Getting Started in Shooting

Great choice! You have made the decision to learn more about how either you or someone you know can personally get involved with the sport of shooting.

Welcome to the family.

In addition to learning the safety procedures for safe shooting, there are many ways to get started in the sport. Below are five oversimplified steps to getting active. Remember, you should contact a club or shooting range near you for more extensive details.

1. Find a shooting club near you or take a shooting class to learn about safety and how to shoot. At the beginning levels, USA Shooting, the National Rifle Association, the Amateur Trapshooting Association, and the National Skeet Shooting Association offer junior programs that will provide the initial training and guidance to begin the process. The advanced stages of the sport come under the purview of USA Shooting in the Junior Olympic, National Development Team and National Team programs offered.

Take the time to visit one of the many sanctioned USA Shooting Member Clubs across the country. They host matches for shooters of all ages and have open shooting times for those interested. Coaches are also available nationwide and can help take a shooter from novice to competitor.


2. Join USA Shooting to become eligible to compete in sanctioned USA Shooting matches. Learn about the benefits and costs to membership. Youth and adults alike can shoot in sanctioned matches for their respective shooting category by registering online for competitions through the membership web site.


3. Practice, practice, practice and stick with it. Many people start a sport, but do not commit to it. As you continue to practice you will continue to see improvement. Just remember, it takes time to learn your best techniques and your favorite equipment. Pick up a few pointers under the shooting tips section.

Also, take part in shooting clinics. There are often local clinics around the country offered through various organizations, such as the First Shots seminars hosted by the IHEA. Seek them out in your area to continue your learning.

College aged shooters can become eligible for university shooting programs and could earn education scholarships. Visit the youth programs section of the web site to learn more.


4. Once you become acquainted with the sport of shooting take the next step and get involved. Compete. Shoot in local, regional or even national contests. You can access sanctioned USA Shooting matches online or see the up to the minute competition schedules under the membership database and register online. The more you compete, the better your chances of earning yourself a place on the National Ranking or National Records listings.


5. To earn a place on the U.S. National, National Development or Junior Olympic Team in rifle, pistol or shotgun, athletes must take part in specific team eligibility events. These include competitions like selection matches, National Championships and Junior Olympics. See the Policies and Procedures of USA Shooting to learn the specific events and qualifications to secure a chance to represent your community and country.

 Earning your place on the U.S. Team could make you eligible to represent the United States in National or International competition. It is through participation on a USA Shooting national team that athletes secure their place on the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team.

 It takes many years and active involvement with USA Shooting to be named to an Olympic Team, but the experience is one of a kind. Visit the Olympic Games section to learn more about which disciplines are shot in the most prestigious shooting event in the world.

Now that you have one path to getting involved, make your own! Get involved in your community.
We'll see you around the range!

National Shooting Sports Foundation