These days, more people than ever before are getting interested in learning how to use a gun safely, which has led to a substantial flow of beginners heading to their local shooting range. Even so, some people are wondering if they’re too much of an “amateur” to enjoy the shooting range experience – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
From understanding how to hold and maneuver popular handguns to effectively shooting larger rifles, practicing at a shooting range is a great way to build your skills. Not only can the shooting range be hugely educational for beginners, but it’s also a lot of fun. Here at H&H Shooting Sports, not a day goes by that we don’t see at least a handful of new shooters come to our range. And if there’s one thing they all have in common, it’s the smile they have on their face as they’re leaving (and how quickly they plan to come back!).
So, don’t feel intimidated or unsure about your first time at the shooting range. Instead, take advantage of our useful tips for beginners, so you can walk through the door with the confidence and feel ready to take on an exciting new challenge.
Be aware of the basics of safe gun handling and shooting range rules.
For many first-timers, visiting a shooting range is considered something fun to do – but there’s also an element of seriousness to the activity. Learning the basic principles of gun safety is key, and is equally important on your first and five hundredth time in the shooting lanes.
Gun handling safety rules cover five main ideas:
- Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
- Always keep your finger off the trigger. Once you are positioned in the lane and the gun is aimed down range and is ready to fire, you can then place your finger on the trigger.
- Always be sure of your target, as well as what lies beyond it.
- Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, only aiming it at a target when you’re on the firing line and ready to shoot. Otherwise, the gun should be pointed away or holstered (depending on your gun range’s rules).
- Never fire without proper ear and eye protection.
In addition to these basic safety guidelines, most gun ranges have their own site-specific rules as well. At H&H Shooting Sports, our range rules outline our expectations for guns, ammunition, and targets brought from home, as well as the specific firing line procedure.
Visit the shooting range with an experienced friend or family member.
Typically, first-timers are required to take a training course in gun safety fundamentals before they can fire at a shooting range. But even after you’ve graduated from this basic course, it’s helpful to have someone with you that knows their way around a gun. Not only will your experience probably be more enjoyable, but you’ll also have help at the ready when needed.
For example, a seasoned shooter can recommend the best beginner handgun for you to start with, so that you aren’t stuck with a firearm that’s too difficult to work with. Additionally, they can give you handy tips for aiming and firing, plus a friendly reminder if you start to slip up on safety rules.
Start your shooting practice with a larger version of a smaller-sized pistol.
It’s easy to assume that the best beginner pistol is the smallest one because many inexperienced shooters believe that smaller guns don’t have any “kick.” Actually, little guns tend to kick much more than larger ones, making them some of the most difficult to handle.
Instead, choose a pistol that’s on the small side, but not too small. A 9mm, .22 caliber, or .38 caliber, in medium and large versions, are all excellent options for your inaugural shooting range visit.
Avoid placing your thumb on the pistol slide.
One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is putting a thumb on the top of the slide’s rear section. But when you fire, that part of the gun moves backward – putting you at risk for a painful injury. Instead, concentrate on keeping your thumbs in the correct position (on top), not resting on the slide.
Dress the part for your shooting range visit.
You might be surprised to hear that there’s a gun range dress code of sorts, but it’s all in the name of safety, not fashion. The biggest no-no is wearing open-toed shoes, so opt for a comfortable, closed-toe pair instead.
V-necks are also usually a bad idea because a funnel effect can cause the round to fall back down your shirt, especially if you’re holding the gun loosely. It can be embarrassing to have to fish rounds out of your shirt every few minutes, so consider saving the V-neck for another occasion.
Choose your shooting range wisely.
As you’d imagine, your first time at the range is something you want to be fun, stress-free, and informative – but a lot of that depends on which gun range you go to. The quality of shooting ranges in Oklahoma City can vary widely, so you never really know what you’re going to get. From overinflated prices to subpar facilities, there are plenty of ways a low-quality range can let you down.
But as long as you stick with a reputable, well-rated range – that’s H&H Shooting Sports for those of you in Oklahoma City – you’ll be well on your way to a great experience. Not only will you feel comfortable as you practice and learn, but the odds are better that you’ll also want to come back to perfect your newfound skills.
Master Your Shooting Skills at the Biggest Shooting Range in Oklahoma
When you’re ready to learn how to shoot a gun, why settle for a shooting range that’s anything less than the best? After all, wouldn’t you prefer to hone your skills in a welcoming, top-quality environment that’s known for being an Oklahoma City favorite?
H&H Shooting Sports is proud to be one of the best shooting ranges in Oklahoma City, thanks to our commitment to delivering an excellent experience for every single guest – beginning and advanced shooters alike. With 61 total shooting lanes, a well-stocked retail store, on-site café, and dozens of firearms for rent, there’s no place quite like our Oklahoma shooting range. Best of all? We don’t charge by the hour, so you can spend as much time as you’d like practicing your shot. You’ll be a seasoned shooter who knows their way around the best guns in the business in no time.
No reservations are needed, so stop by H&H Shooting Sports whenever you’re ready to practice your shooting skills. We’re open seven days a week, with shooting range lane rentals, private classes and lessons, retail shopping, and more for you to check out.
Learn an important life skill by mastering gun safety and shooting basics by visiting the shooting range at H&H Shooting Sports today!