many 9s downrange. For the .45 reloading I had to pay for a progressive press, case feeder, etc etc. That's a lot more expensive than a non-progressive setup.

I'd probably argue that you not start with a hard to find or very expensive round right now .... plenty of good choices in handgun calibers. For rifles, unless you have specific hunting needs I'd think it easy to stick with .223, .308, etc.

No idea what the current shotgun ammo situation looks like.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

Trap shooting ranges may offer courses. Skeet shooting ranges may also offer courses. Both involve shooting clay targets, but they are different sports.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by whodidntante »

I suggest shooting trap to start. Join a league if you can. It will push you to keep at it. After you have some comfort with the gun, mix in some skeet, five stand, and sporting clays. Sporting clays is pretty much simulated hunting.

Never point a gun at anything that you do not want dead.
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whodidntante
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by whodidntante »

conservativeinvestor wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:13 am This is the worst time to get into shooting you could have picked. Ammo is expensive and incredibly hard to find. The good news is for hunting you won't need many rounds, a box to get your chosen firearm sighted in and a box for hunting should be all you need. Some hunters can make a single box of ammo last for a few years worth of hunting trips.
If I happen to be a store I will cruise the ammo section to pick up anything I need that happens to be in stock, but I've stopped driving all over town on an ammo run. I buy 90% of my ammo online now, and I've even sold a case of 9mm ammo I had that I wasn't interested in putting through a gun anytime soon. The insane prices also work when you sell.
conservativeinvestor wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:13 am Pay attention at work a lot of coworkers won't talk openly about shooting depending on where you live and type of job but if you pay attention maybe you can find a coworker you could tag along with if you are friendly with them and mention you are interested. Most firearms owners are willing to introduce new people to the hobby.
Agree with this. Although some of my coworkers seem to be gun nuts, and they talk about it way more than I want them to. LOL
SmallSaver
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by SmallSaver »

whodidntante wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 5:33 pm
conservativeinvestor wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:13 am This is the worst time to get into shooting you could have picked. Ammo is expensive and incredibly hard to find. The good news is for hunting you won't need many rounds, a box to get your chosen firearm sighted in and a box for hunting should be all you need. Some hunters can make a single box of ammo last for a few years worth of hunting trips.
If I happen to be a store I will cruise the ammo section to pick up anything I need that happens to be in stock, but I've stopped driving all over town on an ammo run. I buy 90% of my ammo online now, and I've even sold a case of 9mm ammo I had that I wasn't interested in putting through a gun anytime soon. The insane prices also work when you sell.
conservativeinvestor wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:13 am Pay attention at work a lot of coworkers won't talk openly about shooting depending on where you live and type of job but if you pay attention maybe you can find a coworker you could tag along with if you are friendly with them and mention you are interested. Most firearms owners are willing to introduce new people to the hobby.
Agree with this. Although some of my coworkers seem to be gun nuts, and they talk about it way more than I want them to. LOL
Yeah, but we're this close to figuring out what the best self-defense caliber is, or if .270 is enough for elk.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

SmallSaver wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 5:36 pm
whodidntante wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 5:33 pm
conservativeinvestor wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:13 am This is the worst time to get into shooting you could have picked. Ammo is expensive and incredibly hard to find. The good news is for hunting you won't need many rounds, a box to get your chosen firearm sighted in and a box for hunting should be all you need. Some hunters can make a single box of ammo last for a few years worth of hunting trips.
If I happen to be a store I will cruise the ammo section to pick up anything I need that happens to be in stock, but I've stopped driving all over town on an ammo run. I buy 90% of my ammo online now, and I've even sold a case of 9mm ammo I had that I wasn't interested in putting through a gun anytime soon. The insane prices also work when you sell.
conservativeinvestor wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:13 am Pay attention at work a lot of coworkers won't talk openly about shooting depending on where you live and type of job but if you pay attention maybe you can find a coworker you could tag along with if you are friendly with them and mention you are interested. Most firearms owners are willing to introduce new people to the hobby.
Agree with this. Although some of my coworkers seem to be gun nuts, and they talk about it way more than I want them to. LOL
Yeah, but we're this close to figuring out what the best self-defense caliber is, or if .270 is enough for elk.
This says the .270 is a recommended caliber for elk. https://www.fieldandstream.com/12-best- ... k-hunting/
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by csmath »

TierArtz wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:28 pm Safety first - take firearm handling and hunter safety courses.

As for shooting, consider starting as many mid-western kids do: With an air-rifle. Midwayusa.com has a wide selection: https://www.midwayusa.com/air-rifles/br ... &cid=23173 That assumes, of course, that you have a yard to practice in and shooting is allowed where you live. I personally only buy air-rifles made in the USA, Germany, Sweden, or England. Those cost a few multiples of a good firearm hunting rifle. Air-rifles are not technically firearms and the best are used in international competitions (in AZ and UT). The most powerful can be used to take large game, such as Elk, depending on state laws.
Airguns are a reasonable suggestion and they are nothing like how most adults remember them. PCP was a game changer. However, regarding the part I highlighted in red above, Illinois would like a word with you. https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/i ... ActID=1657
"Firearm" means any device, by whatever name known, which is designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas or escape of gas; excluding, however:
(1) any pneumatic gun, spring gun, paint ball gun, or B-B gun which expels a single globular projectile not exceeding .18 inch in diameter or which has a maximum muzzle velocity of less than 700 feet per second;
To be clear, in Illinois, A .50 caliber PCP air rifle shooting at 699 fps capable of taking down an elephant or buffalo... not a firearm. A .22 caliber spring powered rifle shooting at 710 fps... firearm. No further comment.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Sandtrap »

MadHungarian wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:58 pm "Shooting Beginner" ?

Don't shoot the beginner!

Or maybe you could try shooting things with a Canon instead...
+1
In retirement, DW and I prefer to “shoot” with a pair of Canon 5DmkIV w/a set of “L” lenses.

OP
Try photography if the shooting thing doesn’t work out. You can do it neatly anywhere at any time.
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40 Years' Gatherin's
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by 40 Years' Gatherin's »

Whether you want to learn to shot rifles or handguns, your first gun should be a .22 lr. It's a nice, cheap way to learn the fundamentals of shooting without breaking the bank or worrying about recoil.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by jayjayc »

Search for your state's gun forum or find its subreddit under the "State/regional subreddits" here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/CZFirearms/com ... ddit_list/

Then ask locals there what the absolute best intro course is. They should give you recommendations and also tell you which instructors to stay away from. Splurge a little on education as the best ones are more expensive.

Amazingly, there are instructors who occasionally break one of the 4 cardinal rules of gun safety. The most famous instructor in the country broke 1 during a class. That's an automatic no go from me.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Globalviewer58 »

Target practice can be a good change of pace from everyday life. I learned to shoot guns and was pretty good with a rifle. When you first have a living creature in your sight and within range you’ll find out if you are cut out for hunting. Photography is a good alternative.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by Opinika »

It's so long ago I can't remember if I started shooting .22 or air rifle first.

I remember when I was 9 y.o. we had a 50 ft range in the basement. The way the house was laid out made that possible. I remember shooting bench rest leaning on my mother's washing machine. Later on, when I got serious about the marksmanship thing, I could shoot prone, sitting or standing on the basement floor. Had a bullet trap 50' away under floodlights.

Our dogs used to hang out in the laundry room right above the bullet trap. Every shot hitting the bullet trap rang like a bell and the dogs would levitate about a foot into the air.

My mother could care less.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by mr_brightside »

check these out:

Project Appleseed

https://appleseedinfo.org

start with a .22LR rifle and go from there

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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by cashboy »

some very good advice in this thread, so no need to repeat it but i will add this:

remember this mantra anytime you come close to firearms (yours or others)

safety first

safety first

safety first

it will serve you well.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by jabberwockOG »

Visit your local range, talk to the range master. Ask if they give private lessons or if they can recommend someone that teaches. If you honestly want to be safe and effective you need to learn and train handling and using each type of weapon until it is second nature, that takes time, effort, training, and it gets expensive. "Oops" moments with firearms can irredeemably and immediately be life changing and life ending, depending on what end of the barrel you are on when they happen.

Be prepared to spend MANY times the cost of the weapon on adequate amounts of ammo as well as investing significant time and effort to learn to use the weapon safely and effectively - it needs to become automatic. Buying a few boxes of bullets and spending an hour at the range 2-3 times isn't going to cut it. People who are really serious about this stuff literally wear guns and barrels out by putting many thousands of rounds thru them. When you pull the trigger you need to be VERY sure that you will hit your target, and honestly that's just not going to happen without a lot of range and training time, especially in a stressful situation.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by csmath »

fishmonger wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 10:05 am Hopefully this doesn't violate any forum rules. Each year I find a different hobby or task to take on, something that I've been interested in or wanted to learn. Kind of a more practical way to approach resolutions. This year I'd like to learn how to shoot - not only for sport, but possibly to hunt next fall.

Any recommendations on where to begin? We have a local, pretty substantial Fish and Game that has multiple ranges and offers NRA courses/instructors. Was planning to start there.

Any tips would be appreciated!
I see a lot of good recommendations have already been made but I think a lot of responses may have veered off from what you are looking for. Can you clarify one thing please? And I'm sorry if I missed this already being asked. Have you already determined if you are interested in shooting pistol, rifle, or both?

I ask, because when someone says, "learn how to shoot", it usually means a pistol. But when you add "possibly to hunt", that is pretty long gun specific. In any case, a good class is a really good place to start. An air rifle can be pretty good practice if it is decently accurate and in most places they are legal to use on your own property, fairly quiet, and ammo (while still experiencing a shortage) is far cheaper. Depending on the caliber, FPE (foot pounds of energy), and region, they can be used hunt some species. This is a good air gun resource: https://www.airgunnation.com

For the powder burner options you have shotguns and rifles. If you do proceed to learn how to shoot and end up liking it, you will realize that firearms are like tools where different types, cartridges, lengths, and optics serve very different purposes. I'd always recommend someone learn how to use iron sights first before moving on to any other type of optics.

Also, if the responses here, including mine, are intimidating or makes shooting seem like too much of a learning curve, it isn't like that at all. Just go into it with safety in mind first, rent or borrow guns before any purchase commitments, and have fun!
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by csmath »

cashboy wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 7:49 pm some very good advice in this thread, so no need to repeat it but i will add this:

remember this mantra anytime you come close to firearms (yours or others)

safety first

safety first

safety first

it will serve you well.
And the two most important rules:
  1. All guns are loaded.
  2. Never point at anything you aren't willing to kill or destroy.
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by tm3 »

csmath wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 10:32 pm
cashboy wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 7:49 pm some very good advice in this thread, so no need to repeat it but i will add this:

remember this mantra anytime you come close to firearms (yours or others)

safety first

safety first

safety first

it will serve you well.
And the two most important rules:
  1. All guns are loaded.
  2. Never point at anything you aren't willing to kill or destroy.
Excellent.

I will add that the very first firearm safety course I took also stressed

1) Never accept a firearm from someone unless the action is open and you can see that it is empty

2) Never hand a firearm to someone without opening the action so that they can see that it is empty
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JoMoney
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Re: Shooting Beginner - Where to Start?

Post by JoMoney »

Look for a range that will allow you to rent and try different types and styles of guns.
If you're planning to hunt, look at what others who hunt that game like to use.
If you like target shooting, look for something that can use cheap and easy to find ammo.
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