Skip to main content

8 Worst Shooting Tips We've Ever Heard

8 Worst Shooting Tips We've Ever Heard

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

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Guns & Ammo TV: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. .375 H&H

Guns & Ammo TV: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. .375 H&H

The 6.5 Creedmoor and the .375 H&H are almost complete opposites, or are they? The 6.5 Creedmoor is a newer and popular cartridge that transcends long-range precision rifle shooting and hunting big game. The .375 H&H is more than a century old, but still a popular and versatile choice for hunting big and dangerous game. For this shoot, Pro Tom Beckstrand, former U.S. Army Special Operations officer and sniper team leader, faces off against Guns & Ammo TV cameraman Ben LaLonde in a challenge that highlights the differences between these two cartridges.

Guns & Ammo TV: Shooting 1,270 Yards with the 5.56 NATO

Guns & Ammo TV: Shooting 1,270 Yards with the 5.56 NATO

Guns & Ammo Rifles & Optics Editor Tom Beckstrand was on location in Idaho where he pushed the limits of the 5.56 NATO cartridge in this segment of “Long Range Tech” for Guns & Ammo TV. Pairing a SIG Sauer MCX Virtus rifle loaded with Hornady's 73-grain ELD-M ammunition, Beckstrand attempted to ring steel set at 1,270 yards, an incredible distance for any 5.56-chambered rifle and beyond the typical range for an AR-15.

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket carry, as a method of concealed carry for a defensive firearm, can be a practical option when done right. This is especially true during the colder months when heavy outer garments can obstruct access to a traditional waistline holster. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jeff Gonzales, president of Trident Concepts, joins G&A contributor Kimberly Heath-Chudwin to discuss guns, training and gear, including Blackhawk's TecGrip holster that can make pocket carry more successful.

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick Sweeney compare the visibility of red and green lasers in outdoor, sunny conditions.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new RMRcc, they plan on dominating the concealed carry market as well.Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry Optics

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry

Jeremy Stafford - October 01, 2020

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new...

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight ready.14 Red Dot Ready Pistols You Must See Handguns

14 Red Dot Ready Pistols You Must See

James Tarr - December 20, 2018

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight...

The first in this new family of Springfield Armory rifles is the Model 2020 Waypoint, the result of years of engineering, testing and evaluation, combined with premium grade components found on rifles costing thousands of dollars more.First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle Rifles

First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle

Guns & Ammo Staff - September 29, 2020

The first in this new family of Springfield Armory rifles is the Model 2020 Waypoint, the...

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market.Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review Handguns

Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review

James Tarr - April 17, 2019

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market.

See More Trending Articles

More Handgun

Winchester remembers those who fought in World War II with its limited-edition Victory Series.Winchester Limited-Edition Victory Series Rifle

Winchester Limited-Edition Victory Series

Dave Emary

Winchester remembers those who fought in World War II with its limited-edition Victory Series.

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For others, the debate goes on. In this segment of “Cameras Don't Lie,” competitive shooters Patrick Sweeney and Jim Tarr head to the range to put the vaunted loads on record, and then consider the footage.Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP Handgun

Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 05, 2020

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For...

The fluted bullet has been in existence since the 1980s, but it wasn't perfect until Black Hills' HoneyBadger lineup featuring monolithic copper bullets that were specially designed for each caliber and velocity. We couldn't be more impressed.Guns & Ammo TV: Black Hills HoneyBadger Ammunition Handgun

Guns & Ammo TV: Black Hills HoneyBadger Ammunition

Guns & Ammo Staff - June 05, 2020

The fluted bullet has been in existence since the 1980s, but it wasn't perfect until Black...

Speer has taken its Gold Dot G2 hollow-point bullet and modified it to create a new product line designed for compact personal defense handguns called Gold Dot Carry Gun. Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun Ammunition – First Look Handgun

Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun Ammunition – First Look

Guns & Ammo Staff - June 17, 2020

Speer has taken its Gold Dot G2 hollow-point bullet and modified it to create a new product...

See More Handgun

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now