Practicing under adverse conditions

Testing the effect of adverse weather on our shooting ability is useful. This year is already starting out with a colder winter than usual and it’s not even officially winter yet. That may be the ‘climate change’ trend for a while. The temperature today is 36 degrees and there’s a very light mist. Wearing a zipped up down jacket with a sweatshirt underneath and gloves may be the uniform for a while.

A good test for starters is the NRA Basics Of Pistol Shooting test. It consists of firing five shots into each of four circles, four inches in diameter at three increasing distances. Red Level is fired at 10 feet, White Level is shot at 15 feet, and Blue Level finishes the test at 20 feet for a total of 60 rounds. There is no time limit.

BOPS targets

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Deliberate Practice

This is a great article. It contains many useful tidbits that can be applied to those want to improve their proficiency not only with firearms but also to a broad array of personal protection skills.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-beginner-s-guide-to-deliberate-practice-1576022377

Deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance.

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Revolver practice

Question from a reader:

I bought your ebook/pdf “Concealed skills and Drills”. I like the book a lot and am working my way through it.

I have a couple of questions about the drills which feature a magazine to simulate a dryfire trigger press. I am a revolver user and I am using the cylinder spin method from your PDN dvd. It seems to me that that should work as well or am I missing something?

Answer:

The cylinder spin method is ideal and that’s what I use. I had to come up with a solution for the autoloaders because they can’t do this type of exercise as well as wheelguns. Keep doing what you’re doing.

Black Friday sale

I’m running a Black Friday weekend special on both my eBooks – Concealed Carry Skills and Drills and Indoor Range Practice Sessions. Through Sunday, they’re 20% off. Ordinarily, priced at $9.95 but for the weekend, $7.96.

http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com​

http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com​

PX4 sq

Revisiting Negative Outcomes

I wrote this Guest Editorial: Avoiding Negative Outcomes for The Tactical Wire four years ago. Given the number of Negative Outcomes that have shown up in my Google feed lately, it’s worth reviewing.

http://www.thetacticalwire.com/features/229266

Complacency Kills. It can happen to any of us.

Press the trigger smoothly

#fridayfundamentals

One of the components of NOT producing buckshot targets with a pistol is pressing the trigger smoothly and straight to the rear. With Double Action handguns, either revolvers or autoloaders, this is especially true but it applies to any handgun or rifle. Revolver shooters must master this skill if they want the wheelgun to be anything more than an “arm’s length gun.”

Goober target 07242018

Buckshot with a handgun

Now that the weather is turning colder and, for some folks, snowy, we have the opportunity to work on our trigger press in dry practice. Here are two drills that can dramatically increase your ability to manipulate the trigger correctly.

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Followup on Negative Outcome (Part I)

It’s useful to track a Negative Outcome incident from start to finish. In this case, the Negative Outcome was an Unjustifiable Shooting.

Man who killed teens trespassing on property sentenced to prison

A quick summary of the events is:

  • Two individuals were on a Michigan man’s property, early in the morning.
  • Most likely their intent was to steal. They were on a ‘crime spree.’
  • The man heard them and came out on his porch with a .22 semi-automatic rifle.
  • He challenged them.
  • At least one of them began to run away.
  • He shot both of them and killed them.
  • An investigation followed.
  • Months later, he was arrested and charged with two counts of second degree murder.
  • More than two years later, he was convicted and sentenced to a long prison term.

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Equipment is not a proxy for skill

Yesterday, this article showed up in the search that I continually have running for personal protection incidents and I shared it on Facebook.

Prosecutor: 13 bullet holes showed self-defense for man cleared of murder charge https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/counties/dewitt/prosecutor-bullet-holes-showed-self-defense-for-man-cleared-of/article_def55934-d637-11e8-9546-637075a1ed02.html

When I share things, I often quote what I consider an important point of the story. For this incident, I thought this was important.

The number of bullets fired by Martinez [27] stood in stark contrast to the single, fatal shot from Kirkman’s antique, bolt-action .22-caliber rifle.

winchester 22 rifleSomeone immediately took me to task about the .22 caliber aspect. Apparently, they thought I was advocating carrying a single shot .22 rifle for personal protection. I don’t recall saying that, I merely used the quote as an illustration of the difference between being a spray and pray artist vis-à-vis aiming and getting a good hit. Perhaps that wasn’t clear from the quote.

antonio shooting giphy

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Too quick on the trigger?

Every month, Tamara Keel pens a page called Good Guys Win https://www.swatmag.com/articles/more-articles/good-guys-win/ in SWAT magazine. It’s similar to The Armed Citizen from the NRA Official Journals in that the stories are based on real life incidents rather than ‘Ninjas Coming from the Ceiling’ fantasies. One of her stories this month came from this incident.

Cable man opens fire during robbery attempt while working in north Houston

Police say one of the suspects was shot in the leg.

Whenever I see an incident in which the Good Guy shoots the Bad Guy in the leg, which happens on a regular basis, I wonder if it’s because GG got on the trigger too quickly. While ‘shoot him in the leg’ is a rather popular meme, I doubt it’s something that people do instinctively. We’ve got to practice getting the gun into the eye-target line before putting our finger into the trigger guard. Another possibility was some serious trigger jerking, which is why we need to learn to press the trigger smoothly, even when we’re stressed.

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Consistency

Consistent. Merriam-Webster defines it as:

marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity: free from variation or contradiction

During his Technical Handgun: Tests and Standards class last weekend, John Johnston of Ballistic Radio commented to me that the class had been heavily influenced by two conversations he and I had. In one, I said

You’re a good shooter but your consistency sucks.

He took that to heart and developed a personal program to increase his consistency. Technical Handgun is his road show about how shooters can use a personal program to increase their consistency and competency. Good shooting, even decent shooting, is the result of consistency. By that I mean the ability to perform at some level with a high degree of regularity. As we develop our consistency, the level we are able to perform at ‘on demand’ increases. Many shooters are perfectly content with being incompetent. Many others are not but don’t know how to go about increasing their competency.

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