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Whether you’re a first-time gun owner or experienced, here are 10 ways to enjoy the target shooting sports and special events

America’s millions of first-time firearm owners will find National Shooting Sports Month in August a great time to enjoy using their new firearms, whether in a training course, competition or simply having fun shooting targets with friends. NSSF estimates 8.4 million people purchased their first firearm last year, with many of them being non-traditional buyers.

Developed by NSSF, the firearm industry trade association, National Shooting Sports Month encourages newcomers as well as experienced gun owners to spend an exciting day at the range with their handgun, rifle or shotgun enjoying the target-shooting sports, which boast more than 56 million adult and youth participants.

As if you needed help to find ways to enjoy National Shooting Sports Month, here are 10 of them:

  • +ONE Movement

    It helps to have a mentor show you the ropes when taking up a new activity. NSSF’s +ONE Movement asks experienced shooters to mentor newcomers and novices on how to safely handle firearms and develop skills to hit their targets, whether they’re paper, steel plates or moving clays. Experienced shooters can help secure the future of shooting sports by taking the +ONE pledge to introduce someone new to target shooting this August!

woman gun range train shoot
  • A Date at the Range

    Make it a date! Ask your spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend to go target shooting with you. You’ll have a great time together. Women are the fastest growing group in target shooting, and more gear than ever has been designed for their fit and comfort. Don’t have someone to go with? Call the range and ask about their leagues and training classes.

  • Rediscover Shooting

    Haven’t shot in a while? Dust off your shooting gear—always check to see if firearms are loaded when removing them from storage—and call an old shooting buddy or ask your granddaughter or grandson to join you. Clay target sports such as skeet, trap and sporting clays are perfect for socializing.

  • What to Expect at the Range

    Safety orientation, range rules, range officers . . . there are things you need to know about if you haven’t spent much time at a target shooting range, or perhaps you need to refresh your memory. Learn what to expect here. And watch this video on Range Safety and Etiquette before stepping up to the firing line.

  • #LetsGoShooting

    #LetsGoShooting is the theme of National Shooting Sports Month. Share the hashtag and your experiences on your favorite social media networks and remind others to head out to the range for a day of fun and socializing. Discover the skill-building and fun other target shooters are having at the range by following the #LetsGoShooting feeds.

  • Cash in on Deals

    Retailers and ranges will be offering specials during National Shooting Sports Month at thousands of events nationwide. Find a participating business near you to take advantage of these offers at

  • Tune Up for Hunting Season

    Many people are taking up hunting because they’re interested in harvesting their own healthful food. If that’s you, a trip to a firearm retailer or range can provide answers on how to get started hunting, such as enrolling in a hunter education course and practicing your shooting to be ready in time for the fall seasons. NSSF’s website has loads of information.

  • Practice Firearm Safety

    The shooting sports are safe. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Responsible gun owners safely handle their firearms and securely store them when not in use, whether at home, in a vehicle or at the range. Thanks to responsible gun owners and programs like NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, fatal firearms accidents are at all-time low levels.

  • Celebrate Freedom and Tradition

    In addition to passing on the great tradition of target shooting, you can educate others about the unique American freedoms that make firearm ownership and the shooting sports possible. See NSSF’s Proud to be a Firearms Owner pocket card and video and also learn about NSSF’s Gun Owners Care.

  • Win a Great Prize!

    Finally, enter the Gearbox Giveaways at for a chance to win great prizes from generous National Shooting Sports Month sponsors.

For regular updates on National Shooting Sports Month and for other target shooting resources, follow the LetsGoShooting pages on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Remember, help make others aware of the great pastime of target shooting by sharing your experiences on social media and using the hashtag #LetsGoShooting.


About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit 

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  1. Get out and live a little or go online and piece together an AR to build/assemble or purchase something advertised on this site. It’s bar-hopping for deals and parts and it’s fun to be a bargain hunter. There are bread and butter barrels available but good luck with finding select barrels so hunts can take days, weeks or more to complete.
    If you do not know how or have the proper tools to assemble your boxes of parts find a competent Gunsmith who specializes in the AR platform.
    Not only are you going to wind up with a weapon that will last and last and always be there you are supporting a laundry list of people who share your interest in your right to keep and bear arms.

      • Gang-bangers tend to bang more in warm weather, and less in cold weather…

  2. I have peanut butter smeared all over a Cottonwood tree waiting for the next squirrel to stick its cute little face in it. When that happens, I quietly open a window a little, grab my suppressed pcp .22 air rifle and drop the furry little f–k
    Dig holes in my yard tree rats, see what happens.

    That’s my shooting sport ever day of the week.
    PS: no shortage of pellets or squirrels that I have seen.

    • Do you eat the squirrels?
      Never thought about peanut butter. Salted or unsalted?
      I used to have two squirrels that would eat bread from my hand but it seemed if my hand was sweaty they wouldn’t want it. I figured it had something to do with the salt?
      Also I’ve found playing a portable radio on low volume set on the ground will attract squirrels. Shot 15 from the same tree one day doing that.
      I like squirrel better then rabbit.

  3. Grab the gunms and the bullet kids, we’re going shooting.
    Okay heads or tails. Sissy said tails,tails it is.
    “That was fun Daddy can we do this next week?”

  4. Another way to celebrate is to find an Appleseed event near you. Spend two days working on your rifle marksmanship skills and hear the story of our joint heritage as Riflemen and Riflewomen. Hear the events of April 19th, 1775, learn about Paul Revere’s ride, the events on Lexington Green, the events at the North Bridge and the events surrounding the British Retreat back to Boston. It is a weekend that will make life long memories for you and your family. Find an event near you at Corvette, OH SC

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