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Are you having fun at the range?

Do you remember your first shooting experience? Was it as a young kid with a parent, grandparent, or an older sibling? Or maybe you have just recently been introduced to shooting?

Either way, I'm betting you can recall that first time with a firearm. There's something unique, something memorable about that first shot going downrange. Don't believe me? Watch a new shooter's reaction - it's usually all smiles followed by something like "I want to do that again."

WOFTEarlier this week I was sent this picture. It instantly sent me on a trip down memory lane - back to my early days of shooting where you couldn't wipe that smile off my face.

For many of us the range is a form of therapy, an escape from the office, or simply a break from the daily grind. It's the one place that you can leave all the daily stressors behind and be fully present in what you are doing. Whether it be with family, friends, or by yourself - putting rounds downrange is therapeutic.

I am going to preface this by saying I feel fortunate to have what I consider one of the best jobs in the world, but over the years it was hard to distinguish between fun range time and work range time. Range time was testing new products, troubleshooting existing ones, or simply test firing completed firearms. Being on the range is something I started to take for granted and not fully appreciate.

If you're a competitive shooter maybe work on the range for you looks like repeating drills or stages trying to improve those times. Maybe your focus is more tactical or EDC and the range has become all about situations and senarios.

Let me be clear, I don't want to take anything anyway from putting in work and honing your firearm skills at the range. My point is, it's ok to take a step back and shoot for the pure enjoyment of shooting.

After spending some time on the range recently, I told myself I need to set aside more "fun" range time versus "work" range time. It's always easy to say "I don't have time" but many times that is an excuse we tell ourselves. I definitely get it, it seems everybody is busier than ever between work, kids activities, chores around the house, and everything in between. I could actually argue that in our busy lives it's even more important to prioritize time to get away and decompress.

Cabin shotEarlier this week I was fortunate enough to spend some range time with a handful of people that keep some of the most hectic schedules you can imagine. Throughout our conversations a common theme began to emerge - the word reset. We all acknowledged that the time we were spending together, shooting for nothing more than fun, was exactly what we all needed. The perfect reset. These were people from all walks of life with the common bond being the range.

I might even do something almost unheard of lately, head to the range and turn my phone off. Then I can truly enjoy the happiness it brings me. Wait? Head to the range and not post it on social media?

Scott Volquartsen
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