General

On Mastering What You Have, Not Dreaming of More

I’m not sure where it originally came from, but there is a common axiom in the shooting world that goes something, “Beware the man with only one gun, for he knows how to use it.”

Now, obviously, there are a lot of holes in that statement. Most apparent is the simple example of your average gun owner who bought a gun for home defense, but has never received any practical training or never really practices at all. Aside from that example, there are many professional shooters out there who have several weapons all individually suited towards specific missions or tasks, and use those weapons extremely effectively for those tasks. This isn’t a post about these people.

The New Rifleman just put up a post detailing his experience of taking a home-assembled 20″ AR, not to dissimilar from the DMTR, to a NRA high power match. He shot sharpshooter on his first time out. The posting is very nice, and is a reminder that most people in the shooting community are always friendly and willing to lend a hand.

I have never shot a high power match. And, in all honesty, I don’t know how I would do at one. But that’s not the point I want to talk about. The important take away is that you just need to go out and do it. Be the man in the arena who actually dares. You will only become better for it.

Too many of us approach shooting, or really any other skill-heavy sport like golf, archery, or even auto racing, with the mentality of, “I don’t have good enough equipment. I need to get better stuff before I go compete.” In reality, the best performers are not the best because they have the best equipment. They are the best because they have put the most time in practicing and honing their talents. Their specialized equipment only gives them that extra edge to better compete with other experts. If you take any of my “standard” rifles and put them in the hands of a NRA high master, they would still outshoot 99% of the population.

It is for this reason that I really started this journey, to which I am admittedly lagging behind my goals. Perfect execution of the fundamentals is what ultimately wins the day, the equipment is secondary.

Lothaen succinctly summed it up,

True mastery of your rifle will come when you have shot it under many different scenarios and conditions… and then you will understand it is *not* the rifle you must master.

It’s you. 

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3 thoughts on “On Mastering What You Have, Not Dreaming of More”

  1. Bingo…..winner winner chicken dinner….
    You hit the nail right on the head my friend. “Good shooting is good execution of the fundamentals. Great shooting is great execution of the fundamentals.”

    Get thee to a highpower match. If you wind up pulling the target of a master/high master, you might not believe what you see. Remember the stage 3 of the AQT? Standing to prone rapid fire on a 300 yd simulated target? Stage 3 highpower is the same, but with a smaller target. Long ago at an actual 300 yds, I once saw a young fellow put all ten rounds prone rapid fire squarely in the ten ring. No 9’s, no X’s. That is a space of TWO INCHES. Prone, sling, iron-sighted AR15 target rifle in A2 configuration. If his zero hadn’t been off to the left by two inches, it would have all fit in the X ring for a perfect 100-10x score. I also witnessed the same fellow clean the 200 yard target in the offhand (standing) stage. 20 rounds into a 7″ ten-ring, from standing, without use of the sling. That is what a high master can do.
    Hmmm.

    1. Based on what I’ve read, I’d be very interested in signing up for a high power match. But I don’t think ay of my rifles are in current ‘legal’ configuration as they don’t have fixed A2 stocks or standard grips.

      I would imagine it also requires slightly better ammunition than what I’ve been buying in bulk to practice with.

      In any case, I think it’s something I really want to consider.

      1. Find the nearest range that offers matches at full distance with target pits.
        Just show up at 7:30 AM to simply watch the match. Take a turn or two in the pits to see how that works and to see the shooting results. Talk to the shooters and I’ll bet you’ll get an offer from one to loan you a spare rifle (at the match) at some future date.

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