Shooting your first gun can be a confusing and nerve-wracking experience if you don’t know what to expect. Most gun ranges offer a variety of weapons for rent, ranging from handguns to assault rifles, but how do you choose among them?

At Allied, we recommend you start off with a handgun that is easy to aim and has little recoil, then work your way up. A .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol is a great starter gun. Loading ammunition into the magazine is relatively easy, guns of that size are lightweight, and they’re just plain fun to shoot.

Once you’re ready to try something new, go for a tried and true 9mm semi-automatic pistol, such as a Glock. Be sure to brace yourself. The recoil on a 9mm can be a surprise for someone not expecting it. However, these guns are still easy shooters, and with a little practice, you’ll get the hang of things.

Now, what could be more fun than a semi-automatic pistol? It’s time to get your cowboy hat on and try out a revolver! Start with a double action .38 Special. You can’t go wrong with Smith & Wesson, although their triggers can be stiff. Remember, the double action means you can shoot the gun with or without cocking it first. Try it both ways. You’ll likely find it’s easier to hit your target at first if the revolver is cocked.

Once you’ve mastered the smaller calibers, get ready for some real fun. Do you remember Clint Eastwood and his famous “Go Ahead, Make My Day” speech? That was a .44 Magnum he was using in the movie. Most gun ranges have them available for rent, but hold on to your hats. This revolver is not for wimps!