WATCH: Tips For New Pistol Shooters

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posted on April 14, 2020

In his latest video with SSUSA, 12-time NRA National Pistol Champion Brian Zins shares advice for new shooters, especially those who are looking to purchase their first pistol. Buying a new firearm can be a lot of fun, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind before plunking down your hard-earned cash. Watch the video above.

Brian Zins shares his advice for new pistol shooters on how to buy their first gun
Buying your first gun doesn't have to be daunting. Make sure you are comfortable with the firearm you choose.


Purchasing a firearm is analogous to buying a car. You are going to have to test drive a few to find the one that fits you best. To begin, find a range with a nice selection of rental guns. Pick a few pistols that you like to test out. Make sure you are comfortable with manipulating any guns before shooting them. Note the location of the safety (safeties), how the slide operates, where the magazine release is, etc. Dry fire and develop a good sight picture before any live fire. After you are confident in the physical manipulation of each firearm, Zins recommends firing about five rounds through each one.

"Definitely take the time to learn the gun before you buy it. Make sure you are comfortable with all of the mechanical aspects of the gun, dry fire and send some rounds downrange."

One thing that cannot be emphasized enough is take your time while shopping. The last thing you want to do is to pick a gun that you bring home and come to find out has a feature that you dislike.

"Don't rush it. Don't be afraid to ask questions and find the gun you want to get."

Finally, savvy shooters will seek out instruction to learn the fundamentals and get started in the right direction. One option is to find an experienced shooter at your favorite range that can show you the ropes. There are also NRA Training Courses led by great instructors available nationwide to teach you. Although a class in a group setting has its advantages, nothing beats a private lesson for hands-on instruction. Regardless, the advice that you receive will be valuable in building a solid foundation for your new hobby. Even a top-tier championship pistol shooter like Zins had to begin somewhere.

"Take a private lesson with somebody at your local range. Become a little more comfortable with the gun. I never shot a gun until I joined the Marine Corps—somebody had to teach me back in the day. And you never know, you may be the next national champion in your preferred discipline."

Below are links to previous installments in our pistol shooting video series featuring Brian Zins.


See more: How To Get Started In Action Shooting

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