Tips for first time shooters at the gun range
Ask For Help if You Need It
We all have been there before when we picked up our first hand gun. But as you immerse yourself into the gun range, and you start using different types of firearms, don’t forget that there is nothing wrong when you need to ask for help! This can go from gripping the guns too tight, bad positioning, or simply not educated enough with loading or carrying. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
For the same reason you wear a tight-collared shirt, wear proper shoes and socks. If you wear flip flops or sandals, you will get burned by a brass casing. Save your feet and the embarrassment of the “OUCH!” dance.
If you’re at an outdoor range, shoes serve all sorts of other good purposes. You’ll be in the boonies, so you’re likely to encounter snakes and bugs of all types.
Bring Cloth Tape
You know that cloth tape that sports trainers use on ankles and such? It’s a great addition to your range bag. Long shooting sessions can cause blisters on your gun hand or, if you’re doing a lot of walking to set targets, on your feet. That tape does a wonderful job of protecting damaged skin (and handling minor cuts) so you can enjoy the rest of your outing. It can also be used to hang a target if you run out of staples. Think of it as shooters’ duct tape.
You know what they say about dehydration, right? If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated and behind the curve. The worst part about dehydration is that the first thing to deteriorate is your focus and concentration. Before you even know you’re low on fluids, you’ll be less sharp and alert. That’s not good when handling a firearm. If shooting at an indoor range, take periodic breaks for a bottle of water. If going to an outdoor range, be sure to pack a cooler with plenty of drinks to keep you fresh.
Wash Your Hands
When finished shooting or taking a break, be sure you wash your hands with soap and water. Lead residue from primers and bullet dust will be on your body and you don’t want to ingest any with your food or drink. You also don’t want to touch your face, eyes or mouth with contaminated hands.
Be a Trigger Finger Fanatic
Just as you monitor your muzzle direction, watch your trigger finger. Only put it in the trigger guard when actually firing. As soon as your shots are finished, take it out. As with muzzle discipline, think about other times when your finger might slip into the trigger guard. It could happen when you’re talking to your buddy about a previous shot, loading or unloading, or doing anything else with your firearm.