Question of the Day: Are You Bored With Your Shooting?

Square ranges are deadly dull. Once I’ve established that my gun works and I can hit minute-of-bad-guy at 15 yards and stack rounds on top of each other closer in, my motivation takes a powder. I draw some numbers and letters on a target and have someone call them out. As most square ranges won’t let me draw from concealment, that’s it, I’m done. Open ranges like Best of the West Shooting Sports in Liberty Hill, Texas are WAY better. You rent a bay and do whatever you like. Holster draw and shoot while moving, shoot from a prone position, shoot from behind cover or concealment, transition from rifle to pistol – anything that doesn’t involve .308 or higher caliber or endanger yourself or others is fine with Millard. I’ve really taken a shine to steel targets. In preparation for my anticipated Texas International Firearms Festival shooting match with Colion Noir, I’m hitting Action Targets’ dueling tree with my pal Louis. So are you bored with your shooting? If not, what do you do to keep yourself amused?


  1. avatar Shire-man says:

    Steel is fun.
    Though expensive taking combat shooting style classes is a nice way to breathe new life into shooting. Getting to run, dive, roll, move as a unit, shout out ques like “cover!” and “up!” and “moving!” is a total blast.

  2. avatar Nick says:

    I reload to keep myself entertained. I bought a .44 mag revolver and try different bullets and powders and explore how everything interacts. When I’m done with that, I’ll try a .357, then work on some rifle stuff.

    1. Shoot a .44 magnum…that will cure boredom.

      1. avatar Nick says:

        So does randomly mixing in .44 Russian rounds.

      2. avatar Geoff PR says:

        You ain’t kidding.

        I really liked that Super Redhawk .44 I had. The guy I bought it from had a nice pistol scope on it. The extra mass from that scope really helped tame the recoil.

        It was most fun at an indoor range. At the firing line, muffs on, other shooters with their .45s, 9mms, .357s… pop….pop…pop… Then I’d squeeze one off… BOOM!!!

        And feel the pressure wave cut through your teeth…

        It was entertaining as hell. Thing was, even with that 7 inch barrel, the extra mass from that scope, after 2 cylinders or so, it was enough for me for the day. Folks that shoot .44 mag from a snubbie must be a mutant of some type… 🙂

        1. The .44 is a hell ride compared to the S&W 500. The size and weight to the 500 tames it a little but the .44 mag with wood grip is like catching an overhand swing from a little league baseball bat. The .44 actually does what everybody says a .45acp will do.

        2. avatar XDs 45 says:

          I too have a 44 magnum (S&W K frame /8 inch barrel) with a Tasco Pro Point red dot scope. I bought it back when Clinton was in office.

          My son and I go to an outdoor range. We have two dozen 3/8 in dowell rods that we sharpened with a pencil sharpener. We put them out at random places on the range. We put apples on the dowell rods and shoot them with the 44 magnum.

          The scope is dialed in spot-on at about 7 yards. The 44 magnum flys pretty flat from what I can tell anyway. A direct hit will literally vaporize an apple.

          Great fun.

  3. avatar Swarf says:

    I’ve been spending more and more time on the trap range,

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    what do you do to keep yourself amused?

    I pretend that bullets are sugar cubes and I’m feeding them to Democrats with diabetes.

    Fun times.

    1. avatar Eric L says:

      Damm it……Pepsi up the nose hurts

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    Haven’t shot a gun in a year. I’d love to be bored. Only have a shotgun…sigh.

    1. Nothing is more fun than a shotgun.

  6. avatar Jim R says:

    I don’t get to shoot near as much as I want to. So no, not even close to bored.

    1. avatar WRH says:

      Same here, I try to make it out at least twice a month but that doesn’t always happen. Ammo isn’t cheap and my days off are usually spent with my daughters. I can’t wait until they’re old enough to go shooting with me.

  7. avatar PeterC says:

    I just keep buying different guns…really different guns!

  8. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Nope, I go almost weekly to 37 PSR here in NC and I can do whatever I want as long as it is safe. I can’t shoot steel with a rifle due to how close the distances are. A membership is so worth it. I will hate when I am forced to move and go back to a FUD style safety Nazi range.

  9. avatar Tim in WA says:

    I’m a member of probably the lamest square range in the world, but even there I can use a timer and practice from “low ready”. When you add a timer, there’s lots more to work on.

    1. Definitely get a good timer. I tried a couple different smart phone aps but they are not reliable. I need to get a dedicated shot timer. You only need a bulls eye target and a timer to have a good time. Progress is fun. And if you have a bad day on the range, it beats a good day at work.

      1. avatar Giacomo says:

        Try a Shotmaxx. Lots of fun.

    2. avatar PistoleroJesse says:

      +1 to the timer. Once you are bit by USPSA or IDPA you can’t get bored.

  10. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Long range steel with many different calibers. Very fun.
    For short range pistol, try this.
    Stand at a relaxed ready, have a buddy toss a coffee can over your head. Draw and shoot the can as it drops to about chest high. Then try double taps. Great fun!

    1. Beer ca…I mean coffee can…wink.
      Anything that breaks is good fun. I have a set of “pigeon perches” that hold clays. Set four of them out and see how fast you can hit them all with a handgun.
      I also make my own dartboard targets and my wife and I play dart games with them. It is just standing and shooting for accuracy but the competition makes it fun.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      I’d like to try that, but I’ll probably need a 55 gal drum instead of a coffee can.

      1. Who’s gonna throw it over your head? Donkey Kong?

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          No throwing, just set it up on the roof and start shooting. Easier to hit!

        2. The point was to hit a moving target. How about drag a barrel behind a pickup truck with a 50′ rope and try to shoot it…the barrel…not the truck.

        3. avatar Gunr says:

          Sounds like a lot of fun Michael! I never rode on a moving barrel.

        4. Don’t forget the mud.

  11. avatar EJ says:

    Reading something like this makes me sooooo glad my ‘home’ shooting area is the wide open (but with enough roll in the terrain to provide backstops) 140,000+ acre Orchard Combat Training Center:

  12. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    No, and I don’t actually get to shoot a lot myself. I spend time each week in dry fire, and use my range time to verify what I’ve been practicing.

    I never get bored, by any means, because I teach regular pistol and self defense classes, as well as give a weekly shooting clinic on our club range. We can do anything we want as long as nobody gets hurt, so we have tremendous potential to practice all kinds of things. This month we’re building and using simulated defensive scenes, shoot/don’t shoot drills, and shooting from cover. It is extremely challenging to teach such things to housewives, school teachers and retired store clerks, etc.

    1. That is a great idea to cure boredom. Introduce more new shooters to the activity.

  13. avatar lolinski says:

    Haven’t mastered shooting really small groups/high scores at a static target from various positions… so I will wait with all the fancy stuff.

  14. avatar Rick says:

    I shoot on my backyard range, it’s only boring when you run out of targets to shoot. I can’t even step foot on a range where paper is the only thing to shoot, an absolute bore.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      You think that’s bad? There’s a range in my area where you can’t even post your own target, you have to use range supplied targets. Not for me! I make my own targets and place a small square maybe 3/4″ sq., and I shoot about 3″ low, to keep from destroying my aim point.
      This is with precision rifles at 100Yd, longer range, not available.

  15. avatar Static NAT says:

    I improvise my own targets and go out into the boondocks of a Federal park where I can shoot whatever I want (except tracer rounds and explosive targets). Basically, I stay away from expensive ranges with limiting rules.

  16. avatar Eric L says:

    The public ranges in my area leave a lot to be desired, both by the fudd laws imposed and by overcrowding.
    I joined a private gun club which helped with the overcrowding aspect but not with the fudd rules.
    I’m pretty much condemned to square target slow fire until I can save up for my own tract of land out in the boonies, and considering that I’m as broke as moms demand action’s mentality…… I’m screwed

  17. avatar RDSmith says:

    Living in the UP, there’s no shortage of spots I can go to and do whatever the hell I want.

    1. avatar .250 Savage says:

      The first gun i ever shot was on the UP. It is truly beautiful up there and so many places to shoot. Need to get back there; its been too long.

  18. avatar MRB says:

    It may be anathema to defensive shooting, but shooting NRA bullseye at 50 m is plenty challenging. The mental discipline required is calming for me.

  19. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    I don’t get Best of the West range, because I don’t know their range fees and can’t figure it out on their website. I see where they indicate their membership fees, but even that, I’m not sure what you actually get for that. Unlimited use? Reduced fees? What’s the nonmember fee? I’m not driving 250 miles, or even just an extra 50 miles if I was going to Austin anyway, to get jerked around on pricing.

    Better just to go to Bexar Shooting range outside of San Antonio, if you’re on a road trip. 10 bucks and you can shoot unlimited time, unlimited guns, any way you want, on three different ranges for handguns, rifles, shotguns. Act like an adult and they treat you like an adult. It’s awesome.

  20. avatar Zachary marrs says:

    Ive gotten back into .22’s in a big way

    1. A lot of people say that shooting sub sonic .22 with a suppressor is a blast but…I kind of like loud bangs (not sexual). I shoot pellet rifles and hand guns around the house all the time so a suppressed .22 doesn’t seem that much more interesting to me. When I shoot my .556, I feel it in my bones. Good times! I will own a suppressed .300blk upper in the future…because.

      1. avatar Zachary marrs says:

        I live near a bayou, so I’ll go kayaking with my 10/22td, and ill find somewhere to shoot, its pretty fun

      2. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “When I shoot my .556, I feel it in my bones.”

        Damn. That’s nearly twice as small as that .9mm 🙂

  21. avatar 0351 says:

    Set up an unknown distance range by having other people set up targets. Practice range estimation, and place that shot farther and farther. If that still bores you, time your fastest runner and put up multiple target points along a route, number them, and have a “spotter” call out those target points while you try to hit them according to the runner’s speed. Boredom comes from complacency. Good better best, never let it rest, make your good better and your better best. If you master that, find a better runner, a worse rifle, or nasty weather. Shoot when you’re tired, shoot when you’re (simulating) injuries. Attempt to move to contact against a friend with paintballs to while wearing a full load. The options are limitless.

    1. There is a lot to be said about being creative.

  22. avatar David - Anchorage says:

    Try IDPA/USPSA/Three Gun or some other type of competition. Great fun. Different every time. You really learn how to run your guns. Anyone can participate.

  23. avatar Chris in KY says:

    Short answer, No.

    My different guns, reloads, and target shooting has and always will keep me entertained.

  24. avatar dh34 says:

    Try black powder.

    I got bored a few years ago and an acquaintance introduced me to black powder rifles. Before I knew it, I had a Lyman Great Plains and had been folded in to the informal monthly gentlemen’s match.

    The Pietta reproduction pistols from Cabellas are mighty fun too.

  25. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    I like shooting steel but none of the ranges around me will go for that….paper targets only. About time for a road trip!

  26. avatar ken says:

    Try clay pigeons with rifles or handguns. They are great fun on the bank. They just explode when hit. Styrofoam cups are good too. Just throw them out downwind, and start shooting the edge where they touch the ground. A good hit with a CF handgun will sometimes send them flying 30 feet in the air. Any hit that sends them up will let the wind keep blowing them further and further away, so it gets harder and harder until you can’t hit them anymore. Then, just throw out a new one. A rimfire won’t lift them as high, but it still works, and its still great fun.

  27. avatar Tile floor says:

    If you’ve got several years of military and or LEO training a lot of times it’s nice to relax and just punch holes in a target for enjoyments sake

  28. avatar Dave says:

    Shooting at golf balls in the berm at 50 yards with my 22. Fun seeing them hop.

  29. avatar John Galt says:

    Yes, it’s too easy, repetitive and boring.

    Time to take up archery. Much more challenging.

  30. avatar Matt says:

    I’m still working on mastering the DA revolver with full power magnum loads and unmodified trigger. My J frame is easily a 10 pound pull and my N frame is less but not a whole heck of a lot less. Its tricky to shoot DA fast and accurate, lots of trigger control is required. Mix in different angles and positions and things like a Texas Star and the challenge increases. The challenge and slow development of my skill keeps me not bored.

    Otherwise shooting in less rigid environs like private property is infinitely more fun than a square range because of all the typically disallowed things you can do.

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