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The Machine Gun Nest
7910 Reichs Ford Road, Frederick MD 21704
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Beginner’s Guide To Shooting A Gun

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At the Machine Gun Nest, we’re all about safety and proper firearms training first. We follow that closely with the customer experience.

It’s our belief that those two things can walk hand-in-hand in order to help change the perception about guns and gun ownership one experience at a time. 

In this blog, we’re going to walk you through somewhat of a beginner’s guide to shooting a gun, laying out a few tips, tricks, and suggestions for those who are new to the world of firearms. With the proper training, safety precautions, and attitude, we believe that every gun owner can and should be responsible.

Before You Shoot

The first step on the path to safe shooting is to first make sure that you are going about the process in the right way.

In the state of Maryland, there is no constitutional provision which grants a right to bear arms. That means there are some important steps you need to take in order to own and operate a gun in the state. For example, it is required that you have a permit to purchase a handgun, register your handgun, have the proper license, and have a permit to carry your handgun. These same guidelines don’t apply to rifles and shotguns, but they are essential for all handguns.

In order to better understand the gun laws in Maryland, we encourage you to take part in our Maryland HQL Course, which is offered by L5 Tactical, one of the most reputable firearms training instructors in the country. L5 prides itself on training to a standard, not a time restraint, meaning their students will undergo their training until they have a complete understanding of all that is required. 

The HQL (Handgun Qualification License) is also a requirement in the state of Maryland before you are able to purchase a firearm, so it’s a pretty important step to take before you are able to start shooting. 

Follow Safety Protocols

It can be a bit intimidating to handle a gun for the first time. As a beginner, you want to be sure that you are ready, willing, and able to handle that responsibility. 

There are a few safety tips that can help you be responsible during your early outings include: 

  • Always have safety gear. From glasses to headphones to the proper shoes, you should always be sure you are protected before, during, and after firing a weapon. 
  • Treat your gun as if it’s loaded all of the time. That means not pointing it at others, yourself, or anywhere other than the ground or the target at the shooting range. 
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until it’s time to shoot. You should never, ever have your finger on the trigger unless you are aiming and preparing to fire. It’s not a place for your finger to rest in between rounds. 
  • Be mindful of your surroundings. Be sure you are operating your gun safely in accordance with common sense. If there are other people around, be sure that they know you are about to shoot and they are well out of range. Furthermore, be sure they are equipped with the proper safety equipment. 

Use The Right Ammo

It’s important to use the proper type of ammunition when shooting a gun as a beginner. You can’t just slip any type of bullet into your handgun, for example. Think about it like your car: you wouldn’t want to put diesel into your sedan — the ammunition you use has to be the proper caliber (located on the barrel or ejection chamber). Otherwise, it can ruin or damage your weapon, or even turn into a safety hazard. 

Get Instruction

You simply can’t underestimate the value of proper firearms training and education. As a beginner, it’s important for you to learn the proper techniques and protocols from the get-go, so that you aren’t developing bad habits which could be detrimental to your safety and shooting ability.

At The Machine Gun Nest, we offer a number of firearms training classes which are suitable for beginners. We can help you learn the basics of shooting, how to sharpen your accuracy, and even how to properly care for your handgun in order to keep it functioning properly.

Practice, Practice, Practice

No matter how much education you have about guns, there is no replacement for simply practicing. From understanding how to perfect your aim, to getting a firm grip and minimizing recoil, practice can help you develop your all-around skills.

The best place in Frederick to practice your shooting as a beginner is The Machine Gun Nest. We have an all-inclusive environment which is perfect for shooters of all levels.

With low hourly rates, exclusive membership benefits, and even a number of gun rentals available, you have all of the tools you need right here. 

 Come check us out today.