Road to PRS: a Journey
Even in times of high inflation, the unnerving price of ammunition, and gasoline that’s pushing north of $4 a gallon, America’s shooting sports are still seeing increases in competitors. The wonderful thing about getting into competitive shooting is that there is an event or discipline for every shooter. From Cowboy Mounted Shooting to IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) and fast-paced multi-gun events, an individual can find a community to be apart of. However, even with all the options, there is still, for many people, a high barrier of entry. That barrier might be cost or time, but for many it’s probably fear. Entering a competition for the first time can be scary for many people. Questions like: “Am I going to embarrass myself?” Or, “am I even good enough to compete”? And don’t forget, “do I have the equipment needed to be good enough?”
All these questions circulate through shooters minds when thinking about getting involved in shooting competitions. Fear of embarrassment and not being good enough drive many away from doing something that brings them joy and fulfillment. The truth is, these barriers are only mental. Those fears don’t exist in reality. Being involved in the shooting sports is like being apart of a family. The community builds rather than destroys. First-timers are always welcomed in with open arms. Mentorship is rampant, gear and tools are always accessible by people lending aid.
It is in this spirit that we go on a journey of getting involved in a shooting discipline to see how low the barrier of entry actually is. Guns, ammo, and optics will be run-of-the-mill options that can be found at the Fin or your local shop. The sport this series is focusing on is the fast growing Precision Rifle Series.
PRS: What is it?
For the past half-dozen years or so, precision rifle and long-range shooting has been all the rage. The amount of guns, gear, and ammunition that has been developed for a single sport is staggering. From “base” model production guns to “costs-more-than-my-first-car” custom guns, precision rifle competitions brings in people from all walks of life. So, what is PRS? Here is a snapshot of PRS taken directly from precisionrifleseries.com:
The Precision Rifle Series is the preeminent rifle organization in the world, structuring a yearly points race for both the PRS Pro Bolt Gun Series and the PRS Regional Series. The PRS Championship Shooting Series is synonymous with precision rifle shooting. The PRS is home to countless competitors including 6,000 active PRS shooters with scores being tracked. The PRS unites the 40 most renowned national pro series precision rifle competitions and continues to expand the PRS Regional Series, which hosts hundreds of one day matches from coast to coast. The International PRS Series is advancing in South Africa and Australia to name a few. The influence of the PRS, with more than 1000 professional level competitors and growing global presence, extends in every conceivable direction inspiring the precision rifle community at its grassroots, hometown level.
PRS is essentially a governing body that links together series of one and two day matches throughout the nation and ties them together in a points system—similar in a way to NASCAR. The benefit for new shooters is that local “clubs” exist that offer one day matches and a more inviting setting to new shooters.
For the matches themselves, think dynamic long-range shooting off all kinds of crazy barriers. This isn’t static shooting. You will be moving around and engaging targets at various distances. These matches aren’t just about shooting small groups, they are about creating and building stable shooting positions to engage targets. Most importantly, they are a ton of fun.
The important thing to remember is that it’s a sport that anyone can get involved in. You don’t need to be the reincarnation of Chris Kyle to shoot a match. Just a willingness to learn and a mindset of having fun is all that is needed.
Zoom Out: What to Expect in the Series
This will be a long-term project, taking much of the summer. It is a multi-media project so both articles and videos will be posted coinciding with various topics including: gun, optic, and caliber selection, how to set up a precision rifle, practice, needed ancillary gear, match after action report, and interviews with professional shooters. In this journey we hope to encourage our readers and viewers to take up the shooting sports and join a community. However in caution, we must warn that once involved, it becomes a life long-passion that brings great friendships and an empty wallet.