View Full Version : Where to learn more about guns

May 9, 2012, 08:29 PM
Hey, guys, I recently discovered that I had a latent, undiscovered passion for all things firearm related. I've been researching different types of firearms, calibers, and uses of each from various sites and forums. My problem is that i have yet to find a site that has all "beginner" knowledge in one place.

Do you guys know of any good sites? For example, i want to know the difference between a safety and a de-cocker, a reguler mag and a drop free mag, and what MOA means. Any info is greatly appreciated.

Brian Pfleuger
May 9, 2012, 08:42 PM
Well, you've found the place your looking for.

Welcome aboard! :)

I'll touch on some of your questions in a little while when I get a few minutes, if others aren't along before then.

May 9, 2012, 08:44 PM
Ya - figure out H&K's squeeze cocker pistol - that's a mind bender.

A surprisingly good source of gun info is Wikipedia.

May 9, 2012, 08:50 PM
Thanks, guys

May 9, 2012, 08:52 PM
Other than this forum, I also read The Truth About Guns. One of their writers just released a book that is designed for new shooters. Here's the link: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/04/foghorn/now-on-sale-foghorns-firearms-for-newbies-book/. It's a quick read, but it's good for newbies like me.

May 9, 2012, 08:57 PM
Buy a .22long rifle handgun, take it to the range and shoot it.
Get instruction and follow the advice of the instructor while you shoot the gun some more.
Join a club that has competition.
Learn how to compete and use that knowledge to shoot the gun some more.

Pick from the following .22lr handguns.

Ruger MK II or III

Browning Buckmark

Beretta NEO

Smith and Wesson 22a

There are of course many more handguns to choose from, but any of these will get you started.

It's fun to learn lots of stuff about guns. It's more fun to shoot them.

Oh and this site.

May 9, 2012, 09:08 PM
As mentioned above, the 22lr is in my opinion the best way to learn about shooting a handgun. The initial cost will be expensive at least under $500 but by using the 22 caliber it allows you learn basic shooting skills, such as line of sight, picture sight, trigger control and point of aim and point of impact at pennies on the dollar.

I continue to use the 22 caliber to practice my weak hand shooting as it is a practical approach to muscle memory. I get to shoot 500 rds of bulk ammo for under $20 vs 500 rds of 45 cal which could cost over $200.

Welcome to the forum

Brian Pfleuger
May 9, 2012, 09:31 PM
Ok, to give you a bit of an answer to your questions:

i want to know the difference between a safety and a de-cocker,

Basically, a decocker takes a cocked hammer (gun ready to fire, the trigger only needs to drop the hammer), and gently lowers the hammer.

A safety prevents the trigger from being pulled.

It gets a bit more complicated because some guns have combined safety/decockers. In a combined system, when the decocker is used, the safety is simultaneously engaged.

In guns with separate systems, the gun can often still be fired after using the decocker because the trigger is "double action", which means that it can not only drop the hammer but also cock it.

I'm no expert on these decocker systems, so I might be being overly general here. If so, someone will be happy to clarify shortly. ;)

a reguler mag and a drop free mag,

A "regular" magazine is one that doesn't necessarily fall out of the gun when you push the magazine release button. A "drop free" magazine drops from the gun by gravity and/or spring pressure when you push the button.

and what MOA means. Any info is greatly appreciated

MOA means "minute of angle".

Basically, imagine a clock with 360 sections rather than the normal 60 minutes, then each of those degree sections is further divided into 60 sections. Now, imagine the clock is really, REALLY big and laying on the ground.

The amount of distance covered by each 1/60th of each degree on the clock is a "minute of angle". If this clock had a radius of 100 yards, each minute would cover about 1 inch (technically 1.0471996 inches, but we basically ignore that extra bit).

As you can possibly imagine, as the clock gets bigger and bigger, the amount of space covered by each tick of "minute hand" would cover a larger area. 2 inches at 200 yards, 3 at 300, 10 inches at 1000 yards.

May 9, 2012, 09:39 PM
First go to a Hunter safety course in your state (listed on your state DNR website.

This give you basic training in firearms and ask who give more advance training, also look for NRA booklets to acquire and read.
These HS course maybe held at a club that has leagues or training notice on the bulletin board, ask for a club officer and ask if open to outsider, usually they are and you will be WELCOMED.

Go to the website: www.thecorneredcat.com , this is a site maintained by "PAX" one of the lady moderator on TFL, there is good information for ALL first timers.

Good luck, remember the only "dumb' question is the one that is NEVER asked.

May 10, 2012, 04:30 AM
MOA means minute of angle which is 1/60th of 1 degree.
Before calculators were available to convert things into decimals easily degrees were commonly broken up into minutes, then seconds for precise measurements.
With regards to firearms it's a reference to the accuracy. If a rifle is accurate to one minute of angle it means that the trajectory of every bullet leaving the barrel will be within 1/60th of 1 degree of each other. That translates to roughly a 1" group at 100 yards.
You can use a calculator pretty easily to show this.
100yds = 3600in, so 3600*tan(1/60) = 1.047
In a giant clock the minutes would still each represent 6 degrees which would give you a group of 3600*tan(6) = 378.37" or about 30 feet.

I actually use that question as an example in class when we cover trig functions. And you thought you were never going to use Geometry after High school. :)

May 10, 2012, 04:48 AM
Guys. Are we sure the OP isn't referring to Manual Of Arms?

May 10, 2012, 05:25 PM
Guntalk.tv has loads of the kind of info you are asking for.
Some of it requires a subscription, but there's plenty of free to watch videos and info, too.
Check it out:

Don H
May 10, 2012, 06:43 PM
At the top of the page, on the menu bar, is a tab called "Library". This often-overlooked resource leads to a wealth of information on firearms terms, acronyms, abbreviations, related links, etc.