Beyond the Firearm Basics | Training for Defense and Competition - NSSF Let's Go Shooting

Beyond the Firearm Basics | Training for Defense and Competition

Transitioning to training for defense and competition

No matter what your passion is—golf, bowling, guitar, whatever—there’s always a way to take it to the next level. Shooting is no different. It’s true that you can buy a firearm and be a casual plinker, shooting only for the pure enjoyment of it in a safe, non-stressful environment. Let’s face it, backyard plinking is some of the most fun you can have with a gun.

That said, many shooters wish to continue developing their skills and becoming more involved in the pursuit. When this is the case, it’s a perfect opportunity to explore training for defense and/or competition.

In fact, it was a friend’s invitation to attend a defensive AR-15 class that launched me deeper into shooting and led me down my firearms-focused career path. Attending that class not only showed me how effective an AR-15 is as a defensive tool, but it also revealed what I was capable of. From there, I was able to assess where I wanted to be as a shooter and how to get there.

At the time, I was dabbling in IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) shooting, but my exposure to the defense/tactical world changed my course. It wasn’t long before my friend and I were attending several classes a year offered by different instructors at facilities across the country.

Every training class we attended resulted in improved shooting skills, immeasurable levels of fun, and the development of long-lasting friendships with shooters from around the world.

Getting involved with firearms training begins with a little research on facilities and courses available near you— is a good place to start your search. Don’t be afraid to make a few phone calls and ask some questions, either. You can get a good feel for a place by talking with a range officer.

While there are many additional things you can do to become more proficient with a firearm, attending a training course will help you transition beyond the basics to more serious and focused shooting—not to mention even more fun.

About the Author
Sean Utley is an accomplished writer and photographer covering firearms and the shooting sports. His work regularly appears on the covers and within the pages of the nation’s top firearms-related publications. Sean is an avid shooter with a penchant for long-range shooting and precision rifles.