Reality check: How often do you REALLY practice?

Reality check: How often do you REALLY practice?

This is a discussion on Reality check: How often do you REALLY practice? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I serve as a range master every Friday evening at our local public shooting sports complex. We are an OC state, and many of our ...

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Thread: Reality check: How often do you REALLY practice?

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    Member Array BigRay's Avatar
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    Reality check: How often do you REALLY practice?

    I serve as a range master every Friday evening at our local public shooting sports complex. We are an OC state, and many of our facility's users carry their sidearm on their hips while at the range. After a number of years, I am still amazed at how very, very few people actually practice their defensive handgun skills while at our pistol range. We have moveable target stands that can be set up at any distance or in any configuration, yet all I ever see is this: shooter sets up a target stand at five yards and another at maybe seven to 10 yards, then proceeds to carefully and slowly align their sights, then squeezes off about one round each five seconds. Or, they'll load up a hi-cap mag, then dump the entire load as quickly as they can (completely missing the target more often than not). In fact, after all these years, I have yet to see anyone actually practice drawing and firing from concealed carry. Nor have I ever seen anyone (beyond myself) practice drawing and firing from a waistpack. Sadly, I once even had another range master tell me off for "careless gun handling" simply because I was practicing drawing from a concealed cross-draw holster and firing double-taps.
    I'm curious what all of you have observed at your local ranges. It bothers me that so many people will accept the overwhelming responsibility of carrying a loaded weapon, then neglect to train themselves for the worst-case scenario. I'm hoping this situation is limited to our local range, and is not the norm in your area.
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    One major problem is, many ranges don't allow for this type of shooting. I will only practice certain things when I'm at the range alone. My range is 95% old men who shoot skeet, .22 pistols and hunting rifles. I show up with my loud, obnoxious silver box that I drive, get out and start doing reload drills with my AR or drawing and firing with my handguns, I get dirty looks. I don't like attracting attention to myself. Maybe I should drive my Malibu to the range instead of my obnoxious silver thing.

    If I get to the range and there are people there, I generally tun around and go home. When the range is empty, I have a field day. Nice thing is, we have covered shooting tables, so I've gone on days where it's POURING down rain, and get the range to myself. It's great. I can truly practice.

    I have only once gotten to the range to practice some with my AK and walked up to a guy drawing and shooting. Once he saw me walk up, he stopped and just started shooting normally, so to speak. I just don't think people want to be seen, or bothered when they want to practice their skills in fear they'll get yelled at by a range master (which we don't have at our range) or ridiculed by another member.

    That's my take on it.

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    Well, the open-to-the-public range at my club doesn't allow drawing from the holster, but we have lots of other opportunities for "dynamic" practice. I shoot USPSA-like steel matches about 2-3 times a month; one can criticize it for being a game, but you have to move, shoot and reload, shoot around barriers, deal with moving targets and no-shoots, and do it all under pressure of the clock. It's challenging and it's fun, and I use my "steet" gear and full-power ammo to make this practice realistic enough. My ability to make a fast shot on a small target has improved dramatically as a result of the regular participation.
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    Senior Member Array threefeathers's Avatar
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    Daily in some way, weekly live fire.

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    People tend to live in an itty bitty box.

    Some of them are convinced that taking a stance and carefully presenting their weapon on the target is sufficient for practice of self defense.

    Since the large majority of them wont ever actually have to do that, it probably wont matter.

    The few that do have to clear leather and shoot will be suprised at how quickly things transpire and suprise is the last thing you want to have to deal with.
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    For me, live fire and home practice. I try to practice for both accuracy and hostile situations. My son belongs to a great outdoor range that does allow different type of shooting practice. In fact, once a month they have a family team day that consists of moving targets with blinds, hostage-taker shooting, team shooting, and it is all timed with a lot of reloading and moving between areas. I don't get to go "live" but once or twice a month, but every night I load a snap cap and practice in the house - standing, sitting, quick draw, walking around in the dark with a flashlight and spotting "targets". Doing this I always "shoot" DA, which is how it would likely be in real life. I know this "home work" isn't the real thing with noise, recoil, etc., but I figure the muscle memory build up has to be a good thing.
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    I'm jealous of the op's range setup. All I have regular access to is an indoor range that is at most 30 feet long, and we have separate shooting lanes. That being said, I am still very new to shooting but after about 500 rounds total of shooting I got bored with just posting up and shooting paper slowly. Now I practice draws from my holster to double taps or two to the chest one to the head. Then I'll mix it up with some slower aimed fire to work on my basics some more. But I do try to draw from my holster while I am at the range. I'm almost positive any self defense situation I'm in that requires me to fire my gun will begin with my gun already out of the holster.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIFc...e_gdata_player

    This is a video of something my cousin and I do on occasion when we have a range partner to call starts. Really amateurish, I think, but to me lots better than just putting holes in paper.
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    BigRay first welcome to the forum. As has been stated many ranges will not allow drawing from a holster or movement so you do the best you can, however.

    You will find on here and in the real world that to many folks that is training. They won't shoot any further than 7 yards, draw from concealment, shoot while moving, or shoot from any other position other than standing facing the target. They simply feel like they don't need to.

    The mere act of going to the range and shooting slow fire into a target at a short distance is enough to keep their training ego satisfied and they simply do not require more. Now whether that would help in a real life encounter who knows. To each his own though.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Ex Member Array RayBar's Avatar
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    In my area, indoor ranges don't allow drawing from anything. With the shooting experience of the people that use these ranges being at one end of the spectrum to the other, I'm sure its a liability issue. But there are a number of outdoor ranges and private ranges where you can practice drawing from concealment. Getting involved in a local IDPA club and shooting their local club matches is a good way for people to get that experience.

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    Here's a couple of views of our local facility. The pistol range is in the foreground, and has berms at 25, 50 and 100 yards, although targets are completely moveable. Both the rifle (background) and pistol firing line shelters are now finished and painted, which really helps on hot or rainy days._DSC3623_001.JPG_DSC3642_005.JPG
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    A sweet set up! From my video you can see we have nothing close to that... I've never gotten in trouble for drawing from my holster, but i'm sure people watching the cameras up in the store are probably like, 'What is that guy doing?'
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    Our local range has a quick draw section where you can stand just in front of the counter in your own lane and repeatedly practice your draw, It's usually not being used and I love to use it. I always request it when I go. I just bought a holster and will be trying it out there soon.

    But to answer your question I practice on average 2-3 times a month, just can't afford much more than that.

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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    As with others here, BigRay, I also fear that what you'd described in your OP is more the norm, rather than the exception.

    In communities such as ours here at DC.com, the results may be biased in the other direction, but for the public at-large? I truly think that you'll find that your - and our - fears are validated.

    I find, unfortunately, that it's mainly a matter of "not knowing what you don't know."

    Once you've gotten such ignorant folks to at least take one such class, they'll either seek more of the same or, sadly, alternatively, they'll shut down even further - refusing to accept reality. Denial, unfortunately, is a very strong response to a reality so harsh that it's hard to accept.


    -----


    Me?

    The indoor ranges I frequent are too restrictive for what I like to do. Although several will allow holster work and rapid-fire, there's no way to move - and I feel that "getting off the X" is a critical skill to integrate. When I'm practicing at the indoor ranges, then, I'm pretty much focusing only on the fundamentals of pistol marksmanship.

    So what do I do for training?

    I pay to enroll in training classes (as often as I possibly can, but still, I don't feel that it's enough; last year, my first year shooting, I logged somewhere over 80 hours of such handgun training, this year, I'm up to about 26 hours, with an additional 48 to be completed by mid-July - I hope to at least equal the amount that I put in last year, even though the training for this year has been of higher tempo and/or caliber). I'm very lucky to have a couple of very good schools/instructors nearby, and even for the winter months, their indoor range setups still allow us to move and shoot - as well as come from concealment.

    Yeah, so it costs money. But I'd rather pay and live than die - or worse yet, let my loved ones come to-harm - of incompetence.

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    I shoot at my indoor membership range at least every other week and during the summer time every week. Anytime I am taking a Vacation day in town, I am at the range. The last two years I received 32 hours of "Gun Fighting Courses" on 360 degree ranges each year and have had 16 hours already this year.
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