Educate yourself, Safety and Knowledge


This one is going to piss some people off: one word ” Tough”

Too often, people go into a gun store to purchase a firearm or accessories having failed to do their own research beforehand. They go in and trust that the sales rep behind the counter has the most current and correct information. Depending on where you go, you may or may not get the correct information. Very rarely are gun shop sales people trained on the firearms and accessories they sell. Usually with regular gun shops, they look for people that are avid gun people. This means they train regularly, they take the time to learn about the products they are selling, and they stay on top of getting the most current information.


My point of view, it’s their job to learn so they can give you the correct information. In many of the chain stores, you will not be so lucky. Years ago, I worked at one of the big sporting goods stores.  They hired me because of my gunsmithing knowledge and firearms training, however that was not the priority. I was not supposed to spend my time with the customers, I was supposed to change displays. Constantly. The guys I worked with had very little gun knowledge and really didn’t care about the gun counter. They were provided with information to go on to train, but didn’t do it. I took advantage of every opportunity I got to learn more. Now, this is not typical. Some of the other big ticket sporting goods stores may train their people. I have not seen evidence of that, though.


I have seen the results of many accidents that people have had because the wrong information was given by a sales person. Usually, they bring me the gun (which is destroyed) asking me to fix it.  These accidents could have been fatal. When I see these guns, I wonder (and sometimes ask) what on earth they were thinking. Then they tell me the story of the sales rep and what they were told.  They trusted in the person selling them the information. Normally, there is nothing wrong with that, however in today’s age with Google at your fingertips, research is easy and information is plentiful.  Unfortunately, so is misinformation.

steve's gun explosion

When you are going to make a purchase such as a firearm, I would suggest doing lots of research. Look at manufacturer’s websites.  Read reviews from the major gun magazines.  Check with NRA Certified Firearms instructors.  Don’t depend solely on a single source of information.  If you can’t find the information, start with a gunsmith or a small gun shop owner.

These are all resources for you to use so you can get the correct information.

There are many more good places to get good information. Before you start something new, such as black powder shooting, find someone reputable that knows about it and learn from them. There are tons of people out there that are true experts in the industry; seek them out and you will be much better off. Your Certified Firearms Instructors will also be able to help you find correct information. Please utilize every option you can to learn before you do something that may kill you.

I say this a lot and will continue to do so. If you don’t know, find a professional to teach you. Then find another professional and learn from them as well. Training is the key to being safe with firearms and knowledge will keep you safe.



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