Seven Reasons to Go to the Range This Weekend

Going to the range is something most of us likely don’t do enough. We get too busy, we make excuses, and we often ignore our range time. Folks, today, we are all about getting some more range time. In fact, I want you to go to the range this weekend. So much so that I came up with seven reasons why you should make a trip to the range a priority. 

Because We Can Always Get Better 

The main reason any of us go to the church of Lead and Steel is to get better at shooting! It’s a skill that requires live practice to build and maintain. Marksmanship skills deteriorate when a shooter doesn’t practice them. Hitting the target is only half the battle. We all want to shoot with good accuracy, but we also need to be able to do it quickly. 

Dry fire is great, but going to the range is still a must-have. Learning to handle the recoil and keep the gun on target only happens at the range. You can dry fire a gun all day, and you’ll certainly see some improvement, but without any range time, you can only go so far. 

Kris Paronto instructing students
Kris Paronto provided clear instructions for each drill and then provided group and individual feedback after each drill as we examined our targets.

We can also always get better. Firearms training and practice is a continuing activity. You might think you’re really good, but until you’re as good as Tim Herron or Jerry Miculek, get out there and train. Go to the range this weekend and test yourself, challenge yourself, and get just a little better. 

You Deserve to Have a Little Fun 

I bet you worked hard this week. You woke up every day, you managed to get the kids to school, fought through traffic, got to work, and ground it out. Then, you likely came home, got the kids settled, fed, and tended to homework. By the time you had a chance to relax, the day was over. Free time is often a luxury, and I firmly believe you have to plan out your free time just as much as anything else. 

bowling pins shoot
No matter what your gun of choice is there is an innate ‘fun’ to shooting more reactive targets. Also, as the pins are generally closer (~21’) you can focus more on closer target acquisitions and transferring your point of aim from target to target.

If you don’t plan to take some time off and do something fun, you simply won’t. Make yourself a priority as much as you make everyone else. Shooting is fun. It’s thrilling and enjoyable. Make it a family affair and treat it as a great time to teach, learn, and bond. Fun is the only reason you need to hit the range this weekend. 

The Social Interaction 

A lot of people who don’t shoot likely view shooting at a solo event. Anyone who actually shoots knows this can’t be further from the truth. These days, we have electronic ear muffs that allow us to shoot and protect our hearing while easily carrying on a conversation. Some people may go to the range solo for a little “me time,” and that’s fine, but I always have more fun bringing a friend or two. As mentioned in the above fun reason, it can be a family even as well. 

Take your kids shooting
Reactive targets create smiles with instant feedback. One of our favorite target choices is balloons.

Shooting at a square range with some buddies is fun, but shooting any kind of competition with friends is a blast. It’s also a great way to make new friends. Go shoot Steel Challenge or a round of Skeet one weekend, and you’ll make friends, or at least range buddies and acquaintances. Men, in particular, tend to bond by doing things together, and shooting is a thing that’s easy to bond over. 

Improves Hand-Eye Coordination 

Even basic weapon handling requires some form of safe hand-eye coordination. Hitting a target with a rapidly moving piece of metal that’s propelled by a handheld explosion isn’t easy. You have to have excellent coordination between your hand and eyes to squeeze the trigger at the exact right time to hit the target without messing with your sight picture. 

firearm training
Firearm training classes are more available now than ever before. I urge you to take advantage of that. (

Doing it once is hard, but doing it over and over rapidly can be tricky to do successfully. Transitioning from target to target, swapping positions, employing cover, and more all involve hand-eye coordination. If you want to build those skills a bit more, go to the range this weekend. 

It’s Like Loud Meditation 

When most people picture meditating, they think of someone sitting in a quiet, comfortable room. They are likely sitting with their eyes closed and maybe some gentle music planning. I don’t think a lot of people picture the constant explosive and violent sound of gunfire as meditative. Well, you’d be wrong. 

Jeremy Stone aims the Foxtrot Mike PCC.
Jeremy aims the Foxtrot Mike downrange.

If you are working on marksmanship and focusing on gun handling skills, that’s all you’re focusing on. You enter a zen state where your only goal is to put a small piece of metal into a paper, plastic, or steel target. Nothing else matters. Your phone doesn’t matter. Your job doesn’t matter. Every small stressor doesn’t matter. All that matters is putting that piece of lead into that target. 

That places you in that meditative state that’s surprisingly refreshing. 

It Can Boost Your Confidence 

The key to confidence for me has always been being successful at something. Typically, it’s things that I think matter. Being good at something or getting better at something helps my confidence. Just the other day, I was practicing my shotgun recoil mitigation techniques, and I was able to snap from the low ready and put two rounds on target so fast it set a new personal record. 

Women shooting the KDS9c.
The KDS9c is a perfect CCW weapon for men and women. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
That boosted my confidence and made me feel amazing. Shooting tight groups or drawing rapidly and efficiently can be a real confidence booster. The key to building confidence in your shooting skills is to set realistic goals and accomplish those goals. If you go to the range this weekend, set a goal and aim to accomplish it. Make it realistic. If you can do that, your range trip will be well worth the time and money. 

It Will Make You Happier (Scientifically Guaranteed) 

Shooting a gun will make you happier, and it’s scientifically proven. Firing a handheld explosion over and over can be quite thrilling, and when people shoot a gun, their brain gets flooded with various stimulating chemicals. These chemicals deliver the fight-or-flight reaction. Admittedly, experienced shooters will get less and less of this chemical response as shooting becomes more and more normal to them. 

Akv in action
Ooof. The brake makes it a little smokey.

Still, the flood of chemicals might create anxiety, but they also create a comedown effect. We get a dose of serotonin and dopamine and we get to be a little happier because of it. The rush of adrenaline and the comedown after the rush releases happy chemicals. 

Now, off to the range!

Now you have more than enough reasons to go to the range and throw some lead downrange. It can be tough to find time in our busy schedules, but if you can go once a month, you are doing better than most. Get out there, go shooting, and let us know below why you go to the range. 

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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