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TTAG’s resident war hero Jon Wayne Taylor recently read me the riot act: “you don’t shoot enough.” Copy that. JWT was [rightly] pointing out that my writing isn’t well enough informed by trigger time. I’ve got a lot of excuses: the need to fill these e-pages, single parenting, a kidney stone, the distance to the range and schnauzer maintenance. Yes, well, I never regret overcoming my lack of inertia to bust some caps. Shooting is the most fun I have with my clothes on. More fun than driving fast. More fun than writing (and that’s saying something). How much fun do you have when you shoot? How does it make you feel?

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  1. It can tie with motorcycling for the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

    Or it can be a miserable experience.

    It can depend on where, what and how you shoot, who you shoot with, etc. But I find that mostly, it depends on how I approach each shooting session and what I’m looking to get out of it.

    • Totally agree. Shooting is one of my passions, but I only go to indoor ranges if I need to test a new firearm for function. After being in a nice indoor range with a deagle to my right and an AR15 with compensation on my left it made for a miserable range experience.

      • I was using one to windage-sight in a .308 (the outdoor range near here is oriented so as to get lots of crosswinds) and just started warning people “Fire in the hole!”

  2. putting holes in paper and blowing up clay pigeons with a reliable firearm is some of the most relaxing and enjoyable times to be had with friends I have ever had.

  3. It’s not necessarily fun for me. I find it relaxes and centers me…most of the time. The variables dictate how it turns out. This may change, once my ps90 sbr/suppressor project is finished.

  4. Yup. Going to the range to make sure a couple of rim fires are properly sighted in for a rat shoot in a week.
    Then get some long range trigger time for a pig shoot in Texas next month.
    And as Turkey season opened yesterday, going to make sure the armor piercing flechette darts fly straight.

      • Turkey hunting is some of the most difficult hunting. They can see, like you wouldn’t believe and they are just as weary as deer on the opening day of gun season. I’ve watched BBs from a 12 gauge magnum load bounce right off the feathers.

    • I was kidding a game warden buddy of mine last week when I said I had finally gotten a hold of some claymore mines for a particular Tom that has been escaping me every year. He said, deadpan, “don’t bait him and it sounds fair. No violation.”

  5. It is my absolute favorite thing to do. I wish I could do it more often, but cost and distance to the range is the primary thing holding me back.

    • Second that. Lots more fun if it doesn’t require an entire expedition to accomplish. Expeditions are for an actual hunt, not the practice session. I plan to sign up at the Boulder Gun Range next month (SHOT Show range location) which is much closer and a very nice facility, but that leaves the problem of it gets DAMN hot here in a month or two. Air conditioned indoor ranges come with all the problems frequently mentioned on TTAG, especially lack of distance to target (usually 25 meters) and no movement while shooting.

      Still, just the opportunity to get out and take a few laps with your arsenal for familiarization can still be satisfying.

      • Air conditioned indoor ranges come with all the problems frequently mentioned on TTAG, especially lack of distance to target (usually 25 meters) and no movement while shooting.

        One that’s rarely mentioned is that for some reason my nearby indoor range…has very bad air conditioning. It turns into a sweatbox in the summer.

  6. I think it’s just the opportunity to get outdoors that lifts my spirits.
    Zeroing a scope is as gun as printing ragged holes or making watermelons explode.
    Accur81 says I need to operate more. But I tell him I chose a non-surgical specialty.

  7. I like sailing and historical fencing better. Shooting is something I do just to maintain a modest skill for self defense purposes. Oh, and to test ammo and equipment.

    • Sir, kudos to you then for being one of the rare people who aren’t an avid gun and shooting nut, and yet go to the range to keep your skills up for self defense. I wish we could get more people who only carry for self defense to put in the time they should.

  8. Hitting golf balls at 100yd is good fun, my younger brothers jaw dropped when I touched off my first round on a cold barrel, and said watch this, golf ball decintigrated with zero effort, love my .243, like a small orgasm with every boom. 🙂

  9. I’d love to shoot more. Finances and lack of mobility limit that. I just hope I’m ready for SHTF that is coming…

    • Me too. It’s not lack of mobility, but finances. I used to go out every weekend with my son, but these days I just don’t have the money to replenish the ammo supply and fuel a 65-mile weekly round trip. I only get out a couple of times in the summer, and that’s all. Is teh sadz. 🙁 Shooting is great family time and incredibly fun and relaxing, and I miss it.

  10. How much fun is shooting compared to the other things I do for fun? Running gets me a runners high, working out gets me an endorphin rush, martial arts makes me smile and laugh out loud, and shooting gives me quietly joyous sense of the perfection of the now.

    Each activity gives me a sense of fun, just in different ways. I couldn’t say that I feel any one activity is more fun than another. All of these activities makes me feel more alive, energized and connected to life.

  11. It varies, in my “knucklehead” days everything firearms was fun. Lately I’ve been training seriously with handguns and knowing that I’m preparing to be in a fight for my life or my family’s lives takes a lot of the joy out of it, also good realistic training is physically difficult, causes mental fatigue and is very stressful, but I also enjoy the learning process and seeing my proficiency increase. So basically I’m a little conflicted.

    • Get back in tune with your inner knucklehead. Plinking is always fun, and with a little creativity it can help keep up your practical shooting skills, too.

      • I still get a lot of fun out of rifles and shotguns, (3-gun, practical rifle, IDPA) it’s just there is a serious aspect as well. I did haul out some.22s recently, for the first time in at least 4 years.

        • Now we’re talking. Rifles are where the fun is for me. (Don’t have a shotgun, but I really want one.)

          There is a serious aspect to all this, of course, but I usually don’t pay much attention to it. Probably that’s why I’m not much of a pistol guy; they’re cool and all, but most of the reason I have one is because it’s the gun that’s most likely to be at hand if I ever need one to defend my life. And my wife has basically zero upper body strength and can’t handle rifles very well, so…

  12. Shooting can be a very zen experience, relaxing and transcendental. Or it can be a laugh-a-minute when good friends get together to blow things up. Or it can be all business, like when I’m testing something for TTAG. Odd, but I don’t smile very much when I’m testing a gun. The smiles come later when I’m writing the report.

    All things considered, shooting is wonderful.

  13. I get a real sense of satisfaction over well placed shots and the feel of my gun.
    I fly for fun and ride motorcycles too. All have their own place and are way more than hobbies.
    I shoot often as I can shoot out my back door legally.

  14. I try and stick to at least 500 rounds down range a week, and adminitely most of the time it feels like work. Or more specifically, like maintenance. When it’s not, when everything works right for that moment of zen, or I get to shoot something really neat and fun, it makes it all worthwhile.

  15. I enjoy shooting a lot, but it’s not my favorite thing to do with clothes on. That would be when I played lead guitar in a band for 10+ years when I lived in Portland. Playing in a tight band with your good friends, songs you love (we were a cover band), playing for 150+ friends and strangers that also enjoy the music and are dancing, is the pinnacle of enjoyment for me. My Gibson Les Paul and Mesa Boogie Amp are my most prized possessions (along with my amazing flamenco guitar), even more so than my guns because I’ve been playing guitar for 20+ years, and shooting for 2 years. I moved away from Portland 1.5 years ago, so that band unfortunately had to end.

    Anyway, I do love to shoot, and I shoot about 1x per month, occasionally more. I would prefer to shoot every weekend, but I have 3 young kids so that’s not realistic, and every weekend would get a little bit expensive for me. I did go shooting on BLM land twice last weekend, however. I fortunately live in a state with plenty of BLM land, and I live 10 minutes from BLM land that I can set up and shoot on for free. Within 30 minutes of me are probably half dozen or more places I can shoot on BLM land. I fill up milk jugs and other plastic bottles with water, and bring a bunch of tin cans. I enjoy shooting those kinds of targets much more than paper at the range, plus I don’t have to pay a range free. I really enjoy shooting milk jugs with my AR-15 and watching them explode. Every once in a while I’ll hit a pill bottle or tin can just right, and it will fly straight up into the air 30+ feet – now that is fun! I also have a target stand that I can bring with me and put target paper on if I feel like it. If I feel like I need to practice longer distance, then I’ll go to the range, usually a few times per year.

    I don’t have any close friends in the area to shoot with, so I mostly go by myself, but still really enjoy it by myself. When I do get the chance to go with my buddies, it is even more fun.

    • 1953 Gibson J45 here. Oddly enough, I have a 1953 K31 as well. Don’t spend enough time with either.

  16. I love to shoot, and usually drag at least three different guns to the range to shoot for myself.

    But what REALLY makes it fun is that my wife loves to shoot as much as I do. In fact, she is often the one that suggests a day to shoot, and she also shoots at least three different handguns every session (starts with a Ruger 22/45, then her beloved Beretta 92, .

    We make it a weekly date . . . go to the range for a couple of hours, then out to our favorite Chinese buffet for lunch.

  17. It is some of the best time at all.
    Relaxing, requiring concentration and skill.
    In the midst of similarily minded people.
    I just wish I could ride my motorcycle to the range carrying the rifle with me, but if someone saw me, I guess I’d feel some heat, even if it should not be illegal…..

  18. The most fun thing is to ride one of my motorcycles and shooting my guns come in second. Really good and little used motorcycle riding roads start at the end of my driveway and a good place to shoot starts at my back door. If anyone is planning on retiring and they like motorcycles and/or shooting, why in the world would they not move to a friendly small town in the mountains in a state that is friendly to guns and motorcycles? I did it 13 years ago and couldn’t be happier.

  19. Women’s Shooting League I belong to has an arrangement with outdoor Gun Range, to use Instructors Range once or twice a month for 3 hrs. Since we have exclusive use of an entire range, able to do more than stationary shooting, we shoot on the move, from behind a constructed barrier, shoot suspended water bottles, plastic bowling pins or balloons. .Practice Point shooting. And 200 to 300 rounds each session, you become very accurate, clearing jams safely becomes second nature. Safe handgun rules become automatic. Not cheap at $35.00 fees per session plus costs of ammo, but it is a ton of fun and very Zen zone relaxed, mentally and physically when finished for the day.

  20. Shooting is always fun, but for me the fun is in proportion to the purpose of the session. Ranked from most fun on down:
    – Taking a first-time shooter, especially a liberal woman.
    – Trap shooting, probably because stuff blows up.
    – Testing various precision rifle loads.
    – Shooting beyond 300 yds.
    – Shooting with friends.
    – All other shooting.

  21. Not sure if I’d say shooting is “fun,” but it is definitely relaxing to me and it keeps my skills sharp (to match the expert rifle and pistol medals I got in the Navy).

  22. I broke 50 straight yesterday afternoon.
    Sunny, 70 degrees in Illinois and a 5 mph wind while skeet shooting in April?
    I was giggling and flapping my arms like a little German schoolgirl.

    But a day when you can’t get it together? Sucks.
    But I know I can go out again tomorrow.

  23. Ok, I guess I’m the only other one to have had kidney stones. THAT was what stuck out to me in the post. Robert, you have my most profound sympathy for having gone through that ordeal.

  24. My race was cancelled today because of snow in Denver, so I drove 2/3rds of a mile to the nicest indoor range in town, rented a Ruger SR9C, and decided that’s going to be my next purchase. I had to give it back to the RSO, or I’d have gone through another 2 boxes of ammo, and I still wanted to fire my Hi Point 995TS. Damn if I didn’t have fun!

  25. The problem I have is not going shooting often enough and I should make the time. When I do go I can do it early in the morning on a weekday with nobody at the range. It’s the wide open desert and I watch it wake up. After I’m set up and behind my rifle I use the Zen principle of ’emptying the mind’. Everything falls away…the problems, issues, stress, worries. I like the focus and discipline required. It relaxes me and puts me back in focus with things.

  26. I have always enjoyed shooting but I never realized how much it meant to me until I got hurt at work. I was shooting a couple of times a month with my wife and then nothing. After 5 surgeries encompassing 11 surgical procedures in 3 years, I am walking almost normally again. First place I went when my doctor cleared me was the range. The peace and calm I felt after about 2-3 hours and 600 plus rounds was amazing. I am back to the range at least 3-4 times a month. Anti gunners will never comprehend the level of calm and the outright fun of shooting.

  27. I went to the range for the 1st time in months yesterday. Had a wonderful time. Its in the top 3 recreational activities (board/card games, visiting museums, and target shooting) The indoor range for about half the time we were there was remarkably empty. The high point were some tight groups offhand from my CZ 452 @ 50 ft with cheap ammunition. I also introduced a newish shooter to handgun and rifle shooting, she had previously shot trap and skeet.

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