Shooting is an expensive hobby. With a tenuous economy and a recent election that motivated droves of shoppers to stock up on guns and ammunition, it is becoming more difficult for the average citizen to spend time doing what they love. Without too much effort, shooting can put a larger dent in your wallet than golf, photography and fishing combined.
Sell a Gun
I know, it’s crazy. However, the term buy low, sell high certainly applies in the current firearms market. I’m not suggesting that you slap a sale tag on a family heirloom or your favorite hunting rifle, but many gun owners have one or two guns in their collection that see little use. With demand as high as it is, I would rather put that gun equity into something that I can and will use. In the current market, I’m going to get more than I paid for that old paperweight anyway. I’m seeing used basic model pump-action 12-gauge shotguns selling to private parties for 20% above the original MSRP. Check those gun auction websites and see if that old revolver is better off collecting dust or making you money at the auction house.
Shoot .22 LR
If you do not have an extra gun to sell, you might still be in luck. Grab that old .22 you’ve had since you were 12 and get to work. It never hurts to practice the fundamentals. Proper breathing, trigger control, stance and grip are all perishable skills that don’t cost a fortune to maintain. In addition, you may enjoy the lack of recoil after 500 rounds downrange. Going shooting with a .22 is also a great time to bring a novice shooter along. I would bet a large percentage of first timers got behind the trigger of a .22 before graduating to a .308 Winchester.
Print your own Targets
Download>File>Print>Shoot—it really is that easy. If you have a computer and a working printer, you are in business. There are thousands of free downloadable targets floating around the Internet. They may not be those fancy reactive targets, and they may not explode on impact, but they do a fine job of showing you where your gun made a hole. There are some hilarious zombie targets floating around too. A stack of printed targets will save you a grip of cash since buying them at the range can be pricey. Also, when you check in at the range, ask if your fee includes a free target. Often the person behind the counter will just hand you one if you think to ask.
Locate a Free Range
This will not be possible for everyone, especially if you live in a big city. However, it helps to know someone with their own land. If you are on good terms, some owners will let you come out and shoot on their land for little or no cost, as long as they know and trust you. If you don’t know anyone with land, try to make friends with someone who does. Even if that land is far away from your home, the price of gas may not be more than those ridiculous range fees. If you live out west, you may be lucky enough to live within driving distance to free public ranges. Look hard, because they do exist.
Whatever the economy does, don’t stop shooting. Polishing our skills is a tradition that overregulation and politics could make extinct if we don’t stay active in the shooting community and work to maintain our freedoms. Nothing worthwhile is too expensive if you make the effort.