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Firearms N00b- Advice?

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  • Firearms N00b- Advice?

    Hey guys, I'm an applicant and will likely be attending a municipal police academy some time in 2010. I have very little experience with firearms. Years ago I used to occasionally hunt deer with my father, so I've fired a bolt action rifle more than anything else. I went to the range once when I was a teenager and fired off some 9 mm rounds. I've fired a shotgun maybe twice. No instruction, and I definitely don't feel comfortable or familiar with guns.
    So my question is, what (if anything) do you guys think I should do between now and when the academy starts. Should I sign up for a course? Should I buy a gun? I live in the Austin area if anyone has any specific courses they'd recommend.
    "No one can make you feel like a turd without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

  • #2
    The academy will teach you. Don't pick up bad habits that they will have break.

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    • #3
      I don't think there is anything wrong with shooting a little bit before you go..

      Yes you could learn some bad habits, but as long as your shooting well and can adapt and learn what people show and teach, you will be ok..

      I have had many different instructor's during my police career and can tell you that all of them shoot just a little different each time..

      I in particular have a weird way to shoot, that they tried to fix with no avail..

      I draw with my right hand and switch to my left hand.. I qualify expert every single time..

      The academy instructors tried to make me proficent with drawing with my right and shooting with my right, but my score was way down each time they tried.. They eventually told me that everyone shoots a little different and as long as I was proficent, there wasn't a problem..

      I also tried to set up my rig with a left handed draw, what a nightmare... I cannot draw with my left hand, yes yes i know, im messed up...
      "If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by beavo451 View Post
        The academy will teach you. Don't pick up bad habits that they will have break.
        Yeah, that's kind of what I was worried about and thought someone might say. Maybe I should just take some kind of gun safety class and then go to range now and just do some half-***** shooting.
        I just know that a lot of my classmates will have military weapons training or at least will have grown up shooting on the farm or something. I just don't want instructors to freak out because I don't already know how to safely load, fire, and unload a pistol.
        "No one can make you feel like a turd without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

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        • #5
          Well, that would work. Any police firearms instructors in the Austin area wanna take me to the range? Ammo's on me. I'll even throw in a chicken fried steak.
          Hah.. I think I'll probably just look into a basic gun safety class for now.
          "No one can make you feel like a turd without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

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          • #6
            just play xbox
            "Out of every 100 men sent to battle, 10 shouldn't even be there, 80 are just targets, 9 are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a Warrior and he will bring the others back." -Heraclitus

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            • #7
              I would just learn gun safety for now, I'm sure you can find the basics online somewhere. Remember unloaded guns kill more people than loaded ones do.
              Originally posted by mog1017
              “The path to any goal or desire is never straight. You will face obstacles and adversity from outside and within. The only way to make it is to have the ability and guts to change course. Stop beating your head against the brick wall. Think hard and try something you have never done before. There is always a way to reach your destination but you have to find it.” Mark Quam

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              • #8
                Sent you a PM

                and I 2nd what Payton says.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MarineVet89 View Post
                  just play xbox
                  I play PS3 and have won multiple medals for headshots. So assuming we are issued AK47's and Desert Eagles in the academy, I should be fine, right?
                  "No one can make you feel like a turd without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Payton1394 View Post
                    I would just learn gun safety for now, I'm sure you can find the basics online somewhere. Remember unloaded guns kill more people than loaded ones do.
                    Maybe I am dumb but I don't understand this.
                    “…unless one lives and loves in the trenches, it is difficult to remember that the war against dehumanization is ceaseless.” -Audre Lorde

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Marp0d View Post
                      Maybe I am dumb but I don't understand this.
                      It means to treat all weapons as if they are loaded. Many times people thought their weapon was unloaded, when it wasn't, and someone ended up getting hurt or killed.
                      sigpic

                      " 'Blessed are the Peacemakers', is, I suppose, to be understood in the other world, for in this one they are frequently cursed." - Benjamin Franklin

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                      • #12
                        The 4 fundamental firearms safety rules:

                        1) Treat every weapon as if it were loaded
                        2) Never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to destroy
                        3) Keep your finger off of the trigger until you intend to fire
                        4) Be sure of your backdrop and beyond.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by adeutch View Post
                          Should I buy a gun?

                          there is nothing wrong with buying a gun (beside that fact that it's just fun). as others have said, shooting and getting more familiar with shooting wont do you any harm...you wont be able to teach yourself "bad" habits that cant be easily corrected. im not a cop, but all the cool tactical stuff you will learn im sure. just get to the point where shooting guns is second nature and you can hit targets with your eyes closed (dont actually try that, though...haha) learning to shoot well in my opinion is the most important thing.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nathanttu View Post
                            there is nothing wrong with buying a gun (beside that fact that it's just fun). as others have said, shooting and getting more familiar with shooting wont do you any harm...you wont be able to teach yourself "bad" habits that cant be easily corrected. im not a cop, but all the cool tactical stuff you will learn im sure. just get to the point where shooting guns is second nature and you can hit targets with your eyes closed (dont actually try that, though...haha) learning to shoot well in my opinion is the most important thing.
                            That is way far from the truth. In my academy class, there were a few people that liked guns, but never had any formal training. They could shoot decently, but they had the potential to be much better except they could not break their habits like slapping the trigger, better shooting techniques, etc. Under stress, they just reverted to what they had been doing.

                            Another very hard "bad" habit to break is looking for the bullet hole after every shot. This action is a natural inclination, but when further reinforced through reptition, it becomes very hard to break and your shooting will suffer.

                            Repeatedly performing a certain action becomes habit. No matter what it is, habits are hard to break.


                            Edit: Thought of another "self-taught" bad habit. There was a veteran officer that was going through Simunition training. This particular officer was a proficient shooter and would practice drawing and dry-firing at home. He would draw, squeeze the trigger once, and then practice a tactical reload. During the Simuntion training, the officer did exactly that. Drew, fired one round, and proceeded to perform a tactical reload while being shot at and taking hits.
                            Last edited by beavo451; 11-04-2009, 04:00 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Get a gun, so much to do if you are new to firearms. Just like anything, would you pay for a golf getaway for begginers if you haven't even swung a club? You would be so uncomfortable, too much information to digest in a short amount of time. If you ever are in Houston, my treat! Random tid bits:

                              First you need to figure which dominate eye you are and if it relates to which dominate hand you are. This could be the most frustrating thing if you don't establish how you are wired.

                              Go to guns show or even sport stores and find some freindly knowledgeable people. Get orientated to gun lingo, slide, rack, clear, chamber, breech, etc. You are in Tx which is very pro guns, lots of shooters you just need to find there watering holes. Most would love to introduce the sport to you.

                              You can watch videos on youtube. There are some weird ones but most will be criticized by the knowlegeable public of shooters. There is a basic grip that you need to do, grab a toy pistol if thats all you have and watch in detail how your thums and fingers interact.

                              You can start practicing with your weak hand at the range, this usually stumps most people. Anything kinesthestically speaking takes repetition to establish muscle memory.

                              Heck I know of some competitive shooters that play around with airsoft guns at work to just maintain trigger/handling during long periods away from the range. Picture the golfer swinging and putting at the office. Anytime you use our muscles repetitively it remembers.

                              Xds are great for lefties!

                              I golf with a retired HPD seargent and he saids the good thing is that I will not have to worry much about the shooting part while in the academy. He knows that I shoot/practice often and that I will enjoy the challenges.
                              Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.

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