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Old October 24, 2012, 05:13 PM   #39
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 7,438
Originally Posted by donato
I just don't have the time nor the resources to do all this training.
It does not have to take a lot of time, and it need not cost more than you're willing to spend. It will take a decision that it's worthwhile to learn, and it will take enough willpower to follow through on that decision.

Step one: Financial investment in appropriate gear. That's a reliable carry gun, solid holster, good belt, and a steady supply of decent ammunition for live practice. Does not have to be a large supply, does have to be a steady one. Add a weighted dummy magazine (from Ring's Blue Guns) plus another $10 or so for a Training Barrel (from Blade Tech or TrainSafe) and you're good to go. For a revolver, add enough snap caps to fill two or three speedloaders.

Step two: Set up an appropriate dry fire area in your home. That's an area that can't be seen by the neighbors (draw the curtain) and that has a safe backstop -- one that would definitely stop a bullet of the most powerful type that would fit inside your firearm. Examples include: brick fireplace, solid basement wall, large cardboard box solidly filled with phone books or folded newspapers, 5-gallon bucket full of sand. Follow safe dry fire rules for ALL practice you do inside your home.

Step three: Learn how to do one, small skill. Not something big, something small. Something like, "Bring the gun up to eye level and press the trigger one time, smoothly." Or like, "Getting the gun smoothly out of the holster, without allowing the muzzle to cross my non-dominant hand." Ideally, of course, you would learn a technique taught directly from a professional trainer who can watch what you are doing and give you immediate feedback about how you're doing it. (And truthfully, if you can make this investment up front, it will save you untold hours of time and wasted ammunition compared to trying to reinvent the wheel by yourself.) But if you cannot swing that up-front investment to save time and money down the road, look for video instruction from the same level of professional trainer, which you can buy 'most anywhere these days, or find online for free. AVOID nameless "instant experts" on YouTube -- not because there aren't some good ones out there, but because without more background of your own, you almost certainly don't have enough time to wade through the crap and find the good stuff, and you don't yet have the expertise to accurately evaluate its worth anyway.

Step four: Practice that one skill. Five or ten minutes a day for a few weeks will have you doing well in no time -- provided you practice mindfully, with your brain engaged. Practice doing that skill smoothly and as perfectly as you can manage. Don't speed up prematurely; learn to do it right, every single time, until you don't have to think it through as you move... then gradually add speed, bit by bit. Never practice fumbling!

Step five: Repeat steps three and four with a different skill.

But back to the original foundation. Why learn this stuff at all, let alone learning it well enough to perform without thinking about it?

Simply this: if you keep a defensive firearm around "just in case" you ever need it, you should also have a set of habits in place "just in case" you ever need them. Those habits will see you through potentially dangerous situations, and they make it possible for you to think about solving the problem rather than wasting time and brain cells trying to remember how to run your gun.

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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