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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This was the article in my March newsletter which I send to my former students. Thought I would post it here since it appears there a few people here who are new to shooting.
TIPS AND TRAPS

As a Firearms Instructor, one the rewards I recieve when working with someone new to shooting is the satisfaction of knowing I helped someone become more skilled with a handgun than before we started the lesson. But before that can happen the student must venture into the world of guns. A gun store can be intimidating for a novice shooter. The selection of guns can be overwhelming. Revolver or semi-auto? Single action, single/ double action or double action only. Full size, compact or sub-compact?. And to further complicate the process, you must choose a caliber and brand. All of those choices are enough to discourage the search before it even begins.

Let me help with some tips and traps to avoid when making a selection.

DON’T LET SOMEONE CHOOSE A GUN FOR YOU
This is a very common mistake. We allow someone with supposedly more knowledge and experience to “help” choose a firearm for us. Just because “your helper” uses Brand X model 1 doesn’t mean that handgun will be right for you. The Tip here is to decide, on your own, what you want to use the firearm for; home defense, conceal carry, competition or hunting (yes, some people do hunt with a handgun). Once you have made
that decision, it’s time to head out to the local gun store. Or you can hire my “super nosed” Beagle to make the selection for you.


THE LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT USES………..
“If it’s good enough for the local police or sheriff’s department, it should be the right gun for me”. I have heard this on more than one occasion. Recently a student said to me, “I understand that Polk County Sheriff and Lakeland PD use the Glock model 22”. “I think that is the gun I want to buy”. I asked him a few questions about his impending purchase: 1-have you ever held a Glock 22 and does it fit your hand? 2- have you ever shot a handgun chambered in 40 S&W? 3- Are you planning to conceal carry this handgun? You get the point. TIP: Police departments adopt a handgun based on a specific set of criteria and that criteria may not be applicable to
Civilians.

I FOUND A GREAT DEAL ON…………..
Making a purchase based on the lowest price cannot be the sole criteria for selecting a handgun. I am not suggesting that throwing caution to the wind and purchasing a $1000 handgun is wise either. Selecting a handgun
which fits your hand is more important than price. Are the controls easy to manipulate? How does the sight picture react when you pull the trigger? Let’s face it, if you can’t operate the gun safely and shoot accurately
you won’t use it. So what ever you saved on the “great deal at the gun show”, just became a paperweight if you don’t shoot with it. TIP: Pick up and handle several guns in your price range, look down the sights, pull the trigger and operate the controls.

I GREW UP SHOOTING A ………….
Many folks shoot a gun for the first time as a youngin’. Often times that first shooting experience is a small caliber rifle or handgun. In terms of the handgun, a .22 rim-fire pistol is much different in feel and felt recoil
than major caliber handguns. Those early shooting experiences can lead to a feeling of confidence years later when you return to shooting handguns. However, over time things change. Your ability to grip a handgun,
eye sight, strength , reasoning and life experience’s all change one’s perspective. Each of these life progressions has an influence on the handgun an individual selects. TIP: Build on that first shooting experience to aid in
selecting a gun which is right. If that first “shoot” involved a revolver, begin your search at the revolver counter and move on from there.

I READ ON THE INTERNET…………
A shocking reality is the” the net” is filled with tons and tons of information. Some good and some bad. Sifting through the avalanche of sometimes conflicting and contradictory information found on the internet is daunting at best. Many internet gun forums are sponsored or related to gun manufacturer’s. The flow of un-biased information is sometimes cloaked by the “brand-specific bias” discussed by the posting members of that board(this does not apply to anyone at Glock Forum;)). TIP: Never use one source of information for decision making. Nothing replaces good ole word of mouth – face to face- discussions. So talk to people you know who are gun people. Books have been a source of credible information for years and should not be discounted as a way to pursue specific subject related data today. Visit a gun club in your area. Many clubs allow non-members to attend meetings and events which can be a valuable source of information recon for you.

EVENTS
Don’t forget the Ladies Day event at Central Florida Rifle and Pistol Club is Saturday March 10. Cost is $10, no experience or gun is necessary. Pre-registration is required. I will be one of the Instructors at the handgun area, so stop by and say “HI”. Here is the link. Ladies Day
 
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