New Shooter Information
Are you a new shooter?
Don’t worry ladies! We are here to help you with the information that you need to know about firearms.
If you do not already own a firearm, that isn’t an issue. There are a lot of options to choose from. One of the benefits of our club is that ladies are often willing to share their firearms so you can have access to a variety of firearms that you can try before you make your first (or next) purchase. We have many different brands, sizes, and calibers of firearms. We just ask that you offer to reimburse us for the ammo that you use when trying someone else’s firearm. Guns are like shoes! You need to find what fits you and what works for your needs.
To figure out what firearm will work for you, you need to do a little research.
First, you will need to decide if you want to look at a revolver (also referred to as “wheel guns”) or a semi-automatic.
A revolver is a firearm that has a moving cylinder that will cycle to the next round. Revolvers will come in either a single-action or double-action style and will typically hold five or six rounds. A single-action revolver will need to have the hammer of the gun manually pulled back to cycle the gun after each shot. A double-action revolver may or may not have a hammer, but the firearm will cycle to the next chamber by itself after each shot.
Another style of a firearm is semi-automatic. These are firearms that have a magazine that is loaded with your ammo and then loaded into the firearm. You will have to “rack the slide” to load the initial round and then the firearm will load every round after that, one at a time, until you are empty.
Each type of firearm has its advantages. You need to get the type of firearm that makes sense for you and what you will be using it for.
Once you decide which type of gun you would like, you will need to look at a variety of guns in that style for function and fit. Smaller guns are good for carrying on you but will have more recoil or “kick” when you shoot them. They will be more accurate at closer distances. Larger guns will be easier to shoot and allow you to shoot even at farther distances. You will need to decide on the capacity (the number of rounds that you want your firearm to have) and the caliber (the size of your ammo). The size of your ammo will also determine how the gun shoots.
Once you decide on the gun that you want, you will need some additional items as well for your new firearm. Here is a small checklist for the essentials to get you going:
Training - this will help you to learn how to safely handle a firearm and will give you confidence in handling your firearm. You will want to learn the fundamentals of shooting from someone who has taken the time to become an instructor and has experience training someone with your skill set. Training will also help you to understand what you want to look for when purchasing a new handgun. It is recommended to take at least one class before you purchase a firearm. Purchasing a gun without training is like purchasing a car without ever being behind the wheel.
Ammo (you will need target ammo for the range and self-defense/hollow point ammo if you are going to carry or use it for home defense). This is also a good time to get an extra box of self-defense ammo to ensure that it will shoot through your gun. Self-defense ammo is normally at least double the cost of range ammo. The cost of ammo will change depending on the brand and the size caliber you are shooting.
Holster – you may need a different holster for the range vs. what you will need if you are going to carry your gun on you. Our club recommends that for range day you have a hard plastic/Kydex holster that is custom fit for your firearm. We do NOT recommend a soft/material generic holster for range day due to safety concerns. A good holster that you can use for range day will cost between $35-$60 or more.
Eye protection. Safety glasses – you may need different glasses for shooting indoors (clear) vs. outdoors (tinted). Also, if you normally wear glasses, it is recommended that you get safety glasses that will fit over your glasses or you get side guards to prevent casings from getting between your glasses and skin when shooting. Prices for this will start at $1.00 and go up from there.
Ear protection. Ear protection ranges in price from $0.25 for a set of soft, disposable earplugs to over $1,000 for custom-fit earplugs. Our club recommends electronic ear protection so that the shooting sound is muffled, but you can hear people talking on the range without removing your ear protection. A set of electronic earmuffs will be about $35-$50. Also, you will need to keep some additional batteries in your range bag for them.
Range bag to keep your items in. Some people use tool bags, suitcases, backpacks, or bags that are specifically designed for the range.
Cleaning kit – this will be a cleaner, a lubricant, some cleaning patches as well as some brass brushes for cleaning. (Sorry ladies, this is part of shooting!)
A quick note about firearms and their accessories – there is a term “cry once, buy once”. Simply put, you very often get what you pay for when it comes to firearms and their accessories. You need to get good, quality gear to ensure that you are safe and that you do not continue to purchase lower-quality products repeatedly only to then purchase a more expensive version down the line. Ladies want to save a few dollars, but shooting is not a place where you do that, unfortunately!
Now that we have some of the gear you need for the range, you are ready to get some basic safety and education before heading to the range.
*Also – you may want to clean your gun before your first trip to the range. Since the factory doesn’t know how long a firearm will sit before it is shot, a special packing lubricant is used on the gun before it leaves the factory to preserve it. Oftentimes, this will be very thick and may cause issues when shooting your new gun for the first time.
Now that you have some of the basic information you need, please JOIN US at our monthly meetings and scheduled range days. Our meetings are designed to educate on a variety of topics. We also have guest speakers and fun activities. These meetings are designed to educate all levels of experience. Our range days are a great way to learn safe gun handling skills along with giving you a chance to practice your marksmanship skills. We always encourage and recommend that you invest some time and effort into as many training classes as you can attend. This will help you get the personal attention needed to hone and improve your shooting skills.
To check out our club, you just need to show up for one of our next events! If you would like more details on the club, membership costs, or to be added to our email list, please contact us through our website, via email, or on Facebook. If you are a new shooter and will need us to help you with gear (eye protection, ear protection, loaner gun, etc.), please be sure to email us so we have equipment for you to use. Also, RSVP through our events page as well.
Ready to join?
To join, please start by completing our membership form and return this completed form with your payment to the following:
The Liberty Belles Women's Gun Club
PO Box 349
Henryville, IN 47126