A Beginner’s Guide to Competitive Shooting

Middle-aged man holding aiming a handgun at a range isolated on white space

Starting anything new in your life can be quite overwhelming, especially if it involves firearms, and you don’t know where to start. In this piece, we will look into everything you need to know before getting started in competitive shooting.

 

If you want to try competitive shooting, you should have enough courage to do it because many people who are into gun competitions are not professionals anyway. Recent research on gun competitions indicated that many people would love to get into competitive shooting, but they don’t know where to start. Shooting competitions are not that hard, and you don’t have to be a professional to engage in such a sport. However, it would be best if you had the basics.

 

Action pistol matches are the most popular and the easiest for any beginner to master quickly. However, when you begin, you should not go out and buy pieces of equipment before shooting. The only thing you should buy before starting is a good holster. While there are many holster brands, it would be best to get a paddle or a regular belt holster.

 

What you need to Know

 

Before getting into your first shooting competition, you need to get acquainted with all the basics about the shooting.

 

  • Safety is always paramount. The places where shooting competitions are hosted, always have a “cold range,” which means that every person’s gun should always be holstered and unloaded in the safe areas. Due to safety measures, some shooting grounds have different regulations about when and where to handle pistols. Therefore, for safety measures, always have your pistol unloaded and cased, while on the safe areas in the shooting ground.

 

  • Know how to run your pistol. Primarily, you should know how to load and unload your pistol. If you are unable to run your pistol while pointing it safely to the ground, you may need more practice before engaging in competitive shooting.

 

  • Learn the basic rules. If you intend to compete in bigger stages like the national shooting matches, ensure that you get acquainted with their well-defined rules and regulations.

 

  • Range commands. Whenever you hear range commands while on the shooting field, you should abide by them, they could mean that someone has crossed the firing lane, resulting in an unsafe situation. Therefore, it is important to stop what you are doing and let the range officer direct you on what to do.

 

What you need to have

 

There are some essentials you need to have while on the shooting ground.

 

  • Eye protection gear. An eye protection gear is a requirement while you are on the shooting ground. It is a necessity for both the shooters and the bystanders in every shooting match. Sometimes, the safety glasses may become fogged up on the inside. It would help if you had an anti-fog solution to help with this.

 

  • Ear protection gear. It is also important to have ear protection because of the loud gun noises. There are a variety of ear protection gears available today, but electronic ear muffs are the best. They come with a microphone, and they have unique features that help to cut out noise when a shot is fired. They are also the most popular ear protectors that you will see on the range.

 

  • A backpack. Ensure that you have a backpack to carry everything that you may need while on the range. It would be helpful, especially if you are going for big matches, and you may require to carry a lot of essentials with you.

 

  • Food and water. Some matches may take longer, and you may end up feeling hungry while on the shooting ground. Moving back and forth while looking for food and water may wear you off, carry your food and water instead.

 

  • A sunblock. Carry a sunblock during sunny match days to avoid sunburns.

Engaging in competitive shooting requires you to have the right mindset and self-belief. Also, attend some shooting matches in advance, before you get into the competitions yourself.