At Shoot Point Blank, there are a few key phrases that we use to support our core mission of promoting responsible firearm ownership while celebrating the great sport of recreational shooting.
We’ve taken some of the most important and put them on signs that hang inside our stores, to reinforce these concepts with employees and share them with customers. When you understand their meaning, you’ll also understand what we value as an organization – and why we are so different from the competition!
We’d like to share a couple of these signs with you here, and explain the philosophy behind the saying:
You’ve certainly heard the phrase “practice makes perfect” before. There’s a reason why this saying is timeless – both scientific research and old-fashioned life experience clearly show the strong connection between physical repetition and mental preparation to better performance.
This explains why even the best major league hitters still spend countless hours at the batting cages, or an NBA all-star stays late at the gym to take (another!) hundred free throws.
Sure, the atmosphere and pressure to perform during the ninth inning of a tied ballgame is very different than a leisurely afternoon in the batting cage! But pro athletes rely on the fact that their mind and body have successfully done an activity SO many times, their response will be automatic – even despite the added distractions.
Other terms you might have heard that describe these two aspects of training are “muscle memory” for physical practice and “visualization” for the mental component.
Law enforcement officers also constantly practice their responses to various scenarios for the same reasons, including many sessions at the shooting range. During an actual emergency, emotions can run high and circumstances change quickly – yet these professionals need to remain calm and make effective decisions. Being so familiar with their firearms is key in these life-or-death circumstances.
You may never be faced with this type of situation… (and we hope you never are!)
But if so, being prepared is critical, and only way to accomplish this is by putting the time and effort in beforehand.
You’ll notice we added “perfect” to the beginning of this well-known saying, to highlight that just like any sport – if you practice incorrectly, you won’t get better. And if there is one activity where you want to avoid reinforcing bad habits, it’s handling a firearm!
When visiting the indoor shooting range, a person should have their overall purpose in mind and engage in shooting that will be most beneficial for them. For example, long-range target or bullseye shooting using a rifle is great for reinforcing firearm fundamentals, and can be very helpful for hunters and recreational shooters.
In comparison, concealed carriers are usually practicing for defensive shooting, so will likely be using a handgun. These situations usually occur at close-range, in short time spans – and if this is your goal your training should reflect this.
The need to react quickly means that taking the time to assume the perfect 2-handed shooting stance is often impossible, so one-handed shooting drills are important. These should include both your dominant and “off” hand.
Getting a stopwatch (or downloading a similar app) can help measure your response rate. You should also time your reloading skills, since keeping track of rounds fired during an emergency situation isn’t practical.
The best method to ensure you’re practicing the right way is to schedule a private lesson. Your instructor can make sure you know the basics of firearm safety and give you plenty of exercises and drills to do on future visits.
Also remember that training is perishable; it doesn’t last forever!
How frequently someone needs to visit the range to maintain their shooting skills will differ depending on the individual, and their unique set of circumstances. For a civilian carrier this could mean once or twice per week, especially when starting out. For others with the most experience, once every few months might be fine.
*Don’t forget that Shoot Point Blank memberships allow for unlimited training!