5 New Year’s Resolutions for The Shooting Community

The New Year is upon us. Keeping with the yearly tradition of setting goals for the year I came up with 5 to make gun guys and gals more rounded experienced shooters.

Improve as a Shooter

Isn’t this a goal we all have? We want to shoot faster and more accurately. We spend tons of money on range time and ammo to do so. Many of us hit a plateau where you simply don’t know how to improve your shooting from where you’re at. What else can you really do to become a better shot?

The first step I’d suggest is seek quality instruction. Find a reputable trainer who can spot errors you’re making, or teach you techniques you may have not been exposed to yet. It’s amazing what an experienced shooter and instructor can do to help you improve. Try and take a shooting course, just one, in 2018.

Fire up Google and find one. Expect to spend some money on a good one but it’s far more efficient spending that just ammo and range time on our own.


If training is difficult to come by in your area, or too cost prohibitive you can still improve and challenge yourself with a few tools you can get online. Pistol-training.com my go to resource website for finding interesting and dynamic drills. Some of my favorite include Dot Torture, the 5×5 Skill Test, and the El Presidente.

Targets are another consideration for any shooter. Targets are cheap and you can buy them at any gun store, Walmart, or on Amazon. However, there are two I’ve found for free that can be printed at home and are perfect for realistic training. There are the Sage Dynamics Vital Anatomy targets here. Kit Badger designed and produced some similar targets with a side profile.

Make New Shooter(s)

Shooting, hunting, gun rights and anything else related to guns is one generation away from disappearing. Beating legislation, and expanding gun rights is necessary but the way to truly win substantial gains is to make an anti gun stance political suicide. We do that by having a super majority of the US population as firearms enthusiasts and second amendment supporters.

The best way to bring more people into the fold is introduce them to the safe, fun, and addictive sport of shooting. As gun owners and enthusiasts we should seek out opportunities to take friends, family, and coworkers shooting when possible. I would go as far as to even provide the ammo and range time to get someone to simply try it out. Don’t try and convert them, as most people will be uncomfortable if there is some end goal and expectation. Just have fun with it, and if they have an interest it’ll grow.

New Shooter Starter Kit

You may not make someone an instant gun advocate but you’ve exposed them to shooting in a safe enjoyable manner. At the very least by being an open and friendly ambassador to the 2nd Amendment you’ve helped fight harmful stereotypes that are often perpetuated.

Join or Support Something Pro Gun

Outside of purchasing guns consider supporting the 2nd Amendment with a membership, a subscription, or a monetary donation to a Pro Gun group or organization. Here are three national organizations that could always use more support. The NRA (Especially the NRA-ILA), Second Amendment Foundation, and Gun Owners of America.

 

I know opinions vary on each organization but all three do good work and are responsible for many of the gains made in recent years. Consider a membership or donation to one of them.

Alternatively you can support local state organizations where a lot of the fights against gun control occur. There are myriad of small organizations who could use your help and may be a better choice than a National Organization for issues that affect you directly.

Lastly, with Youtube’s removing ad revenue there are gun channels struggling to bring you content and they are often some of the most prominent 2nd Amendment advocates. They also reach a large audience who may be new to guns. This is especially true for kids and young adults who’ve grown up in homes without guns. These channels often have Patreons which allow you to sponsor their shows for as little as a buck a month.

Try Something New

As gun owners we often get wrapped up in our specific discipline. I love handguns and shotguns because my at home range is only 50 yards. This year I’m trying to get back into riflery and get out there to 500 yards and beyond. I’d also love to get into the gaming circuit and try out IPSC and IDPA.

Safe Full of ARs? Try something more classic…

This year, even if you’re a new shooter, stretch your shooting outside the norm and try something new. There are plenty of options out there for you to try. Try skeet or trap shooting, become an instructor, jump into 3 gun, or try reloading. You don’t have to stick with any of them, just try them and see what you think.

Build a Gun

Building your own gun can be an absolute blast. You’ll get angry, frustrated, and sometimes feel helpless… but in the end it’s all worth it. The feeling of pride and accomplishment is just fantastic. Most people start with the AR platform and it’s simple enough to assemble an AR. If you want a challenge try to mill your own lower from an 80 lower receiver. Websites like 80-lower.com are one stop shops for the lowers, tools, and complete kits to mill and build a rifle. You can even build a ‘Not a Glock’ from Polymer 80’s Glock lower receivers/frames.

Aero Precision Stripped Lower

It all starts here…

If you want more challenge and want to spend more on tools building AKs and FN FALs isn’t impossible. My personal goal for 2018 is a Sten Gun build. Sten guns are remarkably easy to build if you have the right tools and can watch Youtube. Building guns isn’t a hard thing to do, and you’d be surprised at the options out there. Follow directions and then hit the range.

Resolved

Try one. Try them all. And Happy 2018 everyone.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.