In a perfect world, everybody could leave work early and stop by the gun range to squeeze out a few rounds before going home for dinner every evening. In the real world, people have too many other responsibilities to practice shooting on a regular basis, so we instead try to schedule a bit of free time at the range.
Your time at the range should be fun and relaxing, but because of time limits and scheduling you also need to make the most out of your practice time so you’ll be prepared to use the gun efficiently in the emergency situation which hopefully will never come up. Here’s three ways to do exactly that:
#1: Determine Your Goals Beforehand
Decide what you want to accomplish each time you go to the range, before you go. If you just want to fire off a few rounds to maintain familiarity with your weapon, that’s a perfectly reasonable reason to go to the range. If you want to shoot skeet, clean your shotgun and put in the proper choke beforehand so you don’t waste range time working on your gun. If you feel a need to perfect your form and stance, or feel a need to make mechanical adjustments to your gun, make an appointment with either a coach or gunsmith who can help correct the issue.
#2: Evaluate Every Shot and Grouping
Although you don’t want to get tied up with an intense evaluation of every single time you fire the weapon, you do need to be aware of patterns with your shots. Whether you have a five round fixed magazine or a 30 round removable magazine, you have to watch what you’re doing with each shot rather than declaring a mistake and continuing to fire. Many firearm enthusiasts have served in the military and understand the difference between laying down cover fire or shooting directly at a target. At the range, you’re doing the latter, and trying to improve your shooting skills. Every bullet counts, but your groupings reflect the difference between being a great shooter who made a single mistake or just needing practice and coaching to become a better shooter than you already are.
#3: Work with a Coach
An important aspect of your range time is to hear criticism. Whether it’s an employee at the range, a more experienced friend, or even a casual observer who is also a gun enthusiast at the range, another person watching you will be able to see your form better than you can. Someone else can see that you’re not leaning into your shot as heavily as the gun requires, or that you’re using a grip which is perfect for a different gun but perhaps what you’re shooting today is better suited with a slight alteration. What’s “right” is ultimately what works best for you, but it’s always good to learn what others know and see if there might be a better way to shoot. And that’s what the range is for, practice and learn.
~ Ready to Fire News