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New shooter kit... what to take.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bigalexe, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. bigalexe

    bigalexe Well-Known Member

    Ok I see alot of threads on here about SHTF (zombie, apocalypse etc), about if you could ONLY have X guns and so on. So here's one we can actually apply.

    You have 1 or more brand new shooters coming out to shoot. They have little or no experience with firearms and really no preference. These are people who you ask... well what do you want to shoot? and they reply... I don't know.

    What guns would you take with you? What equipment do you take?

    Personally I'd take what I own and what I take for a "Fun" range trip for myself.

    -.22lr bolt-action
    -.22lr semi-auto pistol (brand new acquistion)
    -12ga pump with target loads, 00 buck, and slug setup JIC they turn out to be adventurous.

    -Shoot-N-See, the closes to a reactive target my club allows
    -Range out to 25 yards to start

    -EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA Earplugs. Noise is a huge deterrent it seems to me and what really helps ease people in is really good hearing protection. They just don't get as freaked out if they don't hear quite as big of a boom.
  2. Unistat

    Unistat Well-Known Member

    Shoot 'n' see targets are good. So are clays, they bust up real nice. Metal tagets make a very satisfying "PING!"

    For guns: .22 LR rifle, .22 LR pistol for starters. Then for pistol I would move them up to my S&W M13 .357 but have them shoot .38s. It's very mild and lots of fun. After the .22 rifle I would put them on my AR-15. Again very mild but it excites folks because it is a "serious" gun in a "serious" caliber.

    If that can't hook them on shooting, then they need someone more fun than me.
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  3. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    If you have friends that want to start shooting don't give them the option of what first. Start off have'n them watch follow shooters a bit first. Leave the heavy shot loads at home for firearms. Not many rifles recoil more than a max load shotgun. Good way to shy off a future shooter with max buck or slugs. Maybe some light clay target loads and some straight away clay shooting. Start with the 22 rifle . Good accuracy can come quickly then move on to a 22 pistol then slowly up the handguns and longguns slowly
    Don't forget eye protection too
  4. Tim the student

    Tim the student Well-Known Member

    IMO, they should definitely start out with a rimfire. That is pretty much mandatory, for me. Other than that, I ask what they may be interested in shooting, and go from there.

    For other equipment, I bring extra earplugs, eyepro and targets.
  5. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    This is a pretty good topic to bring up, and one that should prove pretty useful.

    First thing's first, before leaving for the range with people who've never shot before, I would put them through at least a cursory safety briefing before setting out.

    I'd cover the following topics:
    1. The Four Rules of Gun Safety
    2. The 180ยบ rule.
    3. Basic operation of a firearm: loading, unloading, making the weapon safe.
    4. The importance of eye and ear protection.
    5. The fundamentals of marksmanship: sight picture, trigger, and grip.

    It's much easier to explain all of this in the comfort of your living room than waiting until you get to the range. If you can get ahold of some of the books the NRA distributes for safety classes, that's always a good thing, too.

    As for what to take, probably no more than two or three guns. If we're going to shoot pistols, I'd likely take a .22, 9mm semi-auto, and maybe a .38 revolver. This will give a good deal of variety without too much confusion.

    Other than the guns and ammunition, here's what I'd take:
    1. Eye and ear protection for everyone.
    2. A printed out basic primer covering the safe handling of firearms that they can keep.
    3. A reactive target or two if you've got them.
    4. Sunscreen
    5. Water/drinks, and maybe some snacks if you plan to be out for awhile.
    6. The usual paper targets, pasters, and staple gun for putting up targets.
    7. A digital camera. Everyone likes range pictures.
  6. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Well-Known Member

    This is all academic for me as I currently only have one pistol, but I'll add what I think would be good.

    As far as pistols go:
    .22 semi auto. Maybe a Remington Mk II or a Buckmark or something. Possibly a Walther.

    9mm P7 so they know what true happiness is (hey, worked for me)

    9mm P226 with a suppressor - What better way to get someone interested than let them shoot suppressed? Lower recoil and less noise. And if we get them hooked early, they'll be all the more likely to join the NFA club!

    (extra points for a well suppressed P7 ;))

    For rifles
    10/22 for the .22 side of things (though I hate cleaning them, never found a good way to get that recoil spring back in)

    Probably an AR or some sort. That will let them say they shot the ever idolized "high powered assault rifle" with something that doesn't kick much at all.

    Shoot n see targets and reactive targets like steel plates are good, especially for pistols. (nothing beats the "pfft....SMACK" of a suppressed pistol and steel plates)

    Extra eyes and ears are great too. May want to double up on plugs and muffs for the ARs. I've heard several new guys comment on how loud they are even though they were wearing one layer of ears.
  7. splithoof

    splithoof Well-Known Member

    I would also add drinking water, shade (if outdoors, a canopy works great), a way to wash-up with soap & water, some food, folding chairs, a table to lay everything out on, and a lot of patience. If bringing more than two new participants, have a well experienced helper to keep an eye on things. A professional first impression goes a long way here.
  8. Buzzard

    Buzzard Well-Known Member

    My general stuff list...

    * Eyes and ears: Silencio 30db reusable earplugs + Peltor H-10A hi-viz green 30db muffs and AO Safety wrap-around glasses
    * Targets of some sort (golf balls, expired chips, soda cans, self-healing swinger; anything reactive)
    * Gear bag
    -- Roll of string for hanging targets
    -- Cleaning stuff (MPro, Break Free, various mops, couple bore snakes, take-down rod)
    -- Tool kit (screwdrivers that really fit, Gerber multi-tool)
    -- Sunscreen if needed; Walgreens Dry Touch usually
    -- Benadryl Allergy
    -- Spotting scope (old, cheap Bushnell 15x45 - 60mm)
    -- Foam ear plugs for the goobers who forget
    -- Three 1.3 liter bike racer's water bottles

    Plus the guns, ammo, and a few other odds and ends.
  9. bigalexe

    bigalexe Well-Known Member

    Well I really am someone that tends towards wanting more options but that is based on one experience. Here's the list of stuff we had last time:

    -Semi-auto 22lr pistol
    -Glock 23 in 40S&W and also in 9mm

    -.22lr bolt-action
    -DPMS AR-15 in .223
    -Lever action (probably Marlin) 30-30
    -Bolt Action .308Win (Ruger whatever it is like M77).

    -Pump action .410, 20ga & 12ga with setups for shot & slug at paper.

    Now I would love to take this whole kit out again but it's the collective of 4 people, and honestly one of the guys is someone I can only stand in small doses. That day I had 2 new shooters (both my sisters) and we spent probably 2 1/2 hours at the range. They didn't get tons of shots through any single gun (except the 22 pistol which saw probably 500 rounds) but they each gravitated toward one area they really liked. One of them liked the AR-15, and the other tended towards the pistols with the larger caliber being the better. The idea going on there was to see what they like.
  10. 1894

    1894 Well-Known Member

    I've been lucky enough recently to introduce several new people to the sport. Including a couple younger women who have never even held a gun before. The most recent of whom was terrified of firearms because of an incident where she was on the wrong end of one. What I've found that works best is pretty much what Justin posted.

    We start away from the range. Their house, mine, etc. I begin with a few questions along the lines of, "what is it that has sparked your interest? - Why do you want to learn? (here just trying to figure out if they want to pop targets or are concerned for their safety, etc.).

    Next, we do the 4 rules and reasons for each. Then, I break out a handful of different cartridges. Everything from .22lr, .38, .357, .40 & .45. I briefly go over Newton's 3rd law and the parts of the cartridge and how it works. There's also a bit of case capacity, bullet weight and speed in comparison to handgun weight. This section is building to a description of what level of recoil to expect. Also, a little of what each round might be used for.

    We put the bullets away and go over to the kitchen table and lay out a bunch of guns to look at. We start with the single six, then move to the semi 22lrs. After that move up to the 6" full lug GP100 & SP101, which is an oportunity to revisist how, while they both use the same round(s), recoil & noise are different. Then we move on to the centerfire semis. With each gun, I explain the important parts and how they work. Meaning, this slide will slam back when you pull the trigger so don't put your thumb there. Same with the front of the revolver cylinders, etc. I'll show them how to grip each, and what a proper grip size is. Sometimes, the larger .40s and .45s don't go with us because they're to big for the students' hands. The important thing we're doing with this bit is to give them a chance to get comfortable without all the noise / adrenaline. And, we're finding out what fits the shooter and work on sight picture.

    I know all this sounds like a lot, but really it only takes around 30 minutes. Maybe longer if they have questions. Those I make sure I answer to the students' satisfaction. People are much less afraid of things if they understand them. And, as long as we leave external ballistics to the minimum required discussion, guns aren't all that complicated.

    We usually do the range part at an indoor range (I don't have easy access to anything outdoor). I encourage them to double up on ears and do so myself. The only time I shoot during this trip is to demonstrate the next new gun / caliber so they have an expectation of what will happen when they pull the bang switch. With each new caliber, I only load one round for them the first time. After that, I'm there to ensure safety and give encouragement. My eyes stay On. The. Gun. You'd be amazed how many new folks will, "talk with their hands." I do all the loading. If they pull the trigger and nothing happens, the gun goes down on the bench still pointed at the target and I handle it.

    The young lady I mentioned above was having trouble with the sight picture on my Buckmark and was beginning to get frustrated. So (you purists will hate me for this) I slapped my Aimpoint Comp M3 on top of it:evil:. She was getting 1" groups at 15 yds - her first time ever! Keep it fun! She loved the GP100 (target .38 loads) and the SP101 was a bit too much for her. She has tiny hands to we never went to anything else. She put over 500 rounds through the Buckmark though!:D She also said afterward that she was glad we spent the time prior to going to the range.
  11. gym

    gym member

    I would add One thing, and some mey not agree. On the first trip after all the basic explanations were covered, I would only allow 1 person to have a loaded firearm at a time, especially if you are outdoors with people who can get their bearings mixed up easily. I don't want anyone with a live round taking a shot in the wrong direction. Or out of my sight.
  12. bigalexe

    bigalexe Well-Known Member

    Yeah the 1:1 shooter:teacher ratio is a good idea.
  13. Hoth206

    Hoth206 Well-Known Member

    Be sure to take some printed 8.5 x 11 size targets. EVERYBODY who's a new shooter wants to take their own target home and show everybody, and the smaller ones are easier to carry away.
  14. Ironclad

    Ironclad Well-Known Member

    I understand taking .22s for someone who might be recoil sensitive... but really as a beginning shooter I didn't think .22s were that fun. I use them all the time, but only because its cheaper. The real fun is in the big BANG! Since its an introductory thing, I'd let them shoot whatever is the most fun for them. They can worry about honing their skills with a .22 later if they get into it.

    Also, if you can, go shoot on private property where you can shoot AT stuff, not just paper. I like gallon milk jugs of water and a 12 gauge myself. Its way more fun for someone not so serious about shooting.
  15. 1894

    1894 Well-Known Member


    The OP was about a first time shooter. Just imagine someone who's never shot anything before picking up and Air weight Smith w/ full house .357s. That's why we start 'em w/ .22s and let 'em move up as soon as they want to.

    Personally, my two favorites are my Buckmark - cause it's cheap to shoot and I'm most accurate with it, and my SP101 w/ 125s in .357. Cause, offhand, at 7-10 yds they go into a circle the size of my fist as fast as I can pull the trigger. And, sometimes, it's useful to make a point to the kid w/ the sideways glock in the lane next to me who thinks 18 rounds all over the paper is a good thing:evil:. But, I get ya. I'm still debating a single action .44.
  16. HankR

    HankR Well-Known Member

    baby wipes

    If you don't have access to running water, baby wipes are just the thing for cleaning the lead and mercury off of your hands before picking up a sandwich.
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Both .22s and the shotgun. Have light loads for the shotgun.

    In addition to ear plugs, bring muffs as well to go over them. You don't want anyone complaining of ringing ears later.

    Bring eye protection as well. I piece of brass hitting someone in the face is bad enough, but w/o eye protection it might find a more critical target.

    If there isn't a table/bench, bring one.

    Start your targets close with the .22s. Just 15 feet to start and then move back 5 ft at a time.

    Go to the shotgun last for the "big boom".
  18. Ironclad

    Ironclad Well-Known Member

    I understand what your sayin, but I don't have to imagine that.

    I graduated straight from a pellet gun to a pump 12 gauge with target loads. Got bored with that pretty quick and wanted to play with 3" buck.

    I've seen several 17 - 18 year old girls learn to shoot on the 12 gauge as their first gun (high school trap team) they did just fine and liked it.

    The first firearm my little sister ever shot, at the age of 14 and weighing in at a whopping 100 lbs, was a Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 magnum. We had a box of 50 and she used enough of them that I felt slightly cheated at the end. She had a big grin the whole time and she could consistently hit a soda can off a fence post at 10 yards or so.

    I just really feel like most folks you take shooting are gonna be a little disappointed with a .22 the whole time. Not saying don't use it, just saying take other, bigger stuff also. Of course it also depends on the person. Some people will never be up for the heavier recoil.
  19. 1894

    1894 Well-Known Member

    I can dig it. And do. I'm just sayin' start 'em w/ the .22. As soon as they want to move up, you gotta have something bigger to hand 'em.

    The girl I mentioned previously went through 4-5 mags on the Buckmark before she wanted to try centerfire. After doing well with just over a box of target rounds, she wanted to go back to the .22. Not 'cause she didn't like shooting a .357 (ok - really heavy .38) but simple fatigue. It takes a while to build the wrist strength, etc.

    By all means, take the cannons. If you've got a BFR, take it. Just let 'em build up to it. All I'm saying is that if there's gonna be a screw up, I'd rather it be w/ a .22 than a .44. And, since we won't know what they can handle until they try, start soft and build up.

    I know several girls that are better than me with a shotty - and can run 'em all day. I love them for it. To me, this is the same argument as buying a gun for someone else. It has to fit them. So, I let 'em try everything. When they decide they want to.

    Bottom line: .22lr lets you focus on the fundamentals. And is cheap.

    Ending thought: I've been to the range a couple times since my first outing w/ the young lady I've been speaking about. The last time, she spent some time (~50 rnds) with the SP101. Her frustration was that at 15 yards, she wasn't getting the same accuracy as she did with the Buckmark and a $500 sight. But, she knew what to focus on, and is consistently getting better.

    I think the most important thing(s) in a, "New Shooter Kit," is patience, and a smile.
  20. JEB

    JEB Well-Known Member


    anyone can enjoy the snakes and sparklers for a while, but eventully you have to break out the moarters and big rockets!

    i start folks out on a .22 to get the basics, but i have yet to see a new shooter that didnt grin ear to ear after vaporizing a milk jug or a watermelon with a .357, 30-30, 12ga, etc...:D

    well said!
    Last edited: May 3, 2011

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