The rifle has been used in the United States for hundreds of years. From the blackpowder firearms of our early settlers to the modern sporting rifles of today, this tool in all its forms has put food on the table, protected our freedoms and provided families with fun and entertainment.
The aesthetics of the rifle are as different as the people who use them. Wood stocks, synthetic stocks and other attributes help its owner personalize their particular firearm to suit their style. Yet, there is still nothing wrong with taking a firearm right out of the box and using it as is.
Some of the firearms and programs that will be featured in this month’s newsletter are regarded as “traditional,” meaning most of them will feature a wood stock and standard iron sights. For many, therein lies the challenge — the proficiency of using the firearm lies with the shooter and not with the accessories.
A few key abilities are needed to shoot rifles, including a keen eye and a steady hand. Rifle targets are usually far away and if hunting, mobile. So, practicing proper rifle techniques and maintaining them are essential. If you get an opportunity to take a rifle shooting course, you will gain those skills and others that could help in things other than the shooting sports. For instance, my focus and concentration increased once I honed my skills with a rifle, because I had to learn to put other things out of my head in order to concentrate on making the perfect shot.
Shooting a handgun and shotgun should not be any different, but the rifle seems to encourage that kind of thing more than the others. Give one a try and let us know what you think. And remember to always practice firearms safety and responsibility, because firearms safety depends on you.
In this series, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner shares a plethora of long-range rifles shooting tips.