Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - FROM THE EDITOR - Steven Paul Bar­low, Ed­i­tor

“Train with pur­pose be­cause your life might de­pend on it.”

I’ve been both the preacher and the choir on this one, and I’m sure you’ve heard it or some­thing sim­i­lar many times. Yes, you should take your hand­gun train­ing and prac­tice ses­sions se­ri­ously if you want to be pre­pared for a crit­i­cal si­t­u­a­tion. But in that de­ter­mi­na­tion to tune up for the next com­pe­ti­tion or to be ready for an armed con­flict, don’t for­get that shoot­ing is sup­posed to be fun, too.

In this is­sue, we have sto­ries on en­er­giz­ing your range ses­sions with some fun shoot­ing as well as high­light­ing some of the tar­gets avail­able that you can use to do just that.

There might be the mis­con­cep­tion that ca­sual plink­ing is a waste of time and am­mu­ni­tion. But any time you’re at the range shoot­ing, as long as you’re prac­tic­ing good form and not re­in­forc­ing bad habits, you’re hon­ing your skills as a shooter.

By adding re­ac­tive tar­gets that ding, splash, bounce, spin or top­ple, you’re get­ting in­stant feed­back. That’s a lot more fun than walk­ing down range or peeking through a spot­ting scope to see if there’s a hole in the pa­per.

We also have an in­ter­est­ing ar­ti­cle in this is­sue by Leroy Thomp­son that deals with the re­al­is­tic en­gage­ment dis­tances you can ex­pect from dif­fer­ent types of carry guns. Know­ing what you can ex­pect from your skill with your carry gun can be valu­able in­for­ma­tion. I usu­ally take it a step fur­ther with any hand­gun I’m con­sid­er­ing for ev­ery­day carry. I end each prac­tice ses­sion with some plink­ing. In­cluded in the fun is try­ing to stretch the range of my carry guns by tak­ing aim at a 12-inch metal gong at 100 yards. Am I likely to en­gage in a gun­fight at that dis­tance? You can imag­ine sce­nar­ios— in a re­mote area, armed only with a hand­gun against a bad guy with a ri­fle for in­stance—but no, it’s not likely I’ll have to do that. And I limit my shots when hunt­ing with a hand­gun to about half that.

I’m not go­ing to make any ex­ag­ger­ated or un­sub­stan­ti­ated claims that I can hit the steel ev­ery time at 100 yards shoot­ing off­hand with a hand­gun. I can’t. But when I do hit it, that “ding” is ab­so­lutely de­light­ful. And when I miss, I know I’m close enough to worry it.

Is it a waste of time? No. First, to hit a tar­get at that dis­tance my fun­da­men­tals of grip, sight pic­ture and trig­ger con­trol have to be at their best. Se­cond, hit­ting a tar­get at that dis­tance gives me greater con­fi­dence in the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of my hand­gun and my skill to make a dif­fi­cult shot when it might be nec­es­sary. And third, it’s fun and keeps me com­ing back.

So, when you train, make it count. But re­mem­ber the sheer joy of shoot­ing. Hit a soup can or knock over a bowl­ing pin on oc­ca­sion. And maybe try your luck on some steel at 100.

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