Tips for Teaching New Shooters

Many people ask me via YouTube and other channels what my key concerns are when teaching people who have never before touched a handgun.  This video series on YouTube is my summary of the most important factors in teaching new shooters.  I hope you find it interesting and helpful.

If you have other things you consider when teaching new shooters, or if you are new to guns yourself and have things you’d like to see considered which I may not have mentioned here…please be encouraged to comment below and let me know! 🙂

 

Tips for Teaching New Shooters Video Series

 

 

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Does Hand Size Matter When Choosing a Gun?

A gentleman named Steven recently heard someone at a gun show say that hand size matters when choosing a handgun.  He wonders if this is true, so I thought I’d do a little blog here on this very important topic.

Hand size definitely plays a huge role in choosing a handgun.  I’ve just completed an entire series on YouTube entitled Choosing a Handgun: 7 Considerations.  The 3rd episode is called Hand Fit, in which I discuss the measurements that matter in terms of choosing a properly fitted handgun.

The distance that is the most important is from the webbing of your hand (Image 1, point A) and the middle of the first pad of the trigger finger (Image 1, point B). We refer to this as the distance between back strap (Image 2, point A) and trigger face (Image 2, point B).

If the distance between these points is too small, then the tendency will be for the shooter to placgun too small too much trigger fingere too much trigger finger into the trigger guard, thus pulling the gun side to side while shooting.  Shots will tend to fall toward the strong side (rightward for a right-handed shooter).  This is the common tendency for all shooters on  tiny pocket pistols. Even shooters with small hands.

Bear in mind, some shooters may still make the choice to choose a gun that is way too small for their hand simply to make concealment easier.  When making this choice, one needs to be aware that  special attention should be devoted to the trigger finger in order to ensure accurate hits on target.

Conversely, if the gun is too large, the tendency will be to rotatin line gripe the dominant wrist around the gun in order to reach the trigger properly.  This will cause the gun to be out of alignment with the strong arm (offset grip pictured right), which forces the wrist to bend under recoil, sending the hits off to the support side (leftward for a right-handed shooter).  The proper alignment will look like the ‘in-line grip’ pictured right.

I hope this has helped Steven, and many others with the same question.  I’ll put links below for videos I’ve done on this topic and ones closely related:

Choosing a Handgun: 7 Considerations (Episode 3 — Hand Fit)

Colleene Answers Questions: Ep. 42 What if the gun is too small for your hand?

Colleene Answers Questions: Ep. 45 What kind of gun do I recommend for women?

7 Considerations for a Woman Choosing a Handgun

Preparing the New Shooter: Gripping the Gun with Authority

Colleene Answers Questions: Ep. 12 Why do I have to keep adjusting my grip?

Teaching Kids About Guns (Ep. 2)

So, we are fully into this new realm of teaching a toddler about gun safety.  Since we both carry daily and guns are a big part of our lives, it is super important to take the time to teach safe gun handling to our daughter from the very beginning.  On Saturday while I taught a Concealed Carry Course, her Daddy gave her her very first toy revolver with a holster.  She was so excited to ‘shoot pow pow like Mommy’.  So, here we go with serious gun safety training, because whatever we allow her to do with this ‘toy gun’ will be exactly what she does if she ever happens upon a real one.

Though we are very careful to keep all guns out of our daughter’s reach, this education is still highly important because who knows what she could encounter out in the world later in life?

On Saturday, her Daddy taught her to draw from her holster and re-holster.  I spent some time teaching her not to shoot me in the face, which was what she naturally wanted to do.  We set up some library books around the room as targets and had her shoot them, then re-holster.  With a little work, she was doing this well.  She would get excited and want to turn toward us with her gun pointed at us, but with a little coaxing, she learned to point the muzzle downward toward the floor in what we call a SUL position, rather than pointing her muzzle at us.

We have not “arrived” yet…but we are seeing great results to be at the foundation of our 2 year old’s gun safety training.  Watch this video we took Saturday evening.  Notice how she uses self-control to point the muzzle downward when she catches herself turning toward us with her gun out of the holster.

Teaching Kids About Guns (Ep. 2) — Learning Muzzle Control and Holster Technique

Teaching Kids About Guns

This is an area I’m entering again as we have a 2 year old daughter.  When my son began his gun education, he was 8, so we approached things a little differently than I am with a tiny one. So, I’m exploring creative ways to teach her important information so that it’s comprehended and sealed in her little mind.  She’s really soaking it all in right now, so it’s the time to lay on the teaching.

Recently, I wrote a song to teach her the basic gun safety rules.  Since I use songs to teach her such a wide variety of information, I thought, why not about guns?  I’ve published the song on my YouTube channel, and I’ve provided the link here if you are interested in checking it out.  The Gun Safety Song (by Keeping the Piece)

Music really helps children to learn information that is more advanced than their years. Music helps it make sense, and helps it to just stick. In fact, it even helps adults…even though those catchy tunes may get annoying when they get stuck in your mind. 🙂

Let me know what you think!  And, if you have any specific handgun related information you’d like written into a song, let me know.  I plan to make this a series!

Why are you hitting low?

Since this is one of the most frequently asked questions on my YouTube channel, I thought I’d compile a list of the videos I’ve posted on this topic so they’d all be in one place and easy to access.  If you have trouble with this shooter error, check out these videos.  Comment below if they help, or if they don’t.  I’d love to know your experience on the journey to correcting this common problem among shooters.

 

Shooting Low: Probably Causes & Possible Solutions

Colleene Answers Questions (Ep. 13): Why do my shots hit Low?

Colleene Answers Questions (Ep. 49): Having Trouble Conquering Low/Low Left Hits?

Preparing New Shooter Series: Target Analysis (Episode 8 of 10)

Low Light Training — How Important is it?

Did you know that the majority of violent crime occurs during the dark?
Do you know if you could hit a threat with very minimal light?
Have you ever tried shooting in complete darkness?
Would you take a shot in complete darkness?
How would you verify that someone was a threat in your home at night?
Do you keep a flashlight next to your gun?
Do you know how to hold it and shoot your gun at the same time?

As I travel to my 3rd Low Light Training course, I’m pondering the importance of this type of training, and of thinking through all of these things as a concealed carrier. I find that many people seem to learn to hit consistently and accurately, learn reloads, figure out a mode of carry, and then they tend to call it a day.  Most will practice those same things and be satisfied, never putting much thought into how they’d shoot in low light.  There is also a huge group of folks who will get their CCDW license, and then never think another thing about ability or training.  They’ll simply put the gun the nightstand and hope they never have to use it.

Since the majority of violent crime happens in darkness,  being able to shoot well in the dark is an absolute necessity.  I recommend taking as many classes as you can afford in this area. 

I’m heading now to take the 2nd level of the Elzetta Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Courses under Fermin De LaTorre in Sevierville, TN.  In the first course, which I took last month, I learned about the physiology of the eye, how it reacts to low light.  There was also an emphasis on the law in regards to low light use of deadly force. A few light holds were taught and students were allowed to choose the one that fit their shooting style the best.  Then, there was ample opportunity to learn our individual abilities for shooting in the dark, both holding the lights and without.  We were able to see how well we knew our guns and also see the areas where we needed more practice.  This training was invaluable.  

In Level 2 of Elzetta Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, the training will be primarily force on force with a variety of scenerios based in reality where we’ll get the opportunity to see how we handle the stress and employ skills learned. I understand that there will be an emphasis on human physiological response to stress, so that will likely be an “eye opener”.

After this weekend, I’ll come back and tell you all what I learned.  If you have had good low light training, comment below about what you’ve learned.

Handgun Malfunction Clearance 101

I’m currently uploading the introductory video to a new Keeping the Piece Mini Series entitled Handgun Malfunction Clearance 101 to my YouTube channel.  The mini series will include 6 videos in total including:

  1. Introduction to Malfunction Types (Basic 5)
  2. Failure to Feed – What is it, how to clear it, and how to prevent it.
  3. Failure to Fire – What is it, and how to clear it.
  4. Failure to Extract – What is it, and how to clear it.
  5. Failure to Eject – What is it, how to clear it, and some tips for preventing it.
  6. Double Feed – What is it, and how to clear it.

 

In the future, there will be a follow up series to this one entitled Handgun Malfunction Clearance 201 that will cover more complicated stoppages like squib, hang fire, and more.

If you are interested in this information, stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled for video links that will appear below.

Handgun Malfunction Clearance 101: Introduction to Basic Types

Handgun Malfunction Clearance 101: Failure to Feed

Handgun Malfunction Clearance 101: Failure to Fire

Handgun Malfunction Clearance 101: Failure to Extract