Top 5 Tips to Get Better at Target Shooting

Shooting is no different than any other activity, in order to start getting better and eventually perfect your shot, you need to start practicing. However, you need to make sure that you are practicing productively to ensure that you actually do see progress within your shot. Try out some of these tips in order to see improvement in your target shooting.

Stop Switching Guns

You may have multiple guns at home, and that is perfectly fine. If you have three guns, practice target shooting with one at a time. For example, if you have an AR-15 and you want to get really good at your control with that gun, it is not going to benefit you to shoot with that for one session a week and then using others for the rest. You will end up being the jack of all trades and the master of none. In order to get very good at target shooting, at least in the beginning, you will want to specialize. Until you are shooting perfectly during many of your sessions, make it a point to get very comfortable with one gun and you can later branch out.

Make Sure That Your Sessions Are Productive

While this is true of many things, it also applies to target shooting. Your skills will not be fooled by your lack of dedication. Arriving at the shooting range is not enough to make you a better shooter. Let’s say that you wanted to bulk at the gym. Showing up to your local gym and walking on the treadmill for an hour is enough to say you worked out, but your progress cannot be fooled. You are not doing the correct activity in order to align with your goals, and you are not going hard enough. When you show up to the shooting range, you need to make sure that you are focused the entire time. Even if you do not feel like practicing that day or you are tired, you showed up and you are there. It will be a wasted session if you do not give it your all. If you get dedicated and make sure that you are giving it your all, you will eventually see the progress that you are wanting to see.

 Practice Without Ammunition

This can be helpful to both beginners and experts. For beginners, it may be beneficial to practice without ammunition because of safety implications. For experts, this may be a good time to force yourself to not be focused on the actual target and only focus on yourself and the shot. If you feel yourself starting to get sloppy or realize that your form is not what it used to be, it is probably good to take a step back and focus on mechanics. What does your stance look like when you are shooting? What does the firearm feel like when you are aiming? Are you handling the kickback well or are you feeling weak? Are you focusing enough on your target or are you starting to become a bit careless? All of these can be prioritized either when you are not shooting at a target or when the gun is not loaded. If you feel like you have tried everything you can with your ammo in, try this out and see if it is helpful.

Focus on Taking Breaks

I know this may seem counterintuitive because you want to make sure that you get the most out of your session at the shooting range, but breaks can be extremely beneficial. There is a point during a session where, if you keep operating at maximum intensity, you will start seeing diminishing returns in your progress due to many factors. For instance, the more that you continuously hold your gun without much relief, the more tired you are going to get. Once you start to get tired, your body may start straining or shaking, which will obviously start to be all that you think about, on top of it already starting to affect your shot. When you start to see that your shot is being affected, you may start to get frustrated and continue to go harder until you are back in good standing. However, it is very hard to bounce back from this after a continuous session. A good rule of thumb is to take periodic breaks during the session so that this fatigue and frustration does not come on as quickly. If you start to feel this, take a break. If it is towards the end of the session and it was pretty productive, use this as a clue that it may be time to call it a day.

Do Not Be Too Hard on Yourself

You have to understand that no matter how much you practice and how good you get, you will never actually be perfect. Whether it be because you have a bad day, the animal in the woods is too quick, or you are in your head, it is okay not to have the best shooting of your life every single time. You will know when you are starting to get really good, because practice will start feeling easier, you will have to push yourself more, and it will not feel strenuous when you hit your target. However, if you are target shooting in order to practice for the real world or another type of competition, it will be completely different. It is okay to make all of your shots at the shooting range and then let a deer slip away because its movement was too volatile. It is also okay to perfect the shooting range and revert back to beginner status when you are trying to practice for a 3-gun competition. Everybody starts somewhere, and it is okay to start over and be a newbie. It is also completely okay to never feel like you have reached absolute perfection, you should be proud to be comfortable!

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