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Getting Started with Firearms in the United States: The Complete Guide to Firearms for Newbies Paperback – March 25, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nick Leghorn is a graduate of Penn State University currently working in San Antonio, Texas. He was born in New York City and grew up in the area, the son of a rather strict “anti-gun” family. He shot his first gun in the Boy Scouts and was instantly hooked on shooting sports. While attending Penn State, Nick started practicing Olympic smallbore rifle with the Penn State Rifle team. After only a few months of practice he was performing well enough to begin competing against other schools with the team. During his senior year he started branching out into different types of competitions, including USPSA handgun shooting (production division), NRA/CMP High Power Rifle (Service Rifle division), and eventually 3-gun (Tactical Optics division). He also founded and runs his own competition shooting team, consisting of dozens of members in multiple states and countries, who all compete and share tips and information together. Nick is a writer for The Truth About Guns, the most popular firearms blog in the United States, where he publishes regular articles about firearms, ammunition and related equipment. His main areas of interest in shooting are competition sports, long range accuracy, and scientific testing. He really enjoys using his knowledge of statistics and analytical abilities to solve questions and do interesting experiments with firearms. In his free time (what’s left after writing for TTAG, at least) he’s a volunteer firefighter and EMT with a local fire station and enjoys lockpicking.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475097301
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475097306
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Leghorn is a former Department of Homeland Security contractor for risk analysis projects currently living in San Antonio, Texas. He was born in New York City and grew up in the area, the product of a family that frowned on guns and gun owners. He shot his first gun in the Boy Scouts and was instantly hooked on shooting sports.

While attending Penn State, Nick started practicing Olympic smallbore rifle with the Penn State Rifle team. After only a few months of practice he was performing well enough to begin competing against other schools with the team. During his senior year he started branching out into different types of competitions, including USPSA handgun shooting (production division), NRA/CMP High Power Rifle (Service Rifle division), and eventually 3-gun (Tactical Optics division).

Nick's main areas of interest in shooting are competition sports, long range accuracy, and scientific testing. He really enjoys using his knowledge of statistics and analytical abilities to solve questions and do interesting experiments with firearms. To that end he also handloads his own ammunition and is constantly looking for tools and gear to better his score or just simply to test and figure out if it performs as advertised.

In his free time (what's left after writing for TTAG, at least) he also volunteers as an EMT and is a an instrument rated private pilot.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nick Leghorn did a superb job at compressing the vast knowledge about guns into just a tad over one-hundred pages. My favorite part about Nick's book was taking popular blog posts on a website he works for, The Truth About Guns, and answering them in a non-biased manner. For example:

"Best Rifle for New Long Distance Shooters"

"Self-Defense Shotguns"

"Best AR-15 for First Time Black Rifle Owners".

Those three examples from this book (not all of them, of course) are popular topics that beginners are interested in hearing about. Nick also takes the time to introduce popular terminology and "standard" (the caveat to using this term is that state and local laws differ) laws and safety procedures for operating, storing, and purchasing a firearm.

As a layperson when it comes to operating guns, I think Nick Leghorn did the best that any gun-enthusiast-author could do with one-hundred pages.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book quickly and concisely covers all the basics of guns. It explains basic terminology, explains what the different calibers and gauges of ammo are, and imparts enough knowledge that somebody like me will feel confident walking into a gun store for the first time. Before reading this, I had never been in a gun store and (I admit) I was kind of intimidated. After reading this, I felt I had enough basic knowledge to go to the store and talk to the clerk and not make a complete fool of myself. I also like that it covers basic etiquette of gun shops and firing ranges, and even has a little section on the end about how to choose a gun and gives a few recommendations. A great first read for anybody thinking about getting into guns for the first time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked up this book with the hopes of learning some basics and this book delivered. Its a very easy read and explains things clearly for new shooters. I like how the author included answers to popular questions that were asked him over the years. Some of these were questions I also had which was a great addition to the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is indeed a very good book for those who want to "get started" learning about firearms. It is not going to have a high level of detail that experienced folks are looking for (that's not the point of this book). If you're just beginning to learn about firearms, it is a great resource to have.

My background: I own a couple of pistols and have had some informal training, but have had no formal training (yet - that will change soon). I go to an indoor gun range occasionally to shoot, and have received a few tips from firearms trainers and a dealer or two. All of that said, I've never had a training session at which all of the basics were explained to me (other than gun safety, of course), and previously knew almost nothing about long guns (rifles and shotguns). This book has helped fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge, and I think it would serve as a fantastic introduction to anyone who wants to start learning about firearms but doesn't know where to begin.

The book goes over the basic types of firearms, the basics of gun safety, common gun-related terminology you're likely to hear (e.g. an explanation of what "caliber" is), what considerations one should make when selecting a gun, basics about range etiquette, and other useful information. It does all of this in a way that the beginner should be able to understand well without going into so much detail that the reader is overwhelmed.

The only thing that he didn't touch on that I might have considered including was a brief discussion about carrying weapons (perhaps briefly going over what "concealed carry" and "open carry" refer to).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This self-published ebook from <a href="http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/">The Truth About Guns</a> contributor Nick Leghorn is written for total newbies to guns. If you've never fired a gun before and don't know the difference between a pistol and a revolver, and have no idea what calibers are all about, but you are interested in getting started, you are the target audience for this book.

I'm not a newbie to firearms, but being out of shooting for quite a few years, I felt I could use a bit of a refresher on terms before I go shopping, and <i>Getting Started with Firearms</i> provides a good, brief overview. There wasn't a lot in here that I didn't already know, but the information was concise and Leghorn's approach is informal, straightforward and approachable. Besides covering the basic types and concepts behind firearms, he talks about how to go gun shopping, how to choose a firearm, and the basics of shooting. Obviously you cannot learn to shoot by reading a book, but this book will make a total novice feel a bit more comfortable about going to a gun shop and asking questions.

There is also a bit of discussion about gun laws. Keep in mind that U.S. gun laws are <em>enormously</em> complicated, since every state and sometimes individual counties and cities have their own rules. What's perfectly legal to do in New Mexico (carry a loaded gun around in your glove compartment) is a felony in New York. Guns you can buy at WalMart in Texas are banned in Maryland. So this book can hardly be considered an authoritative guide to gun laws - to keep yourself out of trouble, you'd better know the laws thoroughly in your state.

<i>Getting Started with Firearms in the United States</i> was generally well edited, with only a few typos I spotted.
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