Hundgun Hunting Primer

By the time you read this half the country will be gripped by cold temperatures and covered with snow. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about getting into handgunning or steering that teenager toward an enjoyable lifelong interest. Make no mistake it can turn out fine or badly.

My feeling is to start out with a good double-action .22 revolver. I prefer a 6″-barreled S&W, as they have adjustable sight models with an easy to use sight radius, good balance and normally have at least an acceptable trigger pull. The beginner should not have a really good trigger, but one that is acceptable and safe. I exclude the single actions as they are time consuming and boring to load for beginners, and auto pistols aren’t as safe in the hands of a beginner. They also encourage simply blasting, not learning.

Next comes familiarizing with the functions of loading, sight picture and dry firing to become acquainted with sight picture, trigger squeeze and the sight wobble when the inevitable “trigger jerk” occurs.

The first real shots should be with ear and eye protection and large targets almost impossible to miss at short range. Standard velocity ammunition is generally more accurate than high velocity and lower in cost. Quit while it’s still fun too, when you see them tire or lose interest.

Shooting from a bench and using sandbags for a rest is a good way to begin learning the fundamentals using small bull’s-eye targets at short range. Getting consistent groups should be the goal. Concentrate on that trigger pull — the most important facet of accurate shooting. Adjust the sights until the bullets are hitting where they are supposed to, and then try some short-range shots at tin cans or other fun targets like charcoal briquettes, but without using the rest. Now repeat it about 10,000 times using paper targets to tell you what you are really doing, and fun targets to keep the fun in it.

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