A Fun Way to Improve Your Marksmanship
Improve your marksmanship with rimfire
Whenever I watch a competitive shooter such as Jerry Miculek, I am amazed by his speed and accuracy. His draw, sight acquisition, and trigger pull all happen in a split second without the slightest hiccup or hesitation. It is truly second nature. Shooters like Jerry did not get to the top of their shooting discipline by accident, they got there by raw talent and more importantly hours and hours of training and practice. Shooting fast and accurately can be obtained without a talent level of Jerry Miculek, but not without training and time spent practicing at home and on the range.
The two most common barriers to training that I hear are not enough time and the price of ammo. In the world we live in today, it seems like time can be the most difficult barrier to overcome, but the cost of ammo has a much simpler solution: rimfire. No matter what shooting discipline that's in your wheelhouse (other than shotgun sports) there is no doubt some way to cut the cost of practice using rimfire.
Shooting rimfire has a host of advantages including lower cost of ammo, low recoil, less noise, and many more. In most cases rimfire guns are less expensive than their centerfire counterpart. Take the HK 416D for example, it carries an MSRP of $599 while its centerfire counterpart the MR556 has an MSRP of $3,499. Talk about significantly cheaper! Another example would be the Glock 44. The standard model carries a MSRP of $430 compared to the Glock 19 Gen 5 at $647.
The Glock 44 is an excellent trainer for those who want to train with the Glock 19 platform. It is cheaper to shoot yet still allows the familiarity with controls as well as holster compatibility with its big brother in 9mm. Pistol shooting fundamentals are the same and training is still very beneficial, but at a cheaper price. The Glock 44 is a great example of nearly identical platform in both centerfire and rimfire, however if your handgun of choice isn't available in a rimfire configuration, no problem. Training with any similarly sized rimfire pistol is going to improve your shooting skills regardless of the handgun. Marksmanship isn't firearm specific. Trigger discipline is still the same regardless of the platform.
Rimfire is also a great training tool for dialing in your rifle skills. Time behind the trigger of your favorite hunting rifle can be pricey depending on your desired caliber. A 22 and a handful of targets provides a much more affordable way to practice trigger control and breathing than your favorite big bore rifle. Rimfire is also much more easily manipulated by the wind, especially at distance. Try your .22 at a soda can at 150 yards or more and work on your marksmanship skills. A long range shooter may not always be able to stretch their rifle out to match distances. A rimfire is a great alternative to recreate those same distance challenges of a match when attainable shooting distances may be limited.
The biggest benefit of rimfire, in my opinion, is the sheer fun I can have with a brick of .22's and some extra time. I enjoy setting up different targets at varying distances and shooting from all different shooting positions. Free hand standing, prone, sitting at the shooting bench, and standing while resting the rifle on a tree limb are some of my favorite ways to practice. Fundamentals from each of these shooting positions can in one way or another be applied in the field when hunting.
On your next range outing, grab a rimfire of some sort - pistol or rifle - and spend some time improving your shooting fundamentals without breaking the bank. I guarantee you it will be fun.
Lead Image Courtesy of CCI.
Image 2 Courtesy of Glock.
Image 3 Courtesy of Christensen Arms.