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How to Get Competitive with Your Shooting

Competitive shooting can sound very intimidating to some, especially to new shooters. To be honest, all competitors once were beginners, and with time, dedication and practice, they will more than likely become more advanced. The process of learning to shoot competitivey can be very challenging and rewarding at the same time.

There are several types of matches to meet a variety of interests. The one common denominator I have found at all matches I’ve attended is the welcoming feeling I get from the other shooters. Everyone is always so inviting and extremely helpful. I went to my first match not knowing anyone at the range, nor did I know all the rules. I soon learned how comforting it was to see so many people wanting new shooters to succeed, do well and have fun.
Each match includes a new shooter briefing. This is where the match directors explain all the rules and describe how that particular match will be run. The match directors are always good about putting you with others who are experienced and can help you learn and be safe. I’ve compiled a short list of websites to help you get started.
I would encourage anyone wanting to try competitive shooting to just jump in and go for it. It has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Plus the bonus is that you meet more people who share your same passion for shooting. Don’t ever worry that you won’t have all the right equipment or know every rule. There always will be people there who will be more than happy to let you use their stuff and help guide you in learning the rules.

Basic Equipment needed to get started
Again, don’t  be afraid to show up if you don’t have everything. Competitive shooters always bring backup equipment, just in case they need it. First, have a good reliable firearm, and a couple extra magazines. Second, have a sturdy belt that can handle the weight of your firearm and magazines. Third, you will need a quality OWB (outside-the-waistband) holster that covers the trigger guard and a couple of magazine pouches, all of which will need to be able go on your belt. If you shoot Steel Challenge with a .22, you will not need a holster or magazine pouches. In all competitions, you will need ammo for your firearm, and sometimes that can vary, but to be on the safe side I always bring around 200 rounds to each match, unless I know I need more. If you have never used a holster and/or magazine pouches, don’t be afraid to ask if someone could show you before you get started.
Here are just a few of the websites and forums I have used to help me learn more about competitive shooting. I’ve also included some of the places I order holsters and equipment from.
I wish you the best of luck and hope to see you at a match sometime!

Jamie Meyer instructs at Oklahoma Gun Training.


  1. Great article for this newbie! Sharing the info!

  2. I love shooting competitively! Shooting with higher level shooters also improves your own shooting capabilities. Don't be intimidated, everyone was a beginner at one time.

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