This report covers:

  • Hollywood
  • Boyfriend training?
  • Why a firearm in the first place?
  • Airguns for defense?
  • Why airguns?
  • First — gun safety
  • Gun handling
  • The point
  • To do this I have to buy an expensive airgun!
  • What haven’t I said?

This report was inspired by Kurt Illian, Pyramyd Air’s SEO and E-commerce manager. We were talking about the blog online Wednesday and he happened to say that perhaps everyone who is brand new to shooting doesn’t need a firearm to begin with. He wasn’t talking about using airguns for defense, because we don’t do that. He meant that airguns are a great way to get into shooting at the lowest cost and in the safest manner.

I mentioned to him that the NRA calculates that there are 10 million new gun owners in the United States and most of these are people who have never been taught how to handle a gun. They need to know everything! And all of them have just purchased one or more firearms, because in this country adults are allowed to do that. While I appreciate the freedoms we still have, allowing someone to have a gun without proper training is unsafe.


Many of these people have received their only exposure to firearms through movies and television shows. It is no different than handing the keys to a high-performance car to someone who doesn’t know how to drive and then turning them loose on the freeway after they have watched a NASCAR race.

Boyfriend training?

Many times I have been told the story of how someone was “trained” to shoot by a boyfriend who handed them a .357 Magnum revolver and told them to hold it tight as they squeezed the trigger. The other wrong thing is the husband who gets his wife a snub-nosed .38 Special revolver for self defense. He gets a snub-nose so she can carry it her purse and he gets a .38 Special for defensive power. WRONG!

I wish people would stop doing things like this, because they have the opposite affect. The painful recoil and the noise turns the new shooter off.

Why a firearm in the first place?

Why did these 10 million people suddenly buy firearms? Do you think they all wanted to train for the Olympics? Were they inspired to hunt wild game? Probably not. Chances are good that a majority of them were interested in defending themselves.

Airguns for defense?

Is BB going to suggest that an airgun can be used for self defense? Not on your life! Never threaten a desperate person with something unless you are willing to follow through. Leave the pistol in the nightstand unless you:

1. Are willing to possibly take a life.

2. Have trained with the pistol to the point that you can put two shots inside a palm-sized space at 15 feet within 5 seconds of picking up the gun.

3. Can clear a jam and restore operation in seconds (not more than 5).

Shop SIG Sauer Airguns

Why airguns?

Up to this point I have opened several cans of worms that are starting to crawl all over the place. Let me simplify this. What does someone who is new to shooting need to know — FIRST?

First — gun safety

Let’s get real for a moment. I hand one person a live grenade with the pin pulled but the spoon in place. I hand another person a 2.5 pound block of C4 explosive with a lit fuse leading to a blasting cap that’s stuck in the block. Which person is in greater danger?

Both people are in danger. The grenade guy might be able to throw the grenade or toss it into a place where, if it explodes, it does him no harm. The guy with the C4 has to know enough to pull the blasting cap out of the block and throw it away.

Both people have to deal with the situation. That’s what gun safety is all about. There often is no danger until there is, and when there is it’s too late.

So, gun safety is learning how not to pull the pin or light the fuse, as well as what to do when they are pulled/lit. You can learn that with a .44 Magnum revolver or you can learn it with an S&W Model 29 BB-shooting replica gun. Here is my point —

New shooter, in both cases you learn how to handle a gun properly with the gun unloaded! No ammo inside — no bangy, bangy if the wrong thing is done. And you learn to never point the open end of the barrel (the muzzle) at anything you don’t want to shoot. 

“Wait a minute,” you say. “Isn’t that supposed to be always point the muzzle in a safe direction?”

And who is in the next room behind the wall at which you are pointing the muzzle of that .44 Magnum? Because that .44 Magnum bullet will go through a couple walls. Not that that gun was loaded, because they never are. Ask Alec Baldwin.

Gun handling

After basic safety is learned there are the fundamentals of shooting to learn. That would be things like the proper sight picture, correct breathing and trigger control. Same, same here. The .44 Magnum will put holes in the paper just like the BB-gun replica. With the .44 Magnum you will pay one or two dollars a shot. With the BB gun — let’s just say you can probably find all the cash you need in your sofa. 

Both guns will accomplish the same thing. One is just far safer and cheaper than the other. It’s not completely safe, but what in life is?

I’m skipping past gun handling now, just like I skipped past gun safety. Both subjects take many hours to learn and I haven’t got room to address them in this report. But I have made my point.

The point

The point is, a lot of the up-front training that should be done when a new shooter wants to learn to shoot can be done with an airgun just as well as with a firearm. No person should just acquire a firearm, load it and think they are prepared for anything but an accident — here hold my pin! The state of Texas required BB Pelletier to take 18 hours of training and pass a not-so-easy slow-speed driving test to get his motorcycle certificate on his license. But he can buy a handgun with no training or supervision, following the advice of Bubba.

To do this I have to buy an expensive airgun!

No, you don’t. I recommended the new Umarex Smith & Wesson Model 29 BB revolver because you said you wanted to buy a Model 29 in .44 magnum. Oh, now you want a .45 ACP Colt M1911A1? Okay, the Sig Sauer We The People pistol is only $110. It has blowback (the slide comes back with each shot, imparting the feel of recoil) and it can be disassembled just like the firearm.

And please consider this — as you learn to handle your realistic airgun replica you may discover that your hand is too small for a 1911 grip. Perhaps the Sig Sauer P365 is more to your taste? Better to spend $90 than $500 to learn that — no?

What haven’t I said?

This report is not the typical get-a-replica-airgun-to-train-for-your-firearm report. That’s been done to death. This report is about that single mom who thinks she needs a firearm around the house for the safety of her family. Sister — there is a whole lot of stuff you need to know before you start pulling the trigger, and even before you pick up that firearm!

NASCAR races look like fun, until you are in one. Let’s learn the basics before we show up at the track.