We all know that feeling. The touch of cold metal in your palms, the heaviness on your wrists, the finger lightly resting on the trigger.
You are focused on the target, shutting out all distractions – people talking, shouting, firing sounds – all faintly muffled out by the big shooting ear muffs on your head. You squint slightly, adjust your posture, slow your breathing, and focus your aim.
You breathe out, not moving, locking in. Then you fire, pressing the trigger firmly. The bullet explodes inside the gun chamber – and you feel it – the pure power.
Before the physical kick, you feel the sound wave hitting your ears and lungs, like a strong punch to the chest, and no matter how used to it you are, it causes your heart to skip a beat, releasing adrenaline. You instantly feel the rush.
A few milliseconds later, the gun kicks back. You can feel the strong kick in your hands and wrists; it travels over your elbows and finally finishes in your shoulders.
Your body is now overflowing with adrenaline and excitement. After a few seconds, you take a deep breath, your heart calms down, and your whole body relaxes. You are much calmer now. Your mind is empty. Your body feels free. You feel free.
This is a feeling every shooter in the world feels, on every hunting ground and in every shooting center in the world.
People come here every day to take a breather, to feel the power in their hands, clear their minds, improve their skills, and relieve stress.
Does it feel so good because of our hunter instincts? Or does it have to do with much more than that? How does it affect our minds and bodies? Believe it or not, there are proven therapeutic benefits of practicing the use of firepower.
Probably the most obvious benefit. Fire weapons have huge destructive power, no matter the size of the weapon, and handling them is a huge responsibility. Holding and knowing how to control something with such destructive power brings a feeling of accomplishment and is always followed by a sense of empowerment.
Feeling the rush boosted by adrenaline is very healthy for a healthy body and has a good impact on the brain. The combination of adrenaline and having a good time will release dopamine, the happiness and stress-relieving hormone. Dopamine is very important for the health of the mind and body in the long run. If the use of weapons in a firing range makes you feel less stressed and more relaxed, we are always there to help you achieve that.
Meditation and discipline
Don’t believe us? Setting up your posture, ignoring the rest of the world, ignoring every distraction, focusing on the target, because in that moment, nothing else exists in the world – just you and the target. A clear, sharp focus. You calm your body and mind, even hold your breath and stop moving, just create the perfect shot and hit the target right where you want to. Right that and there is your moment of meditation. Because you clear your mind of everything that is not you, your weapon, and the target. This state of mind requires great discipline. So simple. So important. And so therapeutic.
Smaller weapons won’t test you as much. But larger weapons will test your strength. We all know that every weapon kicks back when fired. Smaller weapons will have a weaker kick. But larger weapons have a kick so strong that, if not held properly, can hurt you badly. Handling bigger weapons requires more strength from their handlers. Your posture must be correct, and you have to have strength in your entire body. A lot of novices will be thrown on the ground, get seriously bruised, or even lose a tooth or two. You must not let your weapon surprise you or overpower you. Who is the handler –the weapon? Or you?
It’s a mental workout because it makes you think. You have to calculate the distance of the target, the strength of the weapon, your posture, your orientation to the target, all environmental conditions… All the strength in the world is for nothing if you do not know how to take into consideration all conditions and calculate the perfect outcome. And go for it.
So, it seems that firing weapons is much more than people think.
It surprisingly shows great therapeutic benefits for shooters – both mental, physical and emotional.
So, the next time you pass by a shooting range and your palms itch, or you are so stressed out that you lose your focus, remember that every shooting range on the planet is there for you. To make you feel better and to make you feel like yourself again.