General

What’s Your Excuse?

Patrick E. Kelley, Cheaper Than Dirt sponsored shooter

Yea, I know that title sounds kinda harsh and it is meant to be, but before I start trash talkin’ I would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy new year! Now down to business. What’s your excuse for not getting out and enjoying the good times to be had in the wide world of the shooting sports?!? I started shooting long before I began “competing” in the organized shooting sports and that is something I regret. Having been involved in “games-with-guns” since 1987, I bet I have heard every excuse for not coming out to play. I’ll make a short list here and then I’ll pick it apart in the hopes that you’ll see for yourself the real reason you’re not making use of this wonderful pastime. Trust me, I am not from the Government, but I am here to help.

Patrick Kelley at the MGM Iron Man Shoot
Patrick E. Kelley at the MGM Iron Man Shoot
  1. It’s too expensive. No it’s not. There is a pile of fun to be had with nothing more than the humble 22. Ruger has created a shooting sport dedicated to the 22 rimfire. Aptly named Ruger Rimfire Shooting Competitions, these rimfire events are designed to provide fun and safe entertainment for the entire family. The NRA has a several shooting disciplines that make full use of the accuracy of the 22 rimfire: for both rifle and pistol, junior and adult. The United States Practical Shooting Association USPSA offers the fastest .22 rimfire game in the USA…The Steel Challenge
  2. I don’t have the right gear, or you gotta have fancy guns to play. If you are already a shooter then you have most of what you need to get started. You already have eye protection, ear protection and are well versed in the rules of gun safety, right? Well then, depending on the gun-game you choose, most any 22 repeater either pistol, revolver or rifle with get you out on the range. If you can afford to shoot centerfire then even more doors are open to you. You say you are a shotgun man? Then don’t let that short barreled home defense pellet spreader stop you from busting a few clays. Sure, the guys that love and play the “clays” games have some mighty fine looking tools, but since when do looks break clays?
  3. I am not good enough or I want to get better before I start. Nothing beats experience and the only way to gain experience in the shooting sports is to begin. If you understand the basics of trigger control and sight alignment and are mindful of the rules of gun safety then you are ready already!
  4. I am a tactical shooter and “gun-games” lead to bad habits. If you really are an “operator” then you already know that you’ll get out of it what you choose too. No more, no less. Consider that the Army Marksmanship Unit AMU fields teams in many shooting sports and tasks those team members with bringing back the best competition proven firearm techniques and teaching it to the the troops. Consider too, that many law enforcement agencies and various elite military groups employ our country’s top action shooters to teach them high-speed shooting skills.
  5. I don’t have the time. That is a tough one and all I can say is if you really want to do something you will find time for it.
  6. I don’t shoot on Sundays. Understood, but keep in mind that many shooting events are held on Saturday and still others are shot on weekday evenings? Check you’re local indoor range and or Trap and Skeet Club for more information.
  7. I only shoot for fun. I do too and that is why I want you to join me!

Rest assured that I have heard many more than the ones listed, but you get the point. Shooting is fun and in my experience, even more fun when done in the company of like-minded individuals. And the best place to find those folks is at an organized event. It does not have to be a BIG, major deal, just a local shoot of any kind that suits your personal style and wallet.

To get you to really think about why you don’t or won’t join in the fun, I’ll tell you a short story.

Once upon a time (last month) I was contacted via Facebook by I guy whom, as he put it, “I wouldn’t know from Adam”. He had seen me on the TV show 3-Gun Nation and wanted to go shooting sometime. As I am always up for shooting with new faces, we set a date to go out and play a clays game called 5-Stand. He mentioned that he would like to bring along a local kid and that neither one of them had shot 5-Stand. “No problem” was my response and that “I would be happy to coach them though the in’s and out’s of the sport.” When they showed up, I was already half-way though my first round of singles and hailed them over to chat, while I finished the round. The Facebook contact (we’ll call him Leupold) brought along a nice young man (we’ll call him Chevelle) and after asking a few question and meeting the other shooters, took up their shooting positions and started banging away and those poor clay targets.

I would like to think it was my coaching skills that had them smashing clays so quickly, but it was easy to see that these two could play. We all shot together, had a bunch a laughs, and even engaged in a little friendly game of Keep-Away. Keep-Away is bit of trickery that is generally reserved for my buddy Darc and I. The idea is to see who can hit the clay the fastest or, depending on the presentation, when the clay is closest to the ground. And if you are gonna play with Darc and I, you’d better bring your “A” game if you expect to hit some! Well, I guess no one told the young Mr. Chevelle that Darc and I were all that, and the Lad proceeded to snatch several too many targets away from us all while flashing a infectious smile. You know what else no one told this teenager. That there was no way he could possibly shoot that well just using just one hand. You see this bright all-American boy, had, but one short year ago, lost the ability to use his legs and could only pilot his shotgun with one arm.

So tell me again…what’s your excuse?

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Comments (4)

  1. Absolutely right on the money!! I enjoy your straight-forward way of presenting things. Thanks for the re-affirmation that I am headed down the right path.

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