Personal safety is something to consider. Anybody who shares the belief that each individual is responsible for his or her own safety realizes this. A firearm may be considered at some point as part of your defense plan. Learning to shoot a firearm, for personal protection, takes time and target practice. I recently visited an indoor shooting range for the first time. Here are a few tips from my experience.
- Take a Firearms Safety Class Before You Ever Pick Up a Gun. Before you decide to go shooting at a gun range, you should look into taking a gun safety class. I was fortunate to have experience with gun safety. I found it necessary to take this class early on because I have a family that enjoys hunting. Gun safety should always be your TOP PRIORITY!
- Pick Up Good Fitting Eye and Ear Protection Before You Visit the Range. While you can rent these at most gun ranges, you’ll want to make sure that yours fit perfectly. Ask before you go.
- Find an Instructor at Your Local Range. Let your instructor know what you expect to accomplish when you visit the range for the first time. If you are a first time shooter from a wheelchair (like me) let the instructor know prior your visit to the shooting range. This was a huge benefit for me as my instructor brought several different type of firearms for me to try. My instructor took the time to find the most appropriate grip and trigger for me.
- Develop a Consistent and Repeatable Grip on the gun. The main support hand doesn't need a vise-like grip on the gun, but the supplemental hand (the left hand for a right-handed shooter) should exert firm pressure on the grip of the gun. This however, may be adapted when you have limited hand dexterity. For me, my left hand is stronger than my right hand. I had to figure out how to hold the firearm where I had the most control.
- Expect It To Be Loud. Let me say this one more time. EXPECT IT TO BE LOUD! I had shot rifles prior my first shooting range experience. Although the rifles (outside) are loud, the concrete walls at the shooting range create an entirely different level to volume. It is LOUD! My first pull of the trigger caught me be surprise because the noise level could also be felt. Indoor shooting ranges, which are enclosed and filled with surfaces for noise to reflect off of, bounce a lot more decibels at your ears with each shot. Make sure you have proper ear protection.
- Learn How to Squeeze the Trigger. This may be a bit tricky, especially if you have limited hand dexterity. Don’t give up if you have a difficult time. Look online and research in support groups that can offer suggestions.
In my video's, you can see that I had to have additional support as a first time shooter. As the day progressed, I gained more confidence and ability. My plan is to continue practicing so I can have complete control of my firearm.
I encourage every person who takes these tips into consideration to also develop a well planned method of self protection and defense that works for you personally. Practice and don’t give up on your search for equipment and techniques. Push on and stay strong.
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The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. BMD/BMDA/0518/0662