The Second Amendment guarantees our right to bear arms. And while many citizens who own firearms keep them around for protection, gun shooting can also be a fun pastime. You may only be interested in gun shooting your firearm insomuch as you need to for gun safety courses and to learn how to aim properly. But many gun owners find that shooting a weapon, either at targets or prey, is a fun way to spend leisure time and potentially provide food for the household. If you enjoy shooting and you’re looking for sports that allow you to express your love of firearms safely and legally, here are a few different types of sport shooting you might want to try.
Anyone can go to a shooting range and pay to discharge a weapon at targets, but if you want to take your practice to the next level, you might be interested to hear that there are plenty of competitions you can enter. Many include timed events like action gun shooting (how many targets can you hit in a specific amount of time, or how fast can you hit a certain number of targets), galleries with pop-up silhouettes, and precision shooting, where you have to hit targets at varying distances. Some events require you to shoot from specific positions (standing, resting on a bench, etc.). You could also try your hand at trap or skeet shooting, which involves moving targets (clay pigeons ejected from a machine). The events you choose will depend largely on your weapon of choice (handgun, rifle, or shotgun, for example).
If you’re seeking to enter the realm of competitive gun shooting, you might want to start with shooting courses that prepare you for such events. And the best way to find both classes and competitions is probably to join an organization like the NRA, USA Shooting, the Civilian Marksmanship Program, or one of the many other groups and clubs that center on the use of firearms in a sporting capacity. Often, these groups not only host their classes and events, but they can also steer you towards national and international events if you’re so inclined and you have the skill to compete.
Don’t forget, though, that hunting is also a time-honored shooting sport, one that has some practical value, as opposed to merely being a hobby. Like other types of shooting, you’ll want to take appropriate firearm safety courses before you purchase a hunting license and head out into the wilderness in search of deer, elk, fowl, or other prey. But once you are prepared, there’s no reason not to shoot for both sport and food. Hunting is an excellent way to enjoy a day of sport shooting while acquiring the meat that will feed your family and even friends through the winter. It’s a great way to save money on this pricy commodity.
If you’ve already adopted frugal practices like purchasing once fired brass from an outlet, why not use your skill and your love of shooting to hunt for meat? It’s certainly more humane (and healthy) than supporting an industry that tortures animals by keeping them in too-small pens and stuffing them full of hormones. And it’s a fun and acceptable way to engage in sport shooting in the great outdoors.