5 Practical Tips for Getting Back into Practical Shooting (with VIDEO)

Did you miss me USPSA? I sure missed you.

It’s been a year since I shot a USPSA match and many more since I competed at the local level. When I lived in northeast Montana local meant a 4-hour drive and a night in a hotel. Not so with Missouri and the Kansas City area! There are plenty of club matches to shoot. Even though I have a bunch of boxes still waiting to get unpacked and so much to do at the house from the recent move, my hubby held down the fort and watched Munchkin and Yeti last Sunday so that I could go knock the dust off my practical shooting game at the Pioneer Gun Club.

I managed to get a little video from my last two stages too. I’ll be studying it to add to the list of things to work on so that I can return to form as quickly as possible. That list is quite long, but I surprised myself at the match when things started to come together faster than I thought they would.

Probably the most difficult aspect of making a return to practical shooting has to do with the ego. Fortunately I was able to draw from experience after taking time off with my first daughter. I was way too hard on myself and my expectations were unrealistically high. This time around I am trying to keep things in perspective. It also helps when you get to make your return with a fun group of guys. A big thank you to my squad for making the scorching hot day a ton of fun!

Gear: Smith & Wesson M&P 9L with Warren Tactical Sights and stock trigger, Rand CLPASYM 147 gr. Ammunition with Starline BrassRudy Project Ability, and Safariland ELS Production Rig.

My game was off the pace, I had a few mental errors and a number of less than stellar reloads, but I am now officially back! I don’t know as if I could say I am ready to tackle a major championship this weekend, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to shoot with fellow USA Ladies Production Team members in Fredericksburg, VA for Area 8.

Been away from shooting for a while? Well, here are…

5 Practical Tips for Getting Back into Practical Shooting

  • When in doubt, be conservative – When forming your stage strategy, it’s best to take it slow. It may mean an extra reload or shooting a swinging target in two passes, but you will likely be more successful. This will also help you get an idea of your current ability level.
  • Be deliberate – Take nothing for granted in your stage walk through and be as deliberate as possible from where you step, to how you engage your targets to even how you reload.
  • Double check – It’s easy to forget to load your mags or make sure your gear is ready on each stage, especially when you have been away from competition for a while. Perform a quick inspection before you go on deck.
  • Take notes – Make a list of skills you need to work on or tricks of the game you may have forgotten. This will help you develop a training plan so you know what to work on when you practice.
  • No expectations – It’s just not reasonable to think you will be back in top form your first match out. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just be safe and have fun!

Have you been on a shooting hiatus too? I’d love to hear from you. Take the plunge and share your photos and stories with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

All views and opinions expressed here are all mine and do not represent those of my employers or sponsors. Links throughout this website may be affiliate links. For more info, read my disclaimer and disclosure page. Be safe & have fun! – JulieG