In our previous post, we mentioned the concept of shooting being a perishable skill and the necessity of practicing your shooting skills in the same manner in which you plan to employ them during your hunt, a competition, or if necessary, in defense. Never forget to focus on safety and do things in a proper manner, even if more slowly at first. One thing that was not mentioned in the first part of this subject matter is the benefit of dry firing. This can be done at any time in any weather condition. With modern equipment like weapon mounted lasers, a great deal of diagnostic information regarding your performance of the fundamentals like trigger control can be gained from this form of practice. For the sake of safety, make sure that any ammunition is not in the same room or location where you decide to practice dry firing...this will prevent any possibility of an accident. Here are some practice drills that can make time at the range both beneficial and fun.
Quick Fire Type Drills
This drill and others like it will assist you in learning to acquire your target and sight picture quickly. This skill is definitely beneficial in a defensive situation, but can also be great for those hunting game that tend to come toward the hunter in a very quick manner (coyotes when called). At a distance of 25 yards and starting with your weapon in a sling-carry or low ready position, have a friend use a signal to let you know when to begin firing. When given the signal, fire two shots and then return your rifle to the previous position. The controlled pair of shots can be fired center mass or at the head (if using a B-27 type target) as a variation. The person signaling should vary the amount of time between signals in order to keep the shooter out of a rhythm. This drill can continue from 6-10 total shots fired, and then it is probably best to safety the weapon and measure your performance on the target. A series or two of this drill is a great warm up for more complicated drills and with proper practice, the amount of time you require to correctly acquire and engage the target should be reduced. Variations of this drill at shorter or longer distances or in different positions (kneeling, prone, on your back-defensive) can also be a great addition to your skill set.
Called Target Drills
In this drill, 4 or more small, numbered targets are used. For black centered targets, a white crayon can be used for marking the number on the target. Targets with different colors can also be used rather than numbers. Much like the previous drill, this one starts with the shooter in the low ready and uses a second person to call out the numbers of a target to engage. One to three shots per target/number called can be fired depending on your real life application, and this drill can also be performed at shorter or longer ranges. As mentioned in Practice Makes Perfect (part one), inexpensive items you may already have at home can make great targets and thinking outside of the box is essential to keeping range times and various drills fun and applicable to your situation. Introducing magazine reloads to this or another shooting drill is also beneficial, especially to a defense or tactical application.
There are many other drills detailed on websites and in monthly shooting publications. Make sure to constantly be looking for ways to improve your shooting skill set by practicing often and in a manner directly applicable to how you will shoot in your real life scenario. Modern shooters have the benefit of the internet and there are many websites that offer creative drills as well as general information regarding firearms. Whether you are reading this blog or some other site’s information, it is important to understand that some of the concepts here may apply to you and your manner of shooting, equipment, or application and some may not. It is great to have access to information from the experiences of many individuals (novices and experts alike), but it is wise to be concerned and use discernment when a website or someone posting on it mandates a particular type of equipment or method of doing something as “the only way to go”. Always ensure the safety of yourself and others whenever you handle firearms and do your best to be a great ambassador to those not familiar with “the gun world”. Why not make a resolution this upcoming year to introduce a young person to the shooting sports. Thanks for reading our blog...check back often for more news and information pertaining to the AR-15 platform and feel free to contact us anytime with any questions you may have about the AR-15 and our products.