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Programming: Maximizing your training potential

Maximize Your Range Training

Our roots here at Range University are set deep in the professional adult learning model espoused by the military. We wholeheartedly believe in this methodology as the proven method for students to learn and retain knowledge. Our goal using this method is so that each student can replicate the courses to a high degree of similarity, thus proving retention of our curriculum and sharing that knowledge with a broader set of the population.

This model calls for involving the student into the courses of instruction via anecdotes and questioning, asking them to draw upon their own experiences, reliance more on execution of exercises over memorization of information, and forcing them to apply these principles to their unique situations.

So what does all this mean? Well, the short answer is we want people to stop with the hillbilly range days of doing dumb things and instead show other people “what right looks like” in a professional manner. How many people out there have gone out to BLM land with cousins or uncles and just blasted away at paint cans or picked up the reactive glow targets from Wal-Mart and unloaded a few boxes of ammo and called it a day? Or gone to an indoor range and felt unsafe about some “bros” in the lane next door? Going out and doing something is better than nothing; however, adding structure and professionalism to these outings will benefit all gun owners.

Shooting with family and friends should have a purpose.

When going out shooting with beginners, we generally start with a diagnostic drill to see where everyone is and what our focus of the day should be. (This glosses over all the in-depth safety, clearing and loading procedures, all the fundamentals of marksmanship that go on with dry firing before even loading up.) We highly recommend barrel plugs for all shooters involved as it builds confidence amongst strangers and helps identify potential safety concerns early in a safe manner. We apply our classes' skills to diagnose our shooting partners and ourselves, always to be improving. Following this, some slow aimed fire and accuracy drills. The speed will come and eventually, you’ll start shooting faster, more accurately, and shooting different types of targets to push your skills to a higher level.

Each drill builds on the previous one. With each progressive drill, the professional should look to refine that “Shooter’s Solution” (Size{target}+Distance/Ability+Confidence = one’s rate of fire.) It’s also useful to incorporate a coach and technology into your drills. If everyone knows what to look for and has video evidence to critique later, everyone will stay honest and humble and eventually improve over time.

Shooter's Solution

Shooters mustn’t get in the habit of just getting out there and blasting from greater distances or starting with walking and shooting. There is a reason why the ubiquitous saying of CRAWL, WALK, RUN is vitally important to the firearms industry. If one cannot master the basics and build on them over time by doing logical, progressive training drills, they will be lacking and only possess the veneer of ability at top performance and be found lacking when it’s all on the line. Make a plan with an agenda, adapt it to your group, and continue training. We all like to have fun and blow off some steam by wasting a bunch of ammo sometimes, but in these days of ammogeddon, we need to maximize our time spent behind the sight posts.

Learn more about this topic by signing up for our email list to be apprised of upcoming online discussion groups where you can ask questions of our professional educators in a supportive and open environment.

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Mar 04, 2021

Well said And informative. The basics and proper progression can’t be stressed enough. I can not tell you how many times I’ve been at a range and almost soiled my pants because some Rambo wannabe wants to impress everyone with his skill, or rather lack there of. Keep your ego off the range. No matter what our skill level, there is always room for improvement and having guided instruction, or friendly constructive criticism with each other, in my opinion, is always the way to go. Iron sharpens iron.


this was extremely helpful and well articulated. with a clear message and understanding of your goals, range university is appealing to a broad spectrum of potential students looking to learn and improv. I look forward to taking another class in the future.


Mar 03, 2021

Shooters skill sets improve with structured training wether it be professional or self motivated. The ability to have an instructor recognize errors in shooting techniques during those trainings is priceless. Shooting is a perishable skill set and without proper training and repetition those skills can become dull and convoluted. Thank you Justin for the article. Articles like this help to motivate me to go out and seek training and also to go to the range and use what I have learned to help brush up and sharpen my skills.

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