Shooting is a perishable art, if you do not practice then your skill sets will start to dull and eventually fade away. Essentially the knife will dull, and then in your time of need, it will be of no use to you. I have said this before and I will say it again; practice…practice…practice. Well sometimes that is easier said than done, especially when we take into account the cost of ammunition.
The function of sending rounds down range is a very important part of any firearms training regiment, however it is only part and is not solely inclusive to training and improving your skills. There are several aspects to good shot placement and they start with your stance and move up to your presentation of the firearm (drawing your handgun) and then to handgun manipulation. The handgun manipulation, which includes trigger manipulation, is probably one of the biggest challenges that new shooters have to conquer.
Again we come back to the never ending mantra of training/practicing. One of the best drills that you can do to help improve your handgun and trigger manipulation, minus live-fire, is what is referred to as “dry-fire.” Dry-fire is exactly what its name implies; going through all of the motions with the handgun, to include depressing the trigger, yet not firing since the chamber is “dry” (empty). This training technique when done on a regular basis will help improve your overall handgun manipulation, trigger manipulation, sight alignment, and stance.
To perform this training drill follow these steps:
1. Find a quiet area in your house where you will not be disturbed. Ensure that there is no live ammunition in this area.
2. Following the standard firearms safety rules check your handgun to ensure that it is unloaded.
3. If you carry this handgun concealed the drill is best done from the holster you use during concealed carry.
4. Pick a spot on the wall, again remembering to be sure of your target and what is beyond, slowly and methodically present your handgun making a point to think about every movement that you make.
5. Once you have come on target slowly depress the trigger until the handgun “fires.”
6. Muzzle down and scan (looking around for additional threats while keeping the muzzle in a safe direction). The slowly and methodically re-holster concentrating on every movement and ensuring that your finger is off the trigger.
As you proceed forward with this training drill you will start to notice that slow methodical movements will quickly become smooth and fast movements as your muscle memory begins to take hold. Remember that:
All guns are to be considered loaded at all times
Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire
Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction/down range at all times
Do not cover anything that you are not willing to destroy
Be sure of your target and what is beyond
Just because you pick up a hammer does not mean that you suddenly know how to build a house. The same goes for a handgun, be smart, be responsible, and stay safe.