View Full Version : How to get started in competition shooting?

May 6, 2002, 06:44 PM
Where does one start?,Who should one contact,How should someone gauge their performance in determining if they are even ready to step it up competition shooting?

May 6, 2002, 08:27 PM
I found a local club on the internet on the web sight of the shooting sport that looked intresting. IDPA. Called the guy who ran it and showed up. My first few months of shooting, I sprayed bullets all over the place. Now I just hit my targets once and awhile. Showing some progress, but I still have a long way to go to get serious.
To gauge yourself, try to improve some every time you go out. They will always be something to work on, reloads, drawing your firearm, getting the proper sight picture all the time, hell shooting the right targets. Always something.

Just get out there and have fun and be safe.


May 6, 2002, 09:30 PM
If your local club has a bowling pin shoot, that is a good way to start. Especially with a .22lr...cheap to shoot, and a bit less "work" than a big bore. IDPA is excellent as well, cause you don't need a fancy (ie Expensive) race gun to compete. Plus, it has the bonus of being a little more like 'defensive training' than IPSC.
I have found a new passion...sporting clays. I hated it the first few times I tried it...always missing, and my shoulder hurt a lot! But man...after my first 5 in a row string....I am digging it! Not even competing yet...just me and a friend out busting clays.

As far as knowing whether or not you're ready, or how to tell if you're improving...well. That's pretty much up to you! I figure if you're doing well to yourself, and having fun while doing it....who cares if you post the top score or the fastest times!!

jack pringle
May 7, 2002, 10:55 PM
find what is available in your area and get into it. keep a notebook of your shot strings, score, weather, how you felt that day, get enough sleep last night, hungry or full. anything that may pertain to this range day. go back through it often for comparison. keep an average of different phases and an overall average of everything on every day of shooting. lots of paperwork, yep. you may find that you have a stairstep improvement vice a smooth upward curve. when you compete, you shoot only with yourself. all you can expect is your average. if you could shoot better, you would have a higher average. the shot to work on is the next one. bad shot, dont worry about it, you dont want to repeat it. good shot, consider how you managed it, repeat that sequence. bout all i can think of for a begginer right now. important thing is to get after it. its a long way from the bottom to the top. you will get there. just work at it. you will love it. now, if i could just shed 50 yrs and start over.


May 7, 2002, 11:07 PM
We could give you some good links if you narrowed down what sport you were interested in. IDPA, IPSC etc have web sites that list local clubs, contact numbers etc.

Let me say this. No matter what sport you decide to try, it will make you better. There is nothing like having every shot counted that will give you the incentive to make every shot count. Once you try it, you will see how and what to practice. And you will practice with a clear cut goal in mind and a way to measure your progress. Don't worry for a moment that you need to reach a certain level before you can start competing. If you have the concept of safe gun handling, you are ready.

jack pringle
May 7, 2002, 11:22 PM
apologies, speed. missed a very important part of your question. how does one know when he is ready to compete?assuming you are currently range safe, as in all guns empty and on the bench, and no touching of said guns when anyone is forward of the line. and, of course, keep em pointed downrange at all times, you are ready today, now. recommend go to a shoot, see how it is done. dont get wrapped up in BSing behind the line, you are there as an observer, observe. go practice what you saw. you can enter the next match. everyone has their first day, dont be bashful. much can be learned in actual competion. and dont forget to watch the "big boys" when in the off relay. i wont say good luck, for luck has little to do with it. its dedication .and work. if you like to shoot, you will love competition.


May 8, 2002, 03:09 AM
Speed, I agree with what Jack said. Find a local club and go to observe. You will find that almost every club is full of great people who are out to have a good time. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Many of the rules of both IPSC and IDPA may seem confusing at first, but are easy to learn. Also, bring your gun and gear to the match just in case you want to join in. Everyone who now shoots competively had to start somewhere, so don't feel intimidated. At the clubs I shoot at, we put the new shooters in squads with the more experianced shooters to help them along. We also give a small safety briefing to all new shooters of the rules, and safe gun handling. Most other clubs I have been to do the same. When you shoot your first match, don't try to run with the top shooters, take your time and concentrate on obeying the safety rules and what you are doing. As said before, if you do compete, your skills will improve if you want them to, because you will see what you need to improve on.

May 8, 2002, 03:52 AM
Can anyone explain to me the basics of Steel Challenge? The local range where I am going to take my CCW course(next monday!) and most likely join seems to have these events often.

May 8, 2002, 05:55 AM
Go to www.uspsa.org , use "club-finder" function, contact local club(s), go, observe, bring gun, ask for help, it will be given gladly, participate, wear giant grin.................

May 8, 2002, 10:42 AM
I went to an IDPA match to just watch. Talked to a few of the competitors. The next week, I walked amongst'em. IDPA is so much fun ;)