Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Square Range vs. Match Range

As I reveled in some accurate shooting recently, I remarked to myself, "If I could only do that in a match..." Actually, I can do that, I just often don't.

Shooting at the square range is an unreliable predictor of match performance. That's no surprise. Shooting accurately requires the confluence of many moving pieces; grip, stance, sight alignment, target picture, trigger press, shooting pace, and so on. In addition, there's the challenge of remembering rules and procedures of the games, not to mention one's stage plan.

At times I find myself forgetting one or more of those critical items when competing. I know I get sloppy at times with grip pressure. I get impatient with the sight picture. Or I simply shoot too fast. Even if I'm shooting accurately on a particular day, I may also find myself shooting targets out of order or using the wrong hand. I am painfully aware of how those errors affect match placement.

Due to local range restrictions, my practice time is limited to shooting while standing still, in a stable position, at unobstructed targets. Even at the outdoor range, I can't shoot on the move, or place myself in awkward positions. Dropping a magazine during a reload at the indoor range risks losing it forward of the line.

All that aside, the more I work on the basics, the less chance I will forget them in a match. And if I ever face the unfortunate situation of using my gun in a self defense situation, the more instinctive those fundamental become, the better off I'll be.

So no matter the limitations of the practice range, or the frustrations at a match, I'll keep working at it. Occasionally it all comes together remarkably well. Beyond all that, whether for score or practice, shooting is simply good fun. Good shooting is even more fun. As long as I'm fortunate enough to be able to partake frequently, I'll continue to do so.

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