If you're new to gun ownership, it's a good idea to start with a handgun course for beginners. These are meant for people who have never fired a gun before, and they teach you all of the basics about gun safety and marksmanship. Starting with a firearms training course means that you'll be able to learn the proper techniques for using a handgun, which you can take with you to the shooting range in the future — you won't be accidentally learning bad habits. To learn what you should look for in a handgun course for beginners, read on.
One of the most important things to look for during a beginner handgun course is learning how to remain safe while you're handling a firearm. For example, you'll need to keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire, and you'll need to keep your handgun pointed away from everyone even while it's unloaded. These habits need to be ingrained so that you do them automatically without thinking.
Learning and practicing proper safety procedures ensures that you and everyone else are kept safe during the training course, and it's also important to ingrain them into yourself if you plan on going to a shooting range for more practice in the future. If you're not following proper safety protocols, the range safety officer may eject you from the range and prevent you from coming back.
Another important component of a beginner course is learning how to maintain your firearm. This includes how to store it so it doesn't become clogged with dust that can cause it to jam when you try to fire it. Beginner courses also teach you how to clear a jam if one were to happen to you. Learning how to properly care for your handgun and keep it in good condition makes it more reliable, so it'll function effectively whether you're using it in the shooting range or in a self-defense situation.
Legal Issues Surrounding Handguns and Self-Defense
During the class, it's also useful to learn about the legal issues surrounding handgun ownership, like the firearm training courses you'll need to take in order to obtain a concealed carry permit in your state. You should also look for a training course with a brief discussion of the law surrounding self-defense in your state since you'll need to know this information if you're ever in a situation where you need to use your handgun to defend yourself or others.
Finally, the beginner's handgun course you choose should have a marksmanship portion where the instructor teaches you the proper stance to shoot a handgun along with how to aim it quickly when you draw it. If you're planning to carry your handgun for self-defense, the most important concepts you need to learn are how to set your sights on a target quickly and how to keep them on the target while you're firing — many new gun owners reflexively flinch expecting the recoil from the handgun, which can cause it to hit off-target.
It's also a good idea to find a firearms training course that allows you to rent several different handguns. This allows you to find one that fits well in your hands, has a trigger weight that's easy for you to pull, and has an acceptable level of recoil. Finding the right handgun for you will make it easier to use in a self-defense situation and more enjoyable to fire at the range.
If you're completely new to gun ownership, look for firearms training courses in your area that offer a handgun class for beginners — such as Salomon Firearms Training. Learning the basics about gun safety will help you and others remain safe, even if you progress to other types of firearms like rifles or shotguns. It's the best place to start for beginners, and starting with a training course means that you can shoot at the range afterward without worrying that you're reinforcing bad habits.