Reasons to Shoot Your Rifle This Summer
Note: Featured image courtesy of Aaron Dearborn, Bergara Custom gunsmith and competitive shooter.
Shooting is supposed to be fun though you do tend to lose some of the enjoyment when the heat and mosquitos begin their rise in the summer months. Regardless, we shouldn’t let those factors hinder our range time. There are a myriad of reasons, both mental and physical, why shooting regularly is good for you. As for the mosquitos, buy a Thermacell. You won’t regret it.
Shooting builds physical discipline and strength. To be a consistently good shooter you have to practice good posture – straight back, steady arms, feet shoulder width (if shooting off hand), not to mention controlled breathing.
This is one of the hardest parts for shooters, especially the inexperienced. Learning how to control your air intake and outtake is so important, in fact, that without properly coordinating breathing and squeezing (of the trigger), tight groupings will cease to exist. Start with a light caliber – .22LR or pellet gun – and work your way up to the high-powered, hard-kicking rifles.
Shooting requires balance. A strong core improves balance. Keeping your abdominal muscles strong will give you a significant edge no matter the position you’re shooting from. Staying in shape will also help you control your breathing.
Having a resolute mental disposition will serve you positively in many facets of life. Despite the fact that we listed the physical benefits first, shooting is actually more of a mental sport. Can’t concentrate, can’t shoot.
Shooting forces you to focus. Hitting a distant target is no easy feat. And shooting is one of the best ways to clear your mind of stress and worries. Using mathematical skills, creative thinking and old fashioned logic can carry you a long way in the shooting arena.
Keep the Confidence
Some of us put a lot of meat in our freezers this past fall and winter or are paying the taxidermist a hefty fee for a trophy animal. These things instill confidence in hunters of all ages and skill levels. Know that you can make the important shots year-round. By keeping your groups tight, your confidence will inturn stay up.
Despite widespread concerns over guns, shooting is a very safe and fun sport. Not to fear pools, but you’re way more likely to get injured swimming, or riding in a car. As always, exude extreme safety and keep up your sense of situational and self awareness. If you’re a new gun owner and would like to get into shooting, sign up for a beginners class to create a foundation. And there’s no shame for the old hands who just want to take a refresher course to whip their fundamentals back into shape or enhance their skills.