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Getting Started with Firearms in the United States: The Complete Guide to Firearms for Newbies Paperback – March 25, 2012
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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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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.
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.Read more ›
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).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got these two books for my Grandson who is going away to college this fall and interested in joining the OCT so these were perfect for him
He really like them
There's not a lot of new information here. If you're a complete newbie to firearms, this is a good introduction, but if you're looking for more depth (e.g. Read morePublished 6 months ago by CB
I am not totally green to fire arms as I hunt but this was very informative and an easy read!Published 23 months ago by Maria Kaniewski
This is actually a really good book, I am very familiar with firearms but I wanted to read some things to be able to recommend to friends who are interested in guns.Published on October 9, 2014 by David Greene
I gave this book 3 1/2 stars - not because it's not worth more - but because I've heard it all before and it's old school. Read morePublished on September 14, 2014 by Ivan P. Kovak