weapon manipulation: is it second nature for you?
One of the first things we learn when shooting is how the firearm operates, hopefully before taking a shot. But as I was taught, if you can't clear a jam, or reload while keeping your eyes on target, then you need to practice. This goes for semis and wheelguns. My thought was how will I be able to load a revolver without a speed loader and not look, impossible. But a few years down the road, its as natural as changing channels on the remote without looking. At first I thought big deal, I'll just look so I get it right and don't drop my ammo or magazine. But my dad showed me the importance. He stood 20 ft away and had me simulate drawing, firing, and clearing a jam before he reached me with a red magic marker. So once the simulated jam took place, he would proceed toward me as a knife wielding psyco. I drop the mag looked to insure the jam was clear reached for my new mag, looked to make sure it was turned correctly,went to insert it, slash. He beat me. WALKING. Now I'm nervous. Try again. This time with dummy rounds. Simulated jam drill; dropped mag, cleared breach, new mag, slash. He got me again. From that day, I realized how important weapon manipulation is. Even though jamming is less likely these days with well made semi autos and good maintenance practice, they're still possible and clearing them should be second nature. Even drawing your weapon on a rushing attacker from 10ft away takes a lot of practice, especially from concealment. Not to mention charging the weapon if you don't keep one in the chamber( bad idea if you don't imho). Then factor in the time you have to spend assessing is this real or someone playing with you, you don't want to draw on a neighbors kid or your own kid who thought it'd be funny to spook you. Now factor in stress, basic motor skills will be hindered when that adrenaline kicks in. Being aware of your surroundings is very critical, but you're surprised, a clean, quick draw will take practice. A reload in the dark with an intruder in your house takes practice, if you want to keep an eye on his whereabouts. How often do you guys practice weapon manipulation?