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7 Tips for New Women Shooters From Women Shooters

7 Tips for New Women Shooters From Women Shooters

Hey ladies, are you new to firearms? Maybe you’ve been to the range a few times, taken a training course, and already own a gun or two. Or perhaps you’ve never even fired a gun before (but want to!). While more and more women are becoming gun owners for self-defense, many simply enjoy shooting recreationally. In fact, there are over 3.3 million female hunters in the U.S. and over 5.4 million female target shooters. However, only 43% of female gun owners go target shooting at least once and month and that number needs to increase!
The shooting sports are a great way to learn about firearms, different sports, and meet other like-minded people. However, getting started might be easier said than done. Don’t worry, these ladies are here to help! From hunters to competitive shooters to bloggers, these women are dedicated to closing the gender gap in the world of firearms. Here are their tips for all of you who are new to the shooting sports: 

Theresa Vail
Hunter and Host of NRA All Access

"If you're new to shooting or wanting to start, find some girlfriends that are interested in trying it with you. Having female friends go to the range with you takes the pressure off and makes a typically male-dominant arena much less intimidating. There is such thing as strength in numbers!"

Tiffany Piper
Competitive Shooter, 2016 Binachi Cup Women’s Champion

Photo from www.shootingsportsusa.com

“The best piece of advice I would give is practice makes perfect, rather an overused quote but it really is the truth! In New Zealand, we barely get enough range time with our noise restrictions so muscle memory and technique are key. You want to make the most out of your shooting time and this is how you can maximize it. Not to mention, it gives the guys a run for their money!

Study up on shooting techniques, watch YouTube videos of other professional women shooters, and try out what you see. Not everything works for everyone, but you might take snippets from every little video you see and before you know it you're on fire!

Don’t get intimidated thinking it’s a male’s sport and whatever you do, don’t give up!”

Michelle Viscusi
Competitive Shooter

“To any shooter, selecting the right firearm is the beginning of a successful shooting journey. I've had experience at the range where new shooters are "told" what firearm is right for them. Giving a new shooter a .44magnum or a .500 S&W on their first visit to the range, always proves for an unpleasant first time. Do your research, look for a certified instructor who listens to your needs, and wants to teach you the fundamentals of shooting. Don't be intimidated to ask questions. If your instructor makes you feel uncomfortable with answering your questions, find a new instructor. Team GLOCK would be happy to live stream to answer any questions you might have! Most important of all is to enjoy your experience and have fun. Here are some things new shooters should consider:
  1. Choosing the right firearm. Selecting a quality firearm from a reputable manufacture is going to contribute to your shooting experience. Having a reliable firearm at the range, or personal protection is very important.
  2. Select the right caliber. Choosing the right caliber should be researched. Simple questions like; What do you want to use the firearm for? Cost of ammo? Personal protection ammo? Availability?
  3. Consider the cost. How much do you want to pay for your firearm? In AZ a quality firearm is around 450-550 dollars.  
  4. Think about safety. Where is the firearm stored? Will you purchase a safe?  
  5. Choosing a carry gun.  Do you want to carry a full size firearm? If you want to carry concealed, are you going to enjoy shooting a subcompact firearm at the range? And will the firearm be able to carry you into competition if you'd like to.

Corey Cogdell
Olympic Trap Shooter

“The shooting sports are great for women to get involved in! It’s empowering for women to know how to use a firearm in a sporting atmosphere as well as for self-defense. So if you are new to firearms, check out your local gun club and take a lesson! There you’ll find instructors and other shooting sports enthusiast who will be more than willing to help you. You’ll feel much more confident knowing how to use a firearm safely and responsibly. It’s something you’ll enjoy for yourself, with your significant other, and a great tradition to pass down to your children.”

Tori Nonaka
Competitive Shooter

“I always recommend to new shooters to first concentrate on the basics of gun safety. That way they will be more comfortable when they next learn about the particular gun they will be shooting. Their confidence will grow as they familiarize themselves with their specific weapon. Then, it’s all about practice at the range. Most new shooters are concerned about all that they “don’t know” about guns. Keeping things simple, specific and repetitive, is the best way to grow and learn to enjoy shooting.”

Michelle Cerino
Managing Editor & Columnist for Women’s Outdoor News

Photo from www.facebook.com/Cerino-Consulting-and-Training-Group

"Everyone should have two types of handguns. Your first purchase should be a full size gun to train with. Make sure it fits YOUR hands and YOU are comfortable with it. Once you've learned the fundamentals of marksmanship and how to manipulate it, choose a compact pistol for concealed carry. Again, make sure it fits YOU."

Julie Golob
Competitive Shooter

Photo Credit: Yamil Sued

“If something isn’t clear, just ask about it! Shooters are some of the best people you’ll ever meet, but we can be confusing and use a lot of shooter slang and lingo. When in doubt, ask! Most of the time we take for granted that new shooters know what we’re talking about. It’s great for us to be reminded to explain shooting and firearm safety in a way that makes sense and is easy to understand.”

Originally published June 21, 2016

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