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  #1  
Old 08-05-2008, 10:43 AM
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On shooting: alone with your gun, or as a social activity?


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Someone brought up that she liked to have company when she goes to shoot. I like having company sometimes, and I do like knowing the instructor is at the range, being a steady, kind, knowledgeable presence. I enjoyed the women's fun shoot with handguns the other nite.

But, I like being alone with my rifle, discovering how I shoot. It's a form of meditation for me at this point. I enjoy discovering what happens when I move this way or that, how a tiny movement or stillness effects the results. I enjoy the process of letting go of tensions, being connected to the flow of energy and the target when I'm sighting, shooting, following thru. I like the quiet rhythm of picking up the bullet, loading, pushing the bolt up and over, pulling back the spring, looking, letting go, being, seeing, letting go, and Pfffft, the target talks back and I relax a minute. Then, the cycle starts again.

I like making the little piles of bullets in just the right place. I like feeling the butt of the rifle inside my shoulder, my cheek next to that dear old wood. I love how easy it is to pick up my little Win.

If I could be out in the country where it's quiet and pretty, you might not see me and my Win for hours on end.

Meanwhile, I go to the range and enjoy discovering just being with my rifle, learning to know it really well, and loving the whole cycle of shooting.
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2008, 11:07 AM
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If I am just plinking and general target shooting I always enjoy company. If I am doing serious load testing I like to do it by myself to keep down distractions. I am fortunate enough to have access to a private range where I can shoot without being disturbed if I like or a near by public range equipped with the general good ol boy what are you shooting there bud type.
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2008, 11:21 AM
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That's a great way to look at shooting. I've found from over 40 years of shooting that good shooting friends can often be found at the range rather than where you live. I've heard it said, "I didn't go to the range because so&so couldn't go with me." Well, if you make friends at the range, those folks are often regulars who offer great companionship. Sometimes it's great to shoot alone too as it promotes concentration, focus and lets you unwind. It's nice to have it both ways. Best wishes.
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2008, 11:37 AM
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Is shooting alone not a taboo subject?
Just kidding, there is no wrong way to shoot as long as you are shooting safely.
Alone time practice makes for good quality "social" shooting.
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2008, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBR View Post
Someone brought up that she liked to have company when she goes to shoot. I like having company sometimes, and I do like knowing the instructor is at the range, being a steady, kind, knowledgeable presence. I enjoyed the women's fun shoot with handguns the other nite.

But, I like being alone with my rifle, discovering how I shoot. It's a form of meditation for me at this point. I enjoy discovering what happens when I move this way or that, how a tiny movement or stillness effects the results. I enjoy the process of letting go of tensions, being connected to the flow of energy and the target when I'm sighting, shooting, following thru. I like the quiet rhythm of picking up the bullet, loading, pushing the bolt up and over, pulling back the spring, looking, letting go, being, seeing, letting go, and Pfffft, the target talks back and I relax a minute. Then, the cycle starts again.

I like making the little piles of bullets in just the right place. I like feeling the butt of the rifle inside my shoulder, my cheek next to that dear old wood. I love how easy it is to pick up my little Win.

If I could be out in the country where it's quiet and pretty, you might not see me and my Win for hours on end.

Meanwhile, I go to the range and enjoy discovering just being with my rifle, learning to know it really well, and loving the whole cycle of shooting.
If I have a shotgun in my hands, I want to be around people. Whether I'm Quail, Duck or Turkey hunting, It's just more fun.
But when I'm rifle hunting, I do that solo, and for long stretches of time.
Now with grandkids, that is changing for me along with spooking more deer!
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2008, 01:41 PM
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All of the above. Skeet is obviously a social event.

Various types of handgun events interest me, if the crowd isn't too big. I'm not a big fan of standing around watching other people shoot for 2 hours while waiting for my 5 minutes on the line. Probably my favorite form of handgunning is informally with one or two other folks. Particularly if they're better than I am. Gives me a goal.

Same with rifles. One or two, just for the company and a little friendly competition is best. A whole firing line full of folks is too much.

All the above having been said, I do most of my shooting by myself simply because there isn't anyone else available when I have time to shoot. Those sessions tend to be shorter because I get tired of walking back and forth to the target, so as soon as I have shot two or three groups that satisfy me, I usually pack up and go home.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2008, 01:45 PM
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Load development, targets - alone with my rifle
Plinking - can be very social
Trap - WAY social!
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2008, 02:31 PM
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im just a better shot when alone, than when several are shooting around me..if im talking an shootin the breeze im setting at the old stove where everybody gathers and having a good time usually.. shooting any of my rifles ,i try and put anybody there out my mind.. .. but for safetys sake you have to pay attention to them ,,so id rather just be by myself..
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2008, 03:22 PM
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Both, I enjoy working up a load, but I have to do that by myself so I can keep track of things. I also shoot competition pistol, and I do that every other weekend with 20-70 other people involved. I enjoy both aspects. My alone time is usually spent at the reloading bench and out at my private range. I've got target stands at 100, 200, & 330 yards and a spot at 15' for my chronograph.
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2008, 04:14 PM
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Great post LBR you bring out what it feels like to be both alone with a good rifle/handgun and the shear joy of shooting with other folks. Thanks.
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2008, 04:20 PM
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faucettb, thanks.

You all are very special here at Shootersforum. I can post things here that would be ridiculed at other forums. You can tell by what folks post here that they love shooting and good company, and being good sportsmen.

Thank you, every onel! Your answers mean a great deal to me. I learn a lot about shooting, in many aspects. I also appreciate how much more wholesome this forum is. It's such a relief after trying to do research on most other forums.
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  #12  
Old 08-05-2008, 04:47 PM
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Skeet, sporting clays....a group of 3 or 4 is great. You can learn from the person shooting before you if you're not the first on the station (and it's good manners to trade off), and offer encouragement, but not so many people that you're standing around too much. Trap seems more like a choreographed event, going through the motions, but still fun shooting.

Rifles....I like shooting alone if shooting over the chrony and developing data. If just out to be shooting/plinking, whether with 22 LR or 458, the more the merrier! Out hunting, I'd rather be either solo or with one other person, unless putting on a drive. I've gutted elk alone, and that's no fun.
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  #13  
Old 08-05-2008, 05:06 PM
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I think I'm falling it to what appears a common pattern: depends on the shoot.
Skeet is usually with good friends and we have a great time, mostly giving each other a hard time for missing. College buddies, so it's to be expected.

At the range, I tend to like to have the place to myself...however unlikely. I agree completely that there's not much in the world like sitting with your rifle and really trying not just to dial your shot onto the target, but dial yourself into the gun. It is meditative (or can be), for sure. No longer having easy access to a range, I miss that a great deal.

But, it can be nice to have people at the range. At least, safe, courteous people. I've have some good conversations and like this forum, there are always people there who know significantly more about guns, shooting, and hunting. So it's a great place to listen and learn.

cheers,

jonas
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  #14  
Old 08-05-2008, 05:35 PM
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If it's the right person (or persons), really don't mind having company...so long as they sut up at the apropriate time (like whenever the range is "hot") and don't mind being ignored when i have some serious shooting to do. We'll talk when the range goes cold, on the drive there, and on the drive back.


Hunting...prefer a partner within walkie-talkie range, no closer please (and if you tend to yammer on the walkie-talkie, I'll just tern the thing off)..
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  #15  
Old 08-05-2008, 06:21 PM
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The pleasure for me is spending time at the reloading bench, the satisfaction of my efforts is realized at the range. I prefer to be at the range alone and have the routines of the other members down well enough that I know when to go and not have to contend with anyone. I enjoy being fussy with load development and I understand the "personality" of all my rifles. Sometimes I have to re-learn the gun if I haven't shot it for awhile, more a matter of remembering its behavior, but it all comes back pretty quickly once I'm at the bench. The hobby is something that doesn't have to be shared to be rewarding.
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  #16  
Old 08-05-2008, 06:41 PM
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Ditto to all of you

Really depends on the type of shooting.

My father in law is in town for a few weeks from Germany. There, as you may know, guns are highly regulated. So while he has always had an interest, he never bothered to go through all the hoops to get a gun or 2.

Anyway the point of the paragraph before is, he asked me which is my favorite, I said,"all of it, shotgun, pistol, rifle, it's all good!" I only play favorites on some days. And some days it's good w/people and sometimes it's good alone, like when I drink. Oh wait that is another forum
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  #17  
Old 08-06-2008, 08:45 AM
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LBR: I like your observations about shooting and agree. I find target shooting a very meditative discipline and very centering. I feel the same way, or maybe even more so, about reloading. Taking my time with every case and cartridge, making the cases just so and measuring my powder for each cartridge, I find it all very soothing.

I love going to a range with other shooters, where I can pick up knowledge and observe other shooters, then focusing down to shoot all alone. I guess you could say I love shooting alone in a social setting, if that makes sense. --Mykal
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  #18  
Old 08-06-2008, 08:57 AM
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Mykal, that makes sense to me. I like being alone with my rifle and looking at the target. But, I like it that the men who work at the range are there. I like to have one whole side of the range to myself tho'. The range is two concrete rooms with sand piled up the wall behind the targets. I think there are six lanes on each side. It's nice to be the only one in the room. I shoot better that way.

I think I'd like reloading, too. I used to like to watch my father tie flies for fishing or making beer and root beer when I was a child. He'd keep such careful records of what he tried and how it worked.

That old workbench of his is full of memories.

I am looking for a place where I can shoot outside. Be nice to have a place just out in the country and shoot some tin cans or little things, just for fun.

I haven't been to the range since Sunday, and I miss it.
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  #19  
Old 08-06-2008, 01:13 PM
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I find target shooting a very meditative discipline and very centering.
I find target shooting very centering - but only when I hit the center.
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  #20  
Old 08-06-2008, 01:46 PM
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T-Bone! Once I'm all centered, I find the struggle to find the center centering!
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Last edited by Mykal; 08-06-2008 at 01:53 PM.
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