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| category: Practical shooting


HOT RANGE before the match of practical shooting

During the past few years, arrangement of pre-match Hot Range (HR) has become a traditional event for competitions in practical shooting. However, is it important to visit the HR before the game and what to do there?

So, let us think what you can actually do in the HR? I can think of the following options:

- Check the mechanisms of your gun.

- Check the cartridges.

- Practice (repeat) a certain element included in the match of practical shooting.

- Calm the nerves and curb your adrenaline.

- Your option.

So, item # 1. Check the weapon.

We do not recommend changing something in weapon before the race. In our practice, we even encountered cases where simple cleaning of the weapons before the race, without further check on the turn, led to problems during the match (the reason was improperly twisted container).

So, checking the normal operation of weapons is important, do not neglect this opportunity, especially before a major match.

Item # 2. Check the cartridge.

In your practice, especially at international competitions, there may be cases when you have to shoot with a “strange” cartridge. In this case, you should definitely visit the HR, if available for the match. First, you need to make sure that your weapon works normally with new cartridges, and secondly you need to get used to it, because even cartridges with the same basic characteristics give different returns.

If you shoot the match with a “strange” cartridge, pay special attention to the bullet and grapeshot, as external ballistics of this ammunition will be different from what you are used to, and this can seriously affect your final result. However, there may be a difficulty with checking the bullet, since organizers sometimes equip the HR for blank cartridges only.

In the case of blank cartridges, the situation is somewhat simpler, because these bullets with similar characteristics have less difference than the bullet and buckshot, but due to the use of various types of gunpowder, the difference will still be present.

So if you, for whatever reason, have no audited cartridge at the race, visit the HR.

Item # 3. Practice (repeat) a specific element included in the match.

It happens that some exercises during the match contain elements which you have not practiced for a long time. In this case, you should also visit the HR and remember how to do it. It can be shooting with a weak hand, shooting prone, shooting from a very low port, and so on.

However, this point is less important than the previous two, since if you failed to shoot an uncomfortable position in HR, you can practice it effectively in the Safety Area, without cartridges, of course.

Work in the Safety Area in general is a very important aspect of successful performance during the match, and therefore we have devoted a separate article to this issue, which you can read at.

Item # 4. Calm the nerves and curb your adrenaline.

This is the most interesting point. We emphasize that it is not the most important, but the most interesting.

According to our observations, most of the shooters go to HR just to do this, but the paradox is that instead of curbing their emotions, the participants wind up their nervous system to the maximum, resulting in gross errors due to excessive excitement.

We can give only one practical advice to such shooters. Remember the feeling of relaxation and peace, which covers you between exercises 1 to 3 (it is different for everyone). So, if you go to HR in order to curb the nerves, your job is to achieve this feeling after work in the HR and start the race with the “cold” head.

Item # 5. Your option.

If you have a different opinion on HR, please, describe it in the comments and, maybe, this will become the topic of our next publication.

As for our personal attitude to HR, if it is not about the cases described in paragraphs 1 and 2, we often limit ourselves to work in the Safety Area. We cannot list all the reasons for it, but most likely this is due to availability of certain experience and the desire not to get distracted from the exercise which we will shoot first. The fact that no matter how much you “warmed up” in the HR, the first exercise is the first range.

Besides, as we noted above, work in HR is often performed in a chaotic environment, which prevents you from focusing. However, it has more to do with mental aspects of shooting training, and this is another story.