Training: The value of competition shooting to your type of shooting

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http://www.guns.com/review/training-the-value-of-competition-shooting-to-your-type-of-shooting/

This is a great write up by Andy C at Guns.com about the value of organized shooting as found at competitive events. If you’ve never been to a match or have gun-owning friends that haven’t, do yourself a favor and read this.

Some choice quotes:

I guess you might develop a “training scar” from habits like moving around an IPSC course without taking cover, but then, I might also forget to wear pants to the grocery store because I never wear them inside if I can avoid it.


While competitive shooting may get you killed on “the street”, some training looks likely to kill you on the range. (Photo: Everydaynodaysoff)

There’s a spectrum of investment with shooting, like any sport. My wife shoots IDPA with a hoodie, a holster she made and a police surplus S&W Model 10. She shoots next to a guy who spent thousands on his Sig X-Six, a custom Kydex holster, a 5.11 vest, and a camera on his head. There are certainly shooting games that let you use what you have, and if you like it, you can slowly invest in specialized gear.

Speaking of investing, I often find that the people who lament the expense of competitive shooting own dozens of different guns. Instead of buying another rifle that gets shot twice a year, why not invest that money in competitive shooting fees, ammunition and equipment?

The main reason is it provides a reason to go and shoot. There’s a date on the calendar that says “use your gun.” This is a pretty strong motivator to get said gun out of the nightstand. It also provides meaningful feedback with scores and rankings. Whether you try to beat personal records or develop a competitive edge, once values are assigned to the quality of your shooting, it’s a natural to try and improve those scores. That has a good chance of leading to more frequent range time and may even lead to that most secretive of arts, dry fire practice… For a lot of people, it’s more important that it’s “organized” than “competitive.”

Earl Nightingale and Robert A. Heinlein on Promoting Shooting Programs

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Earl Nightingale once said that whenever you have no idea how to achieve your goal, a foolproof technique is to look at how the overwhelming majority attempts to tackle the problem and do the exact opposite.

Robert A. Heinlein summed it up well: “Does history record any case in which the majority was right?”

That sums up how the Firearm User Network came into being.

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Exercise Second Amendment Rights

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Exercising your rights means just that.

Exercise requires taking action, getting trained, participating in other people’s events and/or hosting your own.

Exercise your rights by going out to actually do it and getting others involved.

Firearm User Network merely offer proven guidelines and suggestions on ways to better conduct that exercise for best results. More importantly, we offer tools that make facilitating this much easier. Our formats are quick and easy to administer, safe, inexpensive, effective and fun for the participant. We offer incentives to those who benefit from our programs and we formally acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of active marksmen and event directors by promoting them within their local community.

You don’t have to use Firearm User Network services or conduct these events to exercise your rights. Get involved with another organization or create and run events on your own if you like. However, if you aren’t doing something that organizes yourself and gets others involved, you’re failing to exercise your rights.

Organized Shooting in the United States

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Competitive shooting events should be more popular in the US, but they are not. As a percentage of the vast number of gun owners and NRA members here in the States, organized shooting has little support. Here are the numbers.

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The Best 308 Shooting Practices and Tips

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Author Bio:
Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else, and occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. He is a founder at http://deerhuntingfield.com/
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Musketry & Combat Practice Firing

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Note how often that competition was suggested as a good approach to training.

US Army Training Film TF-24
Musketry & Combat Practice Firing

1935 US Army Training Film

The application and control of collective fire of rifle units (Rifle Squads & Rifle Sections) is called “Musketry.”

This film covers rifle firing skills.
– Reel 1 provides an introduction to methods of estimating range to target.
– Reel 2 shows how unit members communicated knowledge of the target in the field.
– Reel 3 instructs squad leaders on the construction and use of ranges for landscape target firing.
– Reel 4 details technical characteristics of rifle fire and its effects.
– Reel 5 demonstrates the application of rifle firing techniques in field exercises.
– Reel 6 features a schematic drawing of the effect of combat fire.

“Going hunting” is a poor way to practice

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Rabbit hunting is a really good way to practice shooting from a standing position.”
Squirrel hunting is a good way to get some shooting practice before deer season.”

No, it’s not.

First problem is the ethics of using a living creature for casual target practice. This isn’t some animal rights drivel. Good hunters are conservationists and advocates for the protection and preservation of the environment and wildlife. Hunting animals is a normal and needed component of wildlife ecosystems for predator species, including Homo sapiens sapiens. Respect nature and give your fellow hunters a good name by being an efficient and ethical predator.

Second problem, hunting is too varied for this to be useful practice. You don’t know when, where, or if an animal will appear and for how long. The nature of the scenario (terrain, underbrush, distance, weather conditions) may be simple or demanding and can’t be known in advance. This makes hunting an excellent application of field marksmanship skills but a very poor way to create them. Much better to shoot under controlled and predictable conditions first. Identify what sorts of shots you can pull off.

Did you know that using a tree or rock outcropping for support will throw your point of impact off four minutes of angle from the zero you established at a bench rest? And that using those shooting sticks will move the point of impact almost the same amount but in the opposite direction? Or maybe it won’t. But you’ll never know if you don’t test it… or until you have that “unexplained” miss at the biggest buck you’ve ever seen.

Learn how to shoot on the range. Hunting is a place to use practiced abilities, not to create them.

Raw marksmanship skill is less important than marksmanship awareness. That is, knowing what sorts of shots are truly high percentage for you, and what should be passed up. Emphasis on knowing, not what you think, imagine, or wish you can do.

Small game hunting can provide additional hunting opportunities and experience, especially in preparation for more limited seasons such as big game. Just give it a little bit of the range preparation that it deserves.

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