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Get the Most Value from Your Range Time

Shoot with a Purpose

When training with a pistol or a rifle on your own it’s easy to lose focus and waste ammunition by “just shooting.”  Have a plan and train with a purpose by using targets with a built-in lesson plan!

Time spent pressing the trigger is important.  Repetitive trigger presses are a beneficial investment when made on an empty chamber or dummy rounds.  Shooting can be expensive!  When shooting live ammunition, train with a purpose.

Get the Most Value from Your Range Time: Shoot with a PurposeMany YouTube videos and training courses of fire are available on-line.  I’ve found high value in targets such as the DOT Torture adapted from David Blinder or one of the many targets provided by Travis Haley and targets created by Lucas Botkin over at T.REX ARMS

Training with Focus

Training with focus keeps you from wasting your time and wasting your ammunition!  People, much smarter than I, have spent countless hours studying the art and science of shooting.  I like to learn from the hard work they’ve done and apply it to my training time.

Using targets that focus your training can aid in keeping you from being distracted and can isolate your time to work on specific fundamentals that often get overlooked.  They also can help you predict ammunition count if you’re someone that likes to plan and budget expenditures!

Get the Most Value from Your Range Time: Shoot with a Purpose

Of course, all these well thought out targets aren’t going to fix errors in the fundamentals of marksmanship and don’t replace time spent with a trained and skilled instructor.  If you find yourself missing the mark on these targets, add dummy rounds to your magazines to see and feel what you’re doing during the shot and or seek out a trusted instructor.

Add some Pressure

It is also very helpful to add a shot timer to your gear bag and use it when shooting these focused targets.  We need to challenge ourselves and create a way to measure our performance.  Results speak volumes!

Remember, train with purpose and have goals for speed, accuracy, and proficiency.  Download some of the free targets you can find on-line and have them printed at your local print shop, shop local and shop small.  Do you have a great target with focused training?  Share it with me at




About the Author /

Heath has been a law enforcement officer in the Great Pacific Northwest since 1993 and trains as a pistol and rifle instructor for both law enforcement and civilians. He also serves as an advanced armorer on pistols and rifles. If you're looking for training or would like to contact him, he can be reached at

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