Many shooters have difficulty after they have finished their handgun safety and training course and gotten their permit trying to figure out what to do next. In most sports, you take the training skills classes and then go out a play a game, join a team or play at the gym or rec league in our spare time. Well what do shooters do? I mean it is not like you can go out and just start shooting bad guys for practice.
A lot of shooters go to the local gun range and work on their shooting skills to become proficient and accurate. You can also take additional concealed carry courses to improve your skills. These are pretty solitary activities though. If you want to meet other shooters and shoot for fun, you really should consider getting involved in a gun club.
Gun clubs are also know as rod & gun clubs or pistol clubs and are pretty widespread throughout the US. Rod & Gun clubs appeal to hunters, CCW and survivalists alike. Some can be fairly down home basic clubs while others can be very elite with cigar lounges and bars etc. Most will host amateur and professional rifle, shotgun and pistol competitions. They will offer a wide variety of social events that you can bring your family to and they often support local charities and community services with volunteer services and fund raiser events. Rod & Gun clubs can be a great place to get educated about different types of firearms and share shooting techniques and gear reviews with buddies.
Pistol clubs are usually located at an indoor shooting range and focus strictly on handguns. They will offer different levels of training classes and have experienced instructors. Most are independently owned and have some type of entrance requirement like prior pistol safety education and a background check. Some offer competitions and family–friendly events while others do not.
For those shooters who want to get experienced at the competition level, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) are the primary holders of such events.
The NRA offers family-friendly shooting competitions at all shooting levels at either the local or national level depending on your qualifications. They work with young people in 4-H and Boy Scouts of America who want to learn how to handle firearms-primarily rifles.
The IPSC offers gun owners competition events from the beginner level to the expert. Competitions are located throughout the country and open to both rifle and handgun owners.
Whether you join a club or participate in competitions or both, you will have the opportunity to improve your gun skills, meet other concealed carriers, learn more about firearms and have fun.