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Old 05-14-2013, 10:39 AM   #1
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Default How To Ask For Help

I've been seeing some questionable advice being given lately, and there is a common factor behind this advice. The problem starts with the question being asked. Many of the questions I'm seeing are so vague there is no way helpful advice can be given. With that in mind I decided to post some hints on how to ask a question. Let me start with some exaggerated examples of bad questions.

What kind of holster should I use?

I don't know. What are you going to use it for? What are you going to carry in it? Is it for concealed use or open carry? Do you have a preference about what the holster is made out of? Do you want a shoulder rig, strong side outside the waistband, strong side inside waistband, or cross draw?

What kind of gun should I get?

I don't know. What do you intend to use it for? Are you recoil sensitive? How are you planning to carry it? Do you plan to carry it? What environmental conditions will it be exposed to?

What's the best ammo?

For what? What gun? What circumstances? Is it for a home defense shotgun or an ankle carry derringer? What caliber? Pistol or revolver?

Are we seeing a trend here? Be specific. Most of the time someone asks a question there are already certain factors that can't or won't be changed. In the holster example I would be willing to bet that the person asking the question already owns the firearm the holster will be used with. Why not tell us what you have and how you want to carry it? At least give us a starting point to work from.

Ammo. Be specific. What do you want to use it for, and more importantly, what do you want to use it in? Even telling us you want to use it in a S&W .357 is not enough information. The ammo recommendations for a 6 inch S&W Mod 27 used for hog hunting are going to be a lot different than a personal defense ammo in a S&W Mod 60, and the wrong ammo in a S&W 360PD can lock up your gun and get you killed.

We have some great people here, many with decades of experience, that just want to help out their fellow shooters. I have yet to see one single word of malicious advice, but I have seen some advice that could have been a lot better. The problem was with the original question. Help us to help you. Be as specific as you can be when you ask a question. If we know exactly what you want we can give you much better answers.

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Old 05-14-2013, 10:58 AM   #2
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Good advice Doc. Were seeing lots of new interest in Firearms ownership across the nation and even in other countries, thats awesome! It seems that the stuff we all learned as a kid isnt necessarily being passed to the next generation anymore so were becoming surrogates for the cause, Im sure were up to the task!

Im happy folks are coming here for help and also pleased to see them welcomed with open arms and cautious optimism!

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Old 05-14-2013, 11:00 AM   #3
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But, what's the best question to ask?

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Old 05-14-2013, 11:05 AM   #4
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Any advice on how to answer questions?

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Old 05-14-2013, 11:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by WebleyFosbery38 View Post
Good advice Doc. Were seeing lots of new interest in Firearms ownership across the nation and even in other countries, thats awesome! It seems that the stuff we all learned as a kid isnt necessarily being passed to the next generation anymore so were becoming surrogates for the cause, Im sure were up to the task!

Im happy folks are coming here for help and also pleased to see them welcomed with open arms and cautious optimism!
Thanks. I sort of plagiarized a post I made in a tech forum years ago. I noticed back then that the people most qualified to help were shying away from posts that required a game of twenty questions before an answer could be formulated. I PM'd one of the best and asked him about it. He told me that he didn't feel obligated to help someone that wouldn't help him by asking a specific question.

It is good to see new shooters of any age asking questions. I hope many of them become fans of the shooting sports and pass on their skill and knowledge to the next batch of shooters.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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Any advice on how to answer questions?
Yes. Listen to or read the question, and directly answer the question. Once you get that out of the way you can move on to opinion if that is your desire. If the original question is too vague to give a direct answer you can pass or attempt to get the OP to be more specific. My opinion is to avoid guessing. If you don't know for sure what they are asking don't guess.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:23 AM   #7
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But, what's the best question to ask?
Be more specific. <grin>
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:27 AM   #8
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I am one of these new guys you are referring to. I have learned to be a bit more specific but sometimes I think the questions are vague Bc of lack of education. I was taught to handle long guns from the time I was 7. How to load, basic cleaning, safety etc. However, I shot a handgun for the first time a year ago and purchased my first two 8 months later. It had been through all of you that I have learned the extra things about ammo, full field strip for cleaning (my 17 yr. Old 835 had never been field stripped until last month...was not taught that), what a hot load is, adv advantages/disadvantages of reloading, etc. So thank you all for the advice and help....and the desire to help us newb's become more safe and knowledgeable.

I, for one, will always be specific as my knowledge allows when asking a question....then again some of tne most popular posts on this forum bEgan with one vague question....

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Old 05-14-2013, 12:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMcCool View Post
Any advice on how to answer questions?
First great thread & advice Doc---
Personaly i tend to answer non specific questions with questions----
To not narrow it down leads to threads like "What gun is best for the nightstand"
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:15 PM   #10
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Good advice Doc. Thanks.

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