Not all shooting practice aims for the same results

I went to my oldest son’s graduation from Basic Training earlier this month, and I realized his and his brother’s shooting training are vastly different.

I’ve been working with my youngest son, Logan, as he prepares for air rifle shooting at the Junior Olympics. He’s shooting from 10 meters, and his target is about the size of a silver dollar. The 10-point ring on the target isn’t a ring at all – it’s a dot. The nine-ring is the size of the pellet itself. His objective is to punch out that 10-dot with every single shot. There are 10 of those targets per page, and depending on the competition, he gets anywhere from two to 10 minutes per target to get it all shot.

When I went down to Fort Benning for my older son’s graduation from Basic Training, though, Colby explained how they shoot. It’s quite a bit different than what Logan’s doing. Colby and his fellow soldiers each have one minute and 15 shots to hit three targets at each 50-yard increment from 50 yards out to 150, then two each at 200 and 250 yards, and the last two targets are at 300 and 350. The closer targets are about 10 inches by 20 inches, and the farther targets are 20 by 40 inches. It doesn’t matter where they hit those targets, as long as they hit.

Now I need to brag a little bit on both of my boys. They are both doing extremely well with their respective shooting disciplines. Colby is one of the top shooters in his company, and Logan was one of the first-invite qualifiers for the national Junior Olympics in precision air gun shooting. And even though their shooting styles are vastly different, they share some commonalities in the basics. They both have to have solid holds, good breath control, and good trigger control. They spent some time while we were in Georgia comparing notes, and I like to think they both helped each other.

And it’s official – they’re both far better shots than I am now. And I couldn’t be happier about that.