30 Jul 10 Ways To Improve At The Shooting Range
What’s the number one reason you’d want to attend your local indoor shooting range in Seattle? The answer might vary slightly from person to person, but for most, the most pivotal reason for heading to the range is to become more comfortable with firearms and improving their shooting skills. It can be a long road — becoming a better shooter — but thankfully, there are some easy-to-remember tips that will put you on the right track fast. Today, we’ll be sharing ten of them with you. Be sure to take these to heart, and put them into practice next time you go to spend some lead.
1) Get Familiar With Your Own Guns
We know it’s fun to go to the range and try out new guns from time to time, in fact, the range is the perfect place to test out a firearm you may be interested in and introduce yourself to a few guns you’re not yet familiar with. If you want to be a better shot, however, you’ll have to start learning the ins and outs of one or two firearms in great detail. This means investing in your own personal weapon, then spending time mastering its controls until they become second nature. You’ll also want to start bringing your own safety gear along, including eye and ear protection.
2) Focus on Accuracy
It’s not just enough to hit the target, you’ll find. To improve your skills, you’ll want to start focusing on hitting the target consistently and within certain accuracy margins to up your game. Before sending that target too far down range, try keeping it close and seeing if you can keep your shots to within a couple of inches of one another. This is harder to do than it sounds, and once you have it perfected, you can start sending your targets further out to see if you can replicate the feat. In time, you’ll find that your ability to group shots will have improved, along with your overall accuracy.
3) Practice Your Trigger Pull
You might not realize it yet, but how you choose to pull the trigger can have a great impact on your ability to shoot straight. You’ll want to read up, understand, and absorb the best techniques for pulling the trigger until you can execute them without thinking about it. By and large, you’ll want to pull the trigger firmly and avoid flinching or jerking your firearm as you do. Quick movements of the wrist like that will throw of your aim, leading to decreased accuracy.
4) Pay Attention to Your Stance
Just like your trigger pull, the way you stand while shooting can have an affect on your ability to hit the target. While you’re at the range, work on adopting the proper beginner shooting stance, which requires you to have your feet about shoulder width apart, and, for right hand shooters, the left foot slightly forward and the right foot slightly backwards. There are, of course other situational stances to learn, but for the range, this basic stance is the one you should practice most as a new shooter.
5) Try Some Humility on for Size
Thinking that you’ve already got it all down pat is a quick way to make errors and overestimate your shooting ability. A better attitude to adopt, one that will improve your skills faster, is acknowledging that there’s plenty to learn and being receptive to advice dispensed by your instructors and more experienced shooters. There’s a reason they’re well respected. Take their advice to heart and implement that advice, then watch your skills improve.
6) Slow Down and Do It Right
Much like trying to learn to play a part on a musical instrument, rushing through your shooting drills will leave you with a limited understanding of what you’re supposed to do. It’s not a race against the other guys and gals at the range, so slow down, then concentrate on details like your stance, trigger pull, and accuracy margins. This way, you can be sure you’re doing things right and committing your skills to memory.
7) Try Some Dry Fire Practice
Before you head to the range and use up a bunch of ammo, make sure your mechanics are sound with some dry fire practice. Like the name suggests, you’ll need to ensure your firearm is empty before you attempt any dry fire practice. You might even consider setting up a dummy target so you have somewhere to focus your aim. Since you have no recoil or noise to contend with, the only thing you need worry about here are the basics — your stance, how you’re pulling the trigger, etc.
8) Do It Again
Practice, as they say, makes perfect. If you want to get better at shooting, you’ll need to do all of the above, and then do it again, and again, and again. As you continue shooting, you may not notice improvements straight away, but over time, the little things will start to add up, and your abilities will steadily increase.
9) Switch It Up
As an addendum to the above advice, you’ll want to work on your drills repeatedly to get better, but you don’t want your training to get boring either, so be sure to cycle your exercises from time to time so that your shooting practice feels fresh. This way, you can help maintain a healthy interest and stay out of a rut. You can also vary things within your training sessions, breaking your time at the range into different segments where you practice different techniques.
10) Know When to Quit
As Kenny Rogers once said, you’ve got to “know when to fold ‘em,” which, in this case, means you should realize when you’re getting diminishing returns on a session and pack it up for the day. As with any activity, there’s such a thing as overtraining when it comes to shooting, and doing so will only embed your errors. So if you’ve done all you can do for one session, call it a day, rest up, and return again another day with renewed vigor.
Bottom line, if you want to get better at shooting, you’ll need to head to the range consistently to improve your skills. Vary your sessions to keep things interesting (extras like the interactive shooting simulator in Seattle are a good way for doing this), and remember to start slow so you can develop good habits and avoid and unlearn bad ones. Good luck, and see you at the range!