Shooting a .22 is an incredible way to improve your shooting skills, and I have to admit, it’s one of the most fun ways I know to practice. My setup includes a Silencer Central Banish 22 suppressor for my Winchester Wildcat .22. The suppressor brings the sound down to about 120 decibels, which is just 10 decibels more than a BB gun. This makes shooting a .22 extremely fun with low recoil and minimal noise. I also like to shoot reactive targets when plinking, because regardless of range or distance, you can tell if you hit your mark.
Personally, I almost never take an off-hand shot at big game; I always use a tripod shooting stick. It’s still good to practice your off-hand shots as well. It’s important to be constantly thinking about technique. The last thing you want to do is create bad habits, so be conscious about what you’re doing and practice good habits, even when plinking.
Another way to prepare for fall and real hunting situations is to work out first, then grab your .22. Plinking when you’re winded is a great way to practice controlling your breathing. I’ve had to take plenty of shots winded, so it’s very important to practice. Shooting a .22 makes it easy regardless of the caliber you plan to use in the field.
Plinking is not only great for hunters prepping for fall, but for kids and newbies interested in shooting, too. It’s so important to make kids and new shooters feel comfortable and unafraid when they squeeze the trigger, and a .22 is ideal for that. The lower sound, minimal recoil and easy maneuverability are huge benefits. The cost of rounds is also very economical, so you can do a day's worth of shooting for a low cost.
Vermin, Rodents and Raccoons, Oh, My!
Once you’ve tired of shooting targets at the range, try hunting with your .22 as well. Always check your local regulations, but many states have options to hunt squirrel, rabbits, raccoon, prairie dogs and other animals with a .22. This can be a really fun way to spend an afternoon, rid your garden of pests, and get a little hunting in during the off season.