Shooting advice is a wonderful thing. It's how we pass down knowledge gained from from years of money and time spent on the pursuit of our firearms passion. It's the core of what we do.
But this pipeline of knowledge is a fragile thing. It's often polluted with ignorance, untruths and downright false claims. Let's be honest, we've all been offered advice that was not only useless, it was just plain foolish.
Professional shooting writers, editors and personalities are some of the most avid gun guys and outdoorsmen around, so it stands to reason that they've endured as much false knowledge as anybody in the game.
To wit, we collected their thoughts on the worst shooting tips ever. Enjoy these bad shooting tips, and be sure to add your own.
Brittany Boddington: Muzzle Brakes for First-Timers
The first thing that comes to mind is that muzzle brakes are great for first-time shooters, when the noise actually scares them worse than the recoil would have!
Brittany Boddington - contributing writer, Intermedia Outdoors
Iain Harrison: J-Frames as Starters
J-Frames make great starter guns for women. This one's like fingernails on a chalkboard. The last time I heard this was from behind the gun counter at a big chain hunting store. Guy was explaining that they were very popular due to their size and them seeming non-intimidating. Just load them up, slip it into a purse and you're good to go. Right up to the point where you actually need to use it.
Iain Harrison - G&A Competition Blogger and former Top Shot Champion
Will Hayden: No Need to Aim Shotguns
'It's a shotgun, you don't have to aim. ' We can just call it Internet wisdom. I've read it all over the place in message boards and elsewhere.
Will Hayden - owner, Red Jacket Firearms
Joseph Von Benedikt: Shut the 'Other' Eye
Way too many would-be teachers tell a new shooter to shut the 'other ' eye -- the one they're not looking through the sights with. Sure, if you want to cripple your ability to get on target fast, your peripheral visions ability to pick up movement, and your ability to see your bullet's impact, then that's a great tip. In reality, keeping both eyes open is a far superior way to shoot. The single caveat to the above pertains only to cross-dominant shooters. If you shoot right-handed but are left-eye dominant, as is my wife, you may have to close your left eye in order to focus your right eye through rifle sights.
Joseph Von Benedikt - editor-in-chief, Shooting Times
Richard Nance: 'I'll Just Shoot'
'I'll just shoot him. ' I've heard this phrase uttered ad nauseam by the
naive and just plain ignorant with regard to firearm retention. While it's
true that shooting an assailant who grabs your gun may be a valid response
in certain situations, it's not always possible. What if the muzzle is
oriented away from the assailant — or worse yet, at an innocent third party? Keep in mind that during a deadly tug-of-war for your gun, the slide of a
semi-auto pistol could be rendered out of battery and if the assailant
clutches the cylinder of your revolver, you won't get a shot off unless it
was in single action mode. If you carry a firearm, it's your responsibility
to ensure it doesn't end up in the wrong hands. There's no substitute for
firearm retention training from a qualified instructor.
Richard Nance - Personal Defense TV
Payton Miller: .410s as Starters
"Start a beginner off with a .410." Let's not be scared of the 12 gauge and its felt recoil. I'd say a .410 is for when you're old and can't take it any more, not for when you're starting out.
Payton Miller - executive editor, Guns & Ammo magazine
Dick Metcalf: Visegrip
Probably the worst recurring advice I hear given to new handgun shooters, is that the heavier the recoil, the harder they have to lock down on the gun and grip it like a vise. That's fine, if you want it to jar your teeth. Instead, grip it firmly but relaxed, and let the recoil pass smoothly through your wrists, elbows, and shoulders, like a trained boxer takes a punch. If you shoot stiff, it'll set you back on your heels, and you'll always flinch.
Dick Metcalf - contributing editor
Garry James: Topping Black Powder with Bullseye
When I was a kid, and just getting started in black powder shooting, an 'expert ' at the local gun shop advised me to top off the BP load with a couple of grains of Bullseye to keep the fouling down. I tried it and blew the nipple right out of my Gwyn & Campbell carbine. The blast threw the hammer all the way back to full cock and damn near deafened me in my right ear.
Garry James - senior editor, Guns & Ammo magazine