Practice Real-Life Shooting Scenarios

By author of Guns and Camo

Practicing real-life scenarios will make you more effective.

People might have a different opinion and reason why they like shooting. But regardless of specific reasons, guns are just plain fun to shoot.

The main reason why I shoot is simple: I want to be a better hunter. And for this, I practice real-life situations that I might encounter, whether in the woods or in everyday activities. Allow me to show you what I mean.

Let's take a rifle hunter, for instance. A few years ago, I was at an outdoor range. There was a gentleman a few benches down from me sighting in his rifle for a caribou hunt in Alaska. He nestled in nice and solid on his Caldwell lead sled. He shot about 10 rounds and called it good. People might be wondering what the problem is with this situation. Is he going to be able to shoot his caribou with his gun rested on a Caldwell lead sled? Not a chance. And that's where the problem lies.

You need to practice with your firearm and shoot in real-life situations. Shoot prone, sitting, kneeling, freehand, from shooting sticks, and even off your backpack. Shoot in these positions because they are the ones that are going to help you in the field. You need to find ways to get the gun steady with what's available to you at that time.

Consider wing shooting. I love sporting clays. Why? Because I like bird hunting. The reason I participate in sporting clays leagues is to better my chances at filling bag limits. The biggest mistake here is starting with a mounted gun. People stand in the booth, shoulder the gun, and say, "Pull." Almost every situation I’ve ever encountered in the field while toting a shotgun has been a shot where I had to shoulder the gun in one fluid motion to make it. I couldn't imagine walking around with a shotgun mounted to my shoulder the whole time I was hunting. It would get tiring in a hurry.

On to handguns. I work at a range where handguns are the main source of shooting. Some people practice just for pure enjoyment. Others shoot to hone skills that someday might save their lives. The majority of those people shoot with a two-handed grip on the gun. Learn how to shoot and work your handgun with one hand—both your strong hand and weak hand. Learning how to shoot well with either hand gives you an edge that might save your life.

Real life practice is what gets results. Do it.