About Me

I am also the author of 4 books, available on Amazon, and at many major outlets. I have been contributing writer for Combat Handgun Magazine and Women and Guns Magazine.

I was an instructor for many years, Recently retired.

Thank you for following along with me as this journey continues.

Safe Shooting!

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Thoughts, comments and insights for women who shoot and the men who love us!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Do you Practice for Real Life?

Are you a marksmanship shooter of a Self Defense Carry Shooter.  If you are a marksmanship shooter, enjoy, but this isn't for you.  This is for the person who carries a firearm for personal defense.

How do you practice when you go to the range?  Assuming your range lets you draw from a holster, do you?  Do you clear your cover garment, then draw or tuck in first? Do you drop you mag when it is empty as you are reaching for the next one?  Do you shoot at 25 feet or less? Do you use your sights? Do you shoot slow and methodical for rapid fire 2 to 5 shots, and come back into a ready position or even re-holster?

In a threat situation, you may not have time to get a great sight picture, so do you shoot silhouettes and aim for high center mass?  If you are making one big hole, you are probably shooting too slow, if you are all over the target, maybe a little too fast.  Think of the goal of getting all of your shoots in about 6-8 inches, high center mass, with as much speed as you can. 

Are you catching your mag or dropping it?  Mags are expensive, yes, but not fragile.  If it breaks that easily, you probably didn't want it in your carry gun.  Plus it adds seconds to your reload if you are catching and laying down your empty mag and then reaching for your fresh one...seconds you might not have.  Do you watch you mag go in, or do you index so you can feel it (index finger along the front to help guide it in).  If you are looking at your mag, you aren't looking at, or for, the threat.  Practice loading without looking.  It is easier than you think.  Also, keep the gun high and close in your workspace.  Insert the magazine and bring your hand up and over to rack the slide, one smooth motion that flows together like dance steps.

Don't count your shots so you don't anticipate the reload.  If you are shooting with a buddy, have them give you the command for when to draw and fire so you aren't anticipating quite as much.

Have fun with your shooting but practice like you life might depend on it!

Safe shooting!


  1. Yep, right on the button!! If you're not training like you fight - you're not training!

  2. This is a timely post. I realized today at my match that I've been slipping in my practicing. I waited far too long for the perfect shot instead of shooting by instinct like I used to. I've begun second-guessing myself and that's never a good thing. Back to dry fire and using the timer.

    I was, however, trained to retain my mags. It is a conscious effort for me to drop them on the ground. Considering the person who trained me has been there/done that for most of his adult life, I'll keep with that. But...it takes lots of practice to be able to do so without slowing you down and I realize that it's not a practice often taught.

    1. I caught mine, too, until I was convinced of the logic of letting them fall while reaching for the re-load. It wa a tough habit, but there is a lot of empirical evidence that shows the second you lose can make the difference in your survival.

      Be well!

  3. I don't know of any places locally that let you draw from a holster. To do that, we have to go to someone's house that has a bunch of land, and set up a target on the back 200 acres.

  4. that's too bad. The range I go to let's us draw but from strong side hip only. I practice other styles with a blue gun, still like strong side hip.