Hi all. FNG here. I like the CC and SD sections of these forums, so as a form of introduction, I thought I might repost an article I was asked to write for another forum last month. Don't worry, the info below is STILL valid. :biglaugh:
All too often we find ourselves listening to or reading about an incident involving someone's reaction to a deadly situation and wondering how WE would have reacted. We often spot the mistakes the other person made tactically, and sometimes these mistakes are glaring. Some fail to have a weapon, some have the weapon in an inaccessible place, some fail to recognize a threat, and some are just “wrong place, wrong time” sort of guys.
I think that we all realize the importance of training with our duty or carry weapon, and am sure the most of us practice regularly. The question we should ALL ask ourselves is, “How realistic is my training?”
I often see people bring a few pistols to the local range, and they do fire accurately and hit what they shoot at (sometimes!), but rarely do I see someone actually practice the draw. I do wonder how often we practice drawing from our holsters, whether a duty holster, or your typical CCW holster. For those of us guys who wear a “shoot me first” vest or otherwise cover our holster, how often do we practice drawing and firing a concealed weapon from UNDER concealment? I am sure that we often practice “weak hand” shooting, but have you ever tried to draw your weapon with the weak hand? You might find that with your chosen method of carrying, if your strong hand is injured, YOU ARE UNARMED for all intents and purposes.
Many times, I find that people carry a pistol without a round chambered. This is NOT typical among trained shooters, but many choose to use the “Israeli Draw”, and rack the slide while drawing a semi-automatic pistol. If the situation allows, I usually ask them why, and after the inevitable demonstration of how quick they can do this, I request that they do it “strong hand only”. It gives them something to think about.
Think about the basic steps you perform to fire your pistol. Do you use a particular grip that works great on the range? Now, try that grip with one hand. Do you have to significantly change your strong hand grip with the weak hand is removed? If you do, you are practicing to have an unfamiliar grip on the pistol when you need it the most!
Do you always fire from the same stance? Your accuracy will suffer if you cannot fire from that stance in a real life situation. How much? Who knows, but why not practice from a variety of stances, to include sitting, lying down, and most importantly moving.
Do you keep a gun on your nightstand beside your eyeglasses? What if you need the pistol FAST, and knock your glasses to the floor, or simply don't have time to put them on? Ever practice without your glasses to see how well you can still shoot if you can’t see any sight? It might be a good thing to know!
The examples of “real” training are limited only by your personal experience. Some may have unique situations that they never realize they need to incorporate into their regular training!
The point to all this rambling is to impress on the mind of the discerning shooter, that things can go very different in real life than they do on the range. Don’t take the short-cuts in your practice and training. Don’t train for the “best case” scenario, as this is usually NOT the one that your will find yourself in. Look at every single piece of the Personal Defense puzzle and make sure that you think about and practice everything!
Remember, surviving a lethal situation can begin MONTHS before the few seconds of the actual event.