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Shooters: Do Your Homework | Pro-Staff Diaries #3

by Bruce Piatt, Thu, September 26, 2013

“Doing your Homework”


doing your homeworkFrom your earliest school days to efforts as a Pro Shooter.... You’ve got to do your homework. Whether you’re a hunter, a plinker or an active competitive shooter, if you want any kind of success, there is a process to learning what you have to do to be successful that just can’t be skipped. That process involves.... Doing your homework.


If it’s finding the right load for the game you’re going after or the game you’re going to play, do some research on the internet, ask friends or fellow shooters, or better yet, get to the range and try them out yourself. It doesn’t matter how well the latest and greatest expanding wiz-bang round will kill a deer if it doesn’t shoot good groups out of your gun. Or a super low recoiling shotgun load has made some pro shooter shoot some incredible run on TV, so you go out and buy a bunch only to find out it doesn’t cycle in your gun, or heavens forbid, you don’t fully test a new defensive ammo in your CCW/Defensive gun and it malfunctions when someone’s life is on the line. Remember you need to do your homework.


doing your homeworkOnce you’ve got the right ammo, now you have to sight in your guns. Find out what distances you will be engaging your game or targets so you can work up a “range card”. Don’t trust your memory, write it down and tape it to the gun for easy reference. You can see in the photo that I’ve done just that for my iron sighted DPMS AR-15. I have a distance, the sight setting and a personal note to remind me where to hold. It’s better to have too much information than not enough. It’s all about doing your homework.


I just got home from the FNH 3 Gun Championship where I had a pretty good match going. There were 9 stages over 3 days. On the morning of the last day I thought I had maybe a top 10 or 15 finish in the works. On the final stage, we had to start with our rifle empty and had to load once the timer started. Sounds easy enough...I grabbed one of my magazines I’ve been using for years, loaded it up and prepared for the start. Once the timer went off, I inserted the magazine and the gun locked up solid!!! For the next 40 seconds I wrestled with the gun, unable to remove the magazine, unable to pull the bolt back.... I’m telling you froze solid. I finally cleared it and finished the stage and sure enough, finished the match 23rd. If my math was correct, I would have been 12 or 13th. Once I got home I found the magazine was at fault but we rarely start with the “bolt forward”. Even so, three other mags I had with me worked just fine, the problem was..... I DIDN’T DO MY HOMEWORK!!!!


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