Where do you learn the most about guns?


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brekneb
January 9, 2006, 11:39 PM
So where does everyone go to learn about firearms?
Everything from the most basic, beginning type information to the most advanced?
Is it places like this--THR? And other forums? Other internet sites?
Websites that aren't particularly forums like this (but are just pure reference related)?
Particular people whom you know to be knowledgeable?


What would you also say is the most reliable and comprehensive source where you get your info from?

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Jack Baur
January 9, 2006, 11:41 PM
I find internet message boards to be the most informative. Yes you have to weed thru the bias and the wrongly informed, but you can usually ge a good "average" point of view from the masses. I love it.

Standing Wolf
January 9, 2006, 11:44 PM
Right here at the High Road and from my fellow bullseye shooters.

PvtPyle
January 9, 2006, 11:45 PM
I had a really good foundation in firearms before going to Armorers school. Armorers school helped a bit, but by far, I learned the most about heavy weapons and machineguns in Afghanistan. There was something about being able to tear apart, break and blow up guns without being charged for them. It was a wonderful learning experience.

rock jock
January 9, 2006, 11:49 PM
There was something about being able to tear apart, break and blow up guns without being charged for them. It was a wonderful learning experience.Sounds like fun, except for all the, you know, harsh conditions and people trying to kill you and stuff.

Furncliff
January 9, 2006, 11:50 PM
The web is aaaamazing. Being able to ferret out any kind of information so fast is mind blowing for a geezer like me. I've owned computers since the late 80's, but the advent of the www was a huge leap in allowing all of us to be beter informed.:)

Farnham
January 9, 2006, 11:59 PM
Forums like this provide a wide breadth of knowledge. Lots of information about many different things. This forum in particular has members that can answer almost any question regarding firearms. Pistoleros, riflemen, hunters, reloaders, and smiths. You have to know what question to ask though.

Dedicated sites (surplusrifle.com, swissrifles.com) and the platform specific forums (like AR-15.com, FALFiles, and GlockTalk) and books provide more depth of knowledge. Shop manuals (like Kunhausen's), FM's, old issues of gun rags like G'n'A, American Rifleman, and the like are also good resources.

I was raised shooting trap, doves, pheasants, and waterfowl. If I relied on family and friends for all my firearm knowledge (limited though it may be) I'd know about the Remington 870 in all its' incarnations, and that's about it. You gotta read about, and more importantly, DO, those things that interest you.

S/F

Farnham

JohnKSa
January 10, 2006, 12:11 AM
WARNING! This post is written with the express intent to inform and entertain. Due to the differences in human nature, behavior and culture, it is possible that information contained within this post may annoy the reader although that is certainly not the intent of the author. Reading past this point constitutes an agreement by the reader to waive his legal right not to be annoyed by anonymous communication on the internet.

If you do not wish to waive this right, please stop reading at this point and use the ignore feature on this forum to avoid future posts by this author. Thank you.

You can get good information from these forums, but you almost have to have a decent background to be able to figure out when you're getting reasonable information and when you're getting personal bias and nothing else.

With published material (like magazines), it's usually filtered through an editor before it gets printed which is at least some small help in eliminating the personal opinion=fact problem so prevalent on the web. Unfortunately, the filtering process can often remove useful information and reduce articles to advertisements.

I started learning about firearms in earnest about 15 years ago. I bought EVERY gun magazine I could find and read every one of them from cover to cover every month. After about two or three years I realized that other than the new guns section and an occasional informative nugget, I was reading the same things over and over.

At that point, I cut back to just a few magazines to keep abreast of current events and started looking for some good books and started reading those. Somewhere in all of this, it became apparent that there was very little information that wasn't "tainted". I had just finished several years of engineering/science/math training where opinion had no weight unless backed by repeatable experiments. That simply wasn't the case in the firearms field, and some writers had such heavy biases that there was little they wrote that was useful. It had to be screened carefully to weed out the opinions. That was all well and good because even the heavily biased writers had lots of experience, and their experiential information was useful even if their interpretation of it was badly flawed.

About 7 years ago, I started getting onto the web and found that it was even worse than the printed material. Not only did you have heavy biases, but people were willing to voice and defend their opinions even when they had little or no experience/evidence with which to do so. Worse yet, if the view was a majority view, often no one would question it.

It's gotten worse during the seven years I've been on the web. I think in the beginning, a good number of the people on these forums had experience and knowledge from solid sources other than the web. These days it seems that is less and less common.

f4t9r
January 10, 2006, 12:13 AM
Books , At the Range , gun show , the shop I go to and shooting buddies.
I have learned alot right here at THR !!!!!!!!

lucky_fool
January 10, 2006, 12:40 AM
http://bradycampaign.org/

That's how I learned that machineguns are available on every streetcorner now that the AWB sunset and that if a 50BMG and an FN 5.7 are ever in the same room that the world will end in fiery doom. :evil:

1911JMB
January 10, 2006, 10:51 AM
The best places to learn about NFA stuff is uzitalk.com and small arms review magazine.

For regular firearms knolege, I think THR is one of the best places to be. There is of course also the G&A forum, thefiringline.com, and a bunch of others. I think in general, these forums are far better for gaining information that your average all product praising gun rag.

Oldtimer
January 10, 2006, 11:25 AM
You can read. You can look at photos. You can study firearm manuals. The best is "hands-on" experience with a knowledgeable person, and to ask questions that get correct answers.

While the gun publications, gun-related forum boards and asking questions without having "this-or-that" firearm physically in front of you are fine, having that firearm directly in front of you and being able to ask questions of a knowledgeable person is in immediate learning process that your memory banks will retain better.

I don't know if these analogies are the best, but..
...how would a person learn how to ride a bicycle by merely reading? How would you learn how to surf by watching movies and reading about it? Firearms are "substance" items, and unless you handle them, it's quite difficult to write about how the might feel in your hand, or about how they recoil when they are fired.

Yes, you can learn the basics through reading and looking at photos, but I don't think that anyone can truly learn by merely using visual aids. Shooting is physical, visual and mental. It's an "experience" that blends all of the senses, not merely words and visual pictures.....those are fantasies!

Old Dog
January 10, 2006, 11:31 AM
For me, it was experienced family members and being in the military ...

I was fortunate to grow up with a father (WW II & Korea) and grandfather (WW I), both war veterans and extremely knowledgeable on riflecraft ... it was only after I went into the military that I realized just how much my dad had taught me about rifle shooting and marksmanship. My other grandfather, who came from Finland, taught me what a great rifle was (Sako) and a bit about shotgunning ... Also grew up reading American Rifleman and Guns & Ammo, got lots of good info from those magazines back in the day ...

I was also fortunate early in my career to work with the USMC where I learned much more about the 1911 than what the Navy taught me ... went through both military and civilian law enforcement training as well that got me a lot more experience on combat shotgun, carbines and modern semiautos ...

The one thing I've learned on the internet is exactly as JohnKsa says:
I think in the beginning, a good number of the people on these forums had experience and knowledge from solid sources other than the web. These days it seems that is less and less common

Too many folks who just like to talk about their favorite platform and have never gotten real experience on other types, models or platforms and ever learned anything else about guns ... Myths abound on the internet, and it's gotta be tough for the new gun folks to sift through all the crap.

BigG
January 10, 2006, 11:47 AM
Hands on experience is the best.

The manuals of course are good. Get old army TMs for their weapons.

The old time honored writers, like WW Greener, Chas. Askins, Elmer Keith, John Taylor, etc. were good sources but most of the stuff today is a shill for the products.

imho, of course. ;)

losangeles
January 10, 2006, 12:13 PM
No one particular source is much more than others. Online forums are good but also websites on specialty niches are good too (like something on Mosin Nagants, or SKS, for example). And I don't discount books. I've ordered a large collection of books from Amazon on various topics. Also, learning from hanging around other hobbyists helps.

I wish I could learn more from live courses and seminars, which is a mode I use for my career and businesses, but unfortunately I don't have a large budget for this hobby.

Owen
January 10, 2006, 01:11 PM
I've been lucky enough to work in engineering departments at gun companies, with fairly curious, liberal supervisors. It's given me the opportunity to be my own mythbuster.

And believe me, when it comes to guns, there are myths everywhere!

I've had the opportunity to high-speed video pistols to show that, yes, the slide does start moving before the bullet leaves the barrel.

I've had the opportunity to shoot all kinds of random junk to get a good idea about what you can and can't shoot through.

You really just need to get out there and do it. You can sit here and read all day, but you'll never sort the wheat from the chaff by reading.

You'll find out pretty quickly that most people make this stuff way to complicated.

poppy
January 10, 2006, 01:44 PM
My experience goes back about 45 years.

I learned from family in the early days, mostly single shot .22's and 12 ga. shotguns.

When I bought my own firearms, they were .22 revolvers and .22 lever action rifles. When I moved up to centerfire, it was first single action revolvers, then 9mm pistols. It was voracious reading of gun rags that got me to buy the first autoloader.

Then my source of info came from buying and selling at gun shows, making some really good buys, and some really dumb buys.

Then I joined some online boards, late in the game, just late last year.

But overall, I have learned the most by doing; buying, selling, trading, reading, shooting. The difference now is that I am coming closer to knowing how to balance the information sources.

Gun rags (which I never buy anymore) are a source for who makes what, and what is coming out, etc. I review them periodically at the book store.

I used to go to about a dozen gun shows a year, but I have cut back because they are smaller, plus I have added internet buys to the mix.

You notice that I did not mention gun stores as a source of info. I have bought several guns from one particular store with good prices, who has an honest owner, but I have never gone there to get information.

Believe it or not I have gotten good info from chain store employees. Why? Because they are low wage guys who work there because they like guns and don't work on commission. I have been on both sides of the counter at chain stores (worked at Dick's about 8 years ago) and learned a lot from other employees.

The most reliable and comprehensive source now for me is a combination of internet forums and personal experience with hardware in hand. poppy

JohnKSa
January 11, 2006, 12:57 AM
WARNING! This post is written with the express intent to inform and entertain. Due to the differences in human nature, behavior and culture, it is possible that information contained within this post may annoy the reader although that is certainly not the intent of the author. Reading past this point constitutes an agreement by the reader to waive his legal right not to be annoyed by anonymous communication on the internet.

If you do not wish to waive this right, please stop reading at this point and use the ignore feature on this forum to avoid future posts by this author. Thank you.

Myths abound on the internet, and it's gotta be tough for the new gun folks to sift through all the crap.One of the biggest problems with forums, is that it's not uncommon for people who know very little to want to post a lot without reading at all.

In other words, they want to disseminate what little they know (often even what they think they know is incorrect) but they have no interest in learning anymore than what they already think they know.

Case in point. I was just reading a post on another forum. The question was "What is the fastest .22 cal rifle cartridge--wildcats included". About halfway down the page, after several mentions had already been made of wildcats pushing the 5,000fps barrier, some genius posted the .220 Swift as being the fastest. And he wasn't alone! A few posts up from his, someone posted that the 30-06 with a .22 Sabot was it. I just don't get it!? Why would someone who obviously knows so little about the topic post on the thread but NOT bother to read a bleeping word past the first post on the thread?

BTW, I no longer post on that forum. I think it is dying. There are too many ignorant people posting profusely--as if they have useful information to impart when actually they are merely clogging the forum with their ignorance. It's gone from being a useful source of information to an "Ignorance Pool".

Unfortunately, that's not an isolated instance, IMO.

Lupinus
January 11, 2006, 01:06 AM
I like the internet best. Here on large boards you get a lot of information, and smaller boards with less regulars are also great. Also all of the websites that are a google away. You just have to take anything you hear with a grain of salt...things that sound fishy with two or three grains of salt. As with anything else (minus maybe law and the goverment) sorting what you hear into good and bad information is 99% good old common sense.

shooten
January 11, 2006, 01:59 AM
No doubt. I learn more about shooting firearms at the range. If you want technical knowledge, this forum and a few others have good information. But it all comes together with a target, ammo, my firearm and me at the range or in the field.

Scott

trickyasafox
January 11, 2006, 02:34 AM
for the basics, my dad but when it comes to trouble shooting i turn here

entropy
January 11, 2006, 04:27 PM
I'll let ya know when I'm done learning-well, no I won't, because I'll be dead!:p My Dad, uncle, grandpa, books, handling various guns whenever possible, working in gun shops, working on guns, The US Army, and yes ,THR and other net sources, too. :)

Moonclip
January 11, 2006, 07:01 PM
Hands on is the best as mentioned but books and magazines can help too and finding someone knowledgeable and listening can help a lot. The internet is good too but the other methods should also be used and probably should be used first before relying as much on the internet.

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