J.K. Rowling’s famous Harry Potter series first hit bookshelves when I was a kid. I bought into the fan culture whole heartedly, dragging my parents to every book release so I could be among the first to blaze through the newest addition to the series. I couldn’t even wait to get home to start; I’d open the book immediately and read from the bookshop (as a child, I perfected a method of walking while reading without bumping into things) and during the car ride home, before making it to the house. While waiting excitedly in line for the midnight release for one of the novels, I thanked my dad for taking me to the book store and for waiting with me. He told me that, despite not having read any of Rowling’s work, he liked it for one key reason: it got people (children especially) excited about reading.
As an adult, I’ve found I have similar thoughts about the shooting sports that my dad had about Rowling’s popular novels; generally speaking, if it gets more people to shoot more often, I’m all for it. I’ve mentioned before how that applies with competitive shooting, but for those who aren’t interested in investing the money and time into something like IDPA, 3 gun, or SASS, there are plenty of affordable addicting games for the range.
In the photo above is one range game I enjoy—I call it “Dinosaur Hunter.” I set up three posts about 20 feet downrange and place a small plastic dinosaur (I picked up a pack of 15 of them at the dollar store) on each post. I arm myself with a pistol (maybe one that I want to improve how I handle, or maybe a carry gun, or just a fun gun to shoot—in the video, it’s a Ruger Mark III Target .22 LR pistol), one loaded magazine, and try to take out all the targets without reloading. This addicting range game, in particular, is an example of the adage “aim small, miss small.” The little dinosaurs make a target size of about 1.5 square inches. Aiming for a small target, like the little dinosaur toys, forces me to manage my grip, sight picture, and trigger pull to achieve accurate shots. It’s more exciting to me to knock a dino off a post than it is to put holes into a paper bullseye, and working in that little range game makes my shooting time more enjoyable. However, it also has the “side effect” of improving my accuracy.
Dinosaur Hunter is one range game that encourages me to shoot more (I have to win and beat those little dinos!), and also serves as a marksmanship skill development exercise. What addicting games do you like to play at the range?