If you have followed our series on shooting competitions, we have explained how to get started and the gear you need for shooting competitions, as well as what to expect when you get to your first match. We will now be going into how you can become a more proficient shooter.
Obviously, practice makes perfect. That should not be a new concept to anyone. If you aren't willing to put in the work to become better, then you probably won't. While not everyone has super deep pockets to spend at the range (or the time), there are plenty of things you can do at home in your basement or garage that will make you a better shooter, without even firing a shot. (NOTE: Make sure all firearms are unloaded before attempting any of these methods. Do not leave live ammunition around while training, and make sure you are still following all of your weapon safety rules while practicing at home or away from the range)Dry-firing is a great way to improve your responses without having to expend money on ammo and range fees. A great product for this, are Snap Caps. They are available online or at your local gun store, and come in nearly every caliber, from pistol, to rifle, to shotgun rounds. Practicing drawing from a holster and acquiring a clear sight picture clearly is essential work you can do to prepare yourself. Committing to muscle memory will help you out as well.Magazine Reloading is another essential part of competition. Once again, make sure all live ammo is away from your training area. Whether is is pistol or rifle reloads, practice with your belt/rig on, and run through as many reloading drills as possible. The next part is capitalized and bolded to signify its importance... YOU CAN NOT DO TOO MANY RELOADING DRILLS. The best shooters do hundreds, if not thousands of reloading drills on a weekly, and sometimes daily habit. Smooth magazine reloading and transitions will be deciding factors for different matches. If you are able to have smooth reloads, your times will drop, placing you higher and higher on the leader board. [PLEASE ELABORATE ON HOW TO IMPROVE RELOADS. I.E. USING PAR TIMES AND KEEPING THE GUN UP IN THE "WORKSPACE" WHEN PERFORMING A RELOAD. MEANING, WHY IS IT MORE EFFICIENT TO KEEP THE PISTOL UP, WHILE HAVING THE TARGET WITHIN YOUR FOV (IF NOT RELOADING ON THE MOVE)]When it comes to 3 gun competitions, the one that everyone can improve on, is shotgun reloads. No, there is no magazine on most divisions, (albeit open divisions if you were using a Saiga Shotgun for instance) the shotgun is your money maker. Depending on if you are planning on running quads or dueces (4 shell reloads vs. 2 shell reloads) practicing can improve your match altogether. Go on to Amazon, and pick up a set or two of dummy rounds. They aren't that expensive, but are worth every penny. Yes, there are people who sell dummy rounds from old shotgun shells from previous matches, but there is always the possibility of picking up a live round if you are practicing with formerly live rounds. Dummy rounds are usually brightly colored, and not the color of normal shotgun shells. Put on your belt or rig, and practice the manipulation of the shotgun and practice reloading how you will at the range. Even just putting in a couple minutes a week on these practice techniques, will increase your skillfulness, and make you a better shooter. When you step out on the range for your next competition, you will be ready to take on the world with a quickness, and you. [MATT, COMPETITORS CAN GREATLY IMPROVE BY BETTERING THEIR EFFICIENCY OF MOTION AND MENTAL MANAGEMENT. SHOTGUN RELOADS DO NOT WIN MATCHES. PLEASE INCLUDE OPTIONS FOR SHELL CADDIES, AND LINK TO THOSE COMPANIES, FOR QUAD LOAD AND DUECES. EXAMPLES ARE: SAFARILAND, CARBON ARMS, TACCOM, INVICTUS PRACTICAL, AS WELL AS THE OLD STYLE CADDIES]Even just putting in a couple minutes a week on these practice techniques, will increase your skillfulness, and make you a better shooter. When you step out on the range for your next competition, you will be ready to take on the world with a quickness, and you didn't spend a penny on ammo.