Practice for real life.
Is that it? Yep! Practice for real life. Think about it, in a confrontation are you going to calmly step up to the table, pick you gun up off the table, because that is where you put it after you unloaded your carry ammo and put in your practice ammo, along with the neat row of extra magazines laid out next to it? Then slowly bring it up and drive out, take a deep breath, exhale part way, ease your finger of the frame and on to the trigger as you get your perfect sight picture and pull the trigger? Then, moving your finger back on to the frame, bring your pistol back into the ready position so you can see where you shot went?
You are going to be scared, heart pounding, breathing a little fast, assessing, thinking, drawing, thinking, aiming, thinking, then maybe firing a couple quick shots without using your sights. Not to mention all the other physiological reactions the body will be going through. You may have a malfunction. How efficiently can you clear it? You may need to reload, can you do that while simultaneously scanning and assessing the area around you for additional threats?
When there is no time to think is when there is the most to think about. You need to practice your own survival, believe in yourself, NEVER GIVE UP! As long as you are breathing, you have a chance. Most non-self inflicted gunshot wounds are not fatal.
If you can, consider running in place for a couple minutes (or however long it takes to get you breathing hard) and then shoot. What a difference! Have a buddy shoot with you and do things to distract you like throwing brass at the back of your neck or yelling in your earmuffs. Use your imagination! Confrontations that are serious enough to draw your gun are fast, unpredictable, messy and scary.
If you are looking for a class that will help you understand all of this better, consider any of the Combat Focus Shooting courses, offered locally by Innovative Defensive Solutions, LLC. These classes will help if you are a man, a woman, a long time shooter, or someone who just bought their first gun and wants to learn to defend themselves.
Practice as if your life may depend on it, and stay safe.
By Adjunct Instructor, Lynne Finch