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  • Writer's pictureHootey Cline

Essential Tips for Preparing for Your First Firearms Training Class

Embarking on your first firearms training class is an exciting and pivotal step in your journey as a responsible gun owner. To ensure that you are fully prepared for this experience, it's essential to equip yourself with the right gear and mindset. Here are some essential tips to help you prepare for your first firearms training class.

1. Handguns: Focus on Easy

If you are a first-time gun owner, it's important to select a handgun that is easy to handle and operate. Most handgun classes require centerfire guns, with 9mm being a popular and logical choice due to its mild recoil and comparative cost. Additionally, consider the ease of running the slide, especially if you have weaker hands. Firearms such as the Walther PDP-F, Smith & Wesson EZ, Smith & Wesson Equalizer, or a 1911 9mm with a cocked hammer for reduced recoil spring tension can be excellent choices for first-time shooters.

2. Long Guns: Proper Fit

For long guns, it's crucial to ensure that the firearm fits you properly. Conventional stocks are often too long for average-sized males, so consider utilizing short stock "youth models" for a better fit. If you live in a state with stricter firearm regulations, such as New York, New Jersey, California, or Illinois, outfitting your firearm with a shorter fixed stock may be necessary.

3. Essential Accessories

Investing in essential accessories such as holsters, belts, and magazine carriers is vital for a successful training experience. Opt for a durable Kydex holster, and be mindful that some classes may not allow for appendix carry. It's also important to avoid breaking in a new holster during training, as constant drawing and holstering drills can be challenging with an unfamiliar holster. Additionally, ensure that you have enough magazine carriers and extra magazines or speed loaders for seamless reloading during training.

4. Ammo Best Practices

When it comes to ammunition, it's always best to be over-prepared. If a class suggests 500 rounds, consider taking 600 to account for potential extra practice or the opportunity to test other firearms. Always use ammunition that you are familiar with and have thoroughly researched to ensure optimal performance and safety.

5. Other Gear

In addition to firearms and ammunition, there are several other essential items to consider for your training class. Ear protection is critical for safeguarding your hearing, and having note-taking materials such as a field notebook can help you capture valuable insights and instructions. For recoil-sensitive shooters, investing in recoil gloves, a vest, or recoil pads can enhance comfort and reduce the impact of recoil. Lastly, if your training involves long guns, getting comfortable with a tactical sling before the class can help you feel more confident and prepared. By following these essential tips and adequately preparing yourself with the right gear and mindset, you can make the most of your first firearms training class. Remember that safety, attentiveness, and a willingness to learn are key components of a successful training experience. Good luck, and enjoy the journey of becoming a skilled and responsible gun owner!

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