Let’s assume you’ve got your gun or guns of choice. You are committed to going to the range periodically to ensure you have the proper skill and experience to use the firearm in a moment of critical self-defense. Here are a couple of suggestions as to what can you do to maximize your shooting practice time.
- Practice drawing you firearm from its place of concealment. Until you get perfectly comfortable with this, I would practice this without a firearm initially, then with a definitely unloaded firearm, and then with the firearm itself. If you are going to have to act, you’ll need to keep the element of surprise, so fidgeting with you shirt, purse, or what have you could cost you your life.
- Practice shooting from low and on your side, as if all you’ve done is clear your holster. There’s no need to think that you can’t fire your gun until you’ve extended your firearm out in front of you. You may find yourself needing to shoot sooner than that. Accurate shots can be made from this position. Obviously you don’t have the benefit of your sight apertures, but if you keep your body pointed towards your target, you’ll be surprised what your brain does with the rest.
- Practice shooting in a double-tap fashion. I specifically recommend this strategy for women. The reason being is since women are more sensitive to the sound of a firearm, they tend to wince—if only mildly so—until they get completely comfortable with a firearm. This takes awhile. However, shooting your firearm with the immediate succession of two shots, helps you get used to that. Additionally, your second shot will tend to be more accurate than the first because you typically will no be wincing and waiting for it. The key to effective double-tap practice is that you roll the trigger back twice, one right behind the other, in a rapid succession. Roll twice, reassess. Roll twice, re-assess.
- Practice emptying and entire clip (not what it’s called actually, but what most people refer to when they are discussing the “magazine”) in rapid succession. Yes, do try to make your shots accurate, but this particular practice is to help you get familiar with the hold, feel, and sound of the firearm. (Plus, I have to admit, it’s kind of a rush to empty a full clip (ahem, magazine), and any significant male accompanying you may very well feel the same way. 🙂 )
- Practice shooting with your weak hand. In order to ensure optimal self-defense ability, you want to make sure that you can shoot your firearm in the event your strong hand is impeded. Yes, this will feel very awkward, but you’ve got to make sure you can do it so that you’re defendable in any circumstance. You may also want to try your shooting practice as if you only have one hand available—including loading your firearm, cocking it, and then shooting.
- Practice shooting withOUT your hearing protection. I don’t recommend you doing this a lot, of course. But the bottom line is, you won’t have your hearing protection on in a moment of self-defense. You don’t want to be rattled after your first shot, just because you had never heard an un-muffled shot before. You need to be able to hear it from your own firearm to prepare you, as well as to prepare you to hear and recognize shots fired from another nearby firearm.
- Practice shooing in the dark. Again, is this a likely self-defense shot? Yes. In a dark alley, in the parking lot, or even in your bedroom—these places are all likely to be without the light you typically practice with when enjoying your shooting practice. (Your local professional ranges actually set up scenarios like this for their members.) One of the reasons to practice shooting in the dark is to instill the proper knowledge and confidence necessary in a dark situation for you to defend yourself. Another reason I recommend this is so that you’re not startled by the muzzle flash “flame” of gases that you’ll see being expelled from your firearm in a dark scenario. The gases are always there. It’s just not likely that you see them when you conduct your shooting practice in a well-lit shooting range.
One last word of warning—anytime you’re shooting outside of the ordinary, you must be sure to employ the absolute of caution and safety. With the exception of rolling the trigger in quick successive shots, everything you do prior to and after such shooting practice should be done the maximum amount of safety in mind.
|Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.|
Filed under: firearm education, firearms / guns, self defense, women and guns | Tagged: double tap, draw your firearm, empty an entire clip, flame, hearing protection, muffled shot, muzzle flash, self defense, shoot from the hip, shoot from the holster, shoot in the dark, shoot with your weak hand, shooting practice, shot in the dark |