1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Complete Beginner

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jj, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. jj

    jj New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    Hi Folks.

    Ive been reading these forums for the last month or so.

    I have a new found interest in self defense / survival things.

    I am having trouble finding some type of complete beginners guide to firearms on the web. I would like to learn about guns but I dont even know any of the basics.

    Could someone help point me in the right direction.
  2. dasmi

    dasmi Senior Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    You have absolutely come to the right place. Welcome. Spend time here, browse the forums. Use the search tool. Don't get discouraged by what you don't know. Learn. Post often. Ask questions.
  3. boofus

    boofus Guest

    www.nra.org is a good place to start. Look under Education & Training, they might have a beginner class near you.
  4. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 3, 2003
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Welcome. Indeed some searching within these portals will turn up a lot of very useful info. Try search words that suit like ''beginner'', ''first'', ''starting'', that sorta stuff - pick the right keywords and I'll doubt we see you for a while, there is so much to draw on.

    See how you get on and then come and post with questions if you have not found answers.
  5. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    The only stupid question is the one you don't ask.
  6. Eightball

    Eightball Senior Member

    May 31, 2005
    Louisville, KY
    Welcome to THR. This is the place to be if you want questions answered, information gathered, and possibly get in on some good deals for items you're looking for. Most everyone here will gladly help you out on your trail of becoming knowledgeable about firearms in general. In the meantime, happy hunting for the answers to your questions.
  7. Moondoggie

    Moondoggie Active Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Small Town, Nebraska
    Without knowing too much about you, JJ, I'd like to suggest that you find a copy of the Speer Reloading Manual. The introduction to reloading will give you alot of information about how guns really work in an easy to understand format. The individual "mini" chapters on each caliber/type of ammunition discusses the history and development of many kinds of guns going back to the 1873 Trapdoor Springfield 45-70 rifle.

    I'm not suggesting that you read it to learn to reload, just as a great source of general info about guns.

    Welcome to THR, I hope you enjoy your stay!
  8. dasmi

    dasmi Senior Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
  9. chopinbloc

    chopinbloc Senior Member

    Apr 10, 2005
    sweet home arizona
    welcome, it's great to know you've taken an interest in personal responsibility and that you have a desire to go about it in a safe and legal way.

    i'm sorry to say that i don't know of any "guns for dummies" type book but i can suggest alan korwin's "gun laws of america" and the same title for your state. that should be more than you ever wanted to know about the legal issues. as far as safety, the nra is a great resource, but this is what you really need to know - the four rules of gun safety:

    rule # 1
    treat all guns as if they are loaded. all the other rules are corollary to this.

    rule # 2
    never let the muzzle of a gun point at anything you do not want to destroy or kill. it may be difficult at first, but this rule is inviolate.

    rule # 3
    keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire.

    rule # 4
    be absolutely sure
    of your target, and
    what is behind it.

    remember, these rules apply even (especially) if a gun is "unloaded." i would also add that every time you touch a gun, check to see if it's loaded. this should become habit, like putting your seatbelt on when you sit in a car. again, this counts whether the gun is supposed to be loaded or not. too many people are shot by "unloaded" guns and this could be avoided by following the first rule and checking, never trusting someone else, that a gun is unloaded.

    as far as hardware goes, the gun rags are pretty good sources of info about guns, cartridges, accessories and everything else. you could also do a search on amazon.

    again, welcome! and i hope you enjoy the sport as much as we do.
  10. Solo

    Solo Active Member

    Sep 15, 2004
    Take everything you've ever seen about guns in movies and games and throw it out the window.
  11. Remander

    Remander Member

    Feb 16, 2003
    "Take everything you've ever seen about guns in movies and games and throw it out the window."

    So True.

    New guy: I really hope you can find an instructor or friend to help you along without too much macho BS. It makes all the difference in the world if you get someone who will patiently help you learn without trying to show how much they know/can do. Be wary of folks who don't fit that bill. A good, humble instructor is worth a ton.

    Our CCW instructor holds several national shooting titles, but she never mentioned any of that or even any competition stories during our classes. That's the kind of person you want to learn from.

    Shooting is a fun hobby and can help protect you. Observance of safety rules and a good instructor will help you on the way to a fun and practical new hobby.

    Good luck, be safe, and have fun!
  12. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Elder

    Jun 11, 2005
    JJ: I would suggest that you begin by buying either a handgun or a rifle depending on your age. Get yourself a 22 rifle or 22 handgun and go to the range or out shooting in the woods (or someplace safe) with a friend who is knowledgable about the functionality of guns and the basic do's and don'ts of safety. Read and pay attention. The first rule of safety is treat every gun as if it is loaded and don't mess with it if you don't know how to check it.

    Get a copy of the Gun Digest or Shooters Bible which will give you pictures of lots of guns. You can buy older ones on ebay if that interests you. There are quite a few other general references available. Go to a local gun show and usually folks are selling books. Look them over and pick up one that grabs your interest. Chuck Hawks is a writer that has lots of articles on his web site (chuckhawks.com) about shooting and guns.

    It is hard reading the posting on these forums about Model this and Model that when you have no idea what the model is. The books will help you overcome this.

    As with any hobby, it requires spending money.

    I would suggest that you look at a 22 revolver in a handgun or a 22 rifle. The 22 auto rifles such as the Ruger 10/22 are pretty accurate and cheap. The Rugers are a good survial gun and a place to start for self defense. Obviously, 22's aren't the best self defense gun, but you have to learn the basics first. A 22 is the best and most economical place to learn these things. Even the old pros buy 22's. Every shooter has a 22 and if they don't they need one and don't realize it.

    Learn the basic operation of the gun, shoot it safely, and begin building some confidence in your abilities. You can go on and on about the basics. The most important one is to be safe and act responsibly. Any gun can kill including a 22. So, treat it with respect. Enjoy! The whole thing about any sport is that it is fun.
  13. woerm

    woerm Member

    Feb 27, 2004
    Glitter Gulch, LSR
    22 to start.


    My usual series of introducing someone to firearms is get a cricket 22 or an old Remmington 22 and a box of ammo.

    shoot at paperplates til you can get consistent groups.

    the single shot makes you take aim.

    as you practice so shall you work.

    after you are ok w/ rifle get a 22 revolver or auto

    (different strokes for diff folks, SO uses a 38 revolver won't touch my auto, I detest revolvers )

    when you get consistent with that and want a defensive pistol,
    find the biggest handgun you can comfortably hold and use. Rifles are for distance work the pistol is for point defense at close range(get a bigger hammer).

    train with it. consistently. get comfortable with the firearm.

    John Ross has a good article,


    while I agree with his comments I prefer to use single shots for training before turning someone lose with an autoloader.

    also you can get started (depending on which state you live in) for waaay under a kilobuck.

    try about $200 or so

    good luck, glad to have you here.

  14. Ridge

    Ridge Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    Martin County,Kentucky
    Welcome to The High Road
  15. chris in va

    chris in va Mentor

    Mar 4, 2005
    Louisville KY
    If you're totally new to firearms, get a .22 single shot rifle. Get used to the report, the (small) recoil, the action and learn basic firearm safety. A handgun is a totally different animal and might not be the best thing for you right now. It's a lot harder to sweep someone with a rifle...

    Millions of kids around the globe start with a 22 rifle, and you're no different. Just check out the pawn shops for something cheap, say around $30. Don't be like me and go get a new .22 rifle, because you probably won't use it much once you get a handgun. :scrutiny:

    A basic NRA firearm safety class is a *really* good idea too and worth every penny. It certainly taught me a few things I didn't know.
  16. shotgunner

    shotgunner member

    Feb 19, 2005
    Just MAKE SURE that you DISCIPLINE yourself CONSTANTLY on the 4 major principles of firearms safety!

    If you have questions on which type of firearm to start out with then send me a private message.

    Welcome, God bless, and may your aim be true!
  17. BigBlueEyedDevil

    BigBlueEyedDevil Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    Not deep enough in the Country, California
    Rule #5

    .45ACP IS better than the 9mm round.

    Learn it, love it! It's the truth. All on this forum believe the .45 is FAR superior to the sissy 9mm.

    J/K...Insiders Joke!
  18. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Mar 26, 2004
    AL, NC
  19. Nick_90

    Nick_90 New Member

    Mar 11, 2004
    Welcome to the highroad!

    I would suggest you first of all learn and integrate the 4 safety rules. After that, buy a .22 pistol and go to the range. There are usually helpful people at ranges who will be pleased to give you advice...
  20. jj

    jj New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    Just wanted to say thanks for the info.

    My brother has been hunting forever and is going to start taking me to the range. I am kinda old (25) to be starting out fresh, but hopefully I can pick up on things quick.

    Thanks again

Share This Page