I can't say it enough - I love my shooting buddies. Shooting with each gives me different experiences; we all have different strengths and weaknesses and can help each other.
I have three people I primarily shoot with: Tara, Mez, and occasionally Z. I shoot with other people, too, just not as frequently.
Today was range day with Tara. We try to get together every Friday for some range time, but it usually ends up being one Friday every couple of months. My time with her is all about fundamentals. Or would be if we actually shot on our Fridays. Today was one of those days where we actually shot. About half the time, it's just "girls time" and we might or might not ever fire a round.
Shooting with Mez is always a challenge because he's always pushing me past my limits. And God help me if we add in Z. Between Mez and Z, I'm swimming in testosterone, but I'll be damned if I get left behind because I can't keep up.
Double Tap and I have never just gone to the range together, but I do try to hang out at FiTS when I can and I see him at the monthly matches. Even if I'm not shooting FiTS, I learn so much by watching him coach other shooters through their scenarios.
There are a handful of people I prefer to shoot with at the monthly matches. I learn something new at every match and prefer to shoot in a group with people I can learn from. I'm solidly in the middle of my class at the matches. Since I treat the matches as a chance to practice things I can't normally practice at the range (shooting on the move, use of cover, etc.), sitting squarely in the middle is okay with me.
In the past year or so, we're seeing more and more "gamers" at the matches, which, well, sets my teeth on edge. I try to be of the "to each their own" mindset, but the guys who come with their race guns and pretend they're professional shooters who just miss really fast, argue every single penalty and then quote the IDPA rule book (we're not shooting IDPA) really make me crazy. Those are the shooters I try to avoid.
I'd rather surround myself with shooters who will help me use my cover/concealment more effectively or who will offer tips to actually improve my defensive shooting, thankyouverymuch.
Each of my shooting buddies offers me something different and while I'm not sure I offer them anything in return, they are essential to my growth as a shooter.
If you don't have at least one shooting buddy, you're missing out. Invite someone out to the range with you next time you go. If they're not a good fit (they have poor safety skills or your shooting personalities don't mesh) as someone else next time, but it's definitely worth your time to cultivate a 'tribe' of shooting buddies.
Absolutely agree. Going to the range by yourself is almost as bad as drinking alone. It's a lot more fun when you have other people to challenge, tease and joke with.
Nothing better than kicking around in the dirt and hitting stuff downrange with your shooting buddies - thanks, Diva, for all the awesome, wondrous days.
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