You may own one or more handguns for hunting, self-defense or target shooting but how often do you actually use them? I am going to make an assumption that it is not as often as you should. Shooting is fun, relatively inexpensive and essential if you desire proficiency at any of the activities that I mentioned initially. Some people are naturally going to be better shooters than others, so there is no one answer for everyone as to how often they “need” to shoot. For this reason, I have identified 4 clear signs that show you that you need to shoot more often.
Sign#1 – You literally cannot hit anything that you shoot at.
If you go target shooting and find that you can’t get your shots onto the target, there is a problem. I once shot with another guy for an extended period of time and noticed that he couldn’t hit anything he shot at. I finally stopped him and asked him how he was aiming and his answer blew my mind. He was only using the rear sights and completely ignoring the front sight. It turns out that the front sight was pointing down at the ground when he was shooting. He owned multiple guns for self-defense, but he had never made the effort to get basic gun handling training or any shooting instruction. I dedicated the rest of my session to helping him understand the parts of a gun and the fundamentals of shooting. He now shoots more often than I do and has become quite proficient with his weapons. This all happened because he now regularly shoots!
Sign#2 – You don’t know how to clear jams on your own gun.
Gun jams can happen to any gun at any time, due to a variety of reasons. Environmental conditions can wreak havoc on firearm reliability and so can cheap ammo. Dirty guns that never get cleaned are also a problem and can lead to malfunctions. I was once shooting a Glock 30 that jammed on me in a very hot and humid environment. The ammo was of an excellent grade and the gun was surgically clean prior to my range session. Jams can and will happen when you least expect it. If this happens in a self-defense scenario your life depends on your ability to clear the jam, instantly! If your gun jams and you do not know what to do this means that you have not shot your weapon enough to become familiar with it. I was recently at an amateur shooting competition and a guy was shooting his .40 caliber handgun when it jammed on him. He did not know what to do and creating an unsafe scenario inadvertently with the direction of his muzzle. A range officer got involved and cleared the jammed round and the shooter was able to complete his round. He definitely needs to get familiar with his gun, because this could have ended in injury or worse.
Sign#3 – You can’t effectively draw from a holster and engage your target.
It’s always painful to watch someone try to draw from a holster and fire on their target, when you can tell that they have never done it before. Their hands get caught in their clothes and their holsters are usually cheap and flimsy, so they struggle to get a firm grip on their weapon. Whether you prefer an IWB or OWB design of holster, you should check out one of our various Kydex models. We offer strong, well-built holsters that will secure your weapon properly and offer a crisp release upon drawing as well. On top of all that, you also get a lifetime warranty and the comfort of knowing that they are all 100% built in the USA. Once you have your On Your 6 Designs holster, it becomes a matter or wearing it and practicing a series of controlled draw and firing sessions at your local range. Like with anything else, practice makes perfect and this fundamental could be the difference between life and death.
Sign#4 – You don’t know how to break down or clean your gun.
Owning a gun is enjoyable and especially when you are shooting it, but you have to keep them clean to get the best performance out of them. It’s amazing how many guys I know, that do not know the first thing about breaking their guns down or cleaning them. Wiping some oil on the exterior of your gun is not cleaning it. All new firearms come with an owner’s manual that explain this process and other shooters are usually more than happy to show you this as well. Some guns are indeed difficult to break down and put back together, but most modern semi autos are very simple. I find that once you break your gun down once or twice, it’s pretty easy to do again and again. I personally clean after every range session, whether its 5 rounds or 500 rounds just to maintain my investment. Once your gun is broken down, you need to remove the powder residue, brush the inside of your barrel and use a powder/copper solvent inside of the barrel as well. Finally, you will lubricate any moving parts and friction areas and reassemble. Shooting more often means cleaning more often, but this is how you become familiar with the process. Shooting is a right and a privilege, so doing so responsibly will allow you and those around you to have the best, possible experience. If you own a gun, get out and shoot every chance you get. You will become proficient, more confident and get more enjoyment from your firearms. If any of these signs spoke directly to you, get to your local range as soon as possible to ensure that you can soon check each of these areas off of your list!
If you have any questions or thoughts at all, we would love to see them in the comments section below!