How did you learn? Guns?
So, how did you learn everything you know about guns. I just want to know so I can educate myself. I heard that it takes a lot of reading and expirience and range time, but when people start talking about "Bore should be Chromed, 6 Grooves, 1-7" RH Twist, with a Direct Gas System, Locking Bolt, and direct impingment system". And thats just rifles, I want to learn everything about pistols too. I just dont understand the relavance of that stuff and its signifigance. How do range masters and gun salesmen learn so much. Seriously, I want to learn but it cant take me my whole life to learn it. thx.
if you dont have a lifetime to learn, dont start cause you will never even scratch the surface in just a couple of decades.
seriously tho myself, i started as a child, tearing apart stuff... every mechanical present given to me was immediately disassembled to see how it worked.... then reassembled to see if it still worked.
my first gun was no different.... tore the deer rifle apart and cleaned it and reassembled before i even got out of my pajamas.... it was christmas day....
as i got older, i taught myself to refinish stocks.... this let me get my hands on old rifles from relatives... i refinished them and got to see how the different guns worked.... in the mean time i resurfaced a few sears on some old jc higgins single shot .22s that had been in the family for years but put away cause of the hair triggers as a result of 40 years of plinking....
eventually i got my hands on a copy of brownells catalog , "gunsmith kinks" and and the gun parts corp catalog (now numrich arms) .... i started cleaning handguns for friends , free of charge, just to have access to different styles and models....i advertised to buy non working guns....i fixed them and sold off the ones i didnt want.
eventually i took a course online... subscribed to a billion news letters and bought every tech manual and or tear down sheet i could find.
i got my ffl and opened my own shop in central california and made a nice chunk of change from my hobby till i got sick of the laws and requirements in california to do business.
this was all before the internet.... now anyone can figure out a basic repair. so if i was starting today, from scratch.... i would start here... and dont put a time limit on it, you are gonna run outa time before you run out of gun stuff to figure out.
Originally Posted by TedDeBearFrmHell
Learning anything is an endless, lifetime endeavor.
I can only agree with Ted's advice and history:
First of all, it helps to have mechanical talent and something psychologists call "spatial visualization."
Second, you need a reference library—but it won't do you any good unless you have read, and then re-read, each and every book and source you possess. (Until relatively recently, almost all of my library was purchased used or "remaindered.")
Third, it would be nice, were you to find a friendly gunsmith who will let you "look over his shoulder" while he works. That was my own lucky break.
Fourth, then you would need to experiment. Take stuff apart and put it together again. Try to fix "junk" guns that nobody wants any more. Build a rifle from parts. Re-finish a stock.
Finally, it's just a matter of gaining practical experience. Keep an open mind. Admit your mistakes (especially to yourself). Never stop learning.
I dunno 'bout Ted, but it has taken me about 60 years to get this far, and it isn't over yet.
Pretty much the same as you learn anything else in life. It will come to you if you keep at it. Just be aware that there are folks out there who think they know everything and are more than happy to feed you a load of bull in order to pump up their inflated egos. Learn how to recognize this and steer clear of such nonsense while you seek out facts.
As is most of life's learning endeavors the more you learn, the more you realize how much you don't know. This should do two things for you: keep you humble, because humility is a mark of integrity, and keep you questing for more knowledge, which keeps your mind fresh.
I'll be 64 in October and still consider myself dumb as a box of rocks. If anyone tries to tell you that he knows everything about guns he'll probably also try to sell you some oceanfront property in Arizona!
Got my first gun 56 yrs ago, been shooting and reading about it ever since and like SouthernBoy, the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know.
Can't view learning about guns as a "goal" as in something you can get to like a finished product. It's more of a process, something ongoing. To me, that's part of the fun, always having something new to discover or get informed about. You read, ask questions, look stuff up (Google is the best thing since sliced bread!).
Well said. Thanks.
Originally Posted by SouthernBoy
SouthernBoy said it right. I am constantly learning more and more about firearms, and they have been a serious part of my life for about 34 years now. If you want mind boggling, just start learning about some of the older cartridges, I mean the older ones during the Black Powder days. Wow.
I learned all I know about guns from, or because of, my husband.
The most important thing to learn FIRST is safe and proper gun handling, pistol or rifle. Find a qualified range, gun shop etc and take the course. Then as you progress you will find a thirst for knowledge while enjoying gun ownership as a hobby, sport or necessary part of your life, job or self/family protection. Safety is the key to a long term, especially with guns...........JJ
My father was a gunsmith...he repaired firearms and used to make custom big game rifles for big game hunters.....did all the wood from scratch, hand checkering, trigger work, sight work....a friend of his did the barrel work, blueing, etc. I remember being downstairs, and he had a wood sample box, with all the exotic woods that he used.........I used to take the cover off, and just smell all the wonderful wood aromas, coming from that box. We used to shoot .22 rifles downstairs..had bullet traps....at the expense of my mother.......he also reloaded, so I learned somewhat, about reloading, and dies and powders. First firearm was a Savage 20 ga. single shot shotgun, used it for everything, but mostly bird hunting. Unfortunately, I didn't have the interest or the talent, at the time, to learn any of these crafts well....kickin myself now................but, I guess, most importantly, he taught me the healthy respect I have for firearms, and the safety aspects of handling, shooting, transporting, and being in groups of people hunting. You also learn alot, if you can take the time to check out forums, such as this one, and any books you can get your hands on, even hit the library once in a while. Do it the right way, and shooting is a great pastime.
I am 68 and still learning. Learn by doing, listening and watching. I was also lucky enough to have a Master Gunsmith as a friend.
I had my own shop, made custom gunstocks for people all over the country, you learn a lot just from handling a lot of guns. I used to get guns from a local pawn shop and fix them up for the owner, a few bucks for me and him. Some free of charge just to do it.
If you work on guns, get all the drawings you can, figure out how it works, what does what, pay attention and go slow.
Being a member of and a marksmanship instructor in the USMC, this forum, gun tv shows and gun publications and most important having enough sense to use my own intelligence to seperate good info from crap. Education, experience and time.
I grew up in a family that hunted and prided themselves in their marksmanship abilities. I used to read all the gun rags when I was a kid, most notably Shooters Bible. I still don't know everything, but I do understand it, so it is just a matter of reading, to keep up.
I think the other posters are bring too pessimistic. You will never know everything about guns but you can learn a lot pretty quickly, depending on your aptitude.
Originally Posted by schwann_oltorain
Personally, I shot 22s in the Boy Scouts and later qualified om the M-16 and .38 revolver back in 1968. But living in military bases or urban areas most of my adult life, I never had the time or saw the need for personal firearms. A few years ago, I retired (again) and moved to rural NC; It immediately became clear that we needed to be prepared to handle problems ourselves. We have a great county sheriff's department but response time is 10-20 minutes on a good day (it's a time-speed-distance thing). After consulting an old classmate (now a hunting guide) from military days, I bought a 20 ga pump shotgun fore home defense. Later, I added some handguns, rifles, and also got professional training. As it turns out, my CCW instructor was a local cop who is also the firearms instructor and physical trainer for his department. He also has plenty of hands-on experience on the drug squad, which is the Aggressive Enforcement Team in politically correct verbiage. Plus, he's a great speaker.
Here's what I would recommend for a beginner.
First, buy and read some books. I found the "NRA Firearms Sourcebook" (Brussard, et al) to provide a comprehensive but somewhat dry technical treatment of the whole firearms subject. "Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals" (Martin) provides a very readable beginner-level textbook with plenty of pictures and diagrams. Finally "The Concealed Handgun Manual" (Bird) provides more detailed coverage of concealed carry considerations.
Second, take a course from a professional instructor. State-approved CCW courses are good (if the instructor is good) but they spend a lot (most) of time on the laws. You need to know those laws but maybe not first thins. In that case take an NRA basic handgun course. A good instructor will try to answer any questions for you as long as it doesn't cut into time he needs to cover required material. You'll want a course that includes shooting at a range and many instructors will let you borrow a gun for that portion. This may be a good idea before spending the money to but a gun. Training is cheaper than guns and if your trainer helps you avoid a buying mistake, that's a good investment. You can decide what's next after that.
Speaking of buying, research the laws in your state. In NC, for example you can buy a rifle or shotgun at Walmart (or any gun store) with only the Instant Criminal Background Check, which is done over the phone while you wait. But you need a pistol permit, issued by the sheriff of the county where you live, to buy a handgun; pistol permits involve more thorough checks and can take weeks. Many states (typically politically liberal states) have much stricter requirements and lengthily procedures, so check where you live.
Third, research on the internet. There is much great information out there but ... Like everything on the internet, there is no guarantee the information is correct unless the source is authoritative. This applies tripple to opinions. Still AR15.com contains lots of good information on the black rifle, sites like this one (handgunforum) and "The High Road" have lots of discussion on various handguns. Manufacturer's web sites are a good source of basic data. Internet sellers, like Bud's Gun Shop and Gallery of Guns have lots of good info, but also mistakes). Finally, Wikipedia is a pretty good data source.
Also, I'd recommend joining the NRA..The NRA Rifleman magazine is pretty good for continuing education as is Shotgun News, which is a tabloid format publication. Shotgun news has MANY advertisements that are useful for keeping up on what's available and where. Get familiar with your local gun store; there is no substitute for actually holding one in your hand to see how it "fits."
So don't be discouraged. You can learn the basics quickly but you'll never know it all.
All you have to do is start. Decide what kind of shooting you want to start out with, research it and buy a gun. Get some competent person to drill you in safety and basic marksmanship. Start shooting. Read. Branch out. Listen. Read.
There is a dearth of useful information on the net, most of it is a trap for your credit card, nevertheless a good place to start is a search for 'how to shoot'. Results should include How to Fire a Handgun Safely and Correctly | The Art of Manliness, 12 Tips on How to Shoot a Handgun - wikiHow, and How to shoot a handgun accurately by Massad Ayoob. Good luck.
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