Staying Safe on the Range and Beyond: Shooting Techniques for Beginners
Maybe someone gave you the gift of a handgun or rifle, or you are looking for the best way to introduce firearms to your children and family. Whatever your reason for getting started with shooting techniques, be sure you always keep education at the top of your to-do list. Even experienced shooters can make a dangerous mistake if they get distracted or surprised. We've pulled together the basic shooting techniques that will keep beginners (and everyone else!) safe around guns.
Guns Are Not Toys
There are some universal rules of gun safety listed below, but the most important one is to always keep in mind that even low-powered firearms can cause significant harm to people, animals or property. Guns are not toys, and these rules will help you bring perspective to your gun usage:
- Treat all guns as if they are loaded at all times
- Do not point your firearm at anything you don't wish to shoot
- Your finger should only be on the trigger when you are prepared to fire
- Keep your eyes not only on your target but on what is beyond your target as well
- Point the muzzle in a safe direction
- Remove ammunition from your firearm when you are not actively using it
If you, a friend or family member is a first-time shooter, it's also important to note that there are a variety of safety measures beyond physically handling your gun. When you're hunting in an outdoor location, especially in the woods where others might be around, be sure to wear bright colors to improve visibility. Wear adequate eye and ear protection when you're shooting as most guns can be very loud. Finally, proper maintenance is a critically important part of gun ownership. Ensure that your barrel is free of obstructions before you begin to shoot and don't modify your gun without training.
Tips for Beginners
If you haven't been taught how to hold a gun properly, this is an important question to ask your teacher. Correct stance and balance support superior aim and safety by ensuring your fingers and other body parts are out of harm's way. Your stance should be secure but not rigid, so your body is prepared to accept any recoil from the firearm. Aiming your gun is called "sighting," and different weapons will have various options to help line up your eye with the target. Finally, it's important to note that you will not be an expert the first time you pick up a gun! Practice makes perfect, and continuing your education will support your ongoing safety when hunting or shooting for sport.
At Norton Sporting Goods, we want our customers to remember that safety ALWAYS comes first. Whether you're operating a firearm for the first time on our Wildlife Range, or the hundredth, keep your mind on what you're doing and remember the number one rule of gun safety: always treat the gun as if it is loaded. Come see us today to stock up on ammunition or find your next firearm.