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Let's be realistic


nra instructor
January 10, 2012

I was debating whether to post this under the Concealed Carry area but it's general enough that it should fit here. If not, I'm sure "da Boss" can move it where it belongs.

I'm sure you've all got a few friends who may start talking with you about guns or tactics or concealed/open carry from time to time.

I've got them and a lot of them are even retired law enforcement from around the country.

Almost to a man, none of them regularly do any kind of practical shooting. Most rarely even shoot at a square range but they will talk up a good story or two about how "good" they are with the gun they've had since the mid 80's (or earlier) that they shoot "a few times a year".

Your ears should perk up when you hear that saying. "A few times a year" really means they've been to a range of some sort, maybe, in the last few years or so. Once!

Since I've been into the IDPA shooting thing, a lot of my "gun" friends have decided they would like to try it and they tell me how much they've been practicing and all that.

It becomes painfully obvious that they were kind of "fibbing" a bit when they actually show up at the range and start doing some very odd things.

Gentlemen, I can't blame them as I was in the same scenario last year. I was kidding myself about being "up to speed" and "well qualified" with my guns, just like the guys I'm seeing now.

I hate to sound like a broken record but I've seen it enough now to make me a believer that you really can't have too much gun handling time!

Seriously. I watch these guys come out, make some serious handling mistakes (hands on muzzles with loaded guns is very popular), sweeping your friends, your feet, your face and some places I haven't even thought about. Now I wasn't that bad, but I'm seeing it from my own friends so I'm sure the range officers have seen it with other people.

Gear that just doesn't work right. Gun jams. Magazine failures. Bad ammunition.

A super "clean" 1911 may look nice but if it jams with every other magazine, I don't think I really want to be carrying that gun for any reason!!

So, not to beat a dead horse here, but try to get out and make sure the gear you're carrying to potentially SAVE YOUR LIFE is actually going to do that when the time comes. You'll only get one chance and if you're rusty, not sure of your equipment, don't have confidence in your ability to draw and shoot (and get out of the way of the bad guy), or just plain don't feel comfortable with lots of handling of your weapon, then you really NEED to get out and work with the gun. Make sure it's right for you and downright 100% ready to work.

For the longest time I had the "hots" for a particular 9mm compact gun. I drooled everytime I would see an ad for it. I finally got my hands on one and after shooting it decided there was no way I could live with that gun, no matter how sexy it looked. Gun handling time solves a lot of problems down the road!!!

I've seen my own skills dramatically increase in the last half year and it's all because of serious range time doing things I needed to be doing, that I wasn't when I used to go "infrequently" to the square ranges.

Drawing, moving, shooting, hiding, MOVING AWAY and things like that will make your ability to stay alive and stay out of jail that much better.

What more can I say about it. I see the new guys I bring in display horrible handling and a host of other problems. Even they ALL admit they were pretty rusty and were just fooling themselves. They all come back and they all learn something every week now and the changes in all of them are very noticible. You can see the confidence in their shooting and overall gun handling and it's so much better than when they first showed up.

Guys, get some gun time in and keep at it.

AD (off the sermon box and back to the hot tub for tonight)