This weekend I took a couple of new competitors out to the Cedar Mountain Youths Practice Pistol match. These two friends are gun owners, but had never tried competitive shooting. As I frequently note in the Musings, this monthly gathering is a great introduction to practical shooting and a fun time for experienced shooters as well. As a bonus, the matches raise funds for the youth programs at Cedar Mountain.
This month the match director set up six stages based on USPSA classifiers. The club is not a USPSA sanctioned club, but scoring, as well as safety rules, follow the USPSA standards. The scores don't count for USPSA classifications, but provide good practice scenarios nonetheless.
It was a sunny and very warm morning as we tackled the six stages. Despite the heat and humidity, everyone enjoyed themselves. The first-time participants had a great time, shot safely, and I dare say, got hooked. There were many questions on the ride home about "next time," and we talked about local sanctioned IDPA and USPSA matches. I suspect they'll join us again for another match at Cedar Mountain at the very least.
In the days leading up to the Cedar Mountain Youths monthly event, I start contacting local friends who I know own guns, but who may not shoot them very often, if at all. I'm a strong believer that if you own a weapon, who should shoot it regularly. I also believe in going about life prepared and armed, but that too demands regular practice. Action pistol matches provide excellent opportunities to practice shooting and gun manipulation, under a bit of pressure. The experience is more beneficial than simply standing behind the bench at an indoor range.
This month two more shooters got the bug. In addition, one of the new folks who I took for the first time a couple months ago, made a return visit using borrowed gear. As these guys share their experiences, perhaps even more will be tempted to come out, and they too will go home excited to shoot even more. Maybe we'll even increased the ranks of armed citizens going about life discreetly and safely.