9 Tips for First Time Shooters


Your first time shooting a gun is an exciting experience that you’ll never forget. Although shooting is definitely something you learn by doing, you can ensure you have a great time and put some shots on target with these nine tips.

1. Remember that Safety Is What’s Most Important

Any time you’re handling a gun, safety should be your first priority. Treat the gun like it’s loaded at all times, which means never point it at yourself or anyone else. It’s smart to take a firearms safety class if you haven’t fired a gun before.

2. Get Familiar with Your Gun

Whether you own the gun or you’re renting it at the range, spend at least a few minutes handling it to get comfortable with how it works. You can insert an empty magazine, eject it, pull the slide back and get a feel for all its functions.

3. Don’t Be Shy About the Fact that You’re New

Everyone was a beginner at some point. Let staff at the range, and especially the range officers, know that it’s your first time shooting. They’ll likely be happy to help.

4. Get a Firm Grip

Your grip is important to manage the gun’s recoil, even if you’re shooting one of the lighter calibers. Your dominant hand should be gripping the gun firmly, and your nondominant hand will provide support.

5. Prepare for Some Noise

It’s going to be loud at the range. Try not to let it bother you, and remember that you can always give yourself a moment to relax before you start shooting. It often just takes a little time to adjust to the sound of gunshots.

6. Line Up Your Sights

Aiming your gun will depend on the type of gun and what aiming devices it has. With your typical pistol or rifle, there will be front and rear iron sights that you line up on your target.

7. Work on a Smooth Trigger Squeeze

The smoother your trigger squeeze is, the more accurate your shooting will be. Try to gently squeeze the trigger, moving only your trigger finger in the process.

8. Stay Focused on Each Shot

Shooting accurately requires your full concentration. Don’t rush it, because that’s when you’ll aim sloppily or jerk the gun a little at the last second. Stay calm, take your time and shoot when you’re ready.

9. Know the Range Rules

Range etiquette will be similar for each gun range, but it’s still a good idea to go over the rules before you go or when you get there. There could be certain types of ammo or guns that are prohibited, and you don’t want to inadvertently do anything wrong.