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Posted: 9/7/2004 10:07:53 AM EDT
Hey guys .... Figured this was as good a place to start as any.

Somehow I've managed to go 32 years without ever shooting a real firearm (I'll wait for the laughter to stop) ... Despite always being interested in guns when I was young, I grew up in a non-gun household and all I ever managed was a Daisy single pump BB gun. Once I got off on my own life took hold and there were other priorities (college, career, homeownership and so on).

Anyway, to make a long story short, for whatever reason, I've been feeling the itch real bad lately and am really interested in giving it a try. My main interest is primarily target shooting (not really interested in hunting), and I'm definitely interested in the AR15's and similar firearms (but would also like to try handguns, shotguns, long-rifles eventually too).

So I was hoping someone who knows the area might be able to offer me some advice on good places to go to get started, whether there are any ranges that offer beginning shooter classes or one on one instruction. Do any of the ranges rent a variety of guns so I can try out different guns and see what I like, learn safety, care and maintenance of a firearm and so on. And should I decide I'm interested in continuing what the best route to take is in purchasing my own.

I'm in the Nashua area.

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 1:38:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 1:39:06 PM EDT by John40mm]
No laughter here, only sadness, you've missed 32 years of enjoyment, but it's never too late. Welcome aboard and glad to have a new shooter among us. I am a member of the Chester Rod and Gun in Chester. It's a small club with a good group of people. Check out our web sitewww.chesterrodandgunclub.com/.

I would suggest joining a club that you can meet other people. A lot of clubs have events open to the public that you can go and just watch and ask questions. Chester is going to have a bowling pin shoot on Sept 11th and another one on Sept 25th. We start shooting at 9 am. I won't be at the one on the 11th but I will be there on the 25th. If you want to come by and meet a bunch of people and check out lots of different guns I'm sure everyone would be more than happy to explain each and every one of them.

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 2:27:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:39:48 PM EDT
Unfortunatley i am two hours away otherwise i would say come to my club. But...

There is a REAL nice shop in Hooksett on Rt 3, just north o' Manchester. Not far from you. Riley's guns. Excellant people there who would love to give you leads (and gladly sell you a gun when the time comes). I was in there last, last week-end to take care of a little business. I made some new friends and made a nice trade, too.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:27:23 PM EDT
Also, the Manchester Firing Line is located near the Manchester airport and has guns for rent, there own indoor range to learn/try/practice. Might be a reasonable place to start if you go with someone who can give you some pointers on what to look for, how to shoot accurately, safety aspects, etc.

Welcome & enjoy your new hobby!
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:35:26 PM EDT
Thanks for the feedback so far guys, much appreciated …

John40mm, I actually teach part time at Chester College, so I'm out there a couple of times a week.

Do gun clubs generally have Instructors that will be able to take the time to show a newbie like myself all the basics? I guess the reason I'm asking is that I always assumed that a "Private" club would be more of an environment for experienced shooters … Kind of like at a golf course, you don't see to many hacks in tennis shoes and jeans at a private golf club. What about equipment? Do you generally need to bring your own hardware or are rentals available?

RogerBall, I know exactly where Riley's is, my Sister used to live right around there. Will keep them in mind for the [near?] future when I start thinking about dropping some cash. Are gun shops really the way to go around here? I hear talk about a lot of people shopping the internet for the best deals, but I'd imagine that in Free NH our gun shops might be better stocked than certain states just South of our borders.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:50:16 PM EDT
You'll find all of the basics here!

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:00:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rag:
You'll find all of the basics here! hr

Yep, I've been lurking here for a few weeks now and have learned a lot already (particularly about the AWB ban, which I never really understood) … But reading the internet will only get you so far, eventually you want some body to say "OK hold this like tis, put this here, put that there, push this, turn that, don't look in there or you'll die … "
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:49:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 5:51:32 PM EDT by ED_P]
The Firing Line mentioned above is decent to rent different guns to try before you buy. Also, they offer basic handgun courses if you've never shot before. Most Rod and Gun clubs also have basic safety courses. Don't worry about Clubs being for experts, it really runs from people who shoot a few shots a year just before hunting season, to cops and hardcore civilian shooters who are pretty good.

My advice is to get a little bit of safety training first, either from a friend into guns, or an instructor.

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 7:43:11 PM EDT
Manchester Firing Line. they offer the course you need, have rentals (pistols and machineguns), and are good people.
Welcome to the fold.....
Link Posted: 9/9/2004 1:18:27 PM EDT
Thanks again for all the advice guys …

Just wanted to let y'all know I was up in Manchester early this afternoon, had some time to kill, so I popped into Manchester Firing Line, with the intention of just asking a few questions about the place and see if they had any beginner classes coming up in the near future … Before you know it one of the guys there had me on the range with a little Ruger .22 pistol. I had a BLAST! Blew through 100 rounds and a couple paper targets before I knew it.

I already feel myself wanting to go back and try something a little bigger heir
W00T! Thanks again!
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