10 Ways to Increase Your Shooting Skills During Summer

Deer, turkey, dove…it might all be over until next year, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Keeping up your shooting skills all year increases the chance of success in the Fall when you’re back in the blind.

Don’t put your guns up just yet. Between the fishing trips and family fun, continue practicing, training and sharpening those marksmanship skills with these 10 ways to stay proficient in the off-season.

  1. Practice speed and accuracy drills with your self-defense handgun.

    Man shooting a pistol with a rail laser at the gun range
    Practicing with your self-defense gun will help you perfect the fundamentals of shooting.

You will see improvement after performing speed and accuracy handgun drills properly. They force you to focus and perfect the fundamentals of shooting, reveal your weaknesses, reinforce your strengths and help you gain familiarity with your self-protection firearm.

  1. Join a casual shooting league.

Shooting leagues hold you accountable to show up and practice regularly. Besides taking advantage of the once-a-week recoil therapy, shooting leagues increase your concentration, help you aim to be a better shot, build confidence and you get to enjoy camaraderie with like-minded folks.

  1. Take someone new out to the skeet and trap range.

The number of people who participated in hunting declined last year. Introducing a new-comer to the shooting sports is your contribution to ensuring one of our country’s greatest traditions continues to be passed down to future generations, as well as funding wildlife conservation.

  1. Sign up for a pistol or carbine tactics class.

    Man at the shooting range with an AR-15 with a suppressor
    You local gun range will have a wide variety of glasses available—get your concealed carry license or learn how to shoot and move in a tactical carbine class.

Your local gun range should have classes for all skill levels. Whether you are a beginner or advanced shooter, classes will help you hone those skills or introduce you to a whole new skill set. Conducted by trained professionals, classes will teach you something new, offer you tips and advice, provide a challenge and get you better prepared physically and mentally to defend yourself and your family.

  1. Dry fire practice at home.

Dry fire practice is one of the most useful types of practice and training for shooters. You save money on ammo and range fees by practicing at home while refining your skills which will only improve with the frequency of training. Dry fire practice helps in developing correct muscle memory, practicing real-world self-defense scenarios using cover in your own home, safely drawing from a holster, improving your trigger control and makes live fire practice more efficient.

  1. Take up airsoft.

Airsoft is a cost-effective way to train regularly. There are many benefits to getting involved in airsoft—you can teach safe firearms handling to new shooters without the noise and recoil, you are able to practice anywhere, airsoft guns have become so sophisticated there are exact replicas of your carry gun—plus airsoft can become a fun hobby!

  1. Try trap or skeet shooting and long-distance precision shooting.

Don’t put your gun in the safe to gather dust, keep shooting it! Keep it clean and well-maintained. Learn a new skill and don’t lose the skills you have.

  1. Upgrade your glass. Spend the summer sighting-in and perfecting it.

    Woman looking through a riflescope mounted to a suppressed rifle
    Don’t put your hunting rifle up for the season. Try long-range precision shooting.

Optics technology has vastly improved in the last few years. Update your scope to thermal, night vision or digital technology and take your hunts to the next level. Spend the summer getting to know your new scope, so when it’s time to hit the field, you won’t miss that trophy buck.

  1. Remove your optics and get reacquainted with your iron sights.

Having electronic optics on your gun might make you complacent. Electronics fail. Relearn how to shoot accurately with your iron sights and be completely ready for any situation.

  1. Take advantage of year-round hunting and go on a hog or coyote hunt.

For the simple fact that it’s just so much fun!

How do you stay in the game during the off-season? Share your tips and suggestions in the comment section.

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