Firing a gun can lead to a rush of serotonin and a feeling of invincibility, but when it’s your first time shooting, it can also be intimidating and scary. Many people go to the shooting range for sport, and you might be tempted to pick up the hobby. If it’s your first time at the range, here are some tips on how you can prepare.
Know what you’re walking into
Before you head to the range, or maybe even when you get there, ask some questions about what you should expect. You can’t know what it’s like to fire a gun until you do it, but you can learn more about what the experience will be like. You also want to make sure you understand the etiquette of the range. This includes understanding the safety tips of the range, which includes keeping your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot and always being aware of your surroundings. While many people shoot guns for fun, you have to remember that they’re still weapons, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to prevent accidents and stay safe.
Get the gear
When shooting at the range, you’ll need eye and ear protection. Bring this with you, and if you’re especially worried about being startled or scared, invest in great protection. This will help you feel more confident and less nervous. As for your gun, your local range might offer rentals. There are typically age restrictions on renting and some places only rent to groups, not individuals. The employees at the range should be able to walk you through the basics of whatever gun you rent, so don’t worry about looking like you don’t know what you’re doing.
If you’re worried about the accuracy of your shot, you can bring a stabilizer base such as the Maxim Defense PDW brace. Knowing that you have a stabilizer might also help you feel more confident on your first trip to the range.
Follow the commands of the range officer
The range officer will always let you know what’s going on and it’s your No. 1 job to follow what he or she says. The officer is there to ensure the safety of everyone in the range. The National Rifle Association even offers a range safety office program that certifies officers. These officers are able to safely supervise the range and keep everyone safe. He or she will also let you know when you’re able to shoot. Some ranges have “cold” times during which everyone must cease-fire. The “hot” time is when you’re free to fire at your target. Make sure you find out who the range officer is when you enter the range.
Know your range
Whether you do research before you get there or just ask the employees when you arrive, know your shooting range. If you’re headed to an indoor range, you will most likely be given a bay for your practice. This includes an electronic target that you’ll be able to move towards you and away from you. While you’re shooting, make sure you’re listening for the range officer and you’re always aware of what is behind you and in front of you. While the range officer may be responsible for everyone’s safety, you’re responsible for your own safety and actions. Stay focused on what you’re doing and stay safe. You don’t want anyone hiring a personal injury lawyer because you lost focus.
Going to a shooting range can be an amazing way to relieve stress. If it’s your first time, just know what to expect, and you’ll be a regular in no time.