In the past week I’ve received a couple of emails from podcast listeners who have recently tried competitive shooting for the first time. They both said they had a great time, and that’s really what it’s about.
Todd wrote in first, and he had this to say about his first competitive shotgun “flurry” match. I’d never heard of a flurry, but it sounds like a LOT of fun (emphasis mine):
The lessons I came away with are many. Among them are don’t be afraid of just jumping in, as long as you have good presence of mind with regard to safety and proper gun handling there is no excuse to not giving a competition a try. Second, practice and fluency with your weapon matters greatly. I know that you boys preach the virtues of dry firing your pistols and the same holds true for long guns. Had I been more comfortable with the weapons I’m confident that I would have spent all of my rounds and shot many more clays from the sky. To further that, what if this was a defense situation, the stress I experienced could have been the difference between life and death for me and or my family. The moral is if you have a weapon know it inside and out.
Finally, have fun! I took my 11 year old son with me and he watch his dad try his best and fall a little short, BUT I had fun. My son and I were welcomed by all of the folks there that day and they even made my son, who is normally very shy, so comfortable they asked if he would help clear the spent shells from the deck and he eagerly jumped at the chance. My son even said that he wants to get into shooting and join in the fun.
Next Taylor wrote in, first to ask a couple questions about trying USPSA, then to tell me that he went to observe, but ended up shooting his first match after a little nudge from a range officer (emphasis mine):
I just wanted to let you know that I finally went to my first match. I had planned to just watch as they shot, but what actually happened was quite different. I went around introducing myself and met several nice people. Finally I managed to talk to a RO and told him my plans of watching. He asked me if I had a gun, holster, and ammo. Of course I did, since you had mentioned that I should bring those items just in case. I only had three mags so he lent me an extra two with a mag pouch. I was a little worried at first but they helped me plan out the courses. Honestly it was one of the best experiences I’ve had in long time. I am just thanking God I didn’t get DQ’d! Will definitely be going back next month. I appreciate all of your advice guys. I didn’t do to shabby either.
If you’ve never shot competitively, why not? Head over to the Triangle Tactical Shooting Sports Calendar and set a date. Let us know if you have any questions! I feel comfortable speaking for Ben as well as myself, if you are in the Triangle area, and you want one of us to show you the ropes at a match, just drop us a line and we’d be happy to have you tag along.