by Wade Middleton
Preparing and practicing with a new handgun is essential for any new firearm owner. For me personally, this could mean a lot of things from adding and learning new sights, how new grips feel, adjusting the trigger pull, and of course, spending time shooting with it. It’s all a process that takes time however, it’s a fun and enjoyable journey.
Step 1: Clean and Lubricate the Handgun
Before you start to practice and literally begin the break-in process, I suggest you make sure your handgun is clean and lubricated. This is especially important for new handguns because they may have excess oil, grease, or other residues from the manufacturing process. Use a cleaning kit to thoroughly clean the gun and apply a light coat of lubricant to all moving parts. I find this process very enjoyable and a great way to get used to the new handgun and how it feels in my hands(I also find myself daydreaming about upcoming hunts I may be able to do with that gun as well).
Step 2: Purchase the Right Ammunition
When learning about any new firearm, it’s important to use the right ammunition. I suggest doing some research to see what various manufacturers are saying as well as other shooters and hunters. Finding the right ammo often takes time to ensure you know what will perform the best. Shooting and practicing allows you to see what ammunition gives you the best groups and patterns. This process allows you to choose the best ammo for the game you’re hunting.
Step 3: Shoot the Gun
I suggest you begin by firing a few rounds at a time, gradually increasing the number of rounds as you go. This allows you to be more comfortable with how the handgun is shooting and how you’re shooting with it. Start at 5-10 yards and slowly work out to longer distances as you become more comfortable.
I also think spending time shooting in a variety of positions that you’ll encounter when hunting, is another key aspect to learning about a new handgun.
When you do this, you’re building muscle memory so that at the moment of truth when hunting ,everything will not be forced but very comfortable to you and as second nature as it can be.
Step 4: Clean and Inspect the Handgun
After each shooting session, make sure to clean and inspect your handgun. This helps to ensure that the gun continues to function properly and that any excess dirt or debris is removed from the firearm.
Step 5: Practice, Practice, PRACTICE!
Practicing with a handgun is an essential step for any new firearm owner. It helps to ensure that the gun functions reliably and smoothly, and it also helps to extend the life of the firearm.
By following these simple steps, you can break in your handgun properly and safely. Remember to always follow proper safety procedures when handling firearms and to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific firearm.
And finally, Smith & Wesson has a great video resource with over thirty new educational videos for both new and experienced firearms owners that we highly recommend you watching to improve your firearm knowledge and skillset.