One of the best ways to maintain proficiency with your firearm is to get to the practice range as often as possible. Of course, there are many excuses to not go – such as the cost of ammunition, a busy schedule, or nobody to go with you. One common excuse we have heard is “I don’t know what to practice when I get there.” Shooting randomly at your target doesn’t really maximize your time and/or cost.
Described below is one way to work through your range session that will build a variety of skills and keep your costs – both dollars and time – to a minimum. Here is an Athena’s Armory Target for you to download and print right at home. After you’re done, you can share a photo of your target on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #AthenasArmory. Happy shooting!
**Our Athena’s Armory target was designed to have multiple small targets on the same page to facilitate this type of range practice. If you aren’t using our target, you can use any other target that has multiple small target areas on the same page.
Use a two-handed grip to put some shots into the center target at 5-7 yards. Focus on maintaining a consistent grip, a smooth trigger press without flinching, and trying to keep focus on the front sight.
Use a two-handed grip and begin on the top left target. Fire one shot into this target and then aim at the top right target and fire a shot. Try to maintain intense front sight focus as you move from left to right and back. There is no need to rush and continue this left/right pattern until you are empty.
This time you will use your dominant only hand to fire the gun at the bottom right target, placing the fist of your support hand on your chest. This will be difficult at first but will force you to pay close attention to your grip, trigger press and sight picture. Don’t be too critical and have fun with it.
Repeat the procedure above but using your support hand to fire the gun at the bottom left target, placing your strong hand fist on your chest. This will be even more difficult, just remember to breathe and keep trying to make better shots.
For the last magazine, you can back the target out to 10 yards and try hitting the smallest targets just left and right of the center one. Maintaining front sight focus is key while you try to feel the trigger reset – meaning you don’t have to release the trigger fully all the way back out before firing a second shot. Just release the trigger far enough to reset it and then press again.
At this point, depending on your magazine capacity, you have used anywhere from 35-60 rounds and only about 20 minutes of time. You have practiced two-handed shooting, dominant hand only, weak hand only and moving your point of aim. If you have more time, switch guns and go again!
Good luck! And remember – this same pattern of practice can used at home without ammunition in dry-fire sessions.