The Whole Shootin' Match: Competition 101

All matches are different, but here are the basics you need to know to get started in competitive shooting.

posted on September 28, 2022

Does the term "competitive shooting" sound intimidating? That's probably because of the word "competitive," which we use because "safe and fun way to improve your skills while making new friends and learning how to shoot better" is too much of a tongue-twister. In this video from Smith & Wesson's GUNSMARTS series, you'll discover that the rules of competitive shooting are designed to level the playing field and keep you safe ... and that those rules are pretty intuitive and easy to understand. Who best to prove that than two of the world's most famous competitive shooters, Julie Golob and Jerry Miculek? 

As you'll see, competitive shooting starts and ends with safety. From the "safe area" to the likely range commands you'll hear, everything is designed to allow you to focus 100 percent on your shooting. You'll also learn what is meant by the dreaded "DQ," or disqualification ... that is to say, the shooter mistakes that can knock you out of the competition.

What the video won't reveal (but we will, because we love this fact) is that it's traditional in many matches for disqualified shooters to go get their pictures taken under the sign of a very popular fast-food chain that has the initials "DQ." Furthermore, many many famous competitors have such a photo in their archives somewhere. 

From starting positions, to target-to-target transitions, to moving and shooting skills, Jerry and Julie have you covered. Don't be intimidated, and one day you might just win the whole shootin' match.


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