Improving firearms proficiency should be a goal of responsible gun owners, especially those with concealed carry permits. This article provides tips for improving your proficiency.
We train with some of the world’s foremost firearms experts—Army Green Berets, Army Rangers, Marine Special Operations, Navy Seals, Canadian Special Forces, Police SWAT, and competition shooters. The one lesson we learned from every one of these trainers is this: Improving firearms proficiency requires training.
Here are some of the most important tips we learned about improving firearms proficiency:
Train With Experts
When we go to indoor public firearms ranges we often see a lot of inexperienced shooters who are clearly not trained. It seems like they bought a gun, showed up to shoot, and just start banging away at a paper target….and miss…a lot. Then, they start shooting faster apparently thinking that faster shooting will increase their accuracy.
If you decide to purchase a handgun, or if you already have one, it is important to get training from firearms experts. These experts can be local firearms instructors or they can be found at nationally-recognized training sites. Here are four examples of where we train with national-level experts (not all of these venues are open to the general public).
Oak Grove Technologies
Find a Range
If you want to improve your proficiency you must train regularly. Our vice president trains a minimum of two times a week and shoots 400 to 600 rounds a month.
To train regularly you need to find a range that is close to you so you can use it at least once a month (supplemented by dry practice at home with an unloaded firearm).
Indoor ranges should be able to rent firearms if you want to try out a new handgun, sell ammunition, and sell targets. Of course, you can bring your own gun, ammunition, and targets. For an outdoor range you will need target frames, targets, ammunition and a handgun. When shooting on private property remember that projectiles fired from a handgun can travel a great distance so be sure of your target and what’s beyond it.
Practice Handgun Manipulation
Manipulating a handgun correctly is one of the keys to shooting accurately. Handgun manipulation is about stance, breathing, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press, and follow-through. Handgun manipulation also includes resolving malfunctions quickly.
People aren’t born with handgun manipulation skills. They need to be learned and practiced. You need expert training to develop those skills.
As you begin to develop handgun manipulation skills it is very important to practice those skills every time you go to the range.
When possible, it is very helpful to get feedback from an expert trainer about your handgun skills. If an expert trainer is unavailable then you can use a device like MantisX…”a revolutionary firearms training device that helps shooters of all types to improve their shooting mechanics more rapidly.” https://mantisx.com/.
The MantisX device is attached to the rail of your handgun. The MantisX App is downloaded to your cell phone or IPad, which can sit on the shooting platform in front of you. The device senses the motion of your handgun when you shoot and gives you instant feedback on your phone or IPad screen about what you are doing (for example, slapping the trigger).
Dry Practice At Home
You can practice your handgun manipulation skills at home with an unloaded firearm–repeat–with an unloaded firearm. You can practice drawing from the holster, you can practice magazine reloading (tactical and emergency), and you can dry practice the operation of the handgun (practicing sight picture, sight alignment, and trigger press without ammunition in the firearm).
Jerry Barnhart (http://jerrybarnhart.com/) is one of the world’s most renowned competition shooters known for his speed and accuracy. He developed his handgun manipulation skills by dry practicing at home. His skill-level is a testimony to dry practice at home.
Keep a Training Log
It is useful to keep a training log. It helps you to keep a record of when you went to the range, which handgun you used, and what handgun manipulation skills you practiced. Training logs can be homemade or you can purchase one like the Burnett Handgun Training Log (https://www.concealedcarry.com/product/handgun-training-drill-cards-and-log-book/) which is the one we use.
Shooting a handgun accurately requires training. Learning to shoot accurately is also a moral obligation in our opinion. If you shoot and miss your target and hit an innocent person you will find yourself in a lot of legal trouble. You will also have to live with the memory of that tragedy.