August 06, 2018 6 min read 3 Comments

Most people who shoot firearms want to improve their skill. Practice is something that many people choose to do regularly, either on the off chance that they may need to pull their pistol in self-defense or just to get better at the sport. In either case, it is important that you take time and set goals to sharpen your marksmanship.

Your training could focus on several factors. You may want to improve your reload time or get more accurate at shooting moving targets. All these skills may require a great deal of practice, but over time, you will see rapid improvements.

You should never be satisfied with your shooting aptitude. You can always decrease your draw time or sharpen your accuracy. It takes a lot of work, but if you put the time in, you will see a marked improvement in your firearm skills.

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One of the best ways to see steady improvement is to train with a purpose. Every time you go to the range, it is important that you have a specific goal in mind. If you want to improve your accuracy, make sure that you spend time working on specific drills with targets.  

If you are concerned about self-defense protection at home, you may want to train in similar conditions as your house, like low lighting or shooting through barriers. If your gun range allows it, you should arrange your practice sessions to include tactical skills so you can be prepared, should a situation arise.  

policeman practicing special operations shooting

In America, over 3 million people conceal and carry firearms every day. If you’re one of them, it’s smart to work on close-range shooting drills that will prepare you for an assailant or an active shooter situation. Just remember to keep a goal in mind to easily track your progress.

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It may be tempting to avoid working on any weak areas, but this is the only way you can become a better shooter. Most professional marksmen focus their entire practice session around the skills they want to improve. Take a tip from the pros and spend the majority of your practice time addressing your shortcomings.

You can practice your skills outside of the shooting range as well. If you’re struggling with a slow draw from your IWB holster, you can do drills at home. If you jerk the trigger, you can perform dry fire exercises that will allow you to gain better control. All these skills can be improved upon, and even though you may not be at the range, it doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in some practice time.

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One of the best accessories to improve your shooting is a timer. Most self-defense situations call for quick reactions, and investing in a timer allows you to track your progress. You can also use it to develop a number of drills to develop your shooting skills.

You can test the time between shots, how quickly you can reload or how long it takes to draw your firearm. It also helps pinpoint your weaknesses and strengths as a shooter.  

A timer can be an expensive investment, but if you choose a quality one, it should last a lifetime.  Not only is it effective, but it is a fun way to elevate your shooting skills. You can even keep track of your times in a log book to chart your improvements.

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Another great way to spark improvement is to enter a local or regional competition. You’ll pick up some new tricks and meet other people with a shared interest in firearms. Many local gun ranges host gun, pistol and rifle events on the weekends, and they may also have special categories for men, women and children as well. This can be a good way to spend quality time with your friends and family and win some prizes.  

Plus, competitions present the perfect platform for testing your skills under stress. Competing against other shooters can mimic the added level of stress of a real-life situation and help teach you how to perform well in duress.  

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You have to train to be able to react effectively in any situation. Make sure that when you go to the range to practice, you use your preferred conceal carry and have everything set up like a real-life scenario. If you plan to carry a spare magazine holster, make sure you have it in place as well.  

The only way to prepare for an active shooter is to make the practice scenario as realistic as possible. This is the only way that you can perfect the skills you will need in a self-defense situation.  

This is one of the reasons police and military conduct training in their full gear. It helps to familiarize yourself with the necessary equipment and defensive strategies. That way, if a stressful situation occurs, you will be able to perform under pressure.

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Use different targets to help to break up the monotony of shooting a traditional bullseye target. There are a number of different options available, like silhouettes, zombies, and diamond pop-ups, that offer a fun change.

Also, some of the newer targets give you a much more realistic perspective that can help you to improve your skills. Try adding some shooting games to your practice time, and you will be amazed at how well your skills improve.

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Make sure that your practice sessions include varying the target distance. While most shooting situations happen at close range, you should also practice for shots that are further away.  

Every time you go to the range, make sure to move the target back and forth. This is relatively easy to do on an indoor range that is electronically controlled. On a standard range, you will have to wait until a cease fire to change the distance. Either way, you should never practice at just one length.

Every time you begin to get comfortable, change it up and add another element to make it a little more challenging. The only way to improve your marksmanship skills is to push yourself and challenge your limitations.

paper targets

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To sharpen your skills, you can also practice at home. Trigger control, reload drills and a number of other exercises can be done right in the privacy of your house. Just remember, it is very important to unload and clear your pistol. The last thing you want is to cause an accident.

Get your timer out and work on the technical skills that can be honed without actually shooting live ammunition. You will be surprised at how much you can improve if you spend a little time each week on performing basic exercises.

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In life, it is important to never stop learning. It will only make you a better marksman. Go to the range or the gun store and talk to people. First-hand accounts can be the best way to pick up tips from the professionals.  

Make sure that you are taking in as much knowledge as possible. Any lesson, information or insight can improve your overall skillset. Many professionals recommend taking a class to learn a new skill from trained shooting instructors.

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Classes are a great way to continue your education. They will force you to work on things you may not do on your own, and they also give you a different perspective. It is also a great way to to receive critical feedback on your shooting skills.  

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Most people find that they enjoy spending time on the shooting range. Invite a friend and introduce others to shooting. It is a great way to spend quality time together, and you might introduce someone to a lifetime interest.  

Just remember that not everything has to be a competition. Make sure that you are having fun and enjoying the activity so that you can work towards your goal and master the sport of shooting.    


There are many ways to improve your marksmanship skills. Just changing simple things like the shooting distance or a different target can have a tremendous effect on your ability to handle a firearm. Continue to challenge yourself, and you’ll reap the rewards.

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In the end, the more practice time you log, the better you will become. It may not happen overnight, but if you follow the tips listed here, you will see a remarkable improvement in your shooting capabilities.


3 Responses

Adam Nils Hanson
Adam Nils Hanson

August 30, 2018

Thanks for continuing to send me information on. Your products are the best I’ve ever used in 20 years of law enforcement. The price and I guarantee you cannot beat made in the USA. I will be purchasing three more Oscars very soon. Thank you very much for your time Ben. Stay safe, practice, & have a good weekend.


August 30, 2018

Unlike other “sports”; your knowledge and ability to use that firearm/weapon, can be the difference between life or death. This is NOT like playing golf. Also consider NOT making the last names of your customers as pop-ups. Just use the first initial of the last name. Firearm ownership should be a private and personal matter.

Harold Kimble
Harold Kimble

August 30, 2018

Ben,this info is awesome and your willingness to share this with your customers is commendable and you also make great holsters 👍🏻👍🏻👌👌

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10 Reasons Why Firearms Training Will Improve Your Shooting