Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy


“I haven’t shot in a while.” “I went to the range shooting last week.” “I only shoot about twice a month.” These are common statements I hear from students, especially the ones who are returning for training. The problem is that shooting is only a small part of the fight. If all you do is shoot at the range you’re not preparing yourself for using that weapon defensively, like when lives depend on your performance. 

Most people think that practice means going to the range and firing rounds. And yes this is a form of practice, but at most ranges you are limited to standing stationary and firing at targets from a predetermined distance. A lot of facilities will only allow you to fire one shot every three seconds, and do not permit you to work from holsters. In other words all you can do at the shooting range is shoot. But fighting includes much more than shooting.

Movement may be your initial concern. Moving to create distance, trying to keep from being in a wrasslin’ match. Moving to get cover between the threat and you. Moving off the line of a charging attacker. You’re moving to acquire a clear line of fire on the threat. You need to be moving, and maybe shooting at the same time.

We need to communicate with the threat, family members, bystanders, armed partners. When cover is available we need to use it. Should our weapon run empty or malfunction it needs to be fixed. There is a strong probability it will be dark, requiring use of a flashlight. There will likely be multiple threats. It’s also a good chance there are bystanders in the environment. And in addition to all of this, we may need to be shooting.

The point is that we need to practice our fighting skills, all of them, and not just the shootin’ part. What’s the best way to practice? Dry. Especially when you don’t have a range that will allow you to move, use cover, run malfunctions and shoot rapidly from various distances.

In order to fight properly, meaning we’re forcing to threat to react to us as opposed to us reacting to the actions of the threat, we have to be able to perform basic skills at a subconscious level. When you’re moving to cover, shooting, and your weapon runs dry you don’t have time to remember or think about how to reload it, you have to run your reload immediately. Your conscious mind, which can only think about one thing at a time, must be freed up to think about how to solve the bigger problem, the threat attempting to put the hurt to you, not the little things like how to reload an empty reload.

The only way to perform in a fight is to practice. Yes, you may need to shoot, and if so accurately, but there are a multitude of other skills you better be able to perform under stress. Take the time to prepare now, so when it comes you’re ready.


November 18, 2010 - Posted by | General Training

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