When’s the last time you went out with a .22 LR and just had fun plinking? You know the type of firearm fun I’m talking about. Go out the pasture or to the range and shoot at silhouette targets, spinner targets and even tin cans. Some of you plink and others, like me, forget that plinking with a .22 LR or a .17 Hornet is simple, pure fun. You know what else it is? It’s great practice that’s economical, yet hones your shooting skills for offhand encounters that nobody can imagine.
I’m writing this blog from the ultimate shooting range in America: the National Rifle Association Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. This facility sits in the remote canyon lands of the Rocky Mountain foothills and provides shooting ranges for any type of discipline you can imagine. My son, Cole, won a trip here as a top point getter in the Wyoming State 4-H Shooting Sports Competition.
He was instructed to bring lots of ammunition and lots of firearms. With a bit of help from Hornady, Nikon and Thompson/Center, we were on our way. The bulk of his ammunition stockpile consisted of .22 LR, but he also padded his Rubbermaid container with lots of .223 Rem. and .30 T/C.
So far, every range and every squeeze of the trigger has been an adventure. I’ve been slamming the primer from time to time, but mostly I’m spotting for him with my spotting scope over his shoulder to look for dirt or confirm the thud of metal. Despite the range of ranges at this great facility, the one fun thing we look forward to every evening is going to the hunter pistol range for plinking fun.
I really can’t remember the last time I simply picked up a rifle and shot offhand, sitting, prone and a variety of other positions. As I get busier and busier with family and my career, it seems as if my shooting time decreases to the point where I barely have time to hit the bench, sight-in and then hit the field.
Don’t let this happen to you. Look into the purchase of several fun targets such as silhouettes or spinners and practice plinking. As I said, it’s cheap and offers some of the best practice next to an actual hunt. That’s enough writing for now. It’s beginning to eat into my plinking time, and I only have a day left at Whittington.