YOUR TIME IS PRECIOUS. MAKE THE MOST OF IT WITH THIS 10-STEP EFFICIENT HANDGUN PRACTICE SESSION
Your time is precious. Make the most of it with this 10-step efficient handgun practice session. By CCH Staff
There are only 24 hours in a day and, yes, we’d all practice our handgun skills more often if we only had the time, right? While there’s no substitute for dedicated training from qualified instructors, if you’re willing to devote a half hour a week to dry firing and one 50-round box of ammo a month in live fire drills, you will be much better equipped to handle a deadly confrontation.
You can tailor your practice routine to suit your needs and skill level, but here’s one 10-step training session suggestion to get you started.
There are several benefits to regular dry firing practice. It’s quiet, you can do it in the privacy of your own home, and it costs nothing but a few minutes of your time.
01 DRAW AND AIM. Use the clothes and holster you’d normally wear when carrying concealed. With an empty gun (obviously), pick a point on a wall—hang a target if you like—quickly draw and get those sights up and on target. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
02 DRY-FIRE PRACTICE. Quickly draw and get the sights aligned on the target as in the first drill. Now, however, you’re going to squeeze the trigger. Don’t hurry the trigger pull at first. Get it right. Build the speed over time. Dry-fire practice is where a laser really comes in handy as a training aid. If you’re pulling your gun off target as you go through your trigger pull, it will be very apparent with the movement of that laser dot.
03 MOVE TO COVER. Now you’re going to draw, aim and dry-fire as in the previous drill, but this time you are going to move to cover as you draw. A chair, table, door jamb, most anything can serve to simulate cover. This will get you in the habit of not standing still when your big moment of truth arrives.
Ideally you should practice more often, but budgeting the time and money to fire 50 rounds of ammo once a month isn’t excessive.
04 DRAW AND FIRE SINGLES. (15 rounds.) Starting from a holstered position, draw and fire one round two-handed. Do this five times. Now draw and fire one shot with your dominant hand only. Do this five times. Now, starting from the low ready position, fire one shot with your support hand only. Do this five times. Wait, what’s the distance for this drill? Anywhere from 5 to 15 yards is fine. As you build your proficiency on this one, extend the range a bit to keep it challenging. But aren’t most shootings at closer range? Yes, but if you can get good a 15, you’ll be super at 5.
“DRY-FIRE PRACTICE IS WHERE A LASER REALLY COMES IN HANDY AS A TRAINING AID.”
This is a warm-up drill, but if it’s too easy, start with a varying amount of ammo—two, three, five rounds—in your gun and magazines to incorporate some speed reloads.
05 TRANSITION WITH RELOADS. (12 rounds.) Set two targets 5 yards apart. Load with four rounds. Draw and fire one round at one target, two at the other and one more back at the first. Perform a speed reload, scan and holster. Repeat this two more times.
06 TACTICAL RELOADS. (6 rounds.) This isn’t practiced often enough. You don’t want to shoot until empty during a fight if you can help it. Load your gun and two spare magazines with three rounds each. Draw, fire two shots, perform a tactical reload, fire two more, perform another tactical reload and fire two more rounds. Move to simulated cover during the tac reload if possible.
07 STOPPAGES DRILL. (10 rounds.) Load two magazines with five rounds each, but place an empty casing in there somewhere (not first or last). It’s more of a surprise if you get someone else to load the mags for you. Draw and fire until empty, clearing the stoppage when it occurs. Do this twice.
08 FLASHLIGHT TECHNIQUE. (5 rounds.) Try various flashlight techniques and choose the one most comfortable for you. Start at the low ready, quickly raise the gun to get on target and fire all five rounds. Try to keep the gun and flashlight beam aligned. If you can’t do this in low light, do it anyway. You need to know how things change when you’re holding a flashlight in one hand.
09 FINISH AT 15. (2 rounds.) End with confidence. No matter what distance you chose for the previous drills, set a target at 15 yards. Using slow, aimed fire take two head shots.
10 DRY-FIRE AGAIN. Before you pack up your gear, dry-fire your gun slowly, methodically five more times to reinforce your muscle memory on proper technique.
MAKE IT HARDER
Has this been too easy for you? Challenge yourself by adding time constraints, the number of targets, different shooting positions, movement, more stoppages and by increasing distances.
If there’s a particular technique that needs work, vary the drills to concentrate more on those fundamentals. Add or delete drills as you like, but shoot with purpose. Now get down (to the range) and give me 50. CC
Right: A tactical reload is an important skill that few practice.
xLxexft: Whenever possible, incorporate the use of cover in your training routine.
Regular practice with your concealed carry handgun doesn’t have to involve a great expenditure of time and money.
Flashlight techniques should be included in your regular training sessions.