There are many moving parts involved when you carry a gun and guess what; they all need to be practiced to some degree so you have them committed to your sub-conscious memory. We all love to shoot, fast and furious . . . pop, pop, pop. But carrying a gun encompasses so much more than rapid fire and that is where the rubber fails to meet the road.
Throughout the year I have students coming back to renew their CCW and I always get excited because I have not seen them in two years and I’m really looking forward to teaching them something new that could potentially save their life. Unfortunately far too often many have not fired their gun in two years. I don’t always call BS on them because I like these people but let’s get real, I’m a full time instructor and it is very easy to see who is practiced and who is clueless. Keep telling me some story about how often you’ve practiced the last two years and at some point I’m gonna call BS.
At LFT we provide an High Level training experience, you have the instructors full attention and he is making certain you get it and that you are stretched in your ability. When you finish with your class you have been inundated with the various pieces you as a civilian would need to use to save your life or another’s should you get caught flat footed by an armed assailant. What comes next is up to you.
What did I learn? Well I learned how to avoid a violent confrontation and for the most part I already practice in real life good situational awareness. I learned how to get my gun out quickly from concealment and engage quickly and effectively an armed assailant. I learned how to use cover effectively. I learned how to place accurate rounds on the threat while moving away and creating distance from the assailant. I learned how to place accurate rounds fast and furious in a reactive manner. NOW all I need to do is commit all of these things to my subconscious memory so if I need them it will just happen BUT I do not have a place to shoot like I was trained.
In practice there is the Fundamentals of Marksmanship that must be practiced regularly in order to keep those skills in memory. Those are a reasonably stable stance, a solid grip on the gun, perfect trigger control, accurate sight picture and consistent follow through. This requires going to a range, any range and putting rounds down range effectively regardless of distance because all I am really doing is programming my mind to work the trigger correctly regardless of what else is going on around me. This is the fun part of puzzle, I get to go BANG! But I must keep in mind that if I practice crap like jumping off the trigger, failing to do a correct reset and finding my follow up sight picture all I am accomplishing is crap, essentially becoming a crap master.
So how do I practice all of these other pieces? I do them at home. Obviously we do not practice with live ammunition at home equally we do not practice from a concealed holster at the range.
We have to be able to access and get the gun out fast and what better place than in front of mirror to see if we can beat the guy in the mirror.
What about moving away from the target while drawing and firing? This can be done equally at home with an empty gun. We use the the LASR software and the Laser Ammo, just slightly more in cost than a 1,000 rounds of handgun ammunition AND we can do it on our own schedule. If you carry a DAO there are triggers available that easily slide into your Glock that will allow you to rapid fire without needing to cycle the slide.
In essence, there is no reason you cannot maintain your skill set regardless of which range you have available. If you want it, you can get it done.