Training is Training is Training

Competitive MarksmanshipI 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.

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"I worked as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer for over 14 years, in a firearms carrying capacity. First assigned to LAX (1994), then to the Los Angeles/ Long Beach Seaport (1997-2007), I took an early retirement from my final duty station of El Paso, TX (2007-2008). Never having handled firearms prior to this job, I give full credit for my initial shooting lessons and safe firearms handling skills to the government. As I began to compete, I gleaned tips and coaching lessons from the best law enforcement instructors across the nation, turning myself into one of the best, too. I was a firearms instructor in Los Angeles and a national level competitor on a formally sponsored team from 1999 through 2003, being sent all over the nation for pistol match competitions. As a result of this gift of an experience, I went on to set five national records in the law enforcement shooting sports. Check in regularly to read about those and other adventures and misadventures!"
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