The snow is melting, trees are budding and the sun is shining… it's finally here. Spring is arguably one of the best seasons of the year for a variety of reasons, one of those being the start of competition shooting. You might think competition shooting is an exclusive club that takes a lot of effort to get into, but you'd be surprised how easy (and fun) it can be! Follow the 5 easy steps to help you get your feet wet and barrel hot.
Research the style of competitive shooting you find most interesting. There are a lot of options – and in many cases, subsets of those options. Thanks to social media and more gun forums than you can shake a stick at, this is the easiest part. Shooting-specific TV shows, online videos, and posts produced by experts/pro shooters are all great resources as well. These informational platforms will get you info about where most people are shooting in your area and how to get involved.
Yes, you can be a spectator! In fact, most people in competitive shooting started out watching from the sidelines. You'll relieve anxiety and garner a high level of comfort heading into your first match by just knowing what to expect. Competitive shooting should be inviting - not intimidating. You can ask the shooters questions they will most likely be more than happy to answer.
You've decided which sport you are interested in - now plug your nose, put on your life jacket, and dive in – the water's warm! Evaluate gear requirements. Can you use what you already have? You may already be pretty well, or completely set – particularly if you can be flexible with which division you want to compete in.
Get a mentor at a local club. Seriously – they will be able to help get you into the right gear and show you opportunities to shoot at other clubs too. This will be way easier than you think – in fact, you will probably have a list of people waiting to help. Try gear before buying it. This is another area where a mentor can really help! Gear is expensive, so making the right choices first will put you on the fast track and save money in the long run.
There are several advantages to shooting local matches compared to “Major/National” level events. Local match fees are relatively inexpensive and you don't have to break the bank with travel - which means more money for ammo! Additionally, shooting in a lower-pressure environment creates comfort on the clock. Once the buzzer goes off, there's enough to remember. There's no reason to create unnecessary, self-induced pressure when starting out. Forging friendships with local shooters is another big plus. Not only will you make some of your closest friends, but from a financial standpoint, you can share the cost of traveling to matches. And who doesn't like a road trip with a good friend. That may be half the fun.
Competitive shooters are some of the most friendly and helpful people. Good questions will save you both time and money so don't be afraid to ask.
While there is a competitive side, at the end of the day having fun is at the top of the list.
While it might seem difficult at first, following these steps can help you get into competitive shooting and start experiencing a sport like no other. Competitions are happening every weekend, click here to register for the 2018 Vortex Shooters Source 3-Gun this April 20th through the 22nd in Cresson, Texas! This is technically considered a major match, bringing in shooters from all over the country, but we strive to make it as fun and inviting to newer shooters as possible as well! We would love to see you there.