5 Ways for Improving in Competitive Shooting

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  • Learn the basics of shooting to ensure proper technique and accuracy.
  • Practice as much as possible to hone your skills.
  • Stay calm under pressure through visualization techniques, deep breathing, and positive self-talk.
  • Invest in the right equipment, such as guns, ammunition, holsters, ear protection, eye protection, and cleaning kits.
  • Participate in competitions to gain experience and benchmark your skills against other shooters.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced shooter, improving in competition shooting can be daunting. But with the right strategies and techniques, you can become an even better shooter than you already are. This article will explore five ways to improve your performance in competitive shooting.

1. Learn the Basics

The first step to becoming a better competitor is understanding the fundamentals behind shooting a gun. You should start by learning everything there is to know about safe gun handling, including proper grip technique, sight alignment, breath control, and trigger squeeze techniques. Once you have mastered these basic skills, it’s time to move on to target practice. Familiarize yourself with different shooting positions and the factors affecting accuracies, such as wind, humidity, and temperature.

2. Practice as Much as You Can

Practice is the key to success in any sport, and that’s especially true for competitive shooting. Whether you prefer to shoot at a range or practice with a partner, it’s vital to consistently hone your skills by engaging in regular target practice sessions. Furthermore, you should try to switch up your practice routine so that it keeps challenging you and helps you progress faster. Additionally, having access to a skeet or sporting clay range is an excellent way to improve your skills and experience shooting in various scenarios.

3. Stay Calm Under Pressure

woman shooting target in shooting range

Competition shooting requires the shooter to remain calm even in high-pressure situations. To improve under pressure, try practicing visualization techniques such as visualizing yourself succeeding in a particular situation or taking deep breaths to relax your body before taking the shot. You can also try listening to calming music before beginning each round of shooting. This will help you focus on the task and control yourself. Lastly, it is important to practice positive self-talk by reminding yourself that you can do this and succeed in any situation. By doing so, you will be able to remain calm and focused throughout the competition.

4. Have the Right Equipment

Having the right equipment is essential for success in competitive shooting. This will ensure that you have the proper sights and trigger pull for your rifle or handgun.

Here is the equipment you should invest in to hone your skills:


When selecting a gun, you must consider what type of shooting you will be doing and your budget. You should also look for a gun that fits comfortably in your hand and has the necessary features for the particular discipline.


The ammunition you choose depends on the type of shooting you are participating in. Make sure to select the right caliber for your gun and the competition you will be entering. Additionally, ensure you have enough ammunition, so you don’t run out during competitions.


gun in leather holster concept of shooting equipment

A good quality holster is important for a competitive shooter, as it allows you to access your firearm when needed quickly. Select a holster that fits your gun and provides the necessary stability while shooting. A high-quality 1911 holster is ideal for competitive shooters, as it offers a secure fit and quick draw. It features adjustable retention to ensure the gun stays in place while you move and belt loops that provide stability when riding. Other holsters include shoulder and ankle holsters, which offer a comfortable fit but may limit mobility.

Ear Protection

Shooting can be loud and long-term exposure to loud noises can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Invest in high-quality ear protection that blocks all sound frequencies above 85 decibels. Moreover, make sure you wear them when shooting on the field or at the range.

Eye Protection

Eye protection is equally essential as wearing ear protection while shooting, especially if you use powerful guns with fast bullets. Look for eyewear that fits comfortably and provides adequate protection from airborne debris and particles while shooting.

Cleaning Kits

Regular cleaning is essential to keep your guns in top condition. Get a cleaning kit that includes all the necessary tools, such as degreasers, lubricants, brushes, and swabs, for thoroughly cleaning your firearms. Ensure you use the right products for each part of the gun to avoid damaging it with improper cleaning methods.

5. Participate in Competitions

Participating in competitions is a great way to sharpen your shooting skills and gain valuable experience. Start by joining small local competitions and move to more significant events such as state-level or national-level tournaments. Also, participate in different shooting disciplines, including IPSC, IDPA, and 3 Gun Nation, so you can better understand the competitive shooting environment. You will be able to benchmark your skills against other experienced competitors and also have a lot of fun!

Final Words

Improving in competition shooting requires effort and dedication, but anyone can become a better shooter with the right set of strategies. From understanding the fundamentals to getting the right equipment to participating in competitions, all these elements come together and make for an unbeatable combination on the field. With practice and persistence, even beginners can start seeing results faster than expected.

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