Many indoorsy folks write off shooting sports as a rowdy hobby practiced exclusively by thrill-seekers and hunting fanatics. While target shooting certainly enlivens the senses, it also supports overall personal well-being. The numerous benefits of shooting are advantageous both physically and mentally.
Accurately shooting bulky firearms requires core strength and sturdy arms, demonstrating why frequent shooters quickly develop an athletic physique. Upper body fortitude and strengthened abdominals improve overall balance while supporting proper posture. In addition to muscle building, target shooting sharpens motor skills and enhances stamina. Shooters who participate in “run and gun” training must sprint through uneven terrain and navigate physical obstacles with agility— all while hauling cumbersome ammunition and holding a shotgun at the ready. Overall, practical shooting activities demand physical endurance, controlled focus, and weapon awareness.
Curious about the physical benefits of shooting? For starters, trying your hand at this shooting sport can help promote a healthy lifestyle. As a bonus, target shooters report enhanced cognitive function in situations that demand refined problem-solving skills.
For those unfamiliar, trained shooters spend countless hours developing laser focus and determination. Aiming at a distant target forces you to concentrate on one thing for a sustained amount of time. While seemingly a sport-specific skill, the ability to block out distractions and sharpen mental focus can benefit virtually every aspect of your life, especially when completing time-exacting tasks. The fast-paced nature of shooting also induces a spike of adrenaline, increasing blood flow to the brain and muscles. The exhilarating chemical can be addicting, but it also increases energy levels and overall mood long after you’ve left the range.
Apart from the physical and mental health benefits, target shooting is an empowering activity. The great responsibility of safely handling a weapon builds confidence and security while also improving self-defense skills. Target shooting provides you with the knowledge to protect yourself effectively. Many shooters praise the activity as a primary source of peace of mind.
Are you sold yet? If you’re looking to join the target shooting community? Consider these tips and tricks before speeding to your local shooting range.
Start broad before you go niche
Every experienced target shooter has their preferred weapon. Some shooters favor a handgun’s lightweight properties, while others develop a preference for a shotgun’s big-impact. As a novice shooter, you’ll need to experiment with different firearms. Test your ability with a handgun like the Taurus g2c. Its featherweight feel offers increased stamina and hand-eye coordination. Rifles and shotguns are also popular in the target shooting world, often favored for their scope adaptability. Once you find your niche weapon, you can sharpen your skillset with more guns of its kind.
Consider the cost of ammunition before buying a gun
An aspiring shooter can easily get caught up in the shiny details of the gun itself and forget the significance of ammunition. The market chalked full of different kinds of ammo, each suited to a unique purpose.
That said, refine your shooting needs before making a purchase. Note that full metal jacket ammunition is best suited for target-driven activities. If you’re working with a budget, look into guns that use less costly ammo. You can also purchase ammunition in bulk to save on wholesale prices and attend gun shows to take advantage of the competitive marketplace.
Invest in high-quality ear protection
Without protection, exposure to gunfire leads to a reduction in hearing or total loss. Once the inner ear is damaged, there is no chance of repair. Purchasing quality ear protection is an absolute necessity, so take care to find the right kind for you. Some shooters prefer custom-molded earplugs, while others use larger over-the-head earmuffs. The best headsets offer full protection and built-in microphones that allow for easy communication.
Purchase safety goggles
Like hearing, protecting your eyesight is a top priority when on the range. Accidental misfires or ricocheting material can instantly result in a blinding accident. Glasses protect the eyes from bright flashes of the muzzle and environmental hazards. Protective eyewear may also enable you to see your target more clearly, thus improving your shot accuracy. When selecting shooting glasses, consider weight, lens color, and material durability.
Take a firearm safety course
Before you even think about handling a weapon, enroll in a firearm safety course. These specifically designed classes educate owners about the dangers of improper use and the consequences of reckless actions. Safety courses also provide you with the knowledge to accurately and confidently handle your weapon, building your foundation to become a skilled shooter.
Bring a buddy
Even with the ability to safely handle your gun, accidents happen far too often on the range. This second pair of eyes may catch a potential malfunction that could’ve ended in devastation otherwise. Bringing a friend to the field allows you to watch out for each other, but it also makes for a more enjoyable experience. The shooting community is a tight-knit circle, and building friendships strengthen the bond between gun owners.
Take your shot
Target shooting pushes your mental fortitude and allows you to live a healthier lifestyle. As you fine-tune your skills and build relationships, you’ll mature into a more confident individual.