Practicing with your Carry Gun

Practicing with your Carry Gun

This is a discussion on Practicing with your Carry Gun within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This post is the result of a rant... Yesterday I requaled several students at the range. Here in Arkansas, after the permit expires, you have ...

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Thread: Practicing with your Carry Gun

  1. #1
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    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Practicing with your Carry Gun

    This post is the result of a rant...
    Yesterday I requaled several students at the range. Here in Arkansas, after the permit expires, you have to find an instructor and do a live fire recertification. I am there to watch them handle their gun in a safe manner,be able to efficiently load and unload and to be able to hit the target without endangering everyone in a 2 mile radius. I then sign off their paperwork so that they can send it to the ASP and get a new CHL, good for another 5 years.

    No big deal right?


    I am sick and tired of people that carry a gun for self defense that cant even remember HOW to do something as simple as a reload.

    Its a seemingly simple thing for most of us that take carrying a concealed weapon seriously, but it appears to me that many people think that getting a license to carry is the end of learning process, rather than the beginning.

    I'm also tired of people that haven't even shot their gun, since 4 years ago when they shot it to get their license.

    You cant imagine what I have seen, revolvers with melted lipstick gumming up the works, every sort of candy stuck to them, melted chocolate, pills in the barrel or cylinder, cylinders that wouldn't turn, magazines that wouldn't seat, triggers that don't pull and every sort of mechanical malfunction that could possibly happen. All of this with "carry guns".

    This is the story of shooter no.1, who I will call Mr. Match...

    This guy starts telling me what a great shot he is. I just nod and smile because thats the nice kind of guy that I am. He tells me how he shoots at this club and hes got this tricked out match gun that he conceals. He's a crack shot and he cant believe that he has to requal, as it is nothing more than a waste of time and ammo for such an accomplished shooter as he.Right then and there the BS meter starts alarming. Anybody that has shot a match with a full sized gun with all the bells and whistles knows that they aren't exactly the easiest guns to conceal. But hey...I think, anything is possible, maybe he does.

    Then he pulls out a Llama single action with a huge muzzle break on it. :

    Lets just say that my experience with Llamas are less than stellar.This gun proves to be no different. It performed so well that if he had given it to me as a token of his appreciation, I would have promptly chunked it in the lake.

    He's a " ranked match shooter", yet he has a hard time loading the gun. He shoots two shots and he stops to look at the paper. This apparently was a challenging target for him, it was a 10x12 white sheet of paper at the extended range of 7 yards.
    I say challenging, because there are no holes in the paper.

    So he shoots again and I can clearly see that he is shooting about a foot over the top of the target. I notice that his sight alignment is slim to none. I mention that to him and he tells me that he was taught to look over the top of the sights.


    I start from scratch and teach him the basics, and low and behold he actually starts hitting the paper like a good student should. He hit it twice in a row and was very pleased with himself. Mr. Match Shooter is happy that he hit a stationary target at 7 yards twice in a row. By now,I'm thinking that I need to check out his club and see if I can win a match there.

    So he is pleased with himself and I tell him to take his time, just get the shots on the paper,there is no rush at all. So he shoots. Stovepipe. He clears it after fumbling around. He shoots again. Failure to feed. He starts messing with the gun and the magazine drops out and hits the concrete. I tell him to clear the gun, place it on the table with the slide locked open and the muzzle downrange before he picks it up. He does. I tell him to load the gun. He tried to insert the magazine in backward and is trying to jam it home with the heel of his hand. I mention to him that the mag is backward, he jerks it out and inserts it correctly.

    He shoots one time and the gun fails to eject. This goes on and on, the gun never firing more than twice in a row before hanging up. He mentions that the ammo sucks, that its got to be the ammo as he has never had this problem before. I look at the box, it Winchester White Box.

    A half hour later, he is out of ammo and I begin lecturing him. About carrying a gun that is reliable. About practicing and practicing until you can load ,aim and fire without wondering how to do it. About having ammunition that is 100 percent reliable in a gun that you may need to defend yourself or your loved ones with. About how if you ever have to draw the last thing you need to be worried about is if the gun will work or not. About how if you can't hit a stationary target that isn't shooting back or trying to cut you, that it will be much harder to hit someone that is moving and trying to kill you.

    And he sits there staring blankly, without saying a word, and when I'm done he tells me that no one has ever told him that before and he thanks me over and over and over and now he wants to sign up as a member of the range so that he can practice as much as he wants to.

    Then I ask him about the range that he has been shooting at and winning all the matches at and he admits that he moved too far away from it to go there much and that its been awhile.

    He tells me that he is ready to get serious now.

    And that is the story of the first student.
    Later we'll talk about the husband/wife team that came up after Mr. Match.

    To all you instructors,coaches, teachers or anyone that has tried to teach someone how to shoot a gun out there, is it just me that gets the "winners" here or is this pretty common everywhere?

    I'm beggining to wonder.
    Last edited by JD; March 2nd, 2008 at 11:34 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    How 'bout a reality show titled, "Life at the Range"!

  3. #3
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    South West PA
    Fear not Bob - I have had ''winners'' too - sometimes the husband accompanying wife to training session. The guy who knows everything and is ''there to help"

    Better of course he stays away - particularly when (one I recall well) .... he blasts off full house 357's thru his 6" 686 ... not quite the ideal carry ..... and proceeds to barely obey the range commands which apply to the newbs. He knows best! He of course too considers he is top shot and cannot be taught anything, ever.

    Other night I saw the security vid of the jeweller (forget name) - who after one robbery decided to pack - SOB with maybe a 1911 not sure but - he gets robbed again and as perp draws so does he but ---- fails to swipe off safety. He gets as reward most of the contents of the perp's revo .......... which fortunately ran dry as perp was gonna do an execution style 'finisher' - click replaced bang fortunately and somehow quick surgery saved the guy's life.

    Had he had any practice, I am thinking it could have been the perp who got ventilated - an altogether much happier result!
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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  5. #4
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    Sad but true, too many think that once they have the permit they don't need to practice anymore. Personally I shoot more now that I have my permit than before I got it.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array Slim_45's Avatar
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    Denver, NC
    This story had tears in my eyes

    more more please

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    Awesome! Please share more stories!!


  8. #7
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Fayetteville, AR
    Did you pass this fellow? Any instructors ever failed a person on re-qualification? I'd make him come back in a month and do it all over again---maybe once he gets serious? I don't think there's anything wrong with that---unless the state of Arkansas says 'pass them' just for showing up? Although this scenario appears humorous in a way--it is kind of sad. I can't imagine what you instructors see with the carry classes, but I hope the downsides like this won't lead to stereotyping all of us in that way.

  9. #8
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    I will bow my head and admit that I fumbled somewhat at my CCW class. I went into the class wanting a permit so that I could just throw a pistol in the glove box and be good to go.

    After joining this form, and understanding the REAL reason to carry I approach the subject on a whole different level now.

    Practice, weapon choice, dress, self conduct, yes the whole 9 yards.

    Some learn, some won't

    An ounce of lead is worth 200lbs of cop.

  10. #9
    Member Array S3ymour's Avatar
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    Columbus, OH
    Even as an instructor we can learn, as I found this past saturday. I was out shooting with my Father-in-law, and I learned something about my own grip. Just some background first, I'm left eye dominant, but right handed. My father is a LEO that is the same way, and taught me to cant my firearm slightly to the left more to make sighting easier. I've been doing this for years now, and always tend to squeeze too hard and push slightly throwing my shots low and left. So I decided to do an exercise that I hadn't done in a long hand and pretended that strong side was down, and shot off hand on the weak side. I ended up with all of my shots aligned in a 2 inch grouping at 25 feet. So the next 200 rounds, I switched entirely over to left, and while, it didn't feel quite as natural as shooting right handed, having learned my grips and stance for right hand, it was much easier and more accurate for me. Luckily my carry is an xd which allows me to switch. I now have a left handed holster on order so that I can switch completely over to left handed carry after some more practice. I'll have to learn all of the muscle memory to that side and undo some of my older habits, but in the end I think it'll make a difference. Why I haven't done more with this before I don't know. It was a smack myself in the forehead moment for sure.

    Anyways, just wanted HotGuns to know that I completely understand where he is coming from. In our courses we teach we have had people bring out some great hand guns, only to have never shot, stripped, lubed, or cleaned them. Most of them don't even know how to load them. And when you ask what makes them want to carry, they give you some off the wall response. Why people don't understand the responsibility associated with concealed carry I will never understand. To think, hey I shot last year, I'm good to go....its just retarded.

    Part of the reason I spend so much time on this forum is because of the education that I receive from it. The solid opinions, experience and overall knowledge here is hard to beat.
    "All war is deception" --Sun Tzu

  11. #10
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    Loved the story. Can't wait to hear more. These are the people that can make us look bad. If they're gun jams up when needed, that's thier own fault, but if they can't hit the broad side of a barn, that's just dangerous. This is what the anti's argue about. People having guns that have little experience.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    Great story.

    I'm not an instructor, I don't deal with "students" at all, but like everybody else that goes to the range regularely, I see my share of completely clueless people.

    The saddest cases are the testosterone jocks that are trying to get the wife to shoot guns that hurt them, like 12 oz .357 magnums. I can't help overhearing, feel sorry for the lady, but unless they are getting unsafe (in which case I just leave because they aren't going to be trainable), I just keep doing my thing.

    I packed up and left after seeing a bunch of guys in their early 20's who were sharing a lane and reloading behind the firing line so they wouldn't waste time when it was their turn. Scared me to death and I am fearless. <G> Fortunately I didn't have to pass their lanes to get out the door. I told the range manager after I paid for my time and he immediately headed back there to see what was going on.

    Then there was the guy that had just started reloading - out of the corner of my eye I see a motion and immediately stop firing - the guy was crawling out in front of the line to get his brass! I couldn't help myself, I asked him "what are you doing? You could get killed out there!" He said, "I'm on my hands and knees, you are all standing up, you won't hit me. I want my brass!" Guy was dumber than a box of rocks. Things went sort of down hill from there but eventually he got the idea that one NEVER goes ahead of the firing line at a shooting range.

    But what I've seen probably isn't even in the contest with what folks that do regular instruction see.


  13. #12
    Senior Member Array Pitmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3ymour View Post
    So I decided to do an exercise that I hadn't done in a long hand and pretended that strong side was down, and shot off hand on the weak side. I ended up with all of my shots aligned in a 2 inch grouping at 25 feet. So the next 200 rounds, I switched entirely over to left, and while, it didn't feel quite as natural as shooting right handed, having learned my grips and stance for right hand, it was much easier and more accurate for me.
    Massad Ayoob mentioned in one of his books that it is frequently easier to teach a person to shoot left handed than right handed. There are two many bad habits developed by right hand shooters.

    HELGA: Where are you going?
    HAGAR: To sign a peace treaty with the King of England.
    HELGA: Then why take all those weapons?
    HAGAR: First we gotta negotiate...

  14. #13
    Member Array samskara's Avatar
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    I remember when I took my CHL class in Texas I the store that does the classes has an indoor range with camera so those of us waiting to qualify can watch the other groups. In the first group was a woman and her husband on separate lanes, she was having difficulty loading her gun and the owner discovered that she was trying to force .40S&W rounds into HER 9mm. Evidently after they wouldn't fit in her mag she was trying to force them straight into the chamber. Wow.

  15. #14
    Ex Member Array USA Pugilist's Avatar
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    The world has just become scarier!

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array wvshooter's Avatar
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    Charleston, WV
    Sounds like a nightmare. I can't imagine letting such a potentially dangerous tool get into such a shape. It's a wonder more people don't shoot themselves.

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