3 reasons to try competition shooting

I get asked this question a lot from new shooters, and it’s something that’s actually worth addressing. There are a ton of legitimate reasons to get into competition shooting, and we’ll start with my favorite.

brooke shooting (159x200)

1. It’s fun
Seriously, this is the best reason I can think of to get into competition shooting. Now, here’s the thing – some sports may not be your speed. You may not find Bianchi as fun as I do, or you might prefer IDPA’s shorter courses to USPSA, but once you find one that you enjoy, keep doing it. Nevermind what jerks on the internet (myself included) say about which sport is better. Find one or two or three that you like, and go shoot and have fun. Seriously, competing in the shooting sports means you get to do stuff with a gun that someone who goes to the range once a month and shoots Teacup Hollywood Weaver for an hour at a B27.

2. You can actually learn stuff
Gunhandling skills! The average C-class competition shooter or IDPA Sharpshooter probably has better manipulation skills than 95% of “casual” gun owners. You get the repetitions and practice on reloads and gun handling through regular competition that you’d have to pay a ton of money to get via traditional training.

3. You get to meet some cool people and go interesting places
Thanks to competition shooting, I’ve had the chance to make friends that I never would have otherwise. I’ve also gotten to go some cool places (and lots of regular places as well). If you’re even halfway social, competition shooting is a great way to make friends that are guaranteed to share at least one similar interest with you: the shooting sports.

There you have it, three simple and straightforward reasons you should try competition shooting. Pick a sport: IDPA, USPSA, 3-Gun, Bianchi Cup, Steel Challenge, learn the rules, get the right gear, and go play. Remember rule 1 though: try and have a little bit of fun.

14 thoughts on “3 reasons to try competition shooting”

  1. “Gunhandling skills! The average C-class competition shooter or IDPA Sharpshooter probably has better manipulation skills than 95% of “casual” gun owners. You get the repetitions and practice on reloads and gun handling through regular competition that you’d have to pay a ton of money to get via traditional training.”

    Not to mention that it is easier to motivate yourself to practice on your own when you have precise, short-term, practical goals to achieve.

    “Do a hundred draw reps a day so I can be faster so I can survive a shoot-out” is a vaguely stated goal for a situation you know is unlikely to actually arise.

    “Do my draw reps so I can finally beat Bill Jones (or improve my splits, etc) at the club match next week” is a limited, precise, “real” practical goal that makes it easier to make time to practice.

    If you join a gym to “get in shape” you will probably not darken its doors much. If you join with the goal of increasing your bench press by 50%, or running the 5K next month, you have a real reason to put in the time.

  2. I am very interested in this. I was a Deputy Sheriff once and qualified as “Expert”. Haven’t shot for years but this seems to be exactly what I’m looking for. Where do I get info on getting started?

      1. Please also check out PowerFactorShow.com for tips on where to find matches, what gear you’ll need, rules discussions and tips on improving your skills.

  3. To expand on #2 – Not only do you usually get excellent advice from real-world shooters, you get the opportunity to test your newly found techniques for both speed and accuracy. Which beats the heck out of arguing it out on the Internet…

  4. The people – I was talking with a fellow bowhunter/archer (both with decades of experience) the other day. While we both thought bowhunters/archers were very nice and helpful people we have both found action pistol people to be even nicer and more helpful. Something I’d thought, but never vocalized until he said it.

  5. The learning curve is short. With just a few sessions you already get the basics and you see your skill level increase. It’s like instant gratification. Unlike tennis, for example, that takes many sessions of formal lessons just to get you to the beginner level.

  6. Getting involved in shooting sports, is probably the best GIFT that, I could have ever given myself! The people are phenomenal! The skills learned, are irreplaceable! And, getting out of the house, to throw lots of lead down range, is WAY better than staying at home, watching ANYTHING on TV! I’d rather be at the range, than in a Shopping Mall, ANYDAY!
    (How many women would be willing to admit or say, something like that? Just about EVERY lady sport shooter, that I know!) 🙂
    Great article!

  7. I have been shooting USPSA for 4 years and agree with Caleb 100%.Not only gun handling skills but a desire to get in better shape (To move faster in a match).I have never met a better group of ppl in my 47 years of life.

  8. If you have a competitive bone in your body, action pistol is like a drug. It WILL lead to other shooting sports. And you will get to meet the best, nicest most law abiding people.

  9. The information makes it exciting . Another cool thing is meeting people .
    How can you pass that up .
    Now Range is hot let’s have fun and learn.

  10. The single biggest hurdle for me to getting started in IDPA or USPSA has been the cost of ammo. The position my family is in currently, I couldn’t afford to feed my guns for the competitions let alone the practice time…

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