5 Tips for Getting Into Competition Rifle Shooting
Most of us grew up shooting, or at least have had an interest for some time before actually purchasing a rifle and heading to the range. At said range, on a bench of your choosing, you’ll likely spend countless hours slinging countless rounds through your rifle until you nearly perfect the bench-rest shot. Then, you do the same in the prone position, freehand, kneeling, etc. Perhaps you become disinterested or bored in the same ol’ thing and are ready to try something new. That’s when you read about shooting competitions that are guaranteed to put your skills to the test. If you are looking to get into competition rifle shooting, here are five things you ought to think about.
Read the Rules
Seems obvious, right? Know the rules. It never hurts to watch a couple matches once you’ve done so. Speak with some of the other shooters and ask questions. Some leagues require that classes be taken before shooting your first match, so once you’ve done these things, you’ll have a much better understanding of how competition rifle shooting works.
Skills Don’t (Really) Matter
What we mean here is if you’re not a great shooter, you can still compete. Obviously you won’t shoot in some of the more complex matches, but that doesn’t matter. These competitions are about increasing your skill set and promoting the shooting sports. If you know the rules and own the equipment you need to compete, then by all means.
Know Your Gear
Your gear, no matter how much or how little you own, should always be 100% reliable. This means cleaning your rifle, scope and accessories after each time you shoot. Go into the competition with the gear you’ve been practicing with. Using unproven equipment is a huge no-no. Even if a title sponsor asks you to try out a new magazine they’re getting ready to release, respectfully decline.
Ask for Help
Asking for help is tough for everybody. You think it might make you look or feel inferior. This is a notion that you need to get over. Most individuals that are experienced in competition rifle shooting are more than happy to help out. This isn’t a cut-throat beauty pageant. Don’t be afraid to seek out the advice of those who’ve shot in a match or two.
In competition, you’re on the move – bouncing from station to station, lugging your rifle and equipment. All physical activities are influenced by mental capacity. Finding the target, exhaling and squeezing the trigger are much easier when your heart isn’t trying to beat out your chest and eyeballs. If your training involves a solid endurance program, you’ll be ahead of many in the field going into the match.
Bergara is a major advocate of competition shooting and the shooting industry as a whole. We sponsor and shoot in several matches throughout the year, including the Woody’s PRS Match and the upcoming 2016 Remington Alabama Precision Rifle Challenge. For any additional questions, feel free to reach out to us on Facebook.