If you carry a gun for self-defense, or plan to, it is a commitment that cannot be taken lightly. It is your job before you ever even have to draw your pistol to be as prepared as possible, so you can actually defend yourself.
This article is meant to help you get better prepared for an encounter where you do need to pull your weapon to defend yourself by discussing an often unthought of method to get better.
This article is keeping up with my recent batch of posts discussing the simple fact that some people who carry a gun for self-defense really have no clue what they’re doing.
Not knowing something is okay if you recognize it and try to get better. That’s the topic of this post.
Record yourself drawing a dry weapon
The way you respond to a threat is important. You should be able to get your weapon into the fight effectively, once you’ve made the decision that you need it to defend yourself against a violent person.
The problem, is that many concealed carriers cannot get their gun out in such a way that they can accurately shoot their gun.
Before we move on, I just want to say that you should always try to take a class from a qualified instructor because they’re the best possible way to get better. An instructor can see your issues and help you diagnose what you’re doing wrong.
For those of you who have taken a course or have at least a basic knowledge, the tip is to record yourself drawing your dry weapon.
When I say dry, I’m talking about your carry pistol that is empty. No ammo. Ammunition gone. In another room. Etc.
Why do I make such a big deal? Because the last thing you want to have is a negligent discharge.
So, set up a camera, or set your phone down on a counter, or use a tripod, or whatever and then record yourself in all your glory.
Are you surprised by what you saw?
Are you surprised at what you saw on camera? How did you look? Were you able to get a nice, high grip to help you control your recoil and shoot better? Or, were you able to clear your garment at all?
How was your presentation to target?
Chances are excellent that you could use some work. How do I know? Because even after years of doing this myself I’m not perfect, either. That’s why practicing makes sense, and why I still practice even though I’ve been carrying for years and have trained with some of the best instructors in the country.
Slow Down Your Draw Stroke
So after you’ve recorded yourself a few different times and have watched the footage to see what’s going on, practice your draw stroke.
Practicing is the only way you are going to get any better. But, the thing is, and this is where a lot of people go wrong, you have to be intent with your practice.
Remember why you carry a gun. To protect yourself from dying. You should take that seriously. One of the ways you can do this better than just going through the motions and doing your entire draw stroke, is to do micro drills.
What are draw stroke micro drills?
A micro drill is only practicing one small part of an overall skill at a time. This isn’t something I came up with on my own, and the first time I heard it was when I was working with Riley Bowman over at ConcealedCarry.com.
For example, the first step of drawing from concealment is getting your shirt or jacket out of the way, and establishing a full, combat grip.
Do that multiple times in a row. Don’t do anything else but that.
Clear your garment, establish your grip. Rinse. Repeat.
Repeat it again and again until you’re satisfied with your result.
And, when you’re satisfied with your result, record yourself doing just that part. If it sucks, keep practicing. And if it looks good, add the next step in your draw.
Do those micro drills until you’re satisfied with the entire draw stroke, and then record yourself again.
Truth be told, most of us can use a bit of extra work. Dry fire can help with this, but try to get creative by recording yourself or doing it in front of a mirror.
The next step, if you’re able to, is to record yourself while actually at the range. You may notice other things that you can do better once you add the impulse of recoil to the mix.
Never stop practicing to be the best defender you can be. Your very life may depend on it.