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New to Shooting & Hunting?

So, you want to find out more about guns and shooting, but you're not sure where to start. Well, whether you know it or not, you already have, just by visiting the Winchester Ammunition web site.

As much fun as the shooting sports are, getting started in any sport can be both frustrating and intimidating. Especially if you don't have a friend or family member to help guide you. Many people (including a few of us here at Winchester) weren't lucky enough to have grown up learning about shooting and hunting. So if you feel a little overwhelmed as you start out, rest assured you're not alone.

You'll be surprised at how quickly you catch on, too. The difference between rifles and revolvers, calibers and grains, centerfire and rimfire will all be easily understandable in no time.

And there's always plenty of places to turn (this web site, for example) if you need more information. Winchester Ammunition Advisory Center dealers will be more than happy to help you with your first gun and ammunition purchase, as well as recommend an instructor and a place to shoot. Conservation and industry groups, which you'll also find listed on this web site, are helpful, and of course you can always check your local yellow pages for instructors or gun and ammunition dealers in your area.

There's nothing like the thrill and excitement of hitting a bullseye, knocking a clay target out of the sky, or taking that first shot at your first covey of quail. Once you try it, you'll be hooked on shooting and hunting.

Following are some immediate steps you can take to get started.

STEPS YOU CAN TAKEĀ 

1. Decide what type of shooting you would like to learn.

  • Hunting
  • Target Shooting
  • Personal Protection

2. Decide what type of gun you would like to use and/or purchase.

  • Handgun (used for hunting, target shooting, and personal protection)
  • Rifle (used for hunting and target shooting)
  • Shotgun (used mostly for hunting and clay target shooting)
  • Rimfire .22 (used for hunting and target shooting)

3. Call a local dealer
Call a local dealer and ask him or her to recommend a local gun club, public range, or shooting instructor. Some ranges offer guns on a rental basis and provide instructors, giving new shooters the opportunity to try a variety of guns before making a purchase decision. Also take time to find out what classes are available to new shooters.

4. Purchase the gun you want
Once you've decided on the type of gun you want, it's time to go buy it. Explain to the dealer that you're a new shooter, but you know the type and caliber of gun you want. If the dealer suggests a gun other than the one you've chosen, be sure the reasons make sense to you. Remember, you will be the one doing the shooting. The gun you buy should be one that you are comfortable with.

Have the dealer thoroughly explain how to properly use, clean, and store your new gun. (And be sure to ask for Winchester Ammunition.)

5. Get oriented with your new purchase
The next step is to practice at home with your new gun UNLOADED. Be sure to observe all safety rules. You want to get comfortable with your gun. Several hours of safe practice will be helpful in making you feel less self-conscious and nervous when you actually shoot your gun for the first time.

6. Contact an instructor or join a class
You are now ready to contact an instructor or class for beginning shooters. If you decide to go with an instructor, make sure that he/she knows you are a new shooter.

7. Practice practice practice
After you have completed your class, don't just put your gun away and forget about it. Go to the range and practice at least once a week. In order to continue feeling comfortable with your gun, you should use it on a regular basis. Check your local range for leagues to join.

8. Follow the same procedures if you intend on hunting or shooting clay targets
If your reason for purchasing a gun is to go hunting or to shoot clay targets, go through the same process outlined above. You should know, however, that most rifle ranges do not facilitate shotgun shooting. You will have to go to a gun club for shotgun shooting.

9. Explore our site or contact the following agencies for more info
For additional information, explore the rest of our web site. There's also a wealth of information on other sites on the web listed under shooting, outdoors, guns, and firearms. For more information from us, feel free to drop us a line at Winchester Ammunition, Attn: Consumer Information, 427 N. Shamrock Street, East Alton, IL 62024.

In the meantime, remember the Learn to Shoot Checklist:

  • Decide on the type of shooting you'd like to learn.
  • Decide on the type of gun you want.
  • Try out guns by renting, then buy when you're ready.
  • Practice with your gun UNLOADED.
  • Schedule and take shooting instructions.
  • Practice shooting at a club or range.
  • Enjoy!