Besides doing dry-fire practice, one of the best ways to improve your shooting skills is by participating in competitive shooting. The thing is, when most people hear the words “competitive shooting,” they think of an intimidating environment where you need fancy shooting gear that costs thousands of dollars. Or, they think about a bunch of world-class shooters who don’t want the “new guy” around.

The good news is that this isn’t true at all, thanks especially to the GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF). Founded in 1991, the GSSF puts on competitive matches to encourage people to get involved in shooting sports while promoting the safe, responsible use of firearms. Best of all, anyone can join the GSSF. It only costs $35 for a one-year membership, $60 for two years, $80 for three years, $125 for five years, and a lifetime GSSF membership is available for only $350.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to attend one of the matches, you should try to make it out to one this year. Why? You don’t need any fancy gear. Simply show up with your GLOCK handgun, at least two magazines and 100 rounds of ammo. Some of the matches have loaner pistols that you can use if you don’t have a GLOCK.

On The Line

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Military, law enforcement and other public safety personnel get to compete in their own Guardian category as well as the regular GSSF matches.

Once you have your gun and show up at a GSSF match, there are three different levels you can shoot in: Amateur, Master and Guardian. The Guardian level is for law enforcement, and the Master level is for very experienced shooters. If you’re a new shooter, you’d be in the Amateur division, and you’d compete against shooters with a similar skill level. All of the Amateur stages are easy and don’t require any advanced skills. In fact, all of the stages begin with your gun in the low-ready position, so you don’t even have to worry about drawing from a holster.

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Another benefit of attending a GSSF match is that every match includes free armorer service. This means you can bring your GLOCK pistol to the armorer and they’ll look it over to make sure everything is functioning properly. They’ll even replace any worn-out parts for free.

Another reason to attend a GSSF match is the prizes. The person who gets first place in each division typically wins a GLOCK pistol. In addition, there are random prize drawings to give everyone a chance to win something. These random prizes include GLOCK knives, the GLOCK E-Tool and cash, to name a few.

But going to the shooting matches isn’t the only reason you should consider joining the GSSF. There are several other benefits that come with your membership. One of them is that you get the opportunity to purchase one GLOCK pistol per year at a special discounted price. In order to do this, when you join the GSSF you need to select the two-year membership option, which is only $60. Anyone with any type of membership is eligible for the discount when they renew for any length, even one year. When you join for two or more years you get a new member pack with your membership card and a pistol purchase coupon. GSSF members can also attend a GLOCK Armorer’s Course that costs $250.

Ready To Compete

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The 2014 Salt Lake City match winner Tom Nelson coaches his wife and first-time contestant Danica to third-place female shooter honors with the family’s GLOCK 17.

Hopefully, you can see that joining the GSSF is a smart decision for any shooter, no matter their skill level. Don’t delay in joining and signing up for a match as soon as you can; shooters have to sign up before the cut off. the scheduling of matches takes place far in advance of the previous year.

RELATED: Massad Ayoob’s Speed and Accuracy Shooting Drills

There’s no doubt in my mind that the GSSF will continue to grow over the next 20-plus years and that tens of thousands of shooters will get their first experience with competition shooting thanks to GLOCK.

For more information, visit or call 770-437-4718.

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