Monday, October 19, 2015

10 Good Shooting Habits

Here are a handful of habits to get into whether you are a new (or old) shooter:

  1. Before you pull the trigger, ask yourself each time "what is behind my target"?  Do this every single time, even if you are at an indoor range and your answer fifty times in a row is 'a steel backstop with a water catch basin'.
  2. Count your shots.  If you put 15 rounds into your magazine, you want 15 rounds to come out.
  3. Count your brass.  It goes without saying that you should always pick up your brass but when you do pick it up, count it.  If you shot 50 rounds, you should pick up 50 brass shell casings.
  4. Clean your firearm each and every time you use it.  Even if you are tired.  Even if you are busy.  Even if you think you can just do it tomorrow.
  5. Fix bad habits ASAP.  Flinching, heeling, improper don't want bad habits to become ingrained so take care of the problem immediately.
  6. Ask for help.  Obviously this is taboo in many people's minds but it can improve your shooting immeasurably and maybe even save a life on occasion.  If you are new to a range, ask about the rules, if you are new to shooting, take an actual class instead of watching a "how-to" video on YouTube, if your groupings look like a Rorschach test, ask a knowledgeable instructor for some pointers.
  7. Practice discipline from the beginning of your shooting session to the end.  This means going to the range in the right frame of mind, properly handling your weapon at all times, focusing on your reason for being at the range (skill building, accuracy, etc), proper interpersonal skills with others at the range, etc.
  8. Have the right equipment or don't shoot.  If you forgot your eye or ear protection, you should forget about going to the range.  If you picked up some reloads from some guy on the street because they were really cheap you should consider whether you would risk your life or safety to save a few bucks.  If you have a pistol that is continually misfiring or getting jammed, either fix the problem (the firearm or yourself) or buy a new one.
  9. Go the range on a weekly basis if at all possible.  The only way to keep your skills sharp is to practice often.  Consider joining a weekly shooting league or participate regularly in competitions if you need the impetus to get up and go shoot.
  10. Focus on your overall physical health.  Shooting skill is just one part of your overall ability to shoot in a tactical situation.  Can you immediately drop to the prone position without throwing out your back?  Can you do a regular three-gun competition without needing someone to haul out the oxygen tank?  When your breathing and heart rate are racing, can you still shoot accurately?  Being in good physical shape can have a dramatic impact on your shooting skills.

1 comment:

  1. I live in the urbans, and a shooting range I can afford is pretty hard to find. I shoot an air rifle in my backyard to keep my 'shooting eye' sharp, it does seem to help. No handgun practice though - that I need to change.

    Thanks for the reminders and tips.