I'm a novice, heading to range..


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Wiebelhaus
March 20, 2012, 10:02 PM
For the first time within the week, after a bunch of research and buying a firearm I felt comfortable with (Ruger LCR 38spl) I've watched youtube videos about grip and listened to hours of Hickok45 and read some literature on the subject of firearms, I'm ready to go. Thing is, My old man left me to deal with the man duties when I was 6 years of age and then my grandfather shortly thereafter and my friends who are savvy with firearms apparently don't have the time to show me how to use one, so I'm going in blind and by myself. Would there be any advice you'd give yourself in my shoes? Thanks and cheers.

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metalart
March 20, 2012, 10:14 PM
where are you located? Maybe someone here could show you the ropes....

Wiebelhaus
March 20, 2012, 10:16 PM
I'm in Central Texas, I suppose the most obvious thing to do would be to take a CHL class or do they expect you to have a better-than-novice understanding before taking the class?

Swing
March 20, 2012, 10:18 PM
The NRA has a bunch of courses. You can check for one in your area here (http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx).

Archangel14
March 20, 2012, 10:21 PM
Welcome. I too have been without a father since I was six. There has never been a man in my life. Here is some advice: start slow. Don't use more powerful +p ammo until you get a feel for your instrument. When you aim, don't look at the target, align the rear and front sight. Focus on the front sight and place in over the target point. Focus on that front sight! With my revolvers I like a high grip and I hold it firmly; no "rolling". Place the shooting thumb on top of the off-hand thumb. Blast away!

rcmodel
March 20, 2012, 10:25 PM
1. Pointy end of the bullet things go in the holes in the round thing that flops out the side.

2. The hole in the end of the barrel goes toward the target.
Don't look down it.

NOW Seriously:
3. Focus on the front sight.
Let the target and rear sight blur out.

4. You can only focus on one thing at a time.
The front sight.

5. Squeeze the trigger while focusing on the front sight, until the gun makes a loud noise.
And surprises you when it went off.

5. Repeat four more times.
While focusing only on the front sight.

6. Go show the very nice 5-shot group you shot to your snobbish so-called friends!
Who really aren't very good friends at all.

rc

Wiebelhaus
March 20, 2012, 10:31 PM
Awesome advice and nice link, thanks guys.

SharkHat
March 20, 2012, 10:45 PM
Depending on the range you go to, and how busy it is, you might be able to ask if one of the RSOs or other staff could spare a few minutes for some basic instruction.

Also, just because you're at the range doesn't mean every shot has to be with live ammo. Maybe spend some time dry firing first, so you can get familiar with the feel of the trigger pull and where it breaks.

LeftShooter
March 20, 2012, 10:46 PM
Wiebelhaus,

I'm in Boston, so the best I can do I offer this long- distance advice. 1st, know that small guns like the LCR (commonly called J-frames after the similar, small Smith & Wesson revolvers) are called "expert's guns" because they are very challenging to shoot well, due to light weight equals harder felt recoil and short sight radius makes it easier to skew the point of aim. So, manage your expectations about how well you will shoot until you have lots of practice. 2nd, I'd start with straight .38 special ammunition, not the stronger +P, at least not until you have had some practice. 3rd, at first, only strive for "tactical accuracy," which would be hitting a sheet of typing paper at 7-10 yards. 4th, wear eye & hearing protection. 5th, good luck and have fun!

Quoheleth
March 20, 2012, 10:54 PM
If you're in the Austin area, Red's Indoor Range (http://www.redsguns.com/locations.html) is good, albeit busy. I've been to the north range a few times with my brother-in-law. Call them, tell them your story (short version - you're new to firearms and want to know if a range officer can show you the basics) and see what they say.

They do offer formal one-on-one lessons which might be well worth your time and money ($50/hour). Learn it correctly once and you don't spend a lifetime unlearning bad habits.

Q

Wiebelhaus
March 20, 2012, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the info, Red's has actually come highly recommended from several sources.

gp911
March 21, 2012, 09:30 AM
I definitely recommend getting some basic instruction & eventually taking a CHL course. Calling the range as mentioned before is a great idea, as you'll be all shaky & nervous doing it all on your own & that isn't much fun. Some people can shake that off after a couple shots but others would be self-conscious the whole time thinking everybody can tell they're new to shooting. Long story short I'd call the range to get the basic instruction & follow the tips others are giving you here. Accuracy will be hit or miss (ha!) but you'll improve quickly with the willingness to learn that your post suggests. Welcome to the sport!

P.S. Set the target at 7-10 yards with a large silhouette target.

absinthe
March 21, 2012, 11:08 AM
1. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
Check and Double Check.

2. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
Never point the gun at anything you aren't willing to shoot. Never, ever point it at a person even for a fraction of a second. Facing the targets at the range is a safe direction. Down is usually a safe direction (be sure). Up is not.

3. Be certain of your target and what’s beyond it.

4. Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.
99.999% of all "accidental" shots happen because the shooter had his/her finger on the trigger when it shouldn't have been.

Also - Read the range's safety rules, closely.

Be safe & have fun!

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