What is Competition Shooting and How Can I Get Started?

Have you been seeing incredible videos, blogs, and pictures about competition shooting online, and naturally want to be part of the sport? Good for you! This sport will enable you to enjoy using your favorite firearms and improve your survival skills too. Always make sure to purchase electronic shooting ear protection earmuffs before participating in any shooting sports.

Most people who practice this sport say that it’s challenging, rewarding, and addictive, so you shouldn’t be shocked if you get any of these experiences. Besides, you could opt to branch off to other categories or disciplines of shooting sports. While this is a great adventure, it’s essential to know the basic things about the sport before you start. This piece will offer the fundamentals, so keep reading to ensure you don’t make mistakes on your new journey.

What’s Competition Shooting?

This sport involves activities like precision shooting and evaluates proficiency, speed, and accuracy in this discipline. You are allowed to use most kinds of portable firearms for this sport, like rifles, handguns, shotguns, and so on.

Don’t assume that this is just a local sport as it’s practised in the Olympics and by other international sporting organizations as well. Winners have to show their precision, accuracy, and efficiency in the sport using a professionally made scope for competition shooting.

Note that the various categories of competition shooting are characterized by the targets, type of firearm, and degree of athleticism in a limited time. Also, you may choose to compete as an individual or a team.

How Do I Get Started?

Starting a sporting activity like competition shooting for the first time can be intimidating, mainly if it involves a timer and firearms. But with good training and practice, you can improve your skills within a short time and start competing. So, rather than saying, “I am not good enough for this shot,” or “I wish I could shoot like this,” you should start your training right away and start practicing.

One option you can consider is to start spending your free time at the range with other gun nuts. As you watch them blast holes on the targets, you will be motivated to join them. Some will be happy to share quick tips to get you started and even mentor you.

Besides, no one will care how poorly you shoot as they are busy practicing or talking. Just make sure you enjoy your time and stay safe, and before you know it, you will have improved your shooting skills. Remember, everyone in the range started somewhere, so there is always room for new enthusiasts.

If you want to be trained professionally, then you can choose to join a gun club in your area. These clubs offer competition shooting classes for beginners and will help you learn before you start practicing. Then, you can join the competitions the clubs organize and soon you’ll be winning.

How Do I Sign Up?

Once you gain some shooting skills and confidence, you’ll be excited to participate in some competitions. After all, most ranges have a calendar that showcases all the events they are hosting so you feel inclined to participate. 

However, you cannot just pack up your gear and show up for the event unless you are sure they allow walk-in signups. In most cases, you have to register online for the competition to participate in the club matches. You will be asked to provide some personal information, name your division as well as your class.

This information is mandatory, so you’ll have to make an educated guess if you aren’t sure about something. Or, you can reach out to the directors of the match in advance, and they’ll guide you accordingly. On the big day, you need to get to the venue early to have adequate time to prepare. Check-in with the match director and then join the safety brief.

The director will share the rules for each discipline and name the designated area where participants should handle their firearms. If you go outside the designated area, you could be disqualified from the match as you are risking the safety of other participants. So, listen to the match directors and you won’t face problems during a match.

Also, calm your nerves and ignore the timer because the objective of the first match is to gain experience, have fun, and stay safe. Don’t forget to stay in control of the firearm and step up the pace when you feel comfortable. You will realize it’s fun to test your skills and work towards self-improvement.

What Are The Common Categories of Competition Shooting?

Knowing the different kinds of competition shooting will assist you in choosing the best division before you start practicing for the sport. Some primary categories include:

 1. Shotgun Shooting Events

Currently, there are three categories for shotgun shooting events, which entail shooting clay targets. However, the throwing technique varies, making the shooting events different. The categories are:

Trapshooting: The clay targets are thrown in the same direction the shooter faces, although the trajectory will vary to give the shooter a challenging set of targets. Shooters have to make decisions instantaneously when selecting multiple targets.

Skeet shooting: The targets are fired from two opposite directions, making it easy for the shooter to showcase their shooting skills.

Sporting clays: This category entails shooting clay targets pitched from different speeds, heights, and angles. The targets are usually moved fast to stimulate the shooter to shoot as fast as he/she can. It also simulates hunting birds in the wild, as the clay birds are shot randomly into the air.

2. Pistol and Rifle Shooting Events

IDPA Shooting: The  International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) governs this unique sport which focuses on self-defence shooting situations. Through this, shooters are equipped to deal with real-life situations for defence purposes. 

Bullseye shooting: This event involves using both pistols and rifles. Pistol shooters have to shoot from a long distance that’s often 50 yards or more, and the firing contest may be done rapidly or slowly. Level difficulty is increased via a timer or asking the participants to use a single hand instead of both hands.

3. Rifle-Focused Shooting Events

Benchrest shooting: As its name suggests, the rifle is placed on a front and rear rest on a table. Participants aim at paper targets. The rifles are customized to offer a stable shot regardless of the weather conditions.

As you can see, shooting events vary widely and can be hosted in a world competition event like the Olympics or the gun club. So, keep practicing, and over time, you will perfect your skills and get to participate in any event you choose.

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