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Firearms for Beginners – Your First Steps

Firearms for beginners

Firearm ownership is trending up around the country. In just the first half of 2021, there were an estimated 3.2 million first-time gun buyers

Seeing so many new gun owners taking their first steps in their firearms journey is something we are very excited about here at Frontier Justice. We believe everyone benefits from firearm ownership, but we also understand that a lot of first-time firearm owners might not fully understand how to use their new tool. 

Educating the public about safe and effective firearm use and ownership is one of our passions. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to firearms for beginners. We also offer classes specifically tailored for newcomers to firearms, and our training experts in all of our stores are willing and ready to answer all of your firearms questions. 

Frontier Justice’s Firearms for Beginners Manual

Firearm ownership is a fundamental part of the American way of life. The founders of this great nation used firearms as helpful tools in their daily lives to feed and protect themselves, and that remains a crucial part of firearm ownership to this day. 

Here are just a few of the major benefits of firearms, for beginners and for experienced owners alike:

  • Protection: Probably the most important benefit to point out is your sense of personal protection with a firearm. Owning and properly training with a firearm gives you the confidence and ability to protect yourself, your family, and your community. Studies show that communities with higher percentages of legal gun ownership have lower levels of violent crime. 
  • Entertainment: Not only are firearms fantastic tools that make our lives more secure, they’re a lot of fun, too! Firearm ownership opens up a world of entertainment possibilities. Visiting a gun range, participating in shooting sports, or going hunting are all fun activities for firearm owners. 
  • Skill Building: If you purchase a firearm, do the proper training, and practice with it, you’ll likely notice an increase in your fine motor skills. The technique and discipline required to effectively wield a firearm translates to your everyday life. 

To get the full benefit of this new tool, though, you need to understand how to use it. 

Understanding your firearm

There are a lot of different firearms on the market. When fitting a firearm for a beginner, there are a few common questions we typically ask:

  • What is the purpose of the firearm?
  • Do you need your firearm for home protection?
  • Do you plan on concealed carrying?
  • Are you primarily purchasing a firearm for hunting?

All of these are great reasons to purchase a firearm, but different firearms serve each of these purposes differently. The best way to find the right firearm for your needs as a beginner is to reach out to an expert, like our trainers at Frontier Justice, or schedule a firearms fitting class

Finding the right fit

Firearms are far from a one-size-fits-all product. Handguns, rifles, and shotguns are obviously very different tools, but even within those categories there are quite a few variations. 

Most firearms newcomers who come to Frontier Justice are interested in home defense and concealed carry, and for both of those purposes we recommend handguns. But what kind of handgun varies depending on the person. Firearms are like clothes, and it’s important to find the right one that fits you and your needs. There’s a big difference between a cheap, off-the-rack suit and one that is tailored to your specific body. 

A mid-sized handgun is the most versatile firearm we offer, but even those can differ depending on the brand. It takes an expert to know the difference between a Glock and a Smith & Wesson, and that’s where our fitting and training experts can guide you to the right tool to fit your life. 

What beginners need to consider

As a new shooter, there’s so many new and exciting opportunities ahead of you. But before exploring your new hobby, it’s crucial to learn how to safely handle your tool. Here are just a few factors to consider for newcomers to the firearms world. 

Importance of proper firearm training

We refer to firearms as tools a lot, but they’re unlike anything in your toolbox. A firearm isn’t a hammer or screwdriver, you can’t just purchase it and expect to know exactly how to use it when needed. 

Think of firearms like your car. It’s an incredibly important tool for our daily lives, but without proper training and practice operating the tool, it can potentially be dangerous. Frontier Justice encourages everyone to practice operating their tools with our ranges and classes. Just like in a car, you want to be prepared for all outcomes so you know what to do before you hit the ice. 

Going to the range as a new shooter

Oftentimes, new shooters are unsure of the safe and proper way to transport firearms into a facility. At Frontier Justice, we simply ask that you keep the firearm in a case or holster at all times. This means you can bring your gun into the store in the box it came with, or any soft/hard case you may have purchased for it. Range rules and operating procedures do vary between companies, so be sure to review each range’s range rules prior to visiting.

Range shooting is more than just setting up targets, pointing, and shooting. Training and target practice can consist of many activities like shooting at static targets or moving targets and running specific drills. 

Some of these specific drills you can run at an indoor range like ours include:
  • Dot torture drills: This is a target system and drill that helps shooters practice multiple pistol skills while using only one target. The target is set up with one dot on the top of the frame, then three rows of three targets cascading downward. Shooters can practice different drills on each of the 10 target dots, do multiple dots at once, or attempt to clear the entire target with one magazine. Drills like dot torture help build specific skills for sight alignment, accuracy, and speed of your follow-up shots and multiple target acquisition. 
  • Failure to stop drill: This drill is a simple, yet effective way to prepare for personal protection. In the failure drill, a shooter will place two shots in the center mass of the target, then a third shot to the top of the target. Because of its simplicity, this drill can be adjusted greatly on the range. With our programmable target systems, a shooter can practice with moving targets,  which provide a limited presentation and require the shooter to fire rapidly and accurately simultaneously. For new shooters, it’s best to start with a static target and get the fundamentals of the drill down before moving on to longer distances or moving targets. 
Enrolling in classes

A firearms class is an excellent way to introduce firearms to beginners. It presents a controlled and educational environment, where new shooters can ask questions to experts and learn the proper way to operate and maintain their tools. 

We offer a variety of classes for new shooters, including firearm fittings, new shooter seminars, concealed carry courses, and even classes designed specifically for women and families. 

Getting the right equipment

Finding the right firearm for your needs is trickier than you might think. There are lots of differences between even the same categories of firearms. To find the right firearms for beginners, we first need to know what your purpose for the firearm is. Do you need it for home defense? Are you planning on concealed carrying? What size or frame are you considering? There’s very rarely a one-size-fits-all choice. 

Because of that fact, we offer a rental program at our ranges that helps you test out different firearm options before you buy. Shooters can test out different firearms from different manufacturers to find the right fit for their needs. We charge $15 per caliber plus range time and ammo for firearm rentals. Handgun ammo is sold in boxes of 50.

Stock up on accessories

For new firearm owners, there are a few things you need to go along with your new tool. A holster with quality retention will ensure that your new gun won’t be going anywhere if you are carrying it, and a quality gun safe or lockbox will keep it out of unwanted hands when you aren’t around. Additionally, be sure to buy defensive hollow points, as well as a quality cleaning kit.

Maintenance, the right ammunition, and storage are all a part of being a firearm owner. A first firearm, like a first kid, will require all the pampering!

Frontier Justice Is Proud to Provide Firearms for Beginners and Experts Alike

Whether you’re a first-time firearm owner or an experienced shooter, Frontier Justice has all of the quality equipment and training you might need. Our indoor ranges are perfect for practicing, our classes are ideal for all experience levels of shooters, and our leagues and events are great for establishing a sense of community for anyone looking to exercise their Second Amendment rights. 

Everything we do is driven by our founding philosophy of Faith, Family, and Freedom. We are passionate about educating our community about the benefits of firearm ownership and promoting an accepting culture where all are welcome to participate in a fun and safe atmosphere. 

Learn more about what makes Frontier Justice different by reaching out to us, signing up for our membership club, scheduling a class, or simply stopping by and checking out our store, boutique, and range for yourself!

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