6 Necessary Shooting Tips For Beginners

Looking to learn how to shoot a handgun? Here are 6 shooting tips to help you get started!

So you want to learn how to shoot a gun? That is great! Despite what you may see in movies or read in books, shooting accurately and safely actually takes a lot of practice, focus, and technique.

Even someone who claims that they are an experienced shooter can make silly mistakes and may develop habits that can be hard to correct. Being a new shooter, you have a clean slate and are in a great position to learn the basics for shooting a gun safely.

Click here to see these 6 tips!

Well Armed Woman: Concealed Carry Holsters

As I mentioned in an article last week, I am interested in joining my local Well Armed Woman chapter.

I contacted the chapter leader and was immediately excited. Why? Because this particular meeting was going to be about picking a concealed carry holster. Since I have reached a point in my training that I feel comfortable enough to carry concealed, I am all about learning more about holsters. There are so many options out there and honestly, I didn’t know where to start. I was concerned about spending lots of money only to find that the holster I selected is not what I want. After going to this meeting, that concern was validated and I am very glad that I waited.

When I arrived, I was immediately greeted by the chapter leader. I signed in and went straight into the room. A brief introduction was made by a female range instructor, followed by some Q&A time. We were then set free in the room to try on all of the different types of holsters.

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There were 4 tables set up with different sizes and shapes of holsters. The instructors were there to offer advice/information regarding material, which belts to use, and where to place a weapon you’re trying to conceal.

As we all know, concealing a weapon on a woman is significantly harder for women then it is for men. We have tighter clothes, smaller pockets, and items of clothing with thinner material. One of the very first things we can rule out is pocket holsters. I can hardly fit my car keys in my pocket, let alone a 9mm handgun.

Next, we determined that any holster that does not fully cover the trigger/trigger guard on your weapon is not exactly a safe choice. Not only can clothing zippers and strings get caught on it and pull, but it also gets the shooter in a bad habit of immediately placing their finger on the trigger before removing the gun.

We also discussed the pros and cons of having a ‘snap’ over of your gun to hold it in your holster. This not only makes it hard for someone to take your gun, but it also provides an extra step for you to take when you’re already in a bad situation. The instructor showed 2 alternative options. One holster was specifically made for her gun which allowed it to lock in tightly. The second option had a latch that you can to push forward in order to release the gun from the holster. This, in my opinion, was a great holster.

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As I made my rounds from table to table, I tried on both leather holsters, Kydex holsters, and a combination of Kydex and leather. The fully leather holsters were a little unsturdy when faced with the weight of the handgun. Part of this could have been blamed on the belt I was wearing, but it was just falling forward. The Kydex holsters were surprisingly comfortable, although I felt it was a tad too bulky. My favorite was a Kydex/leather holster called Galco King Tuck. It fit inside of my jeans and clipped over my belt to help keep it in place. It fit nicely in the small of my back and would easily conceal a 9mm handgun.

TIP: To help break in a leather holster, add leather conditioner to the inside of the holster. Wrap your UNLOADED handgun in saran wrap and work in and out over and over again.

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This Kydex holster is held up by my belt. Didn’t fall forward like the fully leather holsters, but did sag a little bit.

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This was one of the leather holsters that I did like. It clipped to the inside of my jeans. It was extremely comfortable and laid close on my abdomen.

Below are photos of the Galco King Tuk (my favorite holster of the night). I took photos of the holster with and without a gun, just to give a better idea of how it fits into the back of my jeans.IMG_1207 IMG_1206 IMG_1204 IMG_1202I then went over to the shoulder holsters that were laid out. I had thought about purchasing a shoulder holster in the past for when I want to carry during winter months. However, once it was held up and we put it on, I noticed that the gun in the holster points backwards. At first, this wouldn’t seem like too much of a big deal, except this means that you’re gun is pointing at people behind you. One of the first rules you learn when shooting is to always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
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The next holster I tried on was an ankle holster. I wouldn’t necessarily use this as my primary weapon, but it would definitely be a good back-up. The instructor also brought up the point that this would be easier to access in the event that you’re sitting in a car or laying on the ground during an attack.

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The next couple of holsters I tried on were different style ‘belly belts’. They kind of reminded me of an ace bandage. Although they were extremely comfortable, having velcro hold my handgun up makes me a little uneasy.

Next, I looked over a table of purses made for concealed carry. Built-in holsters and removable holsters were both options. I’ve always been hesitant about purses because people can easily take them from you. If an attacker demands your purse, you are left either unarmed and/or having to call the police to inform them that a criminal now has your handgun (that’s assuming you didn’t have your phone in your purse).

In the event that you would prefer to carry in your purse, the instructor recommended using a revolver because the slide won’t catch on any fabric and you can continue to shoot.

The last one we spoke over was a thigh holster. We were advised to always place the holster on the inside of your non-dominant leg. This makes it easy to grab and easier to conceal. (If gun was placed on the outside on your dominant leg, you will have a gun print showing through your dress).

An important thing to remember when you’re considering to carry a concealed handgun is to keep it with you 100% of the time. Practice how to draw from your holster and get comfortable wearing it. The meeting was extremely informative and I really enjoyed looking into all of the different options. To end the evening, we grabbed our guns and filled the lanes. It never hurts to get a couple rounds of target practice in!

Selecting A Handgun: Women’s Perspective

I think it’s a pretty decent video for women who are looking to purchase a handgun. It’s always good to do your research to figure out exactly what you’re looking for. Also, ALWAYS shoot the gun before you purchase it. Most shooting ranges will have rentals that you can use to make sure that the gun you are shooting is comfortable for you.

Biggest Gun Fails

And this my friends is why you see me mention gun safety in just about every post. Serious accidents could have resulted from each and every one of these videos, assuming they hadn’t already. If you want to shoot or own a gun, great and I encourage you to, BUT (and it’s a BIG but) EDUCATE YOURSELF. Learn about guns, including the proper ways to hold them, load/unload, and fire them. Also, don’t be afraid to start off small and work your way up. Recoil can be a scary thing if you don’t know what to expect. Also, DO NOT just give your gun to a friend/family member/spouse to “try”. It’s not a toy so don’t treat it as such. 

Finally, practice proper grips. If you don’t want to gun to fly out of your hand, smack you in the face, or knock you off your feet, then get a firm grip and know how to hold it. Holding a shotgun down by your hip is not the proper way to shoot. Holding a handgun sideways with one hand or down by your belly button with bent elbows is not the way to hold it. 

Accidents happen because people aren’t willing to learn the right way or their friends don’t know enough themselves to teach proper gun safety. It’s people like this that give RESPONSIBLE gun owners (and yes there is a difference) a very very bad name. 

What do you do to ensure your loved ones are well informed?