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Time and ammo are precious commodities, so when you have the chance to practice shooting you want to maximize your investment.
An afternoon of shooting is fun, but you want to focus on the skills needed to defend against an attack, too. I make a list of the skills I want to practice in advance, with the number of repetitions to perform, which also ensures I don’t get sidetracked once I hit the range.
Pick three skills, like movement, malfunctions and using cover, and combine all three into one drill. Set up malfunctions by mixing some dummy ammo in with live ammo.
To begin the drill move to cover, issuing verbal commands as you draw the pistol and engage the threat, clearing malfunctions as they occur. Although you’re focusing on three primary skills, remember to apply other tactics, such as scanning the environment for other threats.
Keep in mind a high round count has nothing to do with the quality of practice; you can burn through ammo and not learn anything. Even on the range, perform several dry runs of a drill before running it live-fire to ensure when you do press the trigger, your shots are accurate.
When planning your practice sessions make it a point to work on the things that you don’t like, which is normally the stuff we don’t do very well. It may not be much fun, but we should constantly be striving to strengthen our weaknesses.
This article is an excerpt from the Summer 2014 issue of Modern Shooter magazine, presented by Gun Digest.
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