Shooting Sports

shootingsports

I’ve seen it a hundred times before.

New shooter or experienced shooter. Young or old. Male or female. Tall or short. Sooner or later… everyone gets sick of shooting at paper.

And why not? After a few hundred rounds fired off, it’s only natural that the mystique and danger of shooting a gun will wear off in time. That “living on the edge” feeling which slowly ebbs away as you come to realize that the gun is no more dangerous than your kitchen knife or baseball bat—only much more expensive. So typically, the question becomes; “Now what?”

Sure, you can simply put the guns away in the safe, lock them in a drawer or bury them in the backyard for when the SHTF, but why? Instead, join some shooting leagues. Engage in some bullseye tournaments. Shoot a little IPSC, USPSA or 3-Gun. Why? (you ask) What do the shooting sports have to do with prepping or being prepared?

Because all of these sports spawned from combat training. Many of them—military combat training.

Military Combat Training

Did a lightbulb just go on in your head?

Well, where did you think they came from? Heck, even Bullseye started out as “Conventional Pistol” over 100 years ago with the US army trying to train soldiers to become better marksman. USPSA developed out of SWAT training and IDPA began with concealed carry training for plain clothes cops. For you, it presents an opportunity to have fun while training yourself to become a better, faster shot for defensive purposes and at the same time have a heck of a lot of fun while doing it.

Now, if you are under the impression that I am about to start expounding on each of the shooting sports, touting facts about how many people enjoy them, the rules, how to get started and all that good stuff—unfortunately you are reading the wrong article. Frankly, I’ve written that article about seven times now for different publications, each with their own little spin to make it more unique than the last one. No, that’s not what I’m giving you here.

Julie-GolobInstead, I’m going to give you a lesson in familiarization and limitations. It’s all well and good to become a world-class shooter, taking championship after championship title, and mind you—I wouldn’t want to get into a gun battle with someone with such titles—but that in and of itself is exactly the point. Playing shooting “games” does not involve getting shot at as you transition from target to target. This fact necessitates that you accept certain realities, and hence my lesson to you here today. Because there is literally no way to practice being shot at with real ammunition (quiet down, paintballers), your acceptance must be that your limitation is that of humanity and that any second during a gun battle you can be hit and worse—killed.

It’s All About DEFENSE

Should that change your perspective on participating in shooting sports? No, not at all because that is where the fundamentals and familiarization will start to come in. When you learn what your limits are as a shooter PLUS find the limits of how well your hardware can perform, you gain valuable insight into your own defensive capabilities. The fact that your carry gun can only hold “x” number of rounds, forcing a reload, presenting a dangerous delay and vulnerability is something that is accepted by any concealed carry holder. The only problem is you need to practice in order to minimize that vulnerability. Being able to reload while moving and transitioning targets is something that any USPSA of IDPA match can teach you. Does it make you safer? Maybe a little. Is it valuable to be able to perform? Without a doubt.

Ultimately, and for the purposes of being prepared for a disaster, these skills are purely defensive. Whether personal or homestead defense, be it with handgun or rifle, shotgun or bazooka—the key to control, to minimizing accidents, staying safe and protecting loved ones is always going to be firmly centered within those who are educated in what they are doing. The shooting sports actually force you to learn these valuable skills without paying to learn them (mostly) and more importantly, in a pleasurable environment that you will want to attend.

How do you get started with shooting sports?

Three steps:

  1. Find a local event (NRA website is a great place to look).
  2. Attend to observe local event. Talk to people at event.
  3. Attend next event as a beginner and start off slow.

I promise you won’t regret it and you’ll have a great time. Go shoot.

Check out the Expert Prepper’s Ultimate Survival Library today to learn more about weapons and defending your home during times of chaos and natural disaster.

What do you think? Have you ever participated in a shooting competition? Leave your comments below…

Richard Bogath
Richard Bogath is an NRA certified firearms instructor, certified hunter instructor, youth league pistol coach, professional hunting guide, published author (Howling The Moon Dog: Coyote Hunting East Of The Mississippi), writer for several online publications about firearms, blogger, lecturer and proud dad. When not performing any of these fun activities, he is a successful e-commerce business consultant.

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