LPT: When shooting a gun for the first time or bringing a friend to shoot a gun for the first time, put only ONE bullet in the cylinder/magazine/clip when you’re ready to shoot. Shooters do dumb things after their first shot, better they do it with an empty gun than a fully loaded one.

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Brought a friend out to shoot the first shotgun he bought. I told him to just put in one round. And told him that people usually get really excited and dont pay attention to where they swing the gun. I stood behind him and he fires off the round and excitedly immediately swings the gun around and ended up pointing it right at me and didnt realize until i yelled at him lol. Putting one round in for the first time is definitely a good idea. Even after telling someone about the dumb thing they will do they still do it.


I do a lot of clay shooting and bring a lot of new people along who usually have fired a gun before but haven’t shot a shotgun, shot at a clay, etc and over unders are such a good teaching tool. Want to load it? Break it in half. Want to unload it? Break it in half. Want to make it safe? Break it in half. Want to know if it’s loaded? break it in half. How do I handle or move around with it it safely? Break it in half! Want to load more than 2 shells in it? No can do!


When I take people that have never gone to the range I stand directly behind them and close to them and keep my forearm on their back in the event recoil catches them off guard. That way you can gently push them back down or provide a brace of sorts. They’re annoyed but I tell them that as soon as I determine they can safely handle one I’ll stop. It’s what it is.


I learned to shoot at Boy Scout summer camp, where the only guns they had were single-shot bolt-action .22LR rifles. Solid choice for teaching 11-year-olds marksmanship and gun safety.