Mentor New Shooters – It’s Good For All

mentoring new shooters

Mentor new shooters – good for you and for them

Do you remember the feeling of being a new shooter? Remember how pumped you were to learn?

The good news is you can have that feeling again by becoming a mentor. Whether you work with a friend or a total stranger, when you mentor new shooters, you’ll benefit as much from the partnership as the newbie.

What’s in it for me?

Here’s just some of the benefits you’ll reap as a mentor:

  1. Reboot your shooting skills and style. Don’t be surprised if you learn something new, too.
  2. Achieve personal satisfaction sharing your knowledge.
  3. Feel good about giving back to your community.

With all the discussion surrounding gun control, be part of the solution and not the problem. It’s our obligation to give back to our communities, and society as a whole, by sharing what we know about responsible gun ownership. Mentoring a new shooter lets you share not just your love of shooting but also to positively endorse firearm ownership, fight indifference, and defend our Second Amendment rights.

Along the way, you’ll help the newbie

  1. control his shooting
  2. learn to receive feedback
  3. improve his self-confidence

One day, he’ll return the favor and help a newbie. That’s how we’ll withstand these challenges to our constitutional rights.

Practical Considerations

Now, if you’re ready for that kind of adventure, there are a few things you should think about before getting caught up in the adrenaline rush of the first lesson. Here are some guidelines around mentoring new shooters.


So, even though you’re a responsible gun owner and practice safety yourself, this bears repeating. Most newbie shooters have never handled a gun, let alone shot one. Teaching them about gun safety is the first step to turning out a responsible gun owner. And even if they’ve been to the range a time or two before, safety is a conversation always worth having.

Use a blue gun or squirt gun or other “fake” gun to teach proper handling of a firearm. It’s always a good idea to presume a newcomer’s only reference for handling a weapon comes from television or the movies and we all know how WRONG those images are. Don’t ever assume a new shooter knows the proper way to pick up a weapon or stand holding a weapon. Begin at the beginning, even if it’s redundant.

Personal Safety Gear

Before heading out to the range, make sure your new buddy has safety goggles and ear protection for their time on the range.

Out On The Range

When is the right time to take a newbie shooting? Choose a low-traffic day and off-peak hours. Between the adrenaline rush of being there and the underlying nerves, concentration can be broken in record time. And that’s not something you want to fool with at the shooting range. Start small, make sure to manage their expectations and your own. Patience will get you everywhere.


Whether you’re mentoring a relative, friend or complete stranger, you have a big responsibility ahead of you. When you mentor new shooters, you can expect both work and pleasure. Prepare for this challenge the same way you’d prep to buy a new firearm – research, safety and attentiveness. Then enjoy the rewards of helping someone else build the skill and share the joy of your hobby.

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About Bret Smith

I am a long-time lover of all things outdoors. Whether hunting, shooting, fishing or just hiking and camping, I take every opportunity to enjoy nature and share it with others.

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