5 Tips for Competitive Shooters

  1. kristenmkauffman
    Competitive shooting is fun. I've been competitively shooting for over a year now, and I find tremendous joy from being outside in the fresh air, having an opportunity to assess my skills, and evaluating gradual measurements of improvement.

    Additionally, I've noticed that there area few handy tips that allow the day to go better or my scores to rank higher.

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    Take a look if these tips will help you out as well:

    Eat a Good Breakfast


    Marathon runners and hikers are a few groups that know the importance of eating a good breakfast. When your physicality is involved, you can burn through your stored energy a lot faster than you think you can. While you may not realize that target competition is a physically draining practice, it takes steadiness,stamina, and strength to be able to stand for a while, to walk back and forth to score and place new targets, and for you to hold your pistol properly. If you eat a breakfast with a decent amount of protein, you will perform much better.

    Breathe Evenly

    It's natural to get excited when you think you're doing well, and excitement could lead to rapid breathing. If you're not sure you're doing well or if you are earnestly attempting to do your best, you may have the opposite problem: you may be holding your breath. Breathe evenly so that your body is not altered by rapid breathing or by holding your breath.

    Rest Then Lift

    You've loaded your pistol, the announcer is calling out the steps, and you have about thirty seconds before the "ready your weapon" stage and the "commence firing" stage. If you are doing 6 rounds, holding your handgun for 6 rounds at 30-seconds each can wear on your arm.

    Additionally, most competitive pistols like the Mark II from Ruger that I compete with are intended to have heavy barrels because it steadies the shooter. Instead of lifting your pistol every time the announcer calls, rest the tip of the muzzle on the bench in front of you until right before he or she says, "Commence firing."

    This will save you energy in the long run.

    Refrain from Resting on the Trigger

    Safe gun handling instructions never recommend that you rest your finger on the trigger rest it on the guard around the trigger. Not only does this prevent you from having an accidental discharge, but this will also help you in your competitive shoot. If you only pull the trigger when you're absolutely ready, this will pace you as a shooter much more, allowing better accuracy.

    Reload When It's Easiest


    Sometimes as the announcer is walking through the steps, there doesn't seem like enough time to reload. Avoid this by preemptively reloading. Often club matches will structure competitions with 6 rounds of 5-to 10-shots each.

    When you're setting up for the match, lay out bullets on the bench in 5-round groupings, and always reload into an empty magazine when immediately after you're done shooting one round. This is another method of pacing that will keep you from feeling rushed and hopefully help you to shoot better.

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    (Photo credit: PSC)

    The Prescott Sportsman's Club is where I compete, but if you're interested in getting involved with competitive shooting, connect with your local gun firing range. Matches will often follow seasons at predetermined dates of the year.

    Mine, for example, is the second Saturday of every month,but others may follow another method.

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