Archive for Tip of the Month

Practice When It’s Not Perfect

We all enjoy a nice day with good weather at the range, but what are we really learning? Practice in the rain sometimes, when it’s windy, in the snow, when it’s very hot, and when it’s cold.

I just finished the Pecos Run and Gun event (a 5.5-mile loop with 8 shooting stops) and it rained on me the first mile. When I got to the first stage I was soaked, my rifle and gear was wet and it was raining so hard I couldn’t see all the targets. Great fun. We had prepared for the heat and what we got was rain and mud.

You never know what the weather (and circumstances) will be until you get there. And remember, the defensive use of your handgun will happen in seconds and the weather won’t care if you like it or not.

Your Public Image Plays a Part in Actions You Take – Even When Justified

Be careful about how you present yourself. This article, from A Girl With a Gun, has some food for thought about how you present yourself as a gun owner and a concealed carrier. She points out that if you are involved in a self-defense situation and are forced to shoot, everything you have ever done, including what you post on social media as well as any stickers on your vehicle, may come under legal scrutiny. Will that be to your benefit or detriment? Take a few minutes to read this article and give it some thought.

Your character is on the line and your defense won’t like your negative public image, especially if your actions were reasonable and justified.


Fast Draw

How often do you practice drawing (or presenting) your concealed handgun? During your dry fire practice, practice drawing your concealed carry handgun (make sure it’s unloaded) from concealment. In a self-defense encounter, you will have very little time to respond, and the quicker you can draw your handgun the better.

Watch how fast the encounter occurs in this video. Could you have drawn your handgun before the attacker was on you?


The Reminder

When you receive your original or renewed concealed carry license, get out your electronic calendar, move ahead 2 years (2.5 years for veteran’s licenses) and put a reminder to do your Refresher.

It’s also not a bad idea to go forward to the expiration year and make a note to do your Renewal Class as well. The NM DPS Concealed Carry Unit has been mailing out notices to remind people to do their Refresher classes.

Practice With Your Bedroom Gun

I know many of you have a handgun in your bedroom. When was the last time you practiced with it? Does it have a light (or is a flashlight handy)? Have you checked lately too see if they still work? When things go bump in the night is not the time to discover that you have a dead battery.

Do some realistic drills at the range with your bedroom gun.

  • Lay down like you are sleeping, with your handgun close to where you keep it at night. A ground cloth or blanket will do as ‘bed’ for this and you’ll find it more comfortable than laying on the cold hard ground.
  • Place a target where your door would be. Practice grabbing your handgun and shooting the target while laying there in your ‘bed.’ Do this with and without whatever light you have.

You’ll find it’s a lot different than the standing up and shooting that you normally do. Something you should think about doing occasionally.

Increase Your Awareness – Stay Alert

Stay Alert!Be extra alert as you go about your holiday activities. It is so easy to get caught up in your social activities and shopping that brings you into close contact with lots of people, including strangers, that you tend to become complacent.

Be extra aware of those around you. Most of them mean you no harm, but there are always those who are looking to harm you or take advantage of you.

Be Extra Aware of Your Surroundings During The Holidays

The holiday season is upon us. Now is the time to be extra aware of your surroundings.

You are probably going to be in places with lots of people at times. And you may be carrying money or other valuables. Be cautious, especially if approached by strangers. Always have a  means to defend yourself and the loved ones with you.

Remember, your safety is your responsibility.

The Failure Drill

The Failure Drill, when practiced and perfected, is an extremely useful drill that saves lives.

The modern Failure Drill is accomplished by the shooter firing two center-mass shots as quickly as those shots can be delivered into a target and within an 8-inch center mass area. Following the second shot, the shooter follows through and assesses if their target still presents a deadly threat. If the target is still a threat, then the third shot is taken and ideally hits the area between the eyebrows and the upper lip. Note: The shot is aimed at this area of the skull because this is where the bone is thinnest.

The Failure Drill is more difficult than it sounds.

The most difficult part of the Failure Drill is the changes of shot delivery that the shooter must make. The first two shots should be fired as quickly as the shooter can center his hits. Then, they must slow down enough to re-evaluate the situation and with precision deliver a headshot.

The history behind this technique (and something to practice): The Mozambique Drill: A History and How To

Accuracy and Speed Drill

Speed & Accuracy DrillsHere’s something to try for both accuracy and speed… a version of the 5 x 5 x 5 drill for the handgun.

5 shots in 5″ target in 5 seconds.

Start at 3 yards and see how you do. When you master that level of accuracy at that distance in that time, move out to 5 yards, then 7 yards, etc.

Start at low ready. When you have mastered that, start from concealment.

You’ll be surprised what it will do for your shooting skills.

Focus on Particular Skills at the Range

I know its fun to go to the range and burn up a lot of ammunition. However, think about working on one or two particular skills each time you go to the range.

Some examples would be to work on

  • marksmanship (always),
  • developing a smooth and efficient presentation (draw),
  • shooting from various forms of concealment,
  • shooting from unconventional shooting positions (seated, from the ground, etc),
    • strong hand only,
    • weak hand only,
    • and so on.

The purpose and benefit are to develop your shooting skills in a variety of ways so you will be better prepared in the event you need to use your handgun in a defensive situation. Note…these concepts work well with rifles and shotguns too.