These shooting tips will help you be prepared no matter what comes at you.
Though many of us hope to never have to use our weapon to save our lives or the lives of our loved ones, it is a harsh reality that we never know what lies ahead of us and could potentially need to use a handgun for more than target practice.
Constantly working to train and improve your skills could mean life or death if you’re ever in a situation where your life depends on your shooting skills. Making sure that you are challenging yourself with the use of these simple tips each time you head to the range can drastically help you improve your overall accuracy.
Remember to always keep the gun safety rules in the front of your mind when using these tips:
1. Keep Your Eyes On The Target
So many shooters get in the habit of finishing out their magazine and then looking down to reload. Next time you hit the shooting range, make it an effort to never look down. Keep your eyes on the target at all times and practice unloading and reloading your weapon while keeping your eyes up and focused.
If your firearm malfunctions, try finding and resolving the issue while holding your gun up to where you can still see the target. In an attack, your intruder most likely won’t pause and wait for you to reload your gun before resuming the threat.
2. Use Dummy Rounds
Try loading multiple magazines with random dummy rounds to help improve your malfunction clearance skills. Switch the magazines up before shooting so that you won’t know when you’ll fire a dummy round.
Once you reach one of your dummy rounds, practice clearing and reloading as if your life depended on it. You never know when your gun will misfire, so be prepared to take on any challenge that comes at you. (Eliminate any temptation to count rounds in your magazine. It will not help you if you cheat and know when the dummy round is coming!)
3. Shooting Fast and Accurately
You never know how much time you have before your attacker reaches you. Practice shooting as soon as your front sights hit the target. Many shooters get in the habit of fixing their stance, slowly easing the gun down range, and holding it there until they feel they have a good line of sight.
4. Non-Dominate Hand
Sometimes in the midst of a violent attack you can be injured, so try to practice shooting with your non-dominant hand or with just one hand. In the event that your dominant hand is injured, you’ll have had plenty of practice and will still be comfortable defending yourself.
Practice unloading and reloading your magazine as well. Getting comfortable shooting with both hands could save your life!
5. Change Your Targets
Do not fall for the idea that your targets are similar to real-life threats. There is nothing worse than assuming that a moving threat is similar to shooting at a paper target stapled to a cardboard box down range.
An attacker would most likely be running at you and/or trying to physically harm you, so make sure you change your templates on a regular basis. Also try changing your stance and the angle at which you are shooting. You may practice standing up and realize that your laying down or kneeling during an attack.
You could also look into virtual shooting scenarios that can help you train for real-life situations. I would also recommend trying force-on-force training. Air soft guns are fairly inexpensive and can give you the opportunity to practice shooting at moving threats without actually hurting anyone.
6. Dry-Fire Drills
This will save you both time and money. We all know that ammunition isn’t cheap and can add up fast when you make regular trips to the range. Obviously, safety is essential and you must always make sure your gun is unloaded. It is a good rule to check three times!
Getting used to the trigger will help improve both your trigger control and your accuracy. This will also help you build your muscle memory. When you feel threatened and you are firing at your attacker, it is extremely likely that you will experience increased heart rate and adrenaline that will cause a loss of fine motor control as well as tunnel-vision, auditory exclusion, and other side effects. If all of these go out, you’ll still feel confident knowing exactly where your trigger needs to be in order to fire.
You can also practice drawing from a holster or shooting from different positions with your unloaded gun.
7. Practice With Your Holster
Don’t purchase a holster and carry concealed just for the sake of having it. Actually take time to practice drawing from your holster and shooting the gun at your target. If you are not used to or familiar with your holster, you could run into issues getting your gun out.
With the huge variety of different concealed carry holsters, you could find some with clips, buttons, or heavy amounts of retention that you wouldn’t be used to drawing from unless you’ve practiced.
8. Your Gun Safe Is Your Friend
Knowing your gun safe like the back of your hand is just as crucial as knowing your gun. Your gun won’t do you much good if you can’t unlock your safe.
In the event that you have a home intruder and feel that your life is threatened, you will need to be calm and confident enough to open your gun safe. Try practicing different scenarios to access your safe. You should be able to type in the key pad code (if applicable) and use a key without needing to look.
Try doing this blindfolded or in a dark room. If you want to take the next step, you can even set up alarms throughout the night to wake you up and practice how long it takes you to retrieve your gun and be ready to shoot.
9. Do Not Seek Danger
Yes. You have a gun and you train every day. Congratulations. You still should not be seeking danger. A good rule of thumb is to remember that “if it isn’t safe without a gun, it isn’t safe with a gun.”
Just because you are armed, doesn’t mean you should go looking for trouble or put yourself in bad situations. Your gun is used for protection as a last resort.
In the event that you ever find yourself having to use your gun in self-defense, make sure that you know the laws of your state and that you contact local authorities immediately.