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My First Time At A Shooting Range

What to know before going shooting.

I bought a gun and was eagerly waiting to go to a shooting range. I thought it’s all so damn easy – I’ll go to the range, pay some money, and start shooting. But it wasn’t the case. Buying a gun is the easy part of the process; handling it is a totally different thing that I had no clue about.

Just like there are some unspoken rules in a school, there are certain unspoken rules and etiquettes at a shooting range as well. I know that there are a bunch of emotions running inside you, but you need to control them (even I did). I’ll give all the first-timers crucial tips for your visit to a shooting range; you’ll be glad someone told you these (these are from my personal experience).

  • Gun Rentals – I had already made my purchase and thankfully it turned out to be right. But if you want a hands-on experience before buying a gun, you can also rent a gun at a shooting range. This way, you’ll be able to check out different designs and sizes, see what you’re comfortable with, and then decide which gun to buy.
  • Always Buy A Larger Version – Beginners should consider buying a larger version of a small pistol. Even I used to think that small guns do not kick, but boy, they kick really hard (more than their larger versions). Get a mid-sized or larger version of a small pistol to be on the safer side.
  • Know The Safety Rules – Before walking through that door, get to know about the basic safety and handling of your gun. Always think of it like the gun is loaded (even if it is not). The basic common sense is not to carry a loaded gun to the shooting range, the ammo should be separated, and it should be holstered properly. Once the firearm is loaded, never put your hand on the trigger until you are ready to fire – this means that you should be aiming at the target when you put your finger on the trigger. My safety officer told me this as soon as I entered the range.
  • You’re Not The Only New-Comer – There is a high chance that there are others like you – coming to the range for the first time. Talk to them and try to make new friends; it’s always good to have a friend along while shooting. I made friends with two people on the very first day; we all go together to fire our bad boys.
  • Bring A Friend Along – If you know a person who is an experienced shooter, ask him to accompany you on the first day. He’ll tell you all the basics and safety rules beforehand, and can help you improve.
  • Do Not Wear A V-Neck – A mistake I made – wore a v-neck t-shirt. This is one of the most ignored unspoken rules I was talking about. I wore closed shoes and tight-fitting clothes, but the v-neck backfired. When I fired the gun, the round went backwards and down my t-shirt, kinda embarrassing. To ensure that such incidents do not happen, skip the v-neck and always wear a ballistic vest like the 5.11 Plate Carrier.
  • Don’t Put Your Thumb On Top Of The Gun – When the trigger is pressed, the top part of the gun moves backwards, and it hurts really bad. Always put your thumb on the side of the pistol, preferably both the thumbs together to minimize the impact.
  • Ask The Safety Officer If You Have Any Doubt – Never hesitate to ask your safety officer if you have any concerns. Be sure everything is clear in your head before putting your finger on the trigger.


You’ll not become a pro shooter in a day or two; it requires a lot of practice and control. These were some of my personal tips for all the new gun owners out there. Practice and keep yourself safe – one day, you’ll be able to brag about your shooting skills.


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