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5 Tasks For Shooters To Tackle This Spring

Much of the country remains under shelter-in-place orders, making firearms training and trips to the range difficult to schedule. Need some suggestions on what to do with your free time? Here are a few shooting-centric tasks to keep you busy this spring.

Refresh and Restock Your Gear

What better time to take stock of what you’ve got and identify what you might need? Set aside an afternoon, weekend, or whatever your personal hoarding habits will require and go through each and every piece of shooting gear you own.

Are your sandbags in good shape or are they about to spring a leak? Are your tools still in working order and organized the way you want them? What’s the battery level like on your red dot? These otherwise mundane tasks need to be taken care of eventually, and right now, time is probably something you can spare. So put it to good use, and make sure your less flashy gear is as well taken care of as your firearms and optics.

Clean Your Optics (and Guns)

Spring is just a great time to clean your gear in general. It’s possible that you’re the type of shooter that cleans up as soon as your done at the range. But if you use your gear a lot, you’ve probably got a few firearms and optics that could use some TLC. So let’s get to it.

Take a look at your riflescopes, binoculars, rangefinders, spotters—everything. Clear away dirt or any other sediment that may still be leftover from your last trip. That makes it far less likely to sneak into places where it’s not meant to be, like the adjustment ring on your spotting scope or the eyecup of your binocular. Clean the lenses and do it properly. And, yes, while you’re working on it, clean your guns, too. They will last forever if you take care of them, just like our optics.

For more tips on how best to clean your optics, check out this story for our friends at GoHunt.

Start Handloading

The current crisis has led to a surge in firearm and ammunition sales, and it may take a while for the market to stabilize. So if you’ve ever even considered handloading, this might be an opportune moment to pick up the hobby.

Acquiring components and loading your own ammunition allows you to take total control of your ammo supply. And if you’re a precision shooter, it’s also a chance to develop the perfect load for your rifle. With that said, it’s not a hobby to be taken lightly – given the materials you’re working with, there are safety concerns to consider. Fortunately, our friends at Hornady know a few things about loading your own ammo. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned handloader, you will benefit greatly from their yearly Handbook of Cartridge Reloading.

Update Your First-Aid Kit

Ideally, you don’t ever want to have to use your first-aid kit, but you never want to be without it, either. Life happens, and that’s why it’s important to make sure you’re prepared whenever you go to the range, engage in training, or do anything else for that matter. If you don’t have a first-aid kit beyond a box of bandages and some Neosporin, then it’s time to start assembling one as soon as you’re done reading this post.

But if you do have one, now is an opportune time to take stock of it. Make sure everything in your kit is in good shape, and that you still know how to use it all. Evaluate it for weaknesses, and add new items as required. If you’re not sure what your kit should have in it, our partners at GoHunt have a few suggestions.

Dry-Fire Practice

Here’s one that will require a little more space, but can make all the difference the next time you’re ringing steel. Set up your practice space and take extra steps to ensure that your firearm’s chamber is clear and there’s no ammunition anywhere near where you intend to practice. Extra precaution is essential in this scenario.

  • Practice your breath control and make sure you’re following through on the squeeze of your trigger.
  • If you’re trying to simulate a home-defense scenario, work on your angles and clearing the house in the process.
  • If you’re a bench rest shooter, make sure your setup simulates your position on the range.
  • If you’re a PRS/NRL-style competitor, practice uncomfortable shooting positions by using things from around the house to simulate stages. It’s the little things that will mean the difference when the time comes.

For more at-home practice tips, check out our Indoor Shooting 101 series.

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