Category Archives: Shooting Fundamentals

Shooting fundamentals and skills training.

Self-Defense Long Range Pistol Shooting

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 5.00.51 PMIf you have done your homework on self-defense shootings, be it the police or a civilian doing the shooting, you know that most armed encounters occur at close range.  In fact, the vast majority occur at what is commonly referred to as “conversational distance.”  Bad guys know, and it makes perfect sense, that getting in close before announcing their attack gives them a tactical advantage.  The bad guy gets close before he attacks thereby drastically reducing the time a vicim has to react and put up a defense.  Because of this, most of us practice our defensive shooting tactics at close range.

Now, I ‘m a big proponent of practicing defensive shooting tactics up close because while it should be easier to shoot a target at close range, it becomes more difficult to draw your firearm from concealment when in a hurry.  At close range you may only have a very short period of time to get the gun out of the holster and put an accurate shot on target, especially if the bad guy is so close that you are forced to fight him off with one hand while trying to draw with the other.

But what if the bad guy isn’t up close and personal, what if he is across the parking lot or down a long hall?  Im talking about a bad guy with a rifle who begins shooting 35, 50, 75 or even 100 yards away from you.  If you aren’t the intended target yet, maybe said bad guy is just randomly shooting people, you could turn and high tail it to safety and nobody would fault you for it, or, you could elect to try and put a stop to the shooting spree before it claims more lives.

What if the  bad guy isn’t your garden variety violent offender or nut job, maybe he is a terrorist with a bomb strapped to his chest.  In that scenario, you aren’t going to want to get up close to take him out, you will want to do it at the longest distance possible.  Unless you carry a rifle with you all day, a pistol will probably be your only option in either scenario.

A 100 yard shot with a pistol isn’t as easy as point shooting is from 3 yards, but it is certainly doable.  It’s also a different kind of shooting.  While any real world shooting, meaning, your target is a bad guy and is most likely shooting back,  should be considered “combat shooting,” at conversational distance you will most likely be point shooting.  At long distance, this isn’t an option.  Long distance shooting has more in common with target shooting than combat shooting.  This means you will have to take your time, line up the shot, control your breathing and press the trigger without disturbing the sights.

Typically, the longer the shot, the more time that is needed to make the an accurate shot and the more you need to be paying attention to your breathing.

A  long distance shot incorporates all the same fundamentals of shooting that you have practiced like trigger control and sight alignment, but with a few others.  Firstly, most of us will require a supported position to make a shot with a pistol that far.  The hood of a car, a table or the frame of a door will work.  Your trigger control will have to be spot on.  Any movement of the trigger that moves the sights, even a fraction of an inch can result in a miss.  At long distances, moving the sights will exaggerate an off target shot.  Move the sights slightly at 7 yards will generally result in a hit, at 100 yards, not likely.

Lastly, as a bullet travels from the muzzle of your gun to the target, the bullet will be affected by gravity causing it to drop.  Not at issue up close but depending on the distance to the target, it will be a big issue.  So it is important to know how far it will drop at a given distance and with a given ammunition.   Your gun, it’s caliber and the ammunition weight and makeup will play a role in how far the bullet will drop.  Oh, and don’t forget that the wind will also play a role, a major role in fact on the flight of the bullet.

Because there is a possibility that you may be called on someday to make a long distance shot with your pistol, acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to do so is critical to your success.  While I don’t do it on a regular basis, I do on occasion set up a target 50 or 100 yards out and practice making the shot with my everyday carry pistol.  In doing so, I know that I and my equipment are capable of putting hits on target at those distances.  Should I be called on to do so, I am confident that I at the very least have a fighting  chance at ending a gun fight or taking out a terrorist at distance.  Of course, at the range the targets don’t generally shot back or blow up.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.

If you have doubts about hitting a target with a pistol at long distances, check out the video below of Instructor Zero hitting a target at 300m with a Glock 9mm.

 

Four Gun Safety Rules to LIVE By

Four firearm safety rules to live by presented by Team Glock.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

 

Firearms Training: Trigger Control Drill 1

Trigger control is perhaps the single most import aspect of good shooting, and bad.  It doesn’t matter what else you are doing wrong, if the sights are on target and you are able to manipulate the trigger without disturbing the sights, you will hit your target.  Conversely, you can do everything else right, stance, grip, sight picture and so on, but if you can’t pull the trigger smoothly and without disturbing the sights to the point that they are no longer on target when the gun goes off, you will fail to hit your mark every time.

One of my favorite drills to bring to light any trigger control issues a student who is struggling to consistently hit the target is having is to employ dummy rounds.  I load the magazine for the student with a dummy round every second or third round and then have them shoot a complete magazine while I video them.  When they have shot up the entire magazine which usually contains between 3 and 4 dummy rounds, I review the video with them so that they can see what they are doing wrong.

In the video below, you will see one of my students who is having issues hitting the target at the 25 yard line.  At that range, optimal trigger control is critical.  The second round is a dummy load and you will see the pistol dip down slightly as the student anticipated the shot.  This round would most like hit low on the target or impact just below.

Two things to note.  First, this student is an experienced shooter who had not idea she was anticipating the trigger.  Second, using video is a great way to show somebody, or even yourself that there is a problem in a way that leaves no doubt what is going wrong. (Yup, there are those who pay me good money to train them and then argue with me about what I tell them they are doing wrong.  I love video because it doesn’t lie) In the above example, the issues with anticipating the shot isn’t even detectable without the use of video and the dummy rounds.

I cannot stress strongly enough how invaluable the use of video and dummy rounds is to your training.  Add both to your toolbox of training drills.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.

 

 

You Gotta Train!

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 12.22.35 AMIt is not enough to purchase a gun and a holster and take a concealed carry course to call yourself a responsible gun owner.  To be responsible, you must obtain and constantly be refining the skills necessary to deploy your firearm is a safe and tactically sound manner.  But beyond being responsible, you are doing yourself a huge disservice if you are not competent in your weapons deployment and handling capability.

From a standpoint of being responsible, you must become proficient with a firearm and versed on the laws governing the use of said firearm, especially the laws governing use of force.  From a personal standpoint, it is a waste of time to go through all the trouble and expense of buy gear and carrying it daily if you are not able to skillfully utilize it if and when the time comes.

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To obtain the proper skills necessary for effective everyday carry, routine training is necessary.  Just like any other physical skill, deploying and utilizing a firearm takes practice to learn and master and continued practice to maintain proficiency.

I recommend live fire at the range at least twice a month with a minimum of 50 rounds being fired each time.  When not at the range, it is as important if not more so to practice your draw from concealment.  This is just as critical as actually being able to shoot and hit the target.  Practicing your draw can be done while at home with an unloaded firearm and should be done multiple times per week for about 10 minutes each time.

In addition to practicing your draw, I highly recommend the addition of some dry fire training. Dry fire utilizes an unloaded weapon teaches proper trigger control and sight alignment without the added worry of the recoil or the added expense associated with utilizing ammunition.  Don’t be fooled though, dry fire training has a direct and positive impact on your live fire abilities and is utilized often by professional shooters.

Develop and plan out a training regimen utilizing the above elements to ensure that you are not only a responsible gun owner, but that you acquire and master the skills necessary to become a proficient shooter and practitioner of everyday concealed carry.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.

 

The Proper Way to Carry a 1911

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 9.50.37 AMMany people are ignorant to the correct way to carry a 1911.  Well, John Browning, may you have heard of him, designed he 1911 pistol to be carried in a specific manner.  This video explains.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.