Usually the phrase “going through the motions” carries a negative connotation. Like feigning interest hearing about Uncle Stanislaw’s commemorative spoon collection. Exciting as that may be, some of us would have to gen up a bit of enthusiasm to inspect his most recent purchase from the International Tea Set and Doilie Museum.
When it comes to concealed carry, not going through the motions can be deadly.
What do I mean by going through the motions? The motions of practice! Practicing drawing your concealed gun. Practicing changing magazines. Practicing clearing malfunctions.
Most people assume they will rise to the occasion with relatively simple and basic skills like drawing a gun, changing magazines or clearing a jam. There’s a real easy way to disprove that notion. Enter a local shooting match. Steel Challenge, IDPA or USPSA – it doesn’t really matter. The first time you have to perform an action under the stress of a clock running and crowd watching, you’ll most likely see how quickly you fall right back to the level of your most frequent practice. And that’s with an infinitesimal level of stress compared to any real armed conflict. The first time you do that I can almost guarantee you’ll mess up at least a little. Heck, in one of the training classes I took, the instructor was hollering at me (just for fun and to try to induce a little pressure while I was shooting) and I managed to dump a full magazine on the ground, eject two live cartridges and inadvertently engage the safety before getting off a successful shot. He and the rest of the class had a great laugh from that experience. It wasn’t unprofessional or malicious – just the opposite. You see, I was feeling kind of cocky because I was the guy shooting awesome groups at a whopping range of 7 yards, so our opportunistic instructor saw a chance to teach us all a valuable lesson. By tormenting me, he showed the class how easy it is to revert to your lowest level of skill with only a little bit of induced stress.
Fortunately, developing some muscle and brain memory through practice is easy. And you can do it at home with your carry gun if you practice safe dry fire procedures. After all, dry firing is not as dirty as it sounds. Or, you can get fancy and invest in a practice gun like the S.I.R.T. training pistol. That’s money well spent as it provides visual feedback on where your practice shots hit.
Here are a few of the scenarios I like to practice in my home office and man cave.
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