Firearms training - how often do you practice?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by tacmotusn, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    The following article reprinted from an email by Beth Alcazar, USCCA (United States Conceal Carry Association). USCCA: Concealed Carry, CCW Self-Defense Insurance & Training
    FIREARM + NO TRAINING + BAD NEWS !!! by Beth Alcazar // 10/31/2017
    So, this is definitely not the first time I’ve heard or experienced what I’m about to tell you. But it still shocks and disheartens me every time someone shares this type of detail with me…

    A few weeks ago, an older lady came to a free firearms safety session that our shooting range was offering to the community at a local sporting goods store. The woman plopped down in a chair, right in the front row, and promptly told the other instructor in attendance and me that she carries a firearm in her purse every day. “Great! We’re glad you’re here,” my fellow instructor said (likely considering how he’d persuade this woman to start carrying on body!). Then he added, “So, how often do you train?”

    The woman sheepishly shrugged her shoulders and admitted, “Not nearly enough.” She then went on to explain that she worked late hours at a dental office and sometimes felt unsafe getting back to her car at night. I nodded — understanding that feeling completely — as she shared a story of being followed in the parking lot one evening and putting her hand on the grip of her firearm as she quickly got in her vehicle and locked the doors. She also mentioned that her son was a law enforcement officer and always encouraged her to use good situational awareness and make wise decisions. I smiled, glad that she had some foundational knowledge. She then continued to talk through some of the safety rules and the important considerations for those who carry concealed.

    It was at this moment, however, as I was considering how to best help this student, when she mentioned — almost as if it were an insignificant detail — that she had never shot the gun that she carries with her every day. The conversation came to a screeching halt. I think I stopped breathing for a few moments. I did my best to mask the horrified expression that wanted to explode all over my face. Then, just to be certain, I looked at her and gingerly clarified, “Did you say that you’ve never even once shot the gun that you carry … every day … in your handbag?”

    “Nope,” she replied. “I’ve never fired it. Not even once.”

    Sadly, this scenario is not as rare as you may think. I’ve heard it many, many times. Often, a husband, a sibling, a child or just a well-meaning friend will purchase a firearm for a beloved lady in their lives, but that woman will never get the necessary training to be able to safely, comfortably and confidently carry — or use — that firearm.

    In this case, this eager-to-learn woman knew a firearm could be a great equalizer, she understood how important safety and training is and she realized the huge responsibility that goes along with concealed carry … but she still chose to carry a gun which, honestly, she knew nothing about. She knew it was an H&K. She knew it was “not a revolver.” But she did not know what model or what caliber. She didn’t know if it had an external safety or not. And beyond not having any experience with the feel of the grip or the trigger, the amount of recoil and the ease or difficulty of racking the slide, she wasn’t even sure if a round was in the chamber.

    For people who choose to carry a gun but don’t know how to use it, I say, “STOP!” It’s bad form all around to think you could safely and effectively use a gun to stop a threat with no practice or training with that firearm whatsoever. Carrying a gun with you in your daily life is not just about being physically safe. Someone who chooses the concealed carry lifestyle must also consider aspects of being spiritually, morally, financially and legally safe. That’s not something you do while an attacker is at your throat. That’s something you plan, prepare and practice for, over and over again, hopefully well in advance … and hopefully never having to actually put it to use.

    No doubt, I support every responsible American carrying a firearm for personal protection. But the process does not begin and end there. It takes time, preparation, dedication, responsibility, and training. Lots of it! For the woman I’ve written about here, at least she took the right step and filled a seat at our firearms safety meeting. But that was only one step of countless…on a training journey that should last a lifetime.
    3M-TA3, arleigh, Gator 45/70 and 5 others like this.
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Yup, I have a neighbor who bought the nicest little S&W .38 SPL. and..... Has never been to the range, never fired the handgun, and had no clue how to load it. I politely refused to do it for her, but she found another neighbor to do it for her. She even made the statement that she would probably never shoot anyone, just wanted it for intimidation. I told her that would get her killed.
  3. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Training is a double edged sword. I always encourage folks "New" to firearms to get the basics of firearms safety and handeling, as well as learning how it works, how to shoot it safely and when and how to use it. Beyond that, actual training is as unique as each and every one of us. I used to be a trainer ( still do a little, very specific) But what I do my self is geared toward my own needs and experience!ist of what I do now is more muscle memory and repitition, as well as snap shot shoot and skoot type drill. I also relentlessly practice failure drill.
    New shooters need to learn to be safe, need to learn how and when to carry, and learn the legal side as well. Actual professional training should be limited to a first basic, and then get as many practical classes from as many different trainers as you can! Only when you have a good mastery of the fighting handgun should you be comfortable with daily carry!
  4. Mountain mama

    Mountain mama Monkey

    Practicing is loads of fun too!!! Hubby fusses though cause it costs a lot to have that much fun and keeps saying i dont need to go through that many rounds. But hey, freedom munitions loves me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2017
  5. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have a blow-back airsoft 1911 that weighs in same as my carry piece. I do room clearing practice pretty much nightly when I can talk Bug into moving my targets around for me. I dry-fire at two dots on the wall. Dry-fire is one of the best tools that I have found for preparing for matches. I run El Presidente at least twice a night in light and in dark. I began these drills using my competition gear but have switched to everyday carry holsters and clothing. I wish my targets could shoot back.
  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    You would have an anurisim if you ever saw how much the wife and I spend on blamo every year! All the money in the world is worth less then one life, mine or hers, so we relentlessly train ourselves! Besides, it's super fun, cheaper then drugs, and offers a better type of high!
    Alf60, 3M-TA3, Sgt Nambu and 3 others like this.
  7. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have been shooting a lot the last couple of years since I got back stateside. Hell, one of the reasons I bought my house was that it was just down the road from an outdoor range with skeet, pistol, 100m and 200m ranges. Plus, I recently found out they have a archery range also which I intend to use next year. It only costs $5 a day so I shoot Fridays and Sundays whenever possible. I bought so much ammo when I thought Hillary would win that I seldom buy more and only when I see really good deal.

    But, what I can't do there is practice defensive or combat shooting. I have taken numerous classes in it these past years but not too many ranges around here support this and ones that do are quite far from me. However, I do have the option of shooting on my property since I live in the country. Generally, I don't do it because I am not really set up for it but I could if I wanted to do so. I am considering building a small outdoor range but it would have to compete for priority as my Spring dance card is already full. And, if I don't get the wife's greenhouse built next if you read about some guy getting smothered in his sleep by an angry redhead Russian - well - you'll know I built the shooting range prior to the greenhouse and paid the price. :)
  8. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I no longer shoot as much as I would like to... Currently I run box of .380, .38,9mm, and .45 a month ( Carry guns)... long guns once a quarter or so except my Go to long guns those are a box every other month...
  9. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    We built a range on our property and even used a bunch of the old house to practice with, was even better because we were able to test a bunch of defensive ammo in the " house" and found some pretty surprising things! I say build them both Bandit99, just make sure the greenhouse gets finished first! those Russian Red Heads are especially dangerous! Lol
  10. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I agree practice is key ,some times being able to make the time is not so easy.
    What I choose to use are air guns that are fairly silent and cheap to shoot . the neighbors are not bothered by them .
    They also come in handy for taking out the vermin stealing chicken feed and getting into my garden .
    It's different form paper targets, they actually try to evade being hit.
    you have to be stealthy, move fluidly , and fast, and think about the background , and make the shot .
    Emotion cannot be part of the equation , I have been angry as ever and had a shot, but because the projectile had the potential of causing damage beyond the critter, I with held the shooting for a better opportunity.
    If this kind of practice isn't in your thinking , it should be. " Hunter Safety Training ,1964"
    Gator 45/70 and Ura-Ki like this.
  11. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    Remember, my little simians, the troop that shoots together stays together!

    And, maybe, live longer together!!!
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Alaskachick and I practice about three times a year, when the Glass Bottle Depository is full, and needs to be ReCycled.... We haul it down to the Dock, along with Most of our Weapons that we each use... The Idea is we chuck the bottles out into the Inlet, usually about 30 Yards, and then Blast away, with the weapon of choice. when starting out we usually need two or three TRYS to Break a Target. but on toward the Bottom, we are "One Shot, One Kill" on each Target.... Any that get away, get the Long Gun Treatment, starting with the Winchester 52 Pre A .22LR, then the M1 Carbine, and if they still are floating the AR10... (Good out to 200 Yds, Off-hand) AlaskaChick usually starts out with the S&W 29 8", and after 6 shots, switches to her Dan Wesson 8", and after a couple of reloads then ends with the Ruger 45/22 5"... I usually just shoot my Browning HiPower in 9mm, and then after a box of Hand-Loads, switch to the Other Ruger 45/22, until we finish off the last of the Glass... You would be surprised how accurate you get when shooting at a Hienz 57 Bottle, at 40 Yards... We don't have to worry about the Cleaning up the Broken Glass, as the water off the Dock is about, is about 30 Fathoms deep, and the 7 Knot Tide, turns the Glass shards back into sand over time...
    Mountain mama, Sgt Nambu and Ura-Ki like this.
  13. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    And why are we not throwing these in the air and popping them like clays?
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Not much a Bird Hunter, so do not need much practice to use a Shotty loaded for Bear & Critter (2 or 4 Legged kind) Defense....
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  15. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    It is the cost that has basically stopped all of our practice. I used to be willing to pay $60 for the boys and I to go practice. 3 people, one lane, one hours for $60. Notice that does not include the ammo. I wish we have $5 range fees here. We would be practicing quite often.
    Gator 45/70, Ura-Ki and 3M-TA3 like this.
  16. Mountain mama

    Mountain mama Monkey

    Wow, i didnt realize the expense. We have our own range on our property. My only cost is ammo, and thats not too bad since a lot of places hold sales every other month. Shipping cost of ammo is what adds up for us. We practice about twice a month.
    Gator 45/70, Motomom34 and Ura-Ki like this.
  17. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Honestly I rarely use a range and usually find a good place in the woods that has a nice backstop. I like to shoot reactively and at varying distances since it's closer to a real situation. You can use a tailgate, trunk, or folding table to keep firearms and ammo sorted out. I also use brass catchers since I reload and am careful about leaving trash behind. My move next year will bring these type of places much closer and more convenient.
  18. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Had a practice session last night. Wife and I were watching a movie, lots of shooting and death so she was into her crossword puzzle book, when she heard a noise in the other room, looked an me and said, "What was that!" I grabbed my handgun and went to clear the space between us and said suspect noise. I was sure I could sneak back into the master bedroom undetected because of the cover the loud movie gave me, but as soon as I had left the room... my lovely wife muted the TV.

    So, there I was trying to creep toward the bedroom in dead silence as the floor was creaking and although I was in slippers, I was sure that anyone in the house could have heard me. I walked back out to the living room and we discussed how the loud /tv gave me cover and that by muting it gave me away. Learning process that didn't involve drawing the weapon or being able to hit my intended target.
    Gator 45/70, Mountain mama and Ura-Ki like this.
  19. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    BTW, floors and stairs creek less as you get the closer to the wall. Even though I'm still a chunk I have "soft" feet and the patience to ease into position. I always get in trouble for sneaking up on people even though I think I'm making a lot of noise and just walking normally.
    Mountain mama, Ura-Ki and Dunerunner like this.
  20. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Try walking heel first and rolling your feet as you creep along the walls! Keep your weapon and light at the low ready!
    3M-TA3 and Dunerunner like this.
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