CCW Practice and preparation...How realistic do you get?
Much like the topic says, I've been reading the CCW threads, and a rudimentary (usually, some go into more detail) outline of practicing.
Let me explain how I practice, and see how everyone else either agrees or disagrees with this.
I CCW on my right. When I go to the range to practice, I do not move my pistol out to where it is no longer obstructed. Why?
Because, in my mind, in a real world encounter where I would need to access said weapon, I seriously doubt the BG is going to let me call 'time out' so I can clear a path to my defensive utensil.
Thus, when I do go, I start slowly, moving my shirt to access my weapon, then drawing and firing.
Then I go through the 'change the mag, store it, change it, then re-holster it' routine.
My entire drill, after I've warmed up, takes seconds, but it's because I want to make sure it is clearly drilled on how to do it.
I never tuck my shirt in, and all of them are of basically the same length and material, and I like to keep my motions as clean and efficient as possible.
Now...why do I do the drill this way?
In a crisis scenario, you must account for the entire motion. The motion goes significantly beyond the draw and fire aspect.
First point, remove your obstruction (shirt), while at the same time, your weapon hand is going for your weapon.
Being able to do this without looking is important. That one second glance away from your target means your target may not be where you remember him at, so you should keep your eyes ahead, not watching your hands.
Finger off the trigger as the weapon comes up, to prevent (if you have a weapon with 'wonky' safety's), which means it's one that, if you really don't know it well, can cause you to shoot yourself.)
Weapon up, safety off (depending again on your weapon)target centered and fire.
Target hit, drop the magazine (scanning for other BG's, obviously, before completing, and making sure your target is down), replace spent magazine with a fresh one and holster the used one.
As Arizona said, always do that. Then, once area is clear, reholster safely, and stand down.
Rinse and repeat, faster each time until it is a coordinated move. If you've never tried this, please do so with an unloaded weapon to begin with.
The alternate method? I practice as if I cannot use my left hand, as it is warding off the BG or otherwise unable to assist, and thus, do the entire operation one handed.
Again, slowly to start, (empty if never before done), and increase speed until I feel that I am performing at my highest level with it.
I realize that this is 'preaching to the choir', but I'm going to say it anyway.
Just because someone HAS a CCW doesn't mean that little card makes someone proficient in a crisis situation.
Being unprepared and unpracticed puts not just you, but innocents around you, in jeopardy, and increases your legal problems significantly if you ever do have to draw your weapon. (I hope all of us go to the dirt nap viewed as paranoid people, rather than getting to say 'told ya so!')
If I buy a new gun, it will get lots of range visits (rotating with my primary, so that I don't lose my edge with it), and only after I feel that I am equal with it to my primary will it ever replace it.
It starts with several boxes of rounds down the range just getting acquainted with the gun, and making sure I don't have issues with FTF and FTE's.
Having a weapon that has mechanical issues as your primary is like carrying a spare tire that is bald. Why waste your time?
What say the wiser heads? What is your practice policy?
I practice safe gun handling.
My opinion is, You shouldnt practice draws with live ammo. Pulling a gun at speed from a concealed location is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Its how a lot of self inflicted wounds happen.
I train with snap caps loaded. When i practice drawing from concealed holster. Being totally familiar with the firearm your using is the most important factor. Seldom in a true sd situation is speed drawing going to be a factor.
Anyway im sure other folks have different theories and practice than my own.
I'll check into them and see exactly what the story is.
Okay. Checked them out. I'll amend my previous post. I'll have to order some snap caps and practice with them.
I think they'd be excellent for usage with people new to weapons, and even old hands. You can practice at home all day long with those, even in a subdivision!
The practice session sounds good. It does promote familiarity with your gun & setup. I agree that in the beginning it should be done with an unloaded gun, slowly at first increasing speed.
This should be done even years down the road, but there does need to be live fire practice, where you draw and fire real bullets at real targets. One should practice without ammo until they feel comfortable with the process. When first using live ammo do everything slow and deliberate. In other words don't push speed, yet.
My best advice to get better, and faster, is to go watch an IDPA or similar match and them compete in a couple. Best way to improve and to really see what a reasonable goal is.
My present practice: I have 2 targets separated about 10 feet. It is like I'm being approached. At a distance of 5 to 7 yds I draw on timer signal and fire once at each target.
Presently I can consistently do the in under 3 seconds with a 95% or better hit rate. I'm working on getting my averages times down below 2.5 seconds. Most importantly, my first engagement is NOT the slowest nor the least accurate. In other words I don't have to warm up to get good results. (A very good thing since I won't get a chance to warm up in real life.)
BTW, a lot of public ranges will not allow drawing a loaded gun and practicing like this. There are a few around here that do but best bet is to find a group like I mentioned and shoot with them. There are a lot of very knowledgable folks at those who are willing to help. Your gun handling skills will vastly improve. BTW, IDPA at least does concealed carry type situations. No race guns or rigs allowed.
The important things in proper order:
1. Be safe
2. Be accurate (you can't miss fast enough)
3. Be fast
In other words; take your time and safely draw, carefully aim, squeeze the trigger and make a good shot. But do be QUICK about it!
Just googled it and actually found someplace that holds those matches more than once a month. Hour drive, but it should be worth it for the challenge.
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything". That said I practice drawing and firing my three carry firearms weekly and when I'm at the range especially. I carry my Ruger SR9c on my hip with the Kahr PM9 in my pocket during the summer and spring. During the fall and winter I carry my Springfield 1911A1 on my hip with the Kahr PM9 in my pocket too. What I do is simply practice with all of them drawing them from their holster as smoothly, quickly, and safely as I can. Then I also practice seeing the sights as quicly as I can and pulling the trigger. Since both my Ruger and Springfield have thumb safties I carry them in the holster with the saftey on, and while I'm drawing I disengage it while the gun is beginning to point to it's intended target.
I always practice from holster. Here's my routine.
I draw, firing once from the hip before bringing it up on target and firing twice more. Holster and repeat.
Then when I am empty I reload and start again. This time drawing, acquiring target, fire one holster and repeat.
Third time through I draw and fire using only my week hand, drawing from across my body without adjusting my holster, and firing holster and repeat.
Fourth time through I draw strong hand fire three to four rounds, holster draw again fire three to four, change magazine fire till empty...
Once I have completed this, THEN I start firing for proficiency. Never reversed cause I want to make sure I draw and fire before getting comfy... More realistic that way
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