It’s the difference between winning trophies and finishing at the bottom of the match results. It’s also a critical part of being able to successfully defend yourself. It’s my least favorite part of being a competitive shooter, and I often refer to it as the “P” word:
Like it or not, practice is a must to improve your shooting skills, but it doesn’t have to involve spending lots of money and time throwing lead down range. Dry fire practice is an incredibly effective method for improving your shooting skills, and it’s much less expensive and time consuming than live fire practice. There are several companies that make tools and training aids to help make dry fire practice more interesting and effective, here are a few of the tools that I use when I dry fire:
Dry Fire Training Books
Many of the top competitive shooters in the world use dry fire practice to keep them at the top of their game, and a few of these top shooters have written books on the subject. Both Steve Anderson’s Refinement and Repetition, Dry-fire Drills for Dramatic Improvement and Ben Stoeger’s Champion Shooting: Guaranteed Results in 15 Minutes a Day, Vol. 2 include several drills that include presentation skills, advanced multiple target engagement and transition techniques. Both of these gentlemen used dry fire practice drills to achieve the rank of Grand Master in USPSA, and they share those same drills in these books.
Laserlyte makes these nifty training lasers that fit inside your pistol chamber. They have a firing-pin activated switch that beams a bright red laser dot when you pull the trigger, so you can see exactly where you are placing your shot. I’ve found mine very useful when doing draw to first shot drills. You can find the Laserlyte training cartridge at Brownells for $80, they are available in .380, 9mm, .40 and .45.
Airsoft pistols are a great way to add some fun to your training program. Higher end airsoft pistols are built to look and function just like the real thing, but they shoot plastic pellets. I’ve been using a WE brand High CAPA 5.1 (2011 style) airsoft pistol for a couple of years, and except for the recoil, it feels and shoots just like the real thing. Take it out in the backyard, tape a target to a cardboard box and go! Expect to pay $100 to $150 for a decent quality, gas blowback airsoft pistol.
COMMON SENSE SAFETY WARNING: ALWAYS Follow the Four Rules of Gun Safety (even with an airsoft pistol), and read these great tips about Dry Fire Safety. I accept no responsibility or liability for anything that happens as a result of reading or following the above information Don’t shoot people or animals with an airsoft. Be safe, have fun.
TeamGunBlogger may have received a review copy of a product mentioned here and may receive a commission on referrals or sales generated. Our reviews are based solely upon personal opinion and have not been influenced by any company entity.
… because you can over-train for some things, but not for a violent armed encounter.
… because you want to survive a violent armed encounter.
… because your loved ones and friends want you to survive a violent armed encounter.
And the rest of the reasons I gave are over on The Personal Defense Network. Go check it out.
This video from a successful carjacking in Johannesburg is downright frightening.
Welcome to Worst-Case-Scenario-Land, population: You.
What could you do in this scenario? Well, not a lot, even if you’re armed because the crooks are on their prey in mere seconds. They’re professional, they’ve done it before and it shows.They have the car blocked in and a gun on the driver on the right side from the start of things, and then seconds later another car comes in to seal off the exit.
This is another extension of the problems of training with just one tool. Sometimes, there’s not a gun solution or a non-lethal solution: There’s no solution: You’ve lost even before the fight started.
We can train, we can practice, we can carry every day, but sometimes, the bad guys win.
The trick is to reduce the number of times they win.
That’s a fair question to ask. Let’s assume, first off, that you CAN carry a gun with you on a regular basis. There are lots of people (my wife included) who, because of their work environment, can’t carry a concealed firearm around with them on a regular basis. If that’s the case, this discussion is moot.
But if you can carry, should you carry? Consider this recent post on Reddit.com.
I live in a small town in Iowa. A couple years ago I applied for and received my concealed carry permit. I have a G26 with a crossbreed supertuck to go with it, and I have a Ruger LCP. I would carry one of these every day, everywhere I went, religiously, for quite a while.
This past summer, I decided to stop carrying. I decided it’s just not worth it for me. It’s not worth the pain in the ass to put it on, it’s not worth the weight and discomfort, it’s not worth introducing a firearm into every single encounter in my daily life. It’s not worth it to me, for the one in a million chance that I might ever maybe possibly need to use it.
Is that person right? Is carrying a firearm not worth the trouble, given the “one-in-a-million” chance you’ll need to use it?
Depends. I carry a first aid kit in my car: Am I expecting to be first on the scene at a major traffic accident? No. Have I needed it to patch up the scrapes and cuts of my pre-teen sons? Oh yeah.
The knowledge and assurance that you are ready and able to deal with what life throws at you can be a powerful, powerful thing, and when you need a gun, there aren’t a whole lot of things you can use as a substitute.
Should you carry a gun? Can you think of something in your life worth dying for? Would rather die for it or live for it?
I like this quite a lot, although I’m not a big fan of off-body carry in a purse, bag or anything else. Why? Because that’s what crooks target first. Heck, there’s even a type of crook that does (what for it) purse-snatching as a primary means of being a crook.
However, the video does make a good point that a person putting their hand into a bag to grab a gun looks like a person putting their hand into a bag, and nothing more than that.
I also like how they teach that going for the gun first could be a very, very bad thing. There’s a need for civilians with concealed carry permits to get the sort of “Force Continuum” training that cops get. If we carry a gun, we tend to see a threat in terms of a gun problem. If we’re trained in the martial arts, we see it as a punch, kick or throw problem.
If we’re unarmed and unaware, well, it’s a problem. Period.