Train Like You Fight, Fight Like You Train

Every gun owner has the responsibility to continue their education, experience, and skills with their firearm. Training is a quality that you can’t put a value on. Too often do we go to the range and just throw some lead at paper and call it a day. In the event that you need your firearm in a self-defense situation it is very unlikely you are going to have the time to bring the gun up slow, align the sights, take a few breaths and then fire. In a life or death situation, the movements need to be fast, fluid, and controlled. Basically, they need to be muscle memory.

Muscle memory is developed by repeating a movement over and over again until it requires no thought. The area of most concern is the movement of removing the firearm from the holster and getting it into firing position. This is also the movement that is practiced the least and subsequently takes the longest. Watch people at the range, maybe 1 out of 50 will even have a holster while there. Now if you belong to a range that doesn’t allow firing from the holster, that’s fine, practice the movement alone at home. Time yourself if you can or have someone else time you. On average, people are looking at around 2-3 seconds on a good holster to stance transition if they practice it. If they don’t, it can take longer. 3 seconds is life or death in an armed confrontation.

It isn’t uncommon that people actually change their carry style after practicing the transition. Find out what works for you and that it can be repeated with good results. Once you have the transition down and are comfortable, add live firing to the drill. Time yourself from holster to two rounds placed center mass on a target. If that is going well then repeat the drill and add a second or even third target. Once that becomes a practiced drill, add magazine swaps into the mix. Always record your times for future comparison. The idea is to always push yourself to be smoother and faster. Start slow with the drills with deliberate movements and slowly build the speed. Remember, slow is smooth, smooth is fast.