Get the most out of your range time.
Everyone now days has limited time. This is very apparent when it comes to getting out the gun range. When you add in lack of funds for ammo, or because you bought a new gun. It gets worse. Especially for those ranges that charge by the 1/2 hour. What do you do to get the most out of your range time?
Practice at home.
Dry fire practice will greatly improve your trigger control with a hand gun. Dry fire is simply firing your gun without any ammo. Of course just pulling the trigger a bunch of times isn’t going to help you a lot.
The first thing you do before you start any sort of dry fire practice is make sure the gun is empty, and there’s no ammo in the room with you. Just to be clear visually and physically check there are no rounds in the chamber or magazine of your gun.
After your gun is clear you can start. Now you can practice drawing from your holster. You can practice reloading (empty) magazines.
The best thing to practice is trigger control. What you want to do is point your gun at a relatively safe wall. Line up your sights and watch them as you pull the trigger. Unless you are a professional marksman you are going to see those sights move when you pull the trigger. You want to learn proper trigger control so they don’t move when you pull the trigger. People will tell you, you aren’t faster than a speeding bullet. Pull that trigger and you will be ever time.
Although you can do dry fire practice with a rifle you won’t get the same benefit from it as you would a handgun. You will also have to be more careful as dry firing some rifles can damage them. This is why they make dummy rounds. You can get them in any caliber from .22LR to 30-06 and everything in between.
There are other things you can do to practice with your rifle. These things are finding your NPOA(Natural Point of Aim). Just because you can’t shoot a round down range doesn’t mean you can’t hold your rifle, and get used to being in the correct shooting position. This will build muscle memory and if you’ve ever spend anytime holding a rifle waiting for the perfect shoot you know any rifle gets heavy quickly.
Stretching isn’t normally thought of as a gun related thing. Heck many people picture gun enthusiasts as over weight rednecks. However stretching and having full movement is important to shooting. The recoil on many rifles is pretty heavy. This can damage muscles if they are not stretched out and loose. Not to mention it’s pretty hard to get into the proper shooting position if your body won’t bend that way. Stretch at minimum before you got the range. Even better if you can do it a few times a week or every day.
Before you go to the Range
Before you head to the range plan for what you want to work on. If you want to work on rifle marksmanship great. If you want to work on you handgun accuracy even better. Maybe you have a range that will let you draw from a holster, and you want to work on that. What you want to work doesn’t matter as much as that you have a plan on something to work on. If you are always going to the range to just put holes in paper, that’s all the better you will ever be.
Once you have a plan make sure you have everything you need. Have more than enough ammo. There is nothing worse than running out of ammo right after you just shoot a perfect target. Now you won’t know if it was luck or not. Along with ammo bring plenty of targets. It really sucks to figure out if where you’re last shot hit because you’ve already put 50 holes in one target.
Always bring an extra gun with everything else. It’s a big downer to get out to the range and have the one gun you brought have a malfunction you can’t fix at the range. You spend all that time planning and practicing, have everything you need and 5 minutes into shooting your whole trip is ended. If you have bring a second gun you can keep shooting and working on something else. What’s even worse if you are paying by the half hour and you only shoot for 5 minutes. That’s a waste of money.
At the Range
Now that you’ve made it to the range. You know what you are going to work on. Everything you need is with you. Get to shooting. Have a good time. However be honest with yourself. If you are working on rifle marksmanship, and not a single shot is going where you want it to go. Be honest with yourself, is it you. Are you really doing what you are suppose to be doing? Don’t just blame the gun or ammo and leave.
We’ve all had those day where we can’t hit the broad side of a barn with a shot gun. Spend the time to analyze what’s going on. Maybe you are pulling the trigger. Could be you are anticipating the recoil and pushing the gun. You can’t get better if you don’t know what you are doing wrong. Sometimes it helps to take the camera on your phone and record yourself so you can see what you are doing. Maybe you can put a dummy round randomly in your magazine so you can see you are moving the gun. If nothing else that helps with malfunction drills.
Going to the range should be fun. You should always enjoy your limited time there. However if you are not practicing at home, and preparing before you go to the range. You aren’t getting the most out of the money and time you are spending at the range. We all want to become the best shooting we can. There fore spending time at home with dry fire practice, and planning what to work on at the range is going to help you. Being able to get the most out of your range time is just one way to become the great shooter we all want to become.