5 Important Items To Buy New Shooters and Hunters

I first learned to shoot as a teenager but didn’t get into pistols until my time in the Air Force. After I got out and went to college I started to get into guns quite a bit and bought my first striker-fired pistol, a Glock 19.

Since I lived in West Virginia, there were not many ranges I could go to that didn’t cost a lot of money and weren’t packed with dangerous new gun owners. I mostly shot in the woods after a day’s hike into the wilderness.

If I knew back then what I know now, I could have saved myself and my friends a lot of time, hearing loss, and been overall safer with our shooting experience.

If I had to do it all over again, I would make sure to have that I bought these 5 tools for every new shooter that wanted to get into either hunting or sport shooting.

Caldwell Hydrosled
Caldwell Hydrosled works with water or sand for added versatility

1. Lead Sled FCX

Other than safety, there is nothing more important than accuracy when hunting. A rifle that hasn’t been properly zeroed can lead to either missed shots or injuries and maiming animals. In my first season ever hunting, I decided to use my grandfather’s 30-06, which I zeroed about 8 months before my hunt.

The problem was that I zeroed my rifle in a field that was on a hill and I couldn’t get a comfortable shooting position. Not to make excuses, but I’m confident that not shooting on a stable platform caused me to miss my first-ever buck (12-pointer).

Even worse, the next shot I wounded a buck with a low gutshot and caused that animal unnecessary suffering until I could get there to put it out with my pistol. That experience really humbled me and made me realize how important zeroing your rifle on a stable platform was.

Caldwell Lead Sled FCX
Breakdown of the Features of the FCX Lead Sled

Using the Caldwell Lead Sled FCX will give you that stable platform for any-sized hunting and long-range shooting rifle. Even with my Bergara 7mm Rem Mag, the Caldwell Lead Sled takes off around 95% recoil. It really does make shooting more enjoyable because there is no wear or tear on your rifle or your body.

Ever since I started using the Lead Sled FCX, I’ve always been on target with all of my rifles. I also am able to dial in my scopes much faster and more accurately with the Lead Sled FCX.

It’s an expensive tool to buy, but you will always feel confident in your zero and save the wear and tear on your body with the Caldwell Lead Sled FCX. I’ve been more successful and kept my conscience clean since I’ve made this purchase.

What I Like Most About the Lead Sled FCX

  1. It’s really nice to be able to adjust for windage and elevation at the same time and on your shooting rest
  2. The most customizable shooting rest I’ve ever used!
  3. I was a little nervous about the force the gunshot would put on my stock, but it keeps my finish unmarred
  4. The shooting rest arm gives you an additional 5 feet of adjustment on your target
  5. The carrying bag is really nice and I never have to force the sled in the bag, it goes in smooth every time

Caldwell Lead Sled FCX

at Caldwell
Prices accurate at time of writing

2 Caldwell Mag Charger Universal Pistol Loader

The Caldwell Universal Mag Charger Pistol Reloader is one of those tools that you don’t know their importance until you don’t have one. Get your new shooter started off with the basics and develop good habits.

A pistol reloader isn’t a tool you must have in order to own a pistol, but it will save many hours in reloading during a family range visit! The Caldwell reloader will load any pistol you have including 9mm, 10mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, and .45 cal ammo.

I have a Glock 19,48, and Walther PPS M2, and Caldwell’s pistol reloader loads all of my mags and ammo. I just started breaking in my 10 round Glock 48 this morning and put a few hundred rounds through the barrel.

I spent less than a minute reloading 300 rounds and save myself about 30-45 minutes from handloading a fresh-out-the-box 9mm magazine. I’m a firm believer in spending your time shooting.

Caldwell Mag Charger Universal Pistol Loader
Loading 9mm ammo using the Mag Charger

Make sure you read the manual because if you’re not careful you could break the tool by putting a mag that doesn’t fit or round that doesn’t seat right. I’ve had no problems with single-stack or double-stack mags.

I’ve also loaded my brother’s Glock 23 and his .40 S&W loads perfectly.  As a former educator, I also believe strongly in making sure people enjoy learning a new craft or they won’t want to do it again.

if you’re teaching someone to shoot and not go through the times before advanced technology, they’ll be more likely to want to continue training.

Which Ammo or Mag Won’t Work?

  • 1911 9mm magazines
  • Bersa Thunder .380 ammunition
  • CZ Scorpion EVO3 S1 9mm ammunition
  • Taurus PT 92 magazines

What I Like Most About the Caldwell Universal Mag Charger Pistol Reloader

  1. Works with any single or double-stack magazine
  2. Loads 9mm, 10mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, and .45 cal ammo.
  3. This is the only pistol reloader that you’ll need for any sized collection of pistols
  4. Saved me countless hours over the first year since I’ve bought this reloader
  5. It’s priced at $35.00 for a product that will save you days preparing your magazines over a lifetime

Caldwell Mag Charger Universal Pistol Loader

at Caldwell
Prices accurate at time of writing

3. E-Max FDE Shadows

My ears were shot by my 2nd year in the Air Force sitting on a Flightline with Air Force Jets for 12 hours a day. I can say without a doubt, I wish I had better hearing protection because shooting guns and loud jets will both cause tinnitus.

You must protect yourself and always wear hearing protection if possible. Soldiers don’t always have an option to put in hearing protection before a firefight, but take a moment and save yourself some trouble on the range.

The Caldwell E-Max FDE Shadows are Bluetooth electronic earplugs designed for handling the high level of a mini-explosion next to your ear. You can turn these earplugs on and stop up to 23 decibels of noise.

The average noise reduction for hearing protection meant for hunters and range shooters is 15-32 Decibels. I know that I’m very sensitive to high pitch noises and loud explosions and the Caldwell E-Max FDE Shadows keep me protected with every shot.

Caldwell E-Max Shadow Electronic Hearing Buds
Shooting a Sig 9mm with E-Max Shadows

What I Like Most About the Caldwell E-Max FDE Shadows

  1. 5-hour battery life gives me more than enough time to shoot for the day
  2. I love the case that charges them while they’re in the case
  3. The case can be used to charge your headphones up to 5 times before running out of juice
  4. I use these earplugs when I mow the lawn, shoot guns, and hunt
  5. The 23-decibel noise reduction softens the blow of the shot to a comfortable pillow-soft feel

E-Max Shadows

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

4. Magnum Plus Ambidextrous Recoil Shield

I know there is a stigma around using tools to lighten the impact of the felt recoil from a rifle or shotgun. However, when you’re considering a new shooter, they don’t have the same conditioning in their shoulders and muscle tissue that veteran hunters have.

For example, if I gave my Stoeger M3500 to my wife and loaded it with a 3.5" Magnum shell, she’d shoot once and never want to fire it again. I also have a friend that I took hunting this Spring and after 2 shots of turkey load, he started to get sore.

Simply put, it doesn’t matter how tough or strong you are, if you’ve never shot a shoulder-fired rifle, it’s going to kick more than you think it will. The quickest way to ensure that a new shooter will never shoot again is to give them the heaviest recoiling gun you have and tell them to shoot a box of ammo. The recoil shield helps out a lot and will prevent even the softest of shoulders handle the recoil without pain.

The Caldwell Magnum Plus Ambidextrous Recoil Shield will help ease new shooters into developing those newly used muscles of shooting and not scare them away. If the point of you showing someone how to shoot is to get them interested and not turn off, a recoil shield is a great tool to start with.

The Caldwell Mag Plus recoil shield is perfect for teaching your children, friends, or even older shooters who have less strength and bone density.

What I Like Most About the Magnum Plus Recoil Shield

  1. The front and back of the recoil shield is made from very soft and durable leather that feels really comfortable on your shoulder
  2. Many other recoil shields are meant for right-handed shooters so they don’t fit many lefties, Caldwell Mag Plus is ambidextrous
  3. The recoil pad is 1/2" and is able to absorb the energy from every rifle up to a 300 Win Mag
  4. The felt recoil in my M3500 and my Bergara Premier 7mm Rem Mag makes it feel like shooting a 22LR with the Mag Plus Recoil Shield
  5. The recoil shield not only fits great, but it has built-in traction to ensure that with every shot, you’re rifle will stay secure and steady

Caldwell Magnum Plus Ambidextrous Recoil Shield

at Caldwell
Prices accurate at time of writing

5. Caldwell Orange Peel Silhouette Paper Target

Many people are probably wondering why I would choose a paper target for a beginner instead of a metal, reusable target? First of all, I love the reaction when a new shooter sees that green explosion of color upon bullet impact.

Secondly, if the shooter is too scared or doesn’t like to shoot, you’ve not wasted any money on products you don’t need.

It’s much easier for me to store paper targets in my small condo than it is to store a metal target with a frame. Many Americans have the same type of spacing issues and these Calwell Orange Peel paper targets are a really good way to save space and still have the tools needed for proficiency.

Caldwell Orange Peel Shooting targets (5 targets)
Caldwell Orange Peel Shooting targets For Zero

What I Like Most About the Caldwell Orange Peel Silhouette Paper Target

  1. I’ve stuck this target to dead trees, cardboard boxes (especially pizza boxes), and many plastics containers
  2. The feedback is great to keep a rhythm in shooting
  3. The 25 orange and blacks pasters are what makes this target worth the money for me
  4. The different colors for different target areas is a cool touch that I don’t see anywhere else
  5. I like the oval shooting target for my pistols, which is what I practice most in

Calwell Orange Peel Paper Target

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

Related Article – 5 Important Items I Always Bring To The Gun Range

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Table of Contents

  • 1. Lead Sled FCX
  • What I Like Most About the Lead Sled FCX
  • 2 Caldwell Mag Charger Universal Pistol Loader
  • Which Ammo or Mag Won’t Work?
  • What I Like Most About the Caldwell Universal Mag Charger Pistol Reloader
  • 3. E-Max FDE Shadows
  • What I Like Most About the Caldwell E-Max FDE Shadows
  • 4. Magnum Plus Ambidextrous Recoil Shield
  • What I Like Most About the Magnum Plus Recoil Shield
  • 5. Caldwell Orange Peel Silhouette Paper Target
  • What I Like Most About the Caldwell Orange Peel Silhouette Paper Target

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