I remember when I first began competitive shooting. Probably, as soon as I learned to fire, I became a competitor. Yes, I think as soon as I learned to shoot, my instructors told me to get into local competition when I got home from the academy. So, if memory serves me correctly, I began carrying a gun and competing with it at the same time, 1994. I took the responsibility of carrying a gun very seriously. I wanted to be as comfortable and competent with my sidearm as I could. Should the need arise to use it, no fumbling from me. Competition completely addressed this need. Naturally, practice sessions accompany the endeavor. LOTS of practice. Don’t use agency qualifications as your practice session. Don’t use a match as practice for qualifications. I followed these simple, sound basics and progressed. Even when doffing my gear upon returning safely home from work, I dropped my magazine and practiced drawing and dry firing. I pantomimed my dry firing in front of a mirror to check my stance and flow of movements. Where was the gun? Where was my hand? Where was the target? Did I engage my grip while the gun still remained holstered? Did I clearly identify my target and draw down with as little movement as possible? Did I wave my gun around, even a little, or did I immediately access the target? Did I flinch when I dry fired? Could I do all this without looking at my gun? By the time I got to the range and fired real bullets from the gun on my B-52 targets, I already felt warmed up- I’d been “practicing” all week. Do yourself a favor, go through the motions of safe weapon handling and dry firing as often as possible. When the need arises to rise to the occasion, you will be glad you prepared.
NRA Firearms Instructor – Nancy Rothschild
What Nancy’s Reading
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