Ammunition is expensive! Why waste it practicing? Believe it or not, I actually received this question form one of my readers. Now I will admit that at first I was a little perplexed by this question because to me the answer seemed so obvious. However, after thinking about it for a while, I realized that not everyone has had the same experiences as I have had and to them this could seem to be a fair question. For this reason, I’m going to make the topic of today’s post and hopefully explain it a little better to those who are wondering the same thing.
First off, let me say that you are right about ammunition being expensive! It seems like every time that I go to the gun store; my favorite ammunition has gone up again. What I used to pay for 100 rounds, I now get only 40 and if you are just barely making ends meet, then this can be a big deterrent to practicing on regular basis. The fear of not having enough ammo when SHTF hits is always in the back of your mind and you have to take that into account before heading to the range. Believe me, I understand this all too well and can totally sympathize with anyone in this situation. What you have to ask yourself however is “What good is that ammunition going to do me if I can’t hit what I am shooting at?” You have to understand that shooting whether it is with a pistol, shotgun or a rifle is a perishable skill and must be maintained if you are going to expect to use it when the time comes.
Think of it this way, just as certain packaged food has a shelf life where you can still use it to survive on, so does your shooting skills. They have to be used or replaced regularly or they will parish. So how often should you practice to maintain your skills? I guess that would depend on you and your own situation. I try to go to the range and practice at least once a month as that is what fits into my current budget. I allow for range fees for one visit and ammunition for the trip in my budget each month. Each time I go, I try to bring at least a couple of different firearms with me. Like maybe my 9mm and my 40cal pistols one month and the next I might bring my 30-06 Hunting rifle and my AR. I tend to practice the most with the weapons that I will need for SHTF. If I have a bad day with a particular weapon, I may bring it several months in a row until I am happy with my marksmanship with it. You have to practice with each one until you get good with it and then it is just a matter of keeping your skills honed so that they are ready when you need them. Yes it does take ammunition to do this, but I try to make every shot count and get the most out of each one. Each time I pull that trigger it should be to accomplish something. I don’t waste shots by recklessly throwing lead down range like I have seen so many do before. I simply can’t afford to waste it. I will bring 4 clips of whatever I am shooting that day with me and when it is gone, it is gone. If however I am pleased with my shooting that day, I may not use all of the rounds I had bought that day and go home early. Not that this has ever happened before, but I suppose that it could. I can usually find something that I need to work on and in the process; I better my accuracy and target acquisition time as well.
When you go to the range, you need to focus on accuracy and then target acquisition time for different distances to the target. If you are shooting a handgun, then you are looking at targets that are: 10, 25, 50 and 100 yards. Granted, you may never have the need to shoot anything at 100 yards with a pistol, but then again, you never know. For a rifle however, I would start at 50 yard target and work my way up as high as the range will go. If their max target is 300 yards, then that is where you stop at if it goes further then so much the better. If you are wondering why I say this, it’s simple really. When SHTF hits, the further away you are from your targets, the safer you are! Sniping is one of the most effective skills you can have and if you are any good at it you will quickly instill fear in your enemy and practicing is the only way to get and keep that skill. Yes, ammunition is expensive, but the pay off when the time comes will make it well worth the cost. Take the time to practice and find a few buddies to practice with; it will make shooting much more enjoyable if you do. You should try to go to the range at least once a month if possible, if not then as often as possible. May be your schedule and budget will only let you practice once every three months, then that’s fine as long as you go every three months and don’t skip a month. The point that I am trying to make is that while the cost of ammunition is high, the cost of not having the skills you need to use that weapon to its fullest potential when the time comes, could be catastrophic and cost you or someone you love their life. Just suck it up buttercup and get your tail to the range as often as possible! 🙂 Well, that’s it for today, and I hope I have helped you understand why it is so important to go to the range and practice on a regular basis with all of your firearms. Until next time, keep on prepping!!!!
Here is a great sight to help you find a range near you: http://wheretoshoot.org/index2.cfm