Why should you do competitive shooting?

The reality of life can be a sobering effect. It can wake you up and put you into your place. When a person goes to the range and puts holes in a paper target you have an idea of your skill level. If you go to a gun class and get training from a good instructor, you see what your weaknesses are and by watching others perform you see how you stand in performance next to others. Though you are competing in competitive shooting in reality you should be mainly focused on improving ourselves and competing against yourself.

I was interested in trying this out to see what I could do. First of all, everybody was very helpful and even let me shoot his competition handgun. I started with the steel target shootout with six eight-inch targets. The competition is one on one and the fastest moves on. The slower shooter goes into the second bracket and competes in this to see who competes for the final shoot. I was amazed on how it took me a while to get all six targets with one shot each. Everybody cheered as I knocked the last one down with a single shot. As time moved on my skills at shooting accurate under speed and pressure increased. That is just shooting the six knock-down targets. It is exciting when you have to go to slow-motion video to see who actually won. We had to watch it a few times over.

Then put in a USPCA course where you have to move and shoot around barriers at targets of different sizes at different distances and you will have a whole new ball game. A challenge that will show you where you are at and what your weaknesses are. Then you can improve your skills. The great thing about this is how much fun you will have no matter how bad you do. Nothing better than getting another pair of eyes on you and some coaching. Having someone see what you cannot see and helping you become a better John Wick!

I would suggest just going to a competition to watch first. You can even learn things without actually participating. You will see how things are done and get associated with competition shooting. You would be welcome to get to know other competitors and talking to other like-minded people who like to shoot.

There are many benefits to competition shooting. You will learn fast and get all sorts of help. You will learn to move safely with a gun and acquiring the targets faster and more accurate the more you compete. Making you more confident in your abilities and skills is not a bad thing.

Shoot, it is a blast!

Anyone else has any experience with competition? How well did it help you?


I think competition is great, and for one performance minded reason above all the other reasons:

You have to do what you are given, and there are no redos.

You don’t get to pick and choose and do what you’re like or what you’re good at, you don’t get to run it live time and again until you get it right. The course of fire is the course of fire, your time is your time, your score is your score.

Can’t think of a better way in a training context to find out what you need to work on or confirm that what you’ve worked on before, well, works.


I have been struggling with some health issues, but I was doing at least a monthly competition. It was a dynamic, moving IDPA match. After a few times I felt it helped me as much as any training class would.


Agreed, lots of fun, kind of a training, valuable information gained, and always a fellow competitor to give advice. Step up your training and shoot the stage blind. Avoid the whole walk through and “gaming” the stage. This will give you small opportunities to think on the fly. Not that you will have no idea what is coming but, you won’t have a plan for mag changes, post up points, and an advantage over the course. Let it be a surprise as much as possible. If competing for place or score disregard my suggestion and take everything in and develop a plan and hope it sticks after the “BEEP”. :joy:


I’m doing them for the experience, to keep my touch and just to get to myself a point I feel like I still have what it takes. I’m old, disabled and not very social. I may be fooling myself, I don’t think I am. I feel capable and ornery enough. But c’est la vie.


I know the feeling; I like to see how I am doing too. “A man has to know his limitations.”
Stay onery!

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It gets kinda tricky when you have done timed and afterwards you’re sitting at home, then the microwave beeps and you reach for your pistol​:grinning::grinning:


Gentlemen, make no mistake, I am for competitive shooting. One of the benefits is indeed the social aspect. I too am getting on in years. I feel it the next day when I push harder than I should. It’s valuable trigger time and if you pay attention you will learn as well. Enjoy it, it’s a game with opportunities for improving your craft.