I must say that I’m an extremely keen shooter and when I first heard that alcohol was banned in shooting because it is considered to be a performance enhancing drug I was surprised. To be honest, I was initially told that alcohol was banned which makes perfect sense. The last thing you would want is for a drunk to be holding a deadly weapon, no matter how good a shot they are. But the ban on alcohol in shooting has more to do with performance than safety as I was soon to find out. That’s because shooting considers alcohol to be a performance enhancing drug.
Could you imagine for a moment an elite athlete contesting a sport half cut? A race around Daytona or a Formula 1 race track would look more like a demolition derby than a race. Or perhaps a sprint race, or for more entertainment, a hurdle. Alcohol certainly would make many sports more entertaining, but it would be a safe bet to assume the current records would be eternally safe. Except for in shooting.
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Why does shooting consider alcohol a performance enhancing drug?
While alcohol would be quite an impediment to most sports, in shooting it can actually be a benefit. As anyone who has ever participated in the sport will attest, holding still and steady can be a challenge. As you stare down the sights, or through the scope, it appears increasingly difficult to hold the sight on the middle of the target. This is because of the slight movements in the body, and the longer the shot the greater the error becomes from these small movements. Alcohol provides the shooter an anti-anxiety and anti-tremor effect, which aids in accuracy. As the body relaxes these smallest of movements become less apparent, providing the shooter with increased marksmanship.
But drink too much alcohol and those shooting become a deadly hazard to everyone involved.