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Shooting Range Tips For Beginners

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!

By Wireshots Team / Featured NewsH&H NewsRange News / / 0 Comments

Top Ten Rental Guns

The range at H&H features over 100 different guns available for rental.  Over the years we have noticed several trends in what is most popular at the moment and what is good quality.  Remember, this list is my top 10, but I want to hear from you, if you don’t agree with my list shoot back in the comments.  I’d love to hear about something I’ve missed.

Number Ten:  The Smith and Wesson Victory 22.

Now this gun really isn’t something people ask for directly by name, but it does get rented out a lot. Now you may ask why is that?  When people come to the range and ask for something easy to start out on this my go to answer.  This gun has all the good qualities of a beginners gun – it is lightweight, easy to handle, has great iron sights, it is simple to operate and the ammo is cheap.  The S&W Victory .22 is great for experienced and new shooters alike.  It’s hard not to have a good time plinking away with a fun .22LR.

Number Nine: Glock 17 and 19

These two guns are just about the same so I’ll lump them together for simplicity.  Both guns are great options for people who have shooting experience under their belts.  Both are simple to use controls and cost effective 9mm ammo make both an easy way to test out your shooting skills.  With Glock’s overall popularity, reliability, and reputation these two guns are commonly asked for by newer shooters who know the brand name.  Take either the Glock 17 or Glock 19 out on the range and you will understand why Glock has earned its stripes.

Number Eight: Ruger 10/22

Just like the Smith & Wesson Victory, this rifle remains a favorite of shooters at all skill levels.  Its ease of use and affordable ammo make it a great recommendation to newer shooters who may be nervous about using a gun for the first time.  The low recoil and great accuracy eases anyone in to the idea of shooting.  It’s always great to have someone bring it back and get a glowing review of it!

Number Seven: Smith & Wesson 686

Now here is something people are slightly asking for.  Since Dirty Harry splashed onto the silver screen newer shooters where enthralled by the idea of a giant revolver that could “Blow your head clean off”.  The sad truth of the matter is, the Smith & Wesson 29 is too much gun for newer shooters.  But the idea of a nice, powerful revolver sticks in their heads.  Enter the 686.  This lovely revolver is a great choice for those who come in asking for a “big revolver” that wouldn’t snap their wrist in half.  The large weight of the 686 makes it a bit softer for .357 and even softer for the .38 special cartridge.  Plus shooting a wheel gun is an experience everyone should have at least once.

Number Six: Smith & Wesson Shield

Alright now we get into the guns people are really asking for.  The most popular guns for sale at the moment are compact concealed carry guns, and the shield fits the bill!  It’s slim dimensions make fore a great in the waist band gun.  In addition the tall grip makes for easy shooting.  It is most commonly rented out in 9mm but is available in .40S&W and .45 ACP.  Although this is anecdotal, I’ve never heard of a lot about it malfunctioning.  The Shield has stayed strong after 1,000’s of rounds and it seems like it still has move life in it!

Number Five: The Springfield armory 1911 mil-spec.

The true American pistol.  It’s hard to watch a World War II movie with out seeing a M1911 in a holster or in use.  The nearly 120 year old design has stood the test of time in the field’s of popularity and actual mechanical reliability.  It’s all steel construction makes for a smooth shooter.  The .45 ACP cartridge is a not exactly a beginner friendly but after just a bit of practice you’ll be slinging .45s like its second nature.  Not to mention that the 1911’s trigger has set the gold standard for a crisp triggers since it came out.  Not to mention that the grips just naturally fir to your hand.  H&H also has about 8 to choose from so take your pick!  It leaves no doubt that you have a firearm in your hand.  While H&H has this exact model, other models of 1911s are availible, such as some from Kimber and Nighthawk.

Number Four: M&P 15 sport, Smith and Wesson.

The AR in AR-15 stands for Armalite (the company that designed it) but I’m pretty sure that you could tell some people that it stands for America’s Rifle and they would believe it..  The range I used to work at has three AR-15s for rent and it’s not an uncommon site for all three of them to be out at any given time.  It is a light weight, easy to use, low recoiling, easy to shoot rifle.  It hits a perfect storm of what an average gun owner is looking for.  In a way it’s almost a successor to the Winchester 1894 in the sense of popularity and ease of use.   The ammo can be had for cheap and it’s no slouch either.  The AR-15 shows people a whole new world of rifle shooting.  It’s really something you have to understand for yourself by shooting one for yourself.  The most popular one that gets rented out is oddly enough the plain jane M&P 15 from smith and wesson.  It stands to reason that if you love the base model you’ll like any extra features.

Number Three: The glock 42/Glock 43

The concealed carry craze is no joke.   For years people have been asking glock for a single stack 9mm and they answered the call with a .380 and a 9mm.  These two guns are commonly asked for and recommended by the range staff.  So it’s no wonder why they are rented out a lot.  Glock’s simple and no nonsense approach to firearm design is evident is their compact carry design.  Thanks once again to Glock’s brand recognition, this gun is an easy choice to try out for those in the market for a carry gun.  And when the gun comes back from being rented, the reviews I get are just like it’s larger framed friends.  No failures to eject for miss feeds.  It’s simple and reliable.  What more can you ask for?

Number Two: The Sig 365

This gun is the king of the Hill.  This gun is asked for by name.  This one has people coming back to buy more ammo.  Every time it’s brought back, it comes back with glowing reviews.  For the concealed carry crowd, I’d say there’s no better option that we could rent out for you.  It has great capacity at ten+one rounds of ammo.  It’s accurate, looks good, feels great to hold and shoot.  People just can’t get enough of this little beast.  It hits all the qualities of a great pistol and at a great price too!  Not to mention it comes with all of the Sig manufacturing standards that you’ve come to expect.  Just go try it out yourself, just make sure you have a lot of money with you.  You might walk out the door with one.

Honorable mention:  Springfield Hellcat

This is an honorable mention for one reason.  We just got one for the rent rack and it is proving to be very popular.   That’s all I’ve got for you, on to number one!

Number one! The Smith and Wesson EZ Shield.

This pistol has been a gift from above!  There have no shortage of people who have just not had an easy time racking back a pistol slide, not to mention handle heavy recoil.  With a combination of light springs and the softer .380 acp, this gun is a great entry point for people who have reduced grip strength.  I’ve rented this gun out and have seen people go and purchase it.  Seeing some one who has never been able to rack a slide then be able to shoot with confidence really warms your heart.  It’s a lovely firearm that let’s just about every one have a chance at self defense!

What do you think of the list?  Maybe you could go to a range and try these guns out for yourself!

Keep it holstered while in the store!

So you’re finally going to the range, the gunsmith or you are day dreaming about buying a new LWRC rifle – whatever brings you in we are glad you went.  During your visit, we would just like to remind you of one incredibly important thing. Guns are welcome on premises (duh) however please keep ALL weapons holstered unless need arises – in such case, judicious marksmanship is appreciated! So keep it holstered there Huckleberry.  Here at H&H, or any gun store for that matter, your firearm needs to stay in its holster, box, or range bag until you are out on the range at the firing line.  Most, if not all, gun stores and ranges emphasize this policy, so whenever you pull out your firearm in the middle of the retail section you break the air of safety that we care so much about.

“Oh! Don’t worry its not like its loaded or anything.” Remember – The 1st Law: The Gun Is Always Loaded.  Accidents can happen at anytime so we do as much as we can to mitigate the risks involved at a gun range.

“Oh don’t worry I’m very careful with it”  Okay – that maybe true – but is everyone else careful?  How do you know that the firearm is in good working condition, and not broken or damaged in some way to where it could accidentally discharge?  Do you know if every one around you is careful?  Maybe someone behind you could trip into you and make you drop it.  Risk mitigation is every one’s job!

No one at any store wants to look down the business end of a firearm.  It doesn’t matter if it is loaded or not.  Lets all do our part for safety and remember to always treat every gun as if it is loaded.  If you absolutely need to show us a firearm away from the firing line we do have a few options.  If the gun that needs to be show is loaded in a holster then take it out onto the range.  There, the firearm can be safely removed from your holster, range bag, or case, and locked with the chamber open.

Accidents happen quickly and no amount of “Sorry I didn’t mean it!” can undo what has been done.  Always follow the 4 Laws of Gun Safety.

Earmuff vs Earplugs

When ever you are shooting or near some one that is shooting you need eye and ear protection.  Eye protection is easy enough and usually one size fits all.  But when it comes to ear protection, you have two options:  earmuffs or ear plugs.

EARPLUGS.

Pros:  Ear plugs can be some of the most effective hearing protection around.  By its nature of fitting into the ear canal most sound is blocked out.  Even basic earplugs can reduce noise by 32 decibels.

Cost and transportation:  Earplugs can be dirt cheap!  Not to mention light weight, disposable ear plugs can sometimes even come in bulk bags that weigh less and take up less space than conventional earmuffs.

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Custom ear plugs:  For the discerning shooter, ear plugs can be custom molded to a persons ear.  This can make ear plugs that are personal very reusable and comfortable. Not to mention they can be customized with all sorts of colors.

Cons:  Single usage.  Most cheap ear plugs are only used once.  Most people don’t care to reuse ear plugs and who can blame them.  They can be gross and might not hold up the second time around.

All sound is blocked.  Ear plugs can be too good at their job.  Some times you might need to hear something and the great noise reduction will block out gun shots but also comments from buddies.  This might be a good thing if you don’t want to hear from them.  You would have to either stop shooting and pay close attention or remove them and we certainly don’t recommend the latter option.

 

EARMUFFS

 

Pros: ease of use.  It doesn’t get any easier.  Just slip those bad boys over your head and you’re ready to go!

Re-usability:  A good pair of earmuffs can last you a life time.  I’m sure your dad has some that he’s been using to mow the lawn since the 70’s.  just take care of them and they will protect your ears for years to come.

Electronic earmuffs:  This has got to be one of the cooler developments in hearing protection since maybe ever.  With electronic ear muff you can listen to other people with them on.  The ear muff will automatically cut off their internal speakers and microphone once the decibel level gets to high.  It’ll cut off a gun shot for instance.  How convenient is that?  Now you can hear what others are saying during range time with out having to stop or risk our precious ear drums.

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Cons: They get in the way.  While ear muffs certainly won’t get in the way of pistol shooting that all changes with a rifle.  Earmuff can be easily bumped around by the stock’s recoil and might accidentally expose you to unsafe noise levels.  Make sure they’re on tight.

No fun in the summer.  When shooting in the heat earmuffs can quickly get too damp.  They don’t let sound in and they certainly don’t let moisture out.  So make sure to sure to wipe them down after summer use so they don’t turn into a science experiment.

While this list is not completely exhaustive of all the options in the ways of hearing protection, it does at least give you something to think about the next time you reach for some.  I’m sure most every body has their favorites by now so sound off in the comments as to which kind you like!

Great trigger control for new shooters

 

Many of shooters have wondered “why are my shots low and to the left?”  Well wonder no more.  The root cause of such a problem is caused by improper placement of the index finger on the trigger.  The correct placement of the finger would be the middle of the top section of your index finger.  Try to get it as close to the middle as you can just like this military training photo.

By pulling the trigger with nearly the end of the finger, you make the trigger go straight back.  Using more of the finger will push the whole gun off to the side, thus making your shots not as accurate as they could be.

Do this and your groups will improve.  Try this tip the next time you come into the gun range at H&H Shooting Sports. https://www.hhshootingsports.com/shop/ranges/

 

Fun new targets at the range

It seems like shooters have been blasting away at the same bull’s eyes and silhouettes since forever now.  But thanks to a GunFun Shooting Targets, you can have a choice as to what you put down range!  So next time you go to the range, perhaps for one of our daily range specials, keep your eye’s on the look out for some of their fun targets.

Hostage Crisis.

Push your tactical skills to the max with this target!  It features a Hollywood style situation where any real-life miss would be catastrophic!  It’s best used with a handgun to help you tighten up those groups but since it’s just paper you can use just about any firearm.  Shotguns are unadvised for obvious reasons

 

Vital dude.

Now here’s a great twist on the silhouette.  This great target shows off the skeleton and internal organs of an average male.  This x-ray look helps you to see the actual vital zones of a human attacker.  With this one you don’t have to aim for some arbitrary center but instead you can go for the actual heart, lungs and liver!

 

Sink-a-Sub

This one offers some fun for the whole family.  The sink-a-sub target can be set for any distance to test out your skill.  It’s best paired with an accurate .22LR.  The real skill involved here is making sure that you don’t accidentally hit the water or the wrong sub.  Pull the target all the way to the back for the maximum challenge.  This’ll really make sure your sights are zeroed.

 

What I’ve listed here is not even the full selection.  More can be bought from their website or at H&H Shooting Sports range check in section.  Look for the full color ones on the black shelf and test these fun one’s out at your next range visit!

By Wireshots Team / Featured NewsH&H NewsRange News / 0 Comments

We’ve got all the BEST for Dad this Father’s Day. Skip the tie this year and get Dad what he really wants! All weekend, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, June 15-17 Buy one lane rental and get the second shooter on the same lane FREE! This Father’s Day nothing says “I love you Dad” like a trip to the gun range. Bring Dad to H&H where he shoots FREE all weekend!

By Wireshots Team / H&H NewsRange News / 0 Comments

Introducing H&H Happy Hours

Join us for our Shooting Range Happy Hours at H&H Shooting Sports. We are happy to announce that we will be cutting the shooting lane rental rates in half during our Happy Hours, from 7pm to close Monday through Thursday the entire month of May! #LetsGoShooting