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Thread: New Shooters keep it simple

  1. #1
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    Kent, Washington, USA
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    When starting off shooting keep it basic.

    Targets
    I know the urge is there to buy those big black bullseye targets or those picture ones with the bad guys on it. What you really need when you want to work on accuracy is to just use a blank white piece of paper. Yes, a simple 8x11 copy paper will do just fine.

    Why? When you shoot at those dark targets your eye and mind cannot see where the heck you just shot. After a while all you are doing is pulling the trigger and hoping for the best. You can't build on skills if you are guessing all the time. You really need to see where you are hitting and these days with ammo cost. It can be spendy just blowing rounds for nothing. Do put a little dot of some kind in the center of the paper - either make one with a pen or use a "Shoot n-c" reactive target post sticker. The good thing about these stickers is that when you hit them they react so you can see them.

    If you didn't bring paper to the range buy their cheapest target and turn it around. Shoot the back. You can see where you are shooting a lot better.

    Distance of targets
    Keep them close at first. Like 10 to 15 feet (3 - 5 yards) if the range allows for that close. Once you get your sight picture - you will have more confidence when you put the target back further.

    Last two things:

    1) Shoot slow
    Focus on how you are gripping the gun, your sight picture and trigger control.

    If you can't shoot slow when you start then do blow off a magazine or two and have fun - by doing this you can then slow down and focus. Some guys just want to blow s**t up. Get that out of your system and then settle in and relax.

    2) Have fun - if you can hit your target it's a lot more fun. Shooting the floor in front of you or the ceiling really makes for a bad day and everyone looking at you like an idiot. Keep control of the muzzle (the front of the gun) pointed down range.

    If you are a brand new shooter - drop me an email. I'll be holding a fun shoot for newbies this summer at Renton Fish and Game Club (Renton, WA).


    Disclaimer: my style of shooting is like the good old days where you go to a "pit" and shoot at reactive targets (steel plates). Well, used to bebottles but we're all a bit more green these days Just so you know I may spoil you from ever shooting at a regular range as we'll go over rapid fire, shooting on the move and of course basic marksmanship.

    Note: when you contact me please include where you heard about this and also refresh me on what... as I run a few practice sessions for different levels. So, this would be New shooter orientation. Also include your contact info and how much experience you have at shooting.

    My goal is to get more people enjoying the shooting sports.
    Young Kim, NRA Endowment Member
    NRA Certified Instructor (pistol)
    NRA Range Safety Officer

    www.shootonthemove.org

    "Shoot Safetly, Shoot Often and Share Your Sport!"
    Jim Scoutten, Shooting USA

  2. #2
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    Great tips. Thank you.

  3. #3
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    Lakewood, Washington, USA
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    Cheapo paper plates (bulk pack) and a red marker for the bullseye works great too. Been using that for years.



  4. #4
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    I completely agree with the all white target with just an orange dot or two for reference. I've been shooting for 50 years and sadly to say it took me 25 of those years to figure out the white paper trick. I use plain paper whether shooting a handgun or a rifle. The caliber of the firearm makes no difference. I will say that I do prefer white paper with one inch squares outlined in orange for sighting in a hunting rifle although plain paper could be used. I've found that if you go to your local newspaper you can often times acquire paper roll ends either for free or for a very reasonable price. Having roll ends allows you to make targets of any size and it helps reduce the cost of shooting.

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