It’s amazing the silly assumptions people unfamiliar with competitive shooting will make. Ammunition expenditure needed to see improvement in competition shooting is an example. People not involved seem to assume competitive shooters fire hundreds of thousands of rounds each year and any amount less than that means you can’t compete.

Here’s an example:

The top competitors shoot 3/400,000 rds a year thanks to sponsors. The average Joe, thanks to ammo prices, maybe 2000. The average cop/infantryman maybe 1000.

No they don’t. Simply doing the math will reveal the ridiculousness of this claim.

Let’s pretend team shooters Joe Sponsored or Mike Military have unlimited ammunition and don’t have any other responsibilities other than shooting, spending five days a week, 52 weeks a year on the range. That’s 260 range sessions a year. At 300,000 to 400,000 rounds per year, that’s 1,150 to 1,530 rounds per session. No competent marksman will shoot that much every session, five sessions a week, for the entire year, and feel it is showing progress in skill. Sure, plinkers and fools can piss this much ammo away in a day but no skilled shooter will do it daily for a year and claim they’re progressing from it.

This assumes a person can actually manage range time 260 days a year. That assertion is false. The AMU doesn’t spend every duty day on the range and sponsored pro shooters enjoying a full ride (there are very few of them) have other responsibilities for sponsoring companies besides their own training, practice, and match prep.

Consistently getting one or two live sessions a week (say, 60-70 a year) with 100-200 rounds would range between 6,000 to 14,000 rounds each year in practice. Two firm weekly sessions at 200 rounds each is just under 21,000 rounds. Add in ammo for 1-2 matches a month and we might be at 25,000-30,000 rounds a year. Add in dry practice and these figures are closer to what actual, skilled, sponsored/very serious competitors are doing.

With some rare exceptions, not even sponsored shooters in high round count competitive disciplines will be shooting much more than this on an on-going basis. Sure, there might be a big push right before a certain event but I’m talking average, annual expenditure over the course of many years.

A person that understands and applies good training habits, coupled with organized dry practice/training can build a considerable amount of skill with 1,000 – 2,000 rounds a year. Two live sessions a month of 50-100 rounds each is less than 2,400 rounds a year.

Most gun owners would enjoy a HUGE jump in skill with 800 rounds a year. Two regularly-scheduled organized live sessions of 20-50 rounds each month coupled with three regularly-scheduled organized weekly dry sessions.

“Regularly-scheduled” and “organized” is where most people fail. You don’t need 3,000 rounds a year (or 30,000 or 300,000…) to gain substantial improvement. You need to train fundamentals in a regular, on-going, organized fashion. Most gun owners, hunters, tactical, soldiers, Marines and cops will never do this. And their shooting skills will remain at novice levels because of it.