How Often Should I Go To The Shooting Range?
Oct 26, 2016
How Frequently One Should Be At The Shooting Range
Shooting is a perishable skill, and something that a lot of carriers wonder is how often they should be at the shooting range. The short answer is as often as possible, but in truth a person should go with enough frequency to maintain their shooting skills.
Ideally, a person will be practicing shooting skills often enough to keep them sharp. Besides, time at the shooting range is never really wasted.
Police and Military Have To Spend Time At A Gun Range - You Should Too
If a person is going to bother carrying on a regular basis, they should have a certain degree of competence with their firearm and that means spending time at a gun range. It's only fitting a person does so. After all, so do the professionals.
Both law enforcement and military personnel have to qualify on their firearms to be able to carry one in the line of duty. They may also have to periodically requalify; qualification periods are often annual (meaning qualification is required once per year) or more often. Quarterly qualification shoots for police are not unheard of. There are specific qualification exams for police and military personnel, namely scored courses of fire that they have to complete.
If the police officer, detective, agent, or solider doesn't pass their qualification test it can be a major setback to their career.
However, there is usually a provision for a certain amount of range time and a supply of ammunition from one's employer to keep qualified. Many police departments provide a certain amount of practice ammunition, though plenty do not. Ultimately, the idea is that people who may have to shoot a person have to demonstrate that they can hit the target when they need to, which requires a certain amount of practice.
The civilian carrier should likewise be practicing to keep their skills sharp. After all, if a professional has to, it stands to reason that the civilian carrier should as well. In fact, some states - such as Rhode Island and Texas - require a qualification shoot to get the concealed carry permit.
How Often Should A Person Have Shooting Practice?
Since it stands to reason that shooting skill is something the average carrier needs, how often should shooting practice take place? As often as reasonably possible. Granted, what's reasonably possibly is subjective; to some people, once or twice per week is sufficient and to others once every few months is more like it.
However, the reality is that shooting skills, like many other skills, are perishable. Just as athletes have to work out regularly to maintain their conditioning, a person who carries should be working out their shooting skills fairly regularly. Perhaps not so regularly that a person's life is consumed by going to the range - though there are certainly worse hobbies to have - but regularly enough for a person to maintain competence.
While the precise frequency necessary to do that may be a subject of some debate, consensus is something like once to twice per month. It's not so often that the average person can't get out and do it, but it isn't so infrequent that any skill acquired by doing so will diminish.
It isn't even that expensive, if one only goes through a box or two at a sitting.
Get The Most Out Of Shooting Range
When at the shooting range, a person should engage in shooting that is the most beneficial to them. Target or bullseye shooting is great for shooting fundamentals and certainly for long-range rifle shooting, be it for target shooting or hunting. Skeet or trap shooting is also great for upland bird or waterfowl hunters.
However, the concealed or open carrier is practicing for defensive shooting, and likely with a pistol. Therefore, a person ought to practice shooting drills that are beneficial in that context.
Defensive shootings are typically at close-range, in short time spans. Therefore, a person should practice shooting in this manner. Draw and fire drills, flash sight and point shooting are all skills that a person should be drilling in defensive shooting practice at the range, rather than merely hitting the 10-ring at 10 to 20 yards. The idea is that you need to be able to put rounds on target close-up in a hurry.
Beginning shooters, as with novices with anything, should start slow and work their way up to proficiency. That said, while it is work at a skill, time spent at the range is never wasted.
About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.