Having something new is always so exciting, and that applies to guns, too!
To Shoot or Not to Shoot
The first thing you want to do is get it right out the range and shoot it! If you happen to purchase your new gun at a store with an attached range, that temptation is even greater. I am certainly guilty of taking that brand spanking new box with a box of bullets straight out to a lane at the range. But is that really a good idea? Is there something you should do first?
While certainly not as exciting as having it go bang, reading through the manual that comes with it is probably a good idea. The first thing you want to know is if you should clean it first. But if it’s brand new, why do you need to clean it? First, you probably don’t HAVE to but consider these things. Many guns come from the factory with some kind of grease or lubricant to protect it from rust. You have no idea how long that particular gun has been sitting in its case with all that oil and grease on it. Clean the old oils off and put the lubricant of YOUR choice on it! Glocks, in particular, come with a copper-colored grease inside. The Glock owner’s manual states that a new owner should clean the firearm prior to the first firing with the exception of this grease under the slide.
Cleaning a firearm prior to shooting for the first time gives you the opportunity to give it a good going over. Does everything look like it should on the inside? Has anything come loose during shipping? Or perhaps when someone was checking it out in the store, they accidently moved something out of place. Stripping the gun down to clean will make these things immediately visible to you.
You’ll hear some shooters say that if a gun needs to be spotless to fire, they have no use for it. That really isn’t the point here. Shooting it before cleaning it isn’t a good test to see if it will fire dirty. Shooting it prior to cleaning it probably won’t cause any harm if you find that you just can’t wait. But there’s even less chance of causing harm by cleaning it first. Err to the side of caution in this case.
Other New Items
If you intend to carry it, you’re probably going to need a new holster too. Something else you might need is new equipment to go with that new firearm. And of course be sure to buy the right caliber of ammunition.
The holidays are approaching and it’s a great time to think about which firearms and equipment you’d like Santa to bring you. Remember, it’s a good idea to clean that new gun before you take it to the range. And while you’re looking for goodies to put on your wish list, be sure to check out the GunGoddess.com website! There are plenty of ideas here!
Written for GunGoddess.com by Tracy Hughes. Tracy is a firearms instructor, competitive shooter, facilitator for A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League and the owner of Brilliant Backstraps.
Also in Getting Started: Choosing a Gun & Accessories
Buying a gun (especially your first one) is definitely a time to celebrate! It's also the time to get started on the path of becoming a safe and responsible gun owner. Here's a list of 5 things you can do after you purchase a firearm that will set you up for success.