It’s that time of year again when the frigid northland winter has returned and brought action shooting to a grinding halt…or has it? A quick look at the MN Shoot Schedule calendar will reveal that this year we are actually pretty fortunate in that there are almost as many matches during the indoor season as there are on a weekly basis during the outdoor season. While the matches do take on a different tone in the winter, getting rusty during a long winter’s nap is no longer an inevitability.

I actually look forward to the indoor season as a chance to turn down the volume on the hectic outdoor season, and its elaborate field courses, to turn my focus back inwards. Indoors is a chance to get back to basics and/or focus on pushing new or lagging skills to the next level. I do this in a couple ways. I typically shoot divisions with low magazine capacities, so I get more live reps on reloads. I also believe in cross training, so I usually make a point to shoot anything but my normal 3-gun instruments to trick myself back into feeling the gun and finding the sights again. Another way to get back to basics and diagnose myself is to put the 9mm away and only shoot major power factor. Aside from the obvious scoring advantage in IPSC style events, major definitely keeps one honest on their grip and recoil management.

The other exciting thing about indoor matches is that some of the match directors have really stepped up their stage design. Our friends at the MN 3-gun Group host a few indoor 2-Gun (rifle/pistol) matches at the Osseo Gun Club. With a few innovative props and some devilish minds, their matches are just as fun and challenging as anything they do outside. If you though it wasn’t possible to challenge your rifle skills in a fun way at 25 yards…you’d be wrong. Also, typically participants get to shoot each stage twice, so one will get the round count of a 4 stage match and get to try negotiating the same course a couple times.

Do we all wish we could shoot outside with some sort of dexterity…sure, but the indoor scene is alive a hopping. There is not excuse to go into hibernation. Oil up your blaster, and come out and shoot with your friends. If you require further incentive, there are some fiercely contested points races going so come on out and get in the action. There are plenty of opportunities to hit the ground running in the spring.