It’s common knowledge by now that there are more new gun owners (and guns) out in society than ever before in recent history.
There are a lot of reasons why this is true like the pandemic and people just basically not feeling safe in their neighborhoods. Personally, just as long as you’re not going to go hurt people, I don’t care what you’re reasoning is.
I’m glad you’re here.
While being a gun owner is easy, there are some things that I see new gun owners doing that I want to address.
Let’s discuss it, where you can read it in the privacy of your own home —
What are some mistakes that new gun owners make?
The sheer number of people who go out and buy a gun, only to assume that they’ll know how to use it if they need it is astounding.
Some folks thankfully go out and get their concealed carry permit and take that class, but some folks just buy their gun and call it done.
I want to clarify something so that I’m not confusing anyone. I don’t think training should be required so please do not misconstrue what I’m saying.
While I don’t think it should be required I do think that each gun owner should strive to learn as much as they can and should take a class at least every couple of years by someone who is better than they are.
I think it was Mike Tyson who said that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. This is true for a defensive scenario with a gun too.
Take some training. I don’t care how good you think you are, what your background is, or if you were in the military. Skills are perishable and you aren’t that good.
There is an inherent amount of safety that must be built into you for each time you’re handling a gun. When you pick up a gun each and every time you must follow the safety rules.
This means keeping your finger straight and off the trigger (unless you’re training with dry fire and have cleared your weapon). And even when you’re doing your dry fire training you’re still being safe because you’re not pointing your gun at something you’re not willing to destroy.
You can read the rest of the firearms safety rules here, where I go much further into detail.
Practicing with the wrong ammo
If there is one thing that drives me nutty, it’s when I hear employees at the gun store say that self-defense ammo, also known as hollow points, are only to be used in self-defense.
This is usually followed by, when you go to the range you bring these with you because they’re cheaper to shoot and you can shoot more of them.
While this is true to a degree, you must know that your gun cycles your hollow points. You cannot just go to the range, shoot your ball ammo, and then get home and load hollow points in it and expect it to function properly.
This is dangerous thinking because it’s a totally different type of ammunition that may not work in your gun because the profile of the bullet is different.
Even if the rounds cycle properly, they feel may feel different. They may impact the target different. There are things going on here that you need to experience at least a couple of times.
I go more into the reasons why you need to shoot your hollow point ammo through your carry gun in that article.
Using the wrong ammo
Along the same lines of the previous point, is hearing of folks who carry or use the wrong ammunition in their gun. There is more to choosing ammo than just getting the right caliber.
For example, knowing what you’re going to be doing with your gun is important. Is it a defense firearm? Then you should choose a good hollow point for self defense.
If you’re planning to go hunting, you’ll need to do a good amount of research on what the right grain weight projectile is for your chosen animal. Will you need a deep penetrating round? One that expands? These are things you must know.
A good place to start for this is our rifle ballistics chart.
Not thinking about the aftermath
To some degree, the aftermath of a defensive scenario is almost as important as the scenario itself.
At least part of the reason why is because this is when you have to defend yourself in court. Not thinking about this beforehand is a huge issue.
Now to flip this on its head completely, another thing people don’t think about immediately after a defensive encounter is medical help. You may get hurt, or you may hurt someone.
I always recommend having some sort of trauma gear, like from these guys at Mountain Man Medical. Of course, knowing how to use it is good too.
This is something you need to think about which leads me directly into my next point —
Thinking you’re invincible
A lot of folks think that because they have their gun on them that they’re invincible. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. A lot of well-intentioned folks die because they didn’t react right to a situation.
One thing we like to say, for example, is that it may be unwise to draw your gun when you are staring down the barrel of a gun yourself. Each situation will be different.
But I can guarantee that you’re not invincible and chances are excellent that you’ll get hurt if you ever need to defend yourself from an attack.
So many people carry guns in holsters that are unsafe, or don’t use a holster at all, that it blows my mind.
I have family members who will be left unnamed who do this and think it’s okay and no amount of me babbling to them that they’re wrong will fix them.
I don’t care what kind of holster you get, just get one that is safe and won’t allow you to shoot yourself.
You can find which ones I like the most here, if you care. If not, buy one that is leather or a hard plastic (known as Kydex, Boltaron, or injected) and call it quits.
You will have to buy a few before you find one you like. There is almost zero avoiding this. I own dozens of holsters that I don’t use, and just a handful that I do.
What did I leave out? Let me know in the comments below.