By Dan Finkelstein
on 7.1.09

shooting

Disclaimer: GP is well aware that the subject of firearms and their use can be sensitive or controversial for some. It’s important to note that articles, like this, are opinions and experiences of our crew members and reader submissions. Whether your personal beliefs reside in one camp or another, we’re firm supporters of being educated in anything. After all, what value is an opinion without it being an informed one.

I learned to shoot firearms shortly after I learned to walk, and they’ve been a part of my life ever since. I’ve built them, fixed them, and shot a large variety of them ranging from small caliber pistols to military grade, fully-automatic assault weapons. Continuing with Gear Patrol’s series of being a better man, I offer some thoughts on upgrading and improving your firearms, gear, and skills.

We recognize that firearms are not for everyone. Then again, not all of the upgrades in this series will resonate with everyone. That being said, if it is something you’re into, then hit the jump for the goods.

Get Trained

guns

No matter what your level of firearms experience consists of, there is always room for additional training. Safety first, bar none. If you keep firearms with the intention of self or home defense, then tactical training is a must. If someone breaks into your house in the middle of the night, they won’t be standing still like the paper targets at the range. Good tactical training will teach you how to shoot while moving and how to use proper cover and concealment.

Some of the higher-end facilities will often incorporate a “kill house,” which is a mock-up of a home where you can learn how to assess and clear a room of threats. Many will see this training as (pardon the pun) overkill, but having the correct training and tools might just save your life and protect your family.

Upgrade Your Gear

The old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true for firearms. If you spend a good amount of money on a nice handgun, there’s really no point in housing your weapon in a cheaply-made, knock-off holster. Do some research and find the holster that meets your needs and fits your specific gun. I highly recommend SafariLand, maker of products used by both Police Departments and private contractors. Alternately, if you prefer rifles, look into a good sling; one can greatly aid your hunting exploits.

Reloading

bullets

Ammunition is becoming harder to find and more expensive to purchase, so now is a good time to learn how to reload your own brass. Reloading will provide more “bang for your buck” (pun intended), and offers an opportunity to make custom loads to meet your specific needs. Reloading will present an initial expense, but in the long run, there’s a good amount of money to be saved.

Conclusion

Owning a firearm is your right as an American. Our founding fathers thought it was so important that it was written into our Bill of Rights. If you choose to exercise that right, it is of ultimate importance that you do so responsibly and the right info on your side.

Let’s continue the conversation. If you’ve got something to add (or detract), drop it into the comments below.

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