9 Mistakes New Gun Owners Make And How To Avoid Them

Handgun with ammunition on a black surface, photographed on low light | Mistakes New Gun Owners Make And How To Avoid Them | Featured

October 11, 2023 / Comments (10)

Safety Tips & Tricks

More often than not, new gun owners can make mistakes if they have no idea how to use their weapons properly. So if you just recently bought a new piece, continue reading to find out the common mistakes new gun owners make and how to avoid them.

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New Gun Owners: Common Blunders Newbies Make

Be Wary of these Newbie Mistakes

The number of new gun owners in America is steadily increasing. When you're new to the wonderful world of carrying a self-defense weapon, you're bound to make mistakes.

That's just the way it is, but it doesn't mean that you can't ask someone more experienced to show you the ins, outs, and proper techniques so you can use a gun correctly. Proper guidance is one of the most important things new gun owners need.

We do recommend you take a class or two from a more experienced firearms owner to make sure you're doing everything else right. But for starters, below is a short list of errors new gun owners make and tips on how to fix those mistakes too.

1. Fidgeting

When you're new to carrying a gun, you might fidget a bit. It can be really uncomfortable to carry simply because you went from not carrying a gun to having extra weight on your hip.

There are also some instances you may be carrying an extra 2 pounds of weight on your belt. It is easy to spot a new concealed gun carrier because they are constantly fixing and adjusting their gun holster.


The most important thing for you to remember is you're concealing it and you don't want people to know it's there. If you keep touching it and adjusting it, it's a dead giveaway.

How do you fix this?

Get a good holster that fits you and the gun perfectly. Furthermore, you can carry your gun around the house so you can get used to having it on your hip.

2. No Round in Chamber

If you're not carrying a round in the chamber, you're doing yourself a great disservice. An attacker can make up 21 feet in about 2 seconds.


If you have to draw from your holster and then send a round home, you're screwed.

How do you fix this?

Learn how to exercise proper trigger control and then start carrying with a round in the chamber.

3. Not Practicing

There's nothing more annoying than someone who buys a gun, carries it, and then never shoots the thing. It is pointless.

If you have no idea how it works, how can you effectively use it? If you never shot it before, how would you know if it even works or not?


Taking it a step further, there are proper ways to practice, and you want to do it the right way. This is where having an instructor can come into play.

An experienced instructor can teach you just about everything you need to know as far as handling a gun is concerned.

How do you fix this?

Get your ass to the gun range and shoot. More than that, get a firearms instructor.

4. Not Checking if Ammo Works

Whenever you buy a box of ammo, bring it to the range shoot two or three rounds, and check if it cycles in your pistol.

Furthermore, if you never shoot your “hot” ammo, you'll never know how it feels in your gun when you need it to defend yourself.


A lot of self-defense ammo handles are totally different than “target” ammo does.

How do you fix this?

Simple, make sure you shoot a few hollow points (or whatever you're using for self-defense) from each box of ammo you buy to make sure they work.

And, when you practice, periodically shoot your self-defense ammo so you know or remember how it handles. Will it cost more? Absolutely. Your life is worth it though, isn't it?

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5. Not Knowing Firearms Safety

This is paramount. There are many new gun owners who don't know the basic safety rules, which they should!

Not taking your own safety into consideration is idiotic, but when you put other lives in danger, well, that's a different matter altogether.

Always know where your trigger finger is when handling a gun of any type. Always remember where your muzzle is.

And always check what's behind and around your target. Never shoot at anything you aren't willing to destroy.

How do you fix this? 

Firearms safety is very important to know and understand especially if you carry your gun on a daily basis. Follow gun safety rules at all times to avoid any potential danger of mishandling a firearm.

And if you already know about it, a refresher wouldn't hurt.

6. Not Carrying On Body

One thing we hear about all too often is someone willing to carry a concealed gun, but doing it off-body, like in a purse. We can't discount this method of carrying a gun because sometimes, it is a necessity.

However, most of the time, it should be a last resort. Too many bad things can happen when you're not in control of your gun.


As we've seen in the past, little hands can get a hold of it and use it, albeit on accident, on others.

How do you fix this?

Get used to carrying your weapon on your body. Off-body carry should only be used as a last resort. This forces you to be in control of your gun at all times and this control is what you should practice on as well!

7. Leaving Your Gun at Home or in Your Car

The reason you bought a gun was for self-defense, right? Then why on earth would you leave it somewhere else where you cannot get to it.

At the bare minimum, you should always have a gun within reach.


Granted, there are some places where bringing a gun is illegal. Do what you feel is necessary for those instances.

There are people who feel naked when they don't have their gun on them and tend to only go to places where they can.

How do you fix this?

It's simple, really. When you're awake, you have a gun on your person at all times. When you're asleep you have one nearby that's easily accessible. If you choose to not carry a gun in your home, have one within reach in case someone breaks into your house to harm you.

8. Not Having Proper Gear

Holsters are great gifts for new gun owners. You could go out and spend $3,000 on the nicest pistol you can find.


But if your holster or belt doesn't work right, you'll find yourself up that paddle-less creek in no time.

How do you fix this?

If you carry on your waist, you'll need a sturdy belt. Any holster you get should properly cover the trigger so there aren't any negligent discharges.

Also, periodically inspect your gear to make sure it functions the way it's supposed to.

Damaged holsters have been known to press triggers while being slid in, so make sure it's in good shape and free from any debris. Also, check your magazines from time to time to make sure they still function properly.

9. Not Taking Carrying Seriously

Again, the reason why you bought a gun was for self-defense, right? You need to take it seriously and not forget your gun is there.


It is not enough to mindlessly holster your weapon each day.

How to fix this?

Be sure you make a mental note each time you holster your weapon. It reminds you it is on your waist, ankle, or shoulder.

In some instances, you could be the only thing stopping yourself or a loved one from getting harmed or killed.

Make sure you're ready for an event where you are the only person capable of stopping someone from killing others. This means that you should mentally prepare yourself every day.

It also means that you need to do range training with live ammunition or try anything else you feel necessary to make you become a serious gun carrier.

First time owning a gun? Watch this video from God family and guns and take a good look at the mistakes new gun owner and concealed carriers make and how you can avoid them:

We are all aware of how dangerous firearms are. And it can even be more hazardous if the one using it is not well-trained or well-informed of its potential dangers.

New gun owners can make mistakes and put their lives or other people in peril if they don't know how to use it the right way. Negligence is not an excuse if you own a gun.

Being responsible and learning the right discipline of using a gun is a mark of a true gun carrier!

Sound off, Gun Carriers! What do you see new gun owners are doing wrong that needs to be addressed? Let us know in the comments section below.  


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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 17, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

10 Responses to :
9 Mistakes New Gun Owners Make And How To Avoid Them

  1. C. R. McAllister says:

    What is a good starter hand gun ? Experienced with rifles and shotguns,not so much with hand guns.

    1. Dan says:

      You can’t go wrong with a 1911 full size in .45 acp. Don’t listen to the complete tool above stating no one needs anything bigger then a 38. That’s his preference, he is by no means the gun guru. I own glocks, Springfield xd’s, and a five seven (second favorite carry gun) yet I still stay true to the never failing 1911. It’s an extremely versatile handgun, providing you give it the right care. They’re good pistols for me guys to get the gist of hand guns and they’re amazing pistols to those who have owned for years. Hence why they were made back in 1911, actually 1910 I believe and still are in production today almost completely unchanged. Give one a shot and try to tell me you hate it. I don’t foresee that happening. Just my $.02.

    2. SELDEN says:

      While the 1911 is certainly a great pistol, I would go with something that is easier and quicker to field strip. The 1911 has too many moving parts in my opinion. Sure it’s a nice looking pistol and a great performer, but you need to keep your concealed handgun clean if you’re gonna carry it every day. A springfield xd or the smaller xds are great choices. Many manufacturers make similar models that only have 4 parts to field strip down.

  2. Walt says:

    Chamber check, mag check, when loading AND unloading will make you positive of the condition of your weapon !!

  3. Dallas H says:


    Since you’re used to shooting, you have friends that have handguns, right? See if you can try some out. Offer to buy the ammo, and go shoot. Make a list of plusses and minuses for each one. Heck write it all down, so you can refer later to the list. Or, go to a range that rents guns, and try some out. Honestly, a private range or club would be better, so you can wear a holster that is for the gun you’re shooting, but sometimes, that’s not available, and we make do.

    When it’s cleared and empty, run your hand over it looking for places that will hang or snag on clothing. How are the sights? Easy for you to come into firing position and align the sights on target? Imagine it’s almost dark- what about then?
    How about the trigger? Too heavy, or too much travel (pull) before it fires? Does the part of your finger right behind the pad settle over the trigger “shoe”, where it should naturally?
    This all has to fit you, so you’ll enjoy shooting it, and become experienced with it, and want to carry it. Otherwise, we’re back to the cool paperweight.

  4. vale Bacon says:

    In my opinion the very best ccw gun is the one you have. The next best gun would in my opinion be the one that felt the very best when you tried it out at your local range. I have carried 1911s in most of the caliber’s that are out there and I always come back to my 1911 in commander size with wilson combat mag’s and personal defense hollow points.

  5. Chris canipe says:

    I think people needs to really research there gun before they buy it I’ve been around fire arms since I was old enough to walk seen them all I’m 43 yrs old now and the the I see today is people please have common sense most people will buy a pretty gun instead of a plain gun pretty guns wow get u a rough tough gun me myself I carry a XDMC 45 she’s not pretty but I can toss it in a mud hole soak it pull her back and she will never miss a round got a Glock. That is the same way all u here these days is 22 380 38 ,,,,,,,,

    If u want to carry go with a dependable gun 9mm 45acp 375 44mm and a 40 is just a loud shot no more penetrate no more than a 38 will please your gun is only as good as u are so don’t be dumb when u buy one it’s like buy a car u get what u pay for these days

  6. Joshua Gillem says:

    Good point, Bill. A good belt is a necessity for concealed carry.

  7. Mr. Magoo says:

    Cocked, locked, and ready to rock! I carry 1911s – .45 caliber. One is a Kimber Ultra Carry II, the other is a full sized 1911. I’ve been carrying concealed for the past 20 years and if I’m not armed, I feel naked!

    1. Joshua Gillem says:

      I know the feeling! I can’t go into places where having a gun is illegal. We are super close to NJ, and avoid the place like the Bubonic Plague just broke out.

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