Monday, March 6, 2017

Do you practice enough, Matter of Facts style?

I recently read an article regarding the question of do you train (with your conceal carry gun) enough?  I felt like some part of the article might have been a bit tongue in cheek, but it raised a few good points.  I felt I would lay out my feelings and a few VERY simple metrics to judge whether or not you train often enough.

I'll start by saying I studied martial arts years ago as a teenager.  One thing my instructor pounded into our heads over and over was that the speed of reaction beats the speed of thought.  Meaning, if you have to think about what you are doing, you're working too slowly.  Your level of training should be sufficient that you are able to automatically perform certain menial tasks without conscious thought, freeing your mind to analyze the total situation rather than concentrate on minutia.

So, step one, is we have to train in common situations often enough that they require no conscious thought.  Get a failure to feed?  Slide lock reload?  Can you draw and engage your target with two shots without wondering where the safety is?  Can you safely draw and reholster without muzzling yourself?  If you haven't practiced these tasks often enough that they are near automatic, you haven't practiced enough.  Dry fire, dry fire, dry fire, five minutes a day every day will have you realize an improvement very quickly.

Step two, can we accurately engage targets at a reasonable range.  "Self Defense" range varies depending on who you ask.  I've heard as short as ten feeet (about double the distance you and your handgun reach out from your body, way too close for my comfort) out to 25 yards (much farther than the average gunfight takes place at.)  I would say if you can make hits on an 8" target CONSISTENTLY at 8-15 yards you're certainly outshooting the average person.  For the shorter backup guns, 8 yards will be a reasonable enough challenge, while duty size and 4" guns should allow a competent person to shoot out to and beyond 15 yards without issue.  But, if you have to bring the target in past 8 yards/24 feet to hit it you need to practice a LOT more.  There is almost no substitution for range time.

And finally step three; do you practice regularly?  A single training class, regardless of how high speed, low drag it is is useless without practice.  A single range visit a year does not yield operator status.  A person with a several thousand dollar firearm that can't hit the ground in three tries does not impress me.  There is no shortcut for training and practice, it has to be a part of your lifestyle.  Monthly is my preference, though I know some that hit the range weekly at least.  Regardless, make the time, buy the ammo, and go to the range with a plan for WHAT and HOW to get your training time in.  Shooting, like everything else, is a perishable skill that MUST be maintained on a regular basis or it will fail you in your moment of need.

To some of you, everything above sounds like good common sense.  To everyone else, I hope I gave you some food for though.  Reach out to me and tell me what you think.  What do you do to keep in practice? - Phil Rabalais

No comments:

Post a Comment