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Old March 12, 2013, 04:22 PM   #1
AK71
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What to practice at the range? home?

I have my first gun, been to the range a few times, and am getting pretty comfortable (and really enjoying myself!). With the goal of HD in mind, what drills should I being doing to be best prepared if the worst happens (e.g. how far away, how close of groupings etc.). Also, what things should I practice "dry" at home?

I'm signing up for an HD class but don't think it will be till August, so I'd like to start preparing now...
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Old March 12, 2013, 04:37 PM   #2
2ndsojourn
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I practice quick draw at home.
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Old March 12, 2013, 05:31 PM   #3
REDBULL600
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I guess, first what Weapons system are we talking about?

Shotgun/rifle or handgun?

What I did when I first got my handgun and a GunVault bedside safe, I practiced quickly getting out from under the covers, punching in the code and drawing the weapon and light (my gun won't except a weapons light so training shooting one handed is a must for me), I would do this with my eyes closed. Then with my wife we would drilled out our plan of attack; Gun/light/phone/down the hall flipping the hall light on, confirm child in bed and is not the source of suspicious noise/family enclosed in room and dial 911. I do not intend on "clearing the house" not yet. That training course is at the end of the month

Now that I have my Carry Holster, I carry around in the house. I often empty the gun and practice "Dry" drills. Drawing and getting to cover. I usually do this when I am home alone and do so in situations that we would be most vulnerable; ie sitting at the dinner table or in the kitchen cooking etc. I've just shouted at my kid like a drill sergeant to move to a safe room and grab a phone on the way while we play commando with the nerf guns.

I suggest getting snap caps/dummy rounds for any and all "dry" practice. They are super cheap, amazon.

Also, something I am working on (and I got this off of the PDN) is an "action" Belt or vest. What it is is a tactical belt or vest that has lots of goodies on it; ie first aid kit, extra mags/ammo, a place for phone, light and anything else you can think of that you may want/need in the event of an actual event that will require action. I now keep an old pair of shoe that I can slip on quickly and can run in if needs be by the bed.

Please don't just think of HD scenarios, but also of emergency ones. Fire, tornado etc. That is how we evolved our HD strategy, from our Fire drill. It is virtually the same drill but with a Gun.

Anyways, hope this helps.

Carry on. Andy
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Old March 12, 2013, 06:45 PM   #4
AK71
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To be more specific

Thanks RedBull for that comprehensive response for home practice!

At this point I plan on just having a handgun and it will likely be a semi (currently have a XD9 but would also love suggestions on better options for HD). How accurate should I become? I've read seven yards is the normal distance but how close should a grouping of say five rounds be from that distance? What stances/holds should I practice? Any other distances I should work on (my club has ranges of 7, 15, 25, 50, 100 yards outside and up to 50 feet inside)?
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Old March 13, 2013, 11:02 AM   #5
REDBULL600
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Your Welcome.

The distance I practice is, the distance of my Hallway. As I said above, plan A is proceed down the hallway and stay in the room. However one side of that hallway is open to the downstairs all the way to the room. So I'll be able to scan that area as we go. So that distance I need to practice as well however, I do not intend on making any shots till I confirm all family members are accounted for. I do Plan on practicing shooting from an elevated position but have not had the chance yet.

So Get a plan, determine your distances and practice them, I believe only you can make that determination as its your home/scenario.

I can't help on stance, I too am learn about them. I've been told I stand and shoot like a defensive tight end,, ready to tackle the snot out of you.

(edit)

How accurate? As good as you can get,,, then get better. Training, training and training. This is my yr of training, I am not buying another handgun till I have become extremely proficient with my current carry gun.

I've been shooting handguns for 6 months and I have a long ways to go. Some are naturals, I am not. Then put all that under pressure, live fire training for instance, and that will tell you have much farther you have to go. I thought I was pretty good till I took a training course.. ugh,, back to the range.

Andy

Last edited by REDBULL600; March 13, 2013 at 11:21 AM.
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Old March 13, 2013, 12:07 PM   #6
ChrisTx
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Being a decent shot is just a small part of it. Practice looking down your sights while moving around quickly. If you ever have to shoot at someone, I promise you won't be standing still, and you may not even be standing upright. The hardest thing you will have to do is shoot at a moving target while trying not to trip over your own feet. Learn the difference between cover and concealment, and how to keep from being silhouetted against lights. The last thing you want to be is a nice big B27 outline for someone shooting back at you. If you have to enter a room, don't walk in, crouch and peak around first. If someone is waiting for you, they may have their gun trained at eye level. That split second that it takes for them to see you are not at eye level might be all you need to get back.
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Old March 13, 2013, 12:18 PM   #7
I'vebeenduped
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REDBULL600
"I suggest getting snap caps/dummy rounds for any and all "dry" practice. They are super cheap, amazon."

^^ Great advice!! If I may add my two cents worth; With a dummy round loaded, point your weapon at a corner of your training room. The point is to keep the sights lined up on the seam of the wall as you squeeze the trigger. This will help you identify if you pull left or right and make corrections BEFORE you waste too much money on ammunition. Get to the point when you are able to CONSISTENTLY remove your weapon from its holster, point it into the corner, and have no movement when you squeeze the trigger. Once this is good, get some range time.

There was a post, not too long ago, about a laser system. If I had the funds, I think this would fit nicely into an exercise regimen. http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=510975
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Old March 13, 2013, 01:08 PM   #8
REDBULL600
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Quote:
With a dummy round loaded, point your weapon at a corner of your training room. The point is to keep the sights lined up on the seam of the wall as you squeeze the trigger. This will help you identify if you pull left or right and make corrections

Thats awesome. I'll try that.

Also i got a bullet laser for sighting in that I sometimes chamber it and practice drawing to see what I am covering in my draw. Amazon on that too.
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Old March 13, 2013, 08:19 PM   #9
B.O.F.H.
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I have a silhouette on a hanger in the guess bedroom. I also have spare magazines with snap caps in the same room. If the plan is to dry fire ( done once daily at the same time of day) no ammo goes in that room. Guns are unloaded in a different room and loaded mags left there.

I enter room, open closet with silhouette, and load snap caps in handguns. Conceal handguns as they would be carried and work all drills from concealment. My goal is muscle memory.

Upon completion I close the closet door as I dont want to see that target unless I am dry firing. I go to my ammo and say out loud that "I am done dry firing, my guns are now loaded. If I pull the trigger they will fire."

Been doing this for 2 and a half, maybe 3 years and have not had a nd.
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:26 AM   #10
REDBULL600
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B.O.F.H., that is a good plan. Thumbs up on that.
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:55 AM   #11
Gaerek
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Here's some additional tips:

Read. Read a lot. There are tons of good books out there. I know you mentioned HD, but if you're planning on getting your CCW (and why be protected only half the time? Might as well make it all the time ) there are other books I can recommend.

In the Gravest Extreme by Massad Ayoob - This was written in the late 70's or early 80's, so some of the equipment suggestions (ammo, guns, holsters, etc) are outdated, but the information on Use of Force, and what to do after a defensive shooting is still very relevant. This is probably still the best book available on the topic.

Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry by Massad Ayoob - The newest edition was just written last year, so equipment suggestions are not outdated. Some of the info from In the Gravest Extreme is re-iterated in this book, but it's still a good idea to read both. He goes a lot into equipment, he talks about some drills and practice regimes, and also some on use of force.

As far as drills are concerned, this will depend fully on what your local range allows you to do. With some ranges, rapid fire is considered 1 shot per second, and going over that could be against the rules. Some ranges might give you the opportunity to move around (most won't). But it's important to learn to move and shoot. Here's a few drills I still do some times at static ranges (where I can't move):

1. Ball and Dummy Drill - While filling your magazine, randomly insert dummy rounds. 20-30% of your mag should be dummy rounds. The random part is kinda tough. There's two ways I've found to do it. First is to have someone else fill your mags. Offer to fill their mags for them, in turn. Second is to put enough ammo and dummy rounds into a bowl to fill your mags. Then, fill your mags with your eyes closed. Try to do your best not to guess which rounds are dummy or not by feel. This will also prepare you to fill mags if you have to do it in less than ideal conditions (and is the way I usually do it).

Now, fire your gun in whatever manner you feel you need to. It can be slow fire, fast fire, whatever. You can even do this during another drill. This drill does two things. First, and foremost, it will help you diagnose flinches that you might not think you have. If your gun moves while pulling the trigger on a dummy round...you have a flinch! Now you know, and now you can correct it. I still run this drill on occasion to ensure my flinch is gone. Second, it allows you to run a malfunction clearing drill (Tap. Rack.).

2. Get a target that has multiple bullseyes. If the bullseyes can't be differentiated from one another easily, label them with numbers or letters. From a holster have a friend call out a target, and a number of shots. Your job is simply to put the correct number of shots into the correct target as quickly as you can. If you have a shot timer, or have access to one, use it! It'll help you determine if you're getting better. If not, it's no big deal. If you're missing, slow down a bit. If you're getting tight groups, speed up.

3. Practice transitioning between targets. Either going from body to head on a silhouette, or on a target with multiple bullseyes. Like #2, try to go as quickly as you can. If you're missing, slow down a bit. If you're getting tight groups, speed up.

This is a good start. I do a variety of things at the range. My range has swing out barriers you can shoot from behind, and I use those fairly often to practice using cover. Make sure you're dry firing too. Practice reloads...practice reloads...practice reloads.

I hope that's a good start.
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Old March 14, 2013, 12:17 PM   #12
FAS1
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Kids? With HD in mind, how and where will you be storing your gun?

Along with the other good suggestions above, I would figure that out and practice being able to get your gun quickly in the dark and with one hand only.
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Old March 14, 2013, 01:14 PM   #13
AK71
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Gaerek, that is some great info! I was just thinking about getting some books so that was a big help. I am definitely planning to carry concealed as soon as my license comes in (hopefully less than a month) and I get the right gun/holster/practice.
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