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Is range time therapeutic?

jmcd

Professional
Founding Member
I always hear people say, "You should go to the range to get out your anger or aggression." It was never that way for me. The range was not only a place to sharpen skills, but also a place for me to unplug from the world. I block everything out from the day and I am only thinking about what I am doing in that particular moment. Nothing else matters.

I have a son who has high functioning Autism and "stims." (rapid hand flapping in his case) Thinking shooting would help curb that a bit and help him develop much needed hand\eye skills, I decided to start bringing him to the range. This was a risk for me as it drove a wedge between my wife and I, and folks on the Autism spectrum don't particularly like loud noises. Anyway, fast forward to continued working with him for years and now he can consistently produce groups like the attached.

For me anyway, range time is a time to improve skills, reconnect with yourself, spend time with your children and to teach them. Then I hear some politician say they want to do away with places to shoot or worse. I'm sorry, they have no clue.

I would be interested to hear your stories or what you think.
 

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Thank you for sharing your story.

Range time for me is definitely therapeutic. Chance to clear thoughts and focus on the moment. When I go with others it obviously isn't as therapeutic but serves as a chance to unwind in different ways.
 
I love guns and shooting sports, being outdoors in general is something I have always enjoyed. I find range time very therapeutic as you have said because I have to focus on everything that goes into shooting the gun safely and effectively. People often ask, " What is so therapeutic about shooting?; It is load the gun kicks, etc. I tell them aside from the focus I visualize one stressful thought placed at the end of each bullet and when I shoot the bullet carries a bit of that stress away. My problems may still be there, but I am able to better focus on them after some time at the range.
 
Hey it’s called percussion therapy or gun therapy for a reason right? I love to go to the range even if I’m not training but just sending rounds down range it’s relaxing and very therapeutic.
Yep, did that yesterday, even though it was raining. Stayed under the roof of the firing lanes, and tried my darndest to hit metal 65 yds away using my pistol. Wasn't real successful, but it sure was relaxing. Had the entire place to myself. :)
 
Shooting in general is very relaxing for me. It started back when I got into archery as a kid (pre-teens) and ended up being an instructor up till I turned 19 or so. It's not about "I'm gonna work out my anger" and "his/her face is on that target" kinda crap; it's about focus. Extremely Zen for me - there's me, there's the weapon (extension of me), there's the projectile, there's the target. That's ALL. Obviously there's perimeter-sensory awareness of "don't shoot out of the lane", "don't point it there", and "what's that guy doing?", but everything else - crappy day, crappy traffic, big bills in the budget, whatever - gets relegated to the "storage" part of the brain for a while and the entire universe becomes me, the projectile, and the target.

OK.

Sometimes, it IS nice to simply run a mag or two as fast as possible, just because.

And I do love the smell of gunpowder. And Hoppe's.

It's very similar to when I'm on my motorcycle - I ride sportbikes, and when I put on my full-face helmet it's me and my machine...and the rest of the world is "out there" outside the helmet, and I can focus on my line, my apex, my brake points, my traction levels, throttle inputs, the various g-forces, and vehicle balance. I also turn the outside world into a panoramic painting that I can enjoy being this close to - I can smell the leaves, feel the temperature drop when I cross a stream, even as separated as my mind is from everything "else", my body is fully immersed in my surroundings instead of simply passing through it.

So yes, range time is VERY therapeutic - but not in the "work out aggression" sense, just in the "gain composure, regain focus, and hone skills" sense. And those skills make it easier to shut out all the day to day crap, too.
 
Yep, did that yesterday, even though it was raining. Stayed under the roof of the firing lanes, and tried my darndest to hit metal 65 yds away using my pistol. Wasn't real successful, but it sure was relaxing. Had the entire place to myself. :)
I invite friends to go to the range all the time and get the response “but it’s supposed to rain”. For me it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or not. Only thing I worry about when it rains is am I gonna get stuck in the mud with my truck.
 
Hey it’s called percussion therapy or gun therapy for a reason right? I love to go to the range even if I’m not training but just sending rounds down range it’s relaxing and very therapeutic.
Yup, it's what Chris Kyle and his neighbor were performing when unfortunatly they were both killed. Chris seemed to be a big believer in this as a type of therapy, especially for those veterans suffering from PTSD.
 
I tell folks that shooting is my "golf".
Sometimes equated to Shotgun golf by people, is Sporting Clays. Having never fired a shotgun before, I went with some friends a few years ago and it was a blast (pun intended). You go station to station (at this place 16), and fire at several clays launched from two different hidden locations at each station. Each station launches them from different locations. The total points at this place was 100. They even have golf carts now to haul your shotgun, ammo, & gear around.
 
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