A Quick Start Guide to Practical Pistol Competition

Published June 20, 2013 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Equipment, Mindset, Practice, Self Defense, Training

As a relative newbie who still remembers his first pistol competition, I thought I’d jot down a few notes to help others get started. I ain’t Rob Leatham (yet), but I sympathize with those who want to get into practical pistol but don’t know where to start.

  • Shoot your daily carry pistol to start, but only if your daily carry gun is a compact 9mm or larger. If you carry a .38 snubbie or a compact .380, shoot something else. I started out with a CZ75 for home defence, and that’s what I still use in competition.
  • Don’t succumb to the temptation to lowball the holster. A $30 Fobus may look the same as a $70 BladeTech, but they’re completely different to use. One releases smoothly and easily every time, and the other can hang up and turn into an embarrassing, slow and potentially dangerous tug of war. I found this one out the hard way.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the other shooters. Even Brian Enos started out as a newbie.
  • Go to a match just to watch and learn the etiquette, safety routine and procedures of shooting before you compete.
  • Be sure to tell the scorer it’s your first time competing in a match: Chances are there will be a safety briefing you’ll need to go through before you compete, and that gives the scorer a chance to team you up with a more experienced shooter who can show you the ropes.
  • Practical pistol is a good way to learn how to shoot in a stressful environment, but it’s also a sport, so…
  • Relax. Be safe. Have fun.


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