Target Practice- Train Like You Fight
Often times when I talk to preparedness minded people- I'll ask about their weapons training. The normal response is "I go to the gun range every few weeks". When asked about what they do there I often get the reply of them shooting at static targets or worse from a bench rest. In a fire fight you wont have those luxuries. The bad guy isn't going to stand still nor will he let you get your weapon on a stable shooting platform.
One thing I can appreciate about the Marine Corps is the constant strive towards training like you fight. This ranges from tactical shooting exercises including night time engagements even down to our Hand to Hand training. We would go 80 percent of force when training new guys in how to fight. With 100 being real life fighting, 80 percent is pretty close to realistic without injuring or killing someone.
One product I tested out a few week ago is the jumping jack target pictured above. Its made of steel and they have different models for different calibers. I used this particular one with a 1911, SKS, and AR-15.
What makes this better than a static target you ask? For one it moves when hit. This makes you have to constantly change your shooting position. Just as a real target would move this would also. Its also made of steel and you get a clear indication of a hit. The pads are about 2" wide, making accuracy key. Start getting outside of the range and shooting paper targets. Do some run and guns, pick up a jumping jack target, and get away from shooting on platforms. Remember shooting is a perishable skill set.
Every now and again throw yourself a curve ball. Make your training challenging. Throw a pack or gas mask on when your shooting. When your riding your bike getting in some cardio- pick it up and carry it while running for a short distance. Practice making fire in the rain with wet wood. Throwing yourself a curve ball will only help you in the long run.
Heres a video shooting the jumping jack target with an SKS: