TAKE IT TO 100
“Train with purpose because your life might depend on it.”
I’ve been both the preacher and the choir on this one, and I’m sure you’ve heard it or something similar many times. Yes, you should take your handgun training and practice sessions seriously if you want to be prepared for a critical situation. But in that determination to tune up for the next competition or to be ready for an armed conflict, don’t forget that shooting is supposed to be fun, too.
In this issue, we have stories on energizing your range sessions with some fun shooting as well as highlighting some of the targets available that you can use to do just that.
There might be the misconception that casual plinking is a waste of time and ammunition. But any time you’re at the range shooting, as long as you’re practicing good form and not reinforcing bad habits, you’re honing your skills as a shooter.
By adding reactive targets that ding, splash, bounce, spin or topple, you’re getting instant feedback. That’s a lot more fun than walking down range or peeking through a spotting scope to see if there’s a hole in the paper.
We also have an interesting article in this issue by Leroy Thompson that deals with the realistic engagement distances you can expect from different types of carry guns. Knowing what you can expect from your skill with your carry gun can be valuable information. I usually take it a step further with any handgun I’m considering for everyday carry. I end each practice session with some plinking. Included in the fun is trying to stretch the range of my carry guns by taking aim at a 12-inch metal gong at 100 yards. Am I likely to engage in a gunfight at that distance? You can imagine scenarios— in a remote area, armed only with a handgun against a bad guy with a rifle for instance—but no, it’s not likely I’ll have to do that. And I limit my shots when hunting with a handgun to about half that.
I’m not going to make any exaggerated or unsubstantiated claims that I can hit the steel every time at 100 yards shooting offhand with a handgun. I can’t. But when I do hit it, that “ding” is absolutely delightful. And when I miss, I know I’m close enough to worry it.
Is it a waste of time? No. First, to hit a target at that distance my fundamentals of grip, sight picture and trigger control have to be at their best. Second, hitting a target at that distance gives me greater confidence in the capabilities of my handgun and my skill to make a difficult shot when it might be necessary. And third, it’s fun and keeps me coming back.
So, when you train, make it count. But remember the sheer joy of shooting. Hit a soup can or knock over a bowling pin on occasion. And maybe try your luck on some steel at 100.