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Why You Need To Go Beyond Target Practice

Why You Need To Go Beyond Target Practice

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE going to the range. I often times go with the intention of just shooting one box of ammo…just to get a little practice in after work. Well one box easily turns into two and then three and well, you know the rest. Whether it’s for competition, self-defense, or recreation, passionate shooters understand the importance of practicing regularly. However, I recently discovered how important it is to train in other ways besides taking the typical trip to the range.


Over the past couple months, I have been able to try out some exciting training systems here at NRA. First was the Targabot® by TARGAMITE, a robotic tactical training target. It's also the world’s first computer-controlled target system offering both predictable and unpredictable behavioral characteristics. Used for tactical training, Taragbot® can be set up at any range and is easy to program and operate. The target moves in either a random or predetermined sequence with varying speeds and modes. Being afraid I wouldn’t be able to hit the broad side of a barn, I was pleasantly surprised by my accuracy (okay, it may have been set to “easy” mode). I’ve never shot at moving targets much less ones that were moving randomly. Testing out this system was eye-opening that I needed much more practice beyond shooting at a stationary target.


I was also recently able to test out the Milo Range Marksmanship Skills Trainer and Threat Engagement Simulator. With multiple products and system features, the Milo Range can be customized and adapted for specific training needs. I ran through different marksmanship drills and exercises which was great practice! Then, they put me into interactive threat scenarios. Let me tell you, this was nothing like target practice at the range. These scenarios are designed to put you in real world situations under stress, which I definitely felt as I watched a virtual armed intruder break into my home. When placed in a stressful situation, you feel an adrenaline rush commonly referred to as “fight or flight”. As much as you don’t want to believe it, this WILL affect your shot and it WILL affect your decision making.

Products like Taragbot® and the Milo Range Simulator that are commonly used for law enforcement and military training, are also available for civilian use. Tactical training is very useful whether for self defense or competition and many ranges are now utilizing these systems. Check with your local range to see what they offer.

You can also receive formal self–defense training through an NRA training course like NRA Defensive Pistol or NRA Personal Protection courses, or training programs like America’s Rifle Challenge.

On top of that, you can practice your skills through competitive shooting. Associations such as IDPA simulate self-defense scenarios and real life encounters which are amazing practice.

Adding self-defense and tactical training to your target practice are great ways to improve your skills, decision making, and confidence.

See y’all at the range!

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