overcoming fear of shooting guns

How to Overcome a Fear of Shooting Guns: Top 6 Concerns and Simple Solutions

With a better understanding of guns and some common sense, you'll find that many gun fears are unwarranted or easily remedied.

Whether you are a new shooter, or even new to concealed carry, you might have some apprehensions about shooting or carrying a gun. And that's a good thing.

Here are some of the most common fears surrounding guns, along with simple tips to help you overcome those concerns.

Fear of Recoil

Even experienced shooters can have a hard time handling recoil.

I bought a .44 magnum a few years ago. My original idea was to use it to hunt deer, but we decided to limit the deer we take on our property, so I never got a handgun permit. That gun was a blast to shoot, but the recoil was a bear and it certainly made it difficult to shoot accurately.

Solution: Start with lower caliber guns that have soft recoil and move on to larger guns as you get used to them.

The same caliber guns can have less recoil, as many factors such as weight and design help determine felt recoil. So, research guns and go to a gun range and rent different guns.

Semi-automatic guns have less felt recoil. Auto-loading systems use the force of the discharge to load the next round.

Practice dry firing your gun to help eliminate the natural tendency to flinch.

Concern about self-induced accidental discharge

It's not uncommon for new gun owners to fear that the gun will accidentally go off when they reach for it. People considering conceal carry often worry that the gun will fire while walking around.

While they do happen, these instances are extremely rare, if you follow basic rules of gun safety.

Solution: Never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire the gun. Practice until it's a habit.

Always use a proper holster if you carry a loaded weapon. Holsters must fully cover the trigger guard and ensure that nothing accidentally gets lodged in between the trigger that would cause the gun the fire.

Nervous the gun will fire if it's dropped

Slightly different than an accidental discharge, a lot of gun owners are worried that they will drop a loaded gun and it will fire.

The reality is that technology is extremely advanced on modern firearms. Guns have firing pin safeties and other mechanisms that keep them from firing when they are dropped or  bumped.

Solution: Buy tested, modern firearms, especially if you plan to carry a loaded weapon.

There's no reason to pretend you're a cowboy and carry around an old pistol from the 1800s.

Guns are alarmingly loud

It can be scary at first, but like anything, you get used to it, and there are many options to mitigate the sound and protect your hearing.

Solution: Use earplugs. Even better, use electronic earmuffs as it filters out the loud sound  of the gun while still allowing you to hear others talking around you.

Suppressors are a great solution, but unfortunately, our legislators have seen too many movies and somehow believe that suppressors totally silence a gun to a point that criminals will just sneak into our homes and silently kill us all. It just doesn't happen that way in the real world.

Suppressors are easier to acquire in some states. Hopefully, there will come a time when logic prevails and suppressors become more attainable for everyone.

Scared you'll point the gun at yourself or others

I've been to many training sessions with absolute beginners who have pointed a gun at themselves or someone else. In military and gun training it's called "flagging."

It's very easy to point a firearm at something you didn't mean to do. It's much easier to do when you are very new to guns.

While it seems obvious, it is a real fear for people still learning because it hasn't become a habit.

Solution: You have to practice carrying a gun and maintain your focus. Carry around a pellet gun and take safety training courses until you get comfortable.

If you are concerned and understand the danger, you've already won half the battle.

Fear that the bullet will pass through the target and hit something else

This generally won't happen if you understand both the weapon and basics of ammunition.

Solution: Know your target and what's beyond it. That should be fairly straightforward. Awareness is key.

But a more common problem is that some people will use round ball target ammo in their carry pistol or hunting weapon.

Hollowpoint rounds are designed to expand upon impact in order to decrease penetration. We don't want rounds to pass through our target and cause accidental damage.

Overcoming a fear of shooting guns

Whether you are new to guns, new to a specific weapon, or maybe just out of practice, it's perfectly natural to have a fear of shooting guns.

But, like anything, this fear can be overcome with knowledge and training.