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Episode 244 S7-6

Teaching First Time Firearm Owners


Special Guest:

Hope on the Horizon Ch 6

Ben Branam

Right now, an estimated 80% of firearms purchasers are new gun owners. These folks are going to need some answers as to how to use this defensive tool. Today, after the chapter from Hope on the Horizon, Ben Branam is here to discuss how to defend your space and how to introduce a new firearm owner to a gun safely. Proper mentorship is essential at this stage to help them learn the mechanics so they can become a proficient, responsible shooter.

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A firearm is a wise decision for self-defense during these uncertain times. Still, there are other methods you can use to secure your perimeter as well. The military teaches a stand two rotation. Someone needs to be up twenty-four seven to maintain a perimeter watch. The larger the threat, the more people you need up. You need a group plan. No matter what the program, one person needs to be on watch at all times. The person on the lookout is the Firewatch. You will still have to do all of your tasks while maintaining a twenty-four-seven Firewatch.

From a defensive position, you always want to be improving your situation. (6-4 in the Marine Corp Book). Consider stocking supplies for sandbag bunkers. You can change the position and amount of lighting, or you can add bushes. Picky and sharp landscapes make great window defenders. If you do nothing, attackers can easily watch your space, learn your patterns, and attack when you are vulnerable.

It’s a good idea to meet your neighbors now if you haven’t done so already. The community you live in is going to be essential for your future survival. Bigger groups provide defense and additional resources. Even during this time of the increased risk of virus infection, you can say hi while maintaining a safe distance. Help out your elderly neighbors; they can be spectacular resources as well.

If you have been a gun owner for a long time, your neighbors may have noticed you a shooter. Since the outbreak of the virus, the sales numbers for new gun owners have significantly increased. These individuals may not have understood the need for a firearm before and have never seen or held a gun. It is not a bad idea to own a firearm for self-defense, especially in these uncertain times. These new owners may come to you for advice. As an experienced gun owner, you need to understand how to help these individuals learn. Don’t belittle people for not believing before. They know now, help them along their journey, and you may end up with a new friend.

The first thing you need to do with a new gun owner establishes safety rules. You must know the rules inside out and be a source of reference at every moment. The most important rules to instill are Jeff Cooper’s four rules of gun safety.

1. Treat every weapon like it is loaded. Do this every second of every moment you are with a firearm.

2. Don’t point the gun at something unless you are willing to shoot it. This rule ensures the firearm is always aiming in a safe direction.

3. Keep your finger straight and off the trigger. The only time the trigger needs to be touched is when you are going to fire the weapon.

4. Know the target and what lies beyond. Bullets travel a long distance and can often go through targets. It is essential to understand that whatever is behind your target could sustain a bullet wound as well.

Every participant should clearly understand the rules for the range. You can start the lesson with dry practice. Dryfire is especially useful if the new shooter is frightened of the firearm. This way, you can teach the individual all about the firearm’s mechanics. In this space or room, do not allow live ammo that is the same caliper as the firearms that are being used for training. You can use dummy rounds to practice loading the magazine and chambering a round.

Give all of the safety features special attention during the lesson. Show them that the weapon is one hundred percent safe as long as the safety features and adhere to the firearms rules. Make sure they understand that the gun only fires when they pull the trigger. Snap caps or dummy rounds are affordable. Order them now, so you have them for training. Buy different colored ammo than what your live ammo is and never, ever store dummy round with live animal.

The next step is to set up a mock range. Have the individuals rack the weapon and then teach them how to make sure the gun is clear. You can practice sight alignment and review the safety rules. Point out the mistakes and watch out for couples. Typically, the guys will try to do everything for their ladies. They take the weapon load it, rack it and then hand it to her for her to fire. Make sure each individual is participating in all of the aspects of handling the firearm.

Also, when racking the slide, nine times out of ten, guys will try to muscle it and force it to go back and forth. A lot of times, guys need to be encouraged to relax and let the firearm do its job. Ladies, on the other hand, will be afraid of breaking the weapon and gingerly move the slide back and forth. They should be encouraged to be more aggressive.

The NRA put out a program called First Shots. During this program, they encourage new shooters to only put one bullet in the gun for the first shot. A lot of times, when new shooters fire the firearm, they will have an emotional response. Some people drop the weapon. Other folks may scream or jump up and down. The most dangerous thing people firing a gun for the first time may do turn around and start pointing with their dominant hand. The dominant hand is usually the hand holding the firearms, so they point it in all kids of dangerous locations. 

Correct any inappropriate behavior and load one more bullet.

Maintain the one bullet rule until the shooter becomes more confident. Then proceed to two, then three, then four and onward. The more dry fire practice an individual can engage, the better the shooter they will be. However, many people find dryfire practice boring. Make sure that you teach a new revolver owner how to index the first round. They must watch the rotation of the cylinder and put the bullet in the chamber that will be loaded when the gun is cocked. You need to load the round just off-center so it rotates into the firing chamber.

Owning a firearm can be a rewarding experience. Helping someone to be the responsible citizen that can represent all firearms wielders is priceless. Make sure you know and exemplify the safety rules so that when your student emulates your behavior, the action is one that makes you proud.

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Hope on the Horizon Ch 6

Ben Branam

"I’ve loved shooting since the first time I pulled a trigger at age 8. During high school I volunteered at my local PD where I learned more about handguns. I joined the Marine Corps Infantry after high school. I was a reserve for 10 years with 2 years of active duty and 1 tour in Iraq in 2003. I worked for an armored car company for almost 7 years mostly in the LA area of California. During all that I also got a degree in law enforcement and went through two different police academies. Being a cop never worked out, but through it all I’ve always been training people to fight. I spent all of 2008 in Iraq again as a private contractor defending a base. There I got to teach and train with the US Army and others. Now I want to bring that experience and my joy of teaching to others. I love teaching firearms and want the good people of the world to be able to defend themselves. It’s now my mission and purpose in life.." -Ben Branam

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