Shooting is a perishable skill. All of us should want to be the best shooter we possibly can be but at what cost? Endeavoring to shoot well can be costly in terms of time and money. Being able to shoot exceptionally well means having a devotion to the craft few can afford in terms of time and money. Opportunity cost refers to a benefit that a person could have received, but gave up, to take another course of action. How do you spend your time at the range? Do you have a plan? Do you relax, hang out with your pals and bang out a few rounds while standing in a lane or are you centrally focused on the targets ahead of you and putting good time in?
What do you get out of not doing specific kinds of training? Lots of people do static range training and feel it is sufficient for handling a would-be attacker somewhere in the future. The problem is we can’t predict the future, or reduce the likelihood of being attacked by a person with a gun, but we can diminish their ability to get at us before we get them with our well placed rounds.
Lots of people do static range training in order to build muscle memory but training shouldn’t stop there. Building your fundamentals with static range training is useful. If you’re going to blow through boxes of ammo then perhaps you should consider getting away from an indoor range and getting a different vantage point.
Go to an outdoor range where you can make the most effective use of your resources (ammo & money) and opportunity (range and your time). If we put shooting in the context of, “is our life a valuable thing to put at risk?” I think we’ll easily do a paradigm shift in our thinking. The answer to this question is an emphatic yes. Our life is too important to lose to a bad guy in a gunfight. We need to spend as much time as we can, and spend as much money as we can reasonably afford on training with our weapons.
Shooting on the move, shooting at moving targets, armed retreats to ‘safe rooms’, and fighting to a secondary weapon are all training exercises that can really help mimic real life gunfighting situations. Shooting at outdoors ranges affords you the opportunity to shoot at different kinds of targets, to move over different kinds of terrains, and even gives you the chance to shoot in various kinds of atmospheres. Heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, are all conditions that come into play at an outdoor range that you will not get in a climate controlled environment at an indoor range.
Outdoor ranges are great for letting you get mobile in order to improve your skill in performing gun related tasks, especially with the hands. You can perform running drills to improve your speed, form and efficiency. You can perform shadow drills whereby you go against an imaginary opponent by circling your opponent, as you move in and out from cover or concealment. You can work on jumping drills such as standing vertical jumps or shock jumps to gain distance or height. You can also try out shooting from your side or in the prone or supine position while moving from one point to another. All of these are ways to improve your shooting ability.
So much can be written here with regards to moving and shooting. Building your fundamentals with static range training is useful however please consider being productive in different ways. Whether you move and shoot or move then shoot are unimportant so long as you incorporate a moving drill into your training time. I recently went to Jay Amra’s property and found out how perishable my moving and shooting skills are. In my head I’m a ninja but reality speaks differently. Bruce Lee is noted as saying, “Boards don’t hit back!” The same goes for paper targets. Bad guys shoot back. Shooting in static conditions means you don’t worry as much about trigger control, or moving in all directions, or moving at a target from different angles. Consider integrating some kind of comprehensive shooting on the move work into your trigger time. If you don’t know if you should move and shoot or shoot then move perhaps now is a good time to start practicing.