Range time can be fun time, but games also help promote training too.
Let the games begin!
Growing up we all played those educational games that were designed to teach us a specific skill set. Candyland, for example, taught us color recognition and matching. Guess Who taught us problem solving by elimination and good questioning thought processes. Even Memory taught us memorization and recall skills.
As we got older, we started to play more complex games that taught us patience and how to look at an overall strategy, like Risk. Other games test our knowledge with trivia questions, like Trivial Pursuit. Not only do we learn good sportsmanship skills with winning or losing, we hone the necessary skill set for the next time and try to improve.
It’s true that competition brings out the best in us.
The same can be true for games for training our shooting skills. These don’t have to be the most dynamic and physical games either. Even the simplest games have training value. Plus, they add an element of competition to our range sessions and wrap it all up in a fun package.
Who said training can’t be fun!
Remember that old bar dart game we used to play in college with our friends? It’s perfectly adapted to use on the range. Find a dartboard target either by printing one on the computer, buying one at the range or from an online retailer. Send the target out to between 7-10 yards. Each player gets three shots, just like the three darts in the original game, to open and close numbers and score points, just like in the dart game.
This game is good for training because it forces the shooter to slow down and focus on fundamentals. Without strong fundamentals, this game can be quite a challenge. It is also highly adaptable to both handgun and rifle usage.
Birchwood-Casey has a line of targets called the “Dirty Bird” targets. When hit, these targets leave a halo around the hole to make it easier to see the hits from a distance. Within this product line is a target called the “Battle at Sea” target. Welcome to a range adaption of the classic board game, Battleship.
Play is very simple. Each shooter chooses a color. The shooter up at the line then shoots the opposite color. (Ex: The shooter up choses red. They now must shoot at the green boats.) The goal is to “sink” all the opponent’s ships before they other person “sinks” yours. While you can’t place your ships like in real Battleship, you can still play by basically the same rules.
There are two variations of the game. The first variation is each shooter gets one shot at a time. They either hit or miss and then the next shooter takes a shot. Or you can play the Salvo Variation where each shooter takes five shots. It’s up to you.
There are also tie-breaker circles that can be used for tie breakers or to make the game more challenging.
This game is good for training because it not only forces good fundamentals, but also good shot placement. This game revolves more around precision shooting then speed shooting. This game is also very good for both handgun and rifle usage.
Billiards or Pool
Most of us have played some variation of billiards before. Eight-ball, nine-ball, trick shots. Now you can shoot billiards balls with something other then a stick. Whether you use an eight-ball target or a nine-ball target, you shoot them the same. The rules are simple.
Shoot the balls in order. They can already be in numeric order on the target or all mixed up. Miss your ball, or shoot a ball out of order, your turn is over and your opponent takes over. Depending on the game, either the eight ball or nine ball is shot last.
This game is good for training as it helps you to focus and think about what you are shooting. Especially if the balls are all randomized on the target. Thinking before pulling the trigger is an important skill. This game is also great for both handguns and rifles.
All of these games are easy to shoot, but they all teach us various different skill sets that we need to have when shooting.
Remember, training is supposed to be fun, so every once in a while, challenge your shooting buddies to a game and see who has been practicing the most.