Home Mens Interest How to improve your shooting at the range

How to improve your shooting at the range


@media (max-width:576px) { .read-more-content { height: 380em; } }

We all know that once we’ve learned how to do something correctly, repetition of that “something” will groove it in. Repeating it will make the process faster, smoother and more efficient. That’s why more time at the range will only improve your shooting skills.

You will improve your shooting abilities with proper range time

Forgive me a clutch of clichés, but consider the sayings “It’s not practice makes perfect, it’s perfect practice makes perfect,” “Better to sweat on the range and in the dojo than to bleed in the street,” and “Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”

These are all old, hackneyed sayings. But how did they become so popular and old? Probably because they’re all absolutely true.

1. Train, Don’t Practice

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a public range and seen someone lean backward away from the gun they’re holding weakly and jerk the trigger again and again until they’ve run out of ammunition.

If you were to ask them what they were doing, the answer probably would be, “Practicing.” In reality, though, all they were doing was reinforcing bad habits and wasting ammunition.

Consider training. It’s a great investment. It’s always with you, and it doesn’t depreciate. Indeed, if you maintain your own training with what you’ve learned, it appreciates. That’s why I use the investment analogy.

2. Firearm Training for a Purpose

I like to train with different shooting drills and qualifications, many of which you’ll find online. There’s an element of measurement in it: The course will state what score is passing and what is failing, and may even grade you as Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert or Master.

The Hackathorn Standards developed by the great instructor Ken Hackathorn, the somewhat similar IDPA Classifier, and the very challenging Federal Air Marshal course are among my favorites to improve shooting skills.

Check online for courses of fire approved by your state’s Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) entity. It’s never a bad thing for an armed person to be able show that they meet the law enforcement standard.

3. You can improve your shooting by focusing on your weaknesses

See where you’re weak and work on shoring that up. We all like to do the stuff we’re good at because it makes us feel warm and fuzzy. But what we all really need to be doing is fixing where we’re weak.

For me lately, that’s shooting with only the non-dominant hand. You can do some self-analysis at the range to find out where your weak point is.

4. Timing is Everything

A gunshot timer is one of best investments for a shooter to make. Set a realistic, incremental goal before you go to the range. You might get more from 50 shots than 200, if you shoot them with a purpose.

Competition Electronics Pocket Pro 2 Shot Timer helps improve shooting skills.

“To start, I will perform 10 draws to the shot from concealment. My average time will be slightly better than it was the last time I did this.”

Don’t set unreasonable goals for yourself. The progress is usually incremental. “I will make each of those draws and get the hit in X.XX seconds … or I will have analyzed what caused me not to achieve that.”

You won’t learn as much from flogging yourself for a bungled performance as you will from determining what caused the bungle so you can teach yourself to avoid it in the future.

That timer, of course, will also be much more efficient if you’re shooting a fixed-time course of fire. Particularly if you don’t have a practice partner. While the buddy system is always a good idea to help improve each other’s shooting skills, there are times when it just isn’t possible.

5. Consider Firearm Competitions

Colonel Jeff Cooper is one of the greatest authorities on gunfighting. He lamented the idea that people will work harder for a trophy to win than they will to save themselves. He harnessed this idea when he founded the International Practical Shooting Confederation, our longest-lasting simulation gunfight sport.

A look at IDPA competition.

Run-and-gun competitions are a great way to develop positive gun handling, encourage speed and teach you how to shoot on the move.

The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is similar with more emphasis on “street guns and holsters,” use of cover and drawing from concealment. For a $15 entry fee, you can shoot in a number of elaborately-staged scenarios.

It would take you all day and hundreds of dollars to set up the elaborate props you’ll get to use. You’ll also meet people who think as you do. You’ll meet newer shooters who might ask you for advice and seasoned top shooters who will be happy to advise you if you ask.

Observing how others respond to shooting challenges is a valuable learning experience. However, formal training can be expensive.

6. Ready to Glock

Do you have a Glock? If so, you’re already equipped for your first Glock match. There won’t be drawing or movement involved – all shooting is from a static position, starting at low ready. But you’ll have targets at varying distances, with speed determining the winner but poor accuracy determining the loser.

Glock Sport Shooting Foundation’s (GSSF) scoring imposes a heavy penalty for sloppy placement of shots. It’s a very welcoming atmosphere for new shooters.

7. Select Your Shooting Targets

The best way to develop a good set of shooting techniques is by practicing on various targets. Paper and cardboard are good because they give you a distinct track of where you’re hitting. But you should also include reaction targets.

Bear Defense, target, bears, training
As with all firearms, your ability to use them is only as good at your training and practice. (Photo by Larry Case).

You were firing at reaction targets if you shot cans from the fence. Deer in the forest is a reaction targets. And, of course, if you’re ever attacked, your opponent will be the ultimate reaction target.

In any of those instances, while you’re trying to focus on your front sight and aim, your subconscious is screaming at you to watch the target and see if it falls down.

Shooting many reaction targets will train you to keep your eye on the front sight when you decide to fire. As examples of reaction target, you can use steel knockdowns like Pepper Poppers. You can also use the classic Bianchi Plates – six 8″ steel disks that are shot from 11 yards during a GSSF competition and between 10 and 25 yards when competing in the Bianchi Cup.

The pins of bowling balls are also great targets. If you only hit the edge, the pin will roll unpredictably. This forces you to fire again and again at it until you have blasted it off the table.

8. Variate Your Distance

The Best Firearm Training Advice You’ve Ever Received.
(Photo taken by U.S. Navy mass communication specialist 2nd Class Daniel Edgington at WikiMedia)

Each year I enjoy spending some time at the 100-yard line of my range with a handgun. When I lived near a club that had monthly NRA Hunter’s Pistol matches out to 100 yards, I shot them whenever I could with a service pistol.

9. Dry Firing Is Perfect

It is essential to develop your shooting skills. It conditions you to hold your sight index while you roll the trigger back and “drop the hammer” without jerking the muzzle off target.

Safety is paramount! Make sure you’re dry-firing at a backstop. That sounds contradictory, but none of us are so perfect that we can’t make a mistake. Whenever I dry-fire I make sure I’m aiming at something that can absorb the most powerful round that particular gun can discharge because, well, one day it might.

It’s common to dry-fire at the TV. It’s fine, as long as you place the TV in front of something which will stop a bullet from penetrating. You’d think TV images would be great practice for tracking moving targets, but it turns out not so much; the camera tends to keep the “target” in the center of the screen. And remember, only shoot the “bad guys.” It’s a conditioning thing.

Drawing and holstering, speed reloading, hand changes, shooting from awkward positions—all these things lend themselves to dry-fire.

Record yourself doing this. It’s fun to do, and you can always review it later. It’s a great way to safely determine if your trigger finger is going into the triggerguard prematurely, or if you’re being less than efficient in getting the handgun deployed.

This type of video analysis is also great for live-fire training.

10. Read Up on All Things Firearms & Shooting

You can use your practice time in other ways. Learn about shooting techniques from books, magazines, and online resources. You can find a wealth of information on the internet from experts. It’s not hard to amass a DVD library of good training.

Athlon Outdoors offers a wide range of titles to improve your shooting.

You didn’t find the information you were searching for?

The post Ten Tips to Improve Your Shooting on the Range appeared initially on Athlon Outdoors.

Read more…

Previous articleShop at the Interior Design Center in St. Louis
Next articleWhy I Teach Yoga to Spanish Speakers