My skills have improved greatly in the last three years. That’s roughly when we launched the first generation Trifecta Handgun Rest. I want to share what I have learned and how I did it. Most of these ideas I didn’t think about. They were just part of developing products or from actual hunting experience.
Dry Fire Your Handgun
I don’t live on a shooting range and even if I did, I couldn’t afford to shoot a hundred rounds a day. I don’t have an ammo sponsor and I bet you don’t either. I think we all should, but life isn’t fair I guess. I have learned a lot by dry firing my guns. I first make quadruple sure my gun isn’t loaded, since I will be dry firing in my living room. I will then take a Post It Note and stick it on the far wall. I can get about fifteen yards if I sit or stand on the other side of my house. I rest the gun like I would at the range or in the field and put the cross hairs on one corner of the Post It Note. If I dry fire and see movement, I know I have a problem. Most of the time, I pulled the trigger at an angle causing the gun to snap that direction when the trigger is released. Dry firing allows me to work on several different stances, grip angles, grip tensions, etc. I can do all of this without leaving the house or costing me dime. I will caution you with one thing. When you put a round in the chamber, chances are you will want to grip the gun tighter. I suggest you mentally prepare for this in your dry fire sessions.
Film Your Practice
I never would have done this if I didn’t have to for developing the Trifecta Handgun Rest. I watched my first videos and quickly saw my inconsistency problems. The thing that really caught my eye was how the gun was recoiling differently after each shot. Most people have a camera phone or a regular camera that will take video. You don’t need to be fancy. Buy some cheap video editing software if your computer doesn’t already have it preloaded. You can cut out all the between shot footage and concentrate on differences between shots. You may want to narrate the results or anything you felt you did wrong. Allow yourself to let go of some pride here. Most people won’t do this, but it works. Many of the top shooters film themselves and every professional golfer does. Think small and look for the details in everything! Another added benefit to filming yourself is the camera will actually put some pressure on you. I can’t explain why, but it just does.
Start Reloading And Do It Now.
I happen to be sitting at a computer as I write this. Shocking right? I just looked up the box of twenty cost for Smith and Wesson 460 ammo. Anywhere from thirty to sixty bucks is the going rate, and most of the time it was out of stock. Try buying much of that when the kids need shoes. If I can’t shoot at least fifty times, there’s no sense in driving to the shooting range and setting up. Loaded ammo prices are enough to hurt my feelings and probably yours to. I started reloading about seven years ago and never looked back. I get to shoot more and make custom loads for my gun. If you are new, keep it simple by getting a reloading manual or two before you buy equipment. The book will tell you what you need and how to do it. YouTube videos are another great way to learn.
I love taking people to the range and letting them shoot my guns. I think doing so is good medicine for 2nd amendment rights, and it’s just plain fun. When I want to practice or go about my shooting in a somewhat scientific way, I always do it alone. I want to take my time and usually take notes after each string. When I shoot alone, I can do that. Banging steel with friends is always fun though.
Shoot Like You Hunt
I will give you a fair warning. I own a company that makes handgun rest meant for accurately shooting your bench rest gun in the field, and may write something biased toward that in the next few sentences. I’m glad that monkey’s off my back. I can now be serious. I love taking my time and shooting for small groups at the range, but I also know that wild animals don’t always cooperate with regards to time, amount of daylight, shooting angle, nerves, temperature, wind, etc. Need I go on? To add insult to injury most handgun hunters can’t properly rest their guns. No shooting sticks are as good as the bench they used at the range. Don’t get frustrated by this. Just take the same equipment to the range that you would shoot in the field, and practice under the imperfect situations I mentioned above. For instance you may try taking a few shots faster than you normally would and do it toward the end of shooting light. Mentally picture a game animal instead of a paper target. Time to “Cowboy Up” and make each shot count. Shoot your trophy at the range before actually do in hunting arena. You and I both know that most people don’t successfully transition from the shooting range if they bother practicing at all. You will be different.
The majority of hunters will not perform any of the steps I mentioned in this post. Then again most hunters take home small animals or nothing at all. If you and I want to be among the 20% of the hunters that take 80% of the animals, then we have to think and do differently. I hope some of the ideas I mentioned will help you as they have me. I’m sure you could come up with many more ideas that will improve our hunting, and that’s what make this fun!