So, you wanna buy a brand new gun. Fair enough, it’s your right, as per the Second Amendment, despite what the ATF might tell you.
But are you really ready to own a firearm? Sure, holding two guns akimbo like Daniel Radcliffe is empowering, and gunning down bad guys while flying through the air like Max Payne is fun, but guns, while not killing people, can be used to kill, and they need to be respected.
Besides, being a responsible gun owner is much more fun, because, if you are, the Feds won’t come and take your toys away, as they did with RussiaFPS’s guns. Can’t have fun if you don’t have your toys.
So, what does it take to be a responsible gun owner? Well, read our little article, and you’ll find that we’ve compiled a few very useful tips for gun lovers, especially of the green kind. Let’s take a look!
Do Your Research
Without a doubt, the most cookie-cutter advice ever. But, when your cookie can cut people in half, maybe you should cut us some slack and actually look into what makes your cookie so dangerous.
Doing your research on a firearm is essential to you not only being a responsible gun owner, but also avoiding unnecessary costs.
Ask yourself this question first – what do you need a firearm for? Home defense? Hunting? Target shooting? Concealed carry?
By answering this question, you will be able to pick a firearm that suits your particular needs, and avoid overspending (or underspending), while acquiring a firearm that you will use often and become familiar with.
Learn How to Use It, and Keep Using It
Which brings us to our next tip – learn how to use it!
A gun is not a weapon, it’s a tool. You are the weapon. If you don’t have even a basic knowledge of firearms, and of the particular firearm you’re using, you’re endangering yourself and those around you.
Learn the four safety rules! The moment you become a gun owner, these four tenets will become your Bible. They are:
- Always treat your weapon as if it were loaded – not treating a deadly tool as if it were deadly is disrespecting the tool, yourself, and your peers.
- Always point your weapon in a safe direction – flaying your armament around and flagging people is not only a great way to get blacklisted from every range in the state, it also runs the minor inconvenience of inflicting bystanders with a small dose of death.
- Always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot – just do it, alright? Don’t be that guy, pal. Don’t be that guy.
- Always know your target, and what’s behind it – shooting targets is fun, but unless you want a 2-for-1, make sure to check your targets and what’s behind them.
Look, accidents happen, and they may happen to you. However, if you follow these four safety rules, like this guy, you will avoid hurting anyone even if the accident happens.
Of course, in order to safely handle your weapon, you also have to know how to manipulate it. Learn how to load and unload it properly, learn how to disassemble and clean it, and, most importantly, learn how to shoot.
Luckily, there are many very competent and professional people that can teach you how to shoot properly.
The gun community is strong in the US and a tight-knit one as well, and all you need to do is ask, and you’ll be pointed in the right direction. However, here’s a quick rundown of things to do to improve your shooting:
- Adopt the proper stance – Both hands on the weapon, hold it firmly. Your feet should be in the width of your shoulders, your knees slightly bent. Your feet should be either parallel, pointing at the target, or your weak foot forward. If you’re using a firearm with a shoulder stock, place it firmly into your shoulder and lean into it to mitigate recoil. If you’re using a pistol, hold the grip fimly with your shooting hand, and wrap your supporting hand around the fingers and knuckles of your shooting hand.
- Don’t hold the stance too long and remember to rest – holding the stance for too long leads to clenching and fatigue, which will cause you to throw your shots. Remember to relax and rest every once in a while.
- Breathe slowly and evenly – don’t hold your breath as it will tense up your body. Instead, breathe slowly and deliberately, as you would when at rest.
- Squeeze the trigger, don’t yank it – new shooters often make a mistake of pressing hard and fast on the trigger in anticipation of recoil, which often causes their shots to go low and left (right for lefties). Relax, let your hands control the recoil, and pull the trigger evenly and straight backwards to not upset your sight alignment.
- Mind your sight alignment and maintain sight picture – this will change depending on your firearm, but most guns have a front post. Place this front post on your target so that the top of the post forms a line that cuts the target’s bullseye in half. If your firearm has a notched rear sight, place the post in the center of the notch, with the top or both notch and the post forming a single line. If you’ve got an aperture rear sight, place the post squarely in the hole through which you’re looking.
- Practice makes perfect – this one is self-explanatory. If you want to be a good shot, you need to practice often, or as often as you can or are willing.
Know Your Ammo and Stick to Your Supplier
As Daddy Garand says, talk is cheap, ammo is expensive.
This can also fall under the “do your research” advice. Whether you prefer the mah stahpin powa that is .45 ACP, the widespread availability of 9mm or the freedom seed that is 5.56, make sure you know what kind of ammo you’re using and stick to it.
More experienced shooters might change ammo often, but that’s just it – they’re more experienced, and they have enough knowledge that they can experiment with their ammunition a bit.
But for a newbie, find the ammunition that works reliably and stick to it. So, if you find, for example, a supplier that offers 5.56 bulk ammo, that works in your particular rifle, stick with them until you’ve got enough experience to be able to gauge which ammo is better, more accurate, more reliable and more cost-effective.
Also, if you can, stay away from factory reloads. Indeed, they can be quite cheap, and very reliable, but you also run the risk of getting squibs, which can present you with an obstructed barrel and cause catastrophic failure of your weapon, or the ammo being tampered with to the point of exploding your firearm from overpressure and causing you to have to just put your thumb in it.
Finally, know which weapon accepts which ammo. This might seem logical, but you would be surprised how many people blow up their ARs with .300 BLK. This also ties into researching and learning how to use your firearm, as certain platforms (like the AR) can accept a variety of calibers that, at first glance, might seem similar (like .223, 5.56 and .300 BLK).
Store Your Weapons Safely and Responsibly
Finally, make sure you’re storing your weapons in a properly secured and hospitable environment.
In fact, if you don’t store your firearm properly, you just might have a run-in with Johnny Law. On top of that, think of what the media will say, and how you’ll ruin the fun for all of us!
Indeed, many states require gun owners to have a secure safe or gun locker in which to store their guns before they even become gun owners. This is to prevent not only those pesky terrorists from getting their hands on your Freedom Deliverer 3000, but also to prevent your small-statured family members from aerating your or (God forbid) their own noggns.
Again, do your research – there are plenty of gun safes out there that are both secure and high-quality, and they’ll not only house your weapons and keep them away from unwanted parties, but also keep them in tip-top condition for when you need to use them.
And that’s about all we have for you today. Becoming a gun owner can be quite exciting – you’ve now got your boomstick, and all you need is a skeleton to blow apart.
However, make sure you check yourself, before you wreck yourself (or anyone else, for that matter) with these few tips we’ve bestowed upon you, and become a responsible gun owner!
Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. His work is focusing on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.