Continuing the discussion on “pick your gear, and move on“.
So once you have your equipment picked out, where are you to move on to?
Getting the skill needed to run that equipment at an acceptable level.
This starts out with basic marksmanship skills: gripping the gun, stance, how to aim, how to press the trigger (without disturbing the sights), how to shoot faster, more accurately, on the move, how to reload, how to clear malfunctions, and so on.
Yes you can get this on your own, but I’d say finding good instruction is invaluable towards helping you get there in a more efficient manner. Learn something, then go practice it. Come back and learn more, then continue to practice it.
During this time, you’ll probably shake some issues out with your equipment and find out what does and does not work. Do not be afraid to refine your equipment or fully start over if that’s what is needed.
But once the equipment is settled, it’s then time to acquire the skill to use that equipment. Keep moving down the road.