Am I ready?
This is a discussion on Am I ready? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey everyone. Yes, I am new here, and I'm new to the defensive carry world as well. I just had a question that I thought ...
August 22nd, 2013 07:39 PM
Am I ready?
Hey everyone. Yes, I am new here, and I'm new to the defensive carry world as well. I just had a question that I thought may be best answered here. Feel free to read the long story version of my question, or simply skip to the bold and get right down to it.
My brother introduced me to firearms in June. I had experience with them as a kid, but nothing more than the occasional .22 LR shot from my brothers rifle. Anyway, he came to visit me and encouraged me to take a concealed carry course with him. He took me out and we shot his 9mm for an hour or so, and I fell in love. Who knew firearms were this much fun to shoot? I got in around 25-50 rounds a week, and enjoyed challenging myself and improving my accuracy and safe handling.
Over the past few months I've accumulated 4 handguns and an AR15. I love them all, and find I enjoy shopping for firearms as much fun as any other girl may find shopping for clothes. I Purchased a Ruger SR22 as my first, though I don't shoot it much due to the scarcity of .22LR ammunition. I also purchased a M&P Shield .40, which was going to be my concealed carry for a while. I enjoyed shooting it and got fairly good with it. However, I wasn't one to stick with a single gun when there were so many others out there for me to try.
I don't have the usual firing range here. The most we get is a large field with random targets strewn across a few acres. The area that I shoot at is off the road in the middle of nowhere in a small valley. Unfortunately there's really no place to rent and practice with other firearms, and I don't have a lot of firearm friends to go out with. I pretty much just buy a firearm that I like the feel of and go out to shoot it. I haven't yet met a firearm that I didn't like, it just took a few tries to find one I really liked. I found it in the XDs... so much so that I purchased a 9 and 45.
I was going to initially qualify on my 9mm and decide from there if I wanted to qualify with a higher caliber my next go-around. I ended up speaking to a coworker and found out that he had his CCW and he carried all the time. He recommended that I qualify on my 45 if possible, that way even if I didn't actually carry a 45, I'd have more options open to me. I have since (2 weeks) been practicing with my 45, and put 50-100 rounds through it once or twice a week. I practice dry firing, drawing from my holster, experimenting with my carry location (inside my own home). On the range I practice my grip, my aim, and use different distances and angles to approach my target. I've practiced shooting while stationary and moving. While I'm not wonderfully accurate shooting while moving, I have been able to work myself up to a good 3-4 inch grouping at 10 yards stationary. In all of this I'm finding I really do enjoy my 45.
Basically, I'm still very new to this. My first steps were to learn and practice the basic rules of gun safety. I have also put in a lot of time with my firearm of choice, and am accurate at up to 10-11 yards. I have practiced holster draws and dry firing as well. My CCW class is next month on 9/21-22. I've been told both that you need to be a really good shooter to be able to qualify, and I've also been told that you can go into it with little to no firearms experience and be fine. Practice is good, and I have no intention of stopping. I am, however, a little worried that next month may be too soon, that I may need some more time before I take my course. So, my question: am I ready for a CCW class?
August 22nd, 2013 07:48 PM
Yes, you're ready. The fact that you have been practicing on your own will serve you well. The live fire portion of the class it usually geared more toward making sure you are familiar with your weapon and it's safe deployment. Accuracy and speed will come. When you get to the live fire portion of the test, remember, accurate is more important than fast. If you are ever in a self defense situation, the one who misses the fastest will not be the one who walks away.
BTW - Welcome to the forum!
"If you make something idiot proof, someone will make a better idiot."
August 22nd, 2013 07:55 PM
First off welcome to the site from Maryland .
I think you are just moving fine in the whole process , As with me i was nervous qualifying as well . It is always hard to have someone watching you . Just keep enjoying the rewards you have received and keep learning by practice and comitment that you seem to have a large supply of . Good Luck and most of all have fun.
Member of the NRA
Keep your booger hook off the bang switch until you want to destroy something .
August 22nd, 2013 07:59 PM
Welcome from the Palmetto State.
I can only speak of 2 CCW instructors i know.There are people who takes their classes sometimes, who has never fired a gun,young and old.They have both said they were there to help people pass not fail them.In other words with those 2 you won't fail,unless you just can't shoot.
One of them lets people use his 22 cal if they want to but,the user has to buy the ammo of course.It's easier to shoot for most.
Personally when i took the course once upon a time,i used what i was going to carry.It's more practice and that's what i needed to do.Back then i used a 9mm to qualify but i carry the xds45 now mostly.It's just easier to conceal.
If you have been practicing you shouldn't have any trouble.Good luck
August 22nd, 2013 07:59 PM
Based on your experience level are you ready to take the class? I would say so.. Actually carrying a gun and being prepared to use it is something totally different. I would recommend finding a range or someplace nearby that offers additional defensive firearms classes to take as well. After briefly reading the laws in NM on handgunlaw.us (make sure you read that front to back), I would agree with taking the class using the .45 if you are proficient with it as that will maximize your options.
I think guns are like insurance. I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
August 22nd, 2013 08:02 PM
Welcome the the forum and your new addiction ;) (yes it's an addiction!)
Yes you're ready. I had a lot of not great shooters in my class and everyone qualified. You just have to demonstrate common sense and careful handling of your firearm and hit a target at 5-7 feet that's the size of a 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper and you're good.
August 22nd, 2013 08:06 PM
Sounds like you're ready, sure.
My recommendations would be to consider doing the following:
- Pick up a copy of Ayoob's book, In The Gravest Extreme, if you have not already done so, then read it once or twice. It's golden.
- Read through all of your state's firearms-related and use-of-force related statutes. They're all going to apply to you. Get an idea of what they entail, generally, the breadth of basic situations covered. And then, go through each of them in some detail until you feel you understand them reasonably well. You'll then be far better prepared to consider ramifications of what you're being told in your CHL class.
- Come to the CHL class with a printout of any of the statutes that confuse you to no end. Get clarification.
- Evaluate a variety of typical situations that citizens find themselves in, when being confronted by violent felons, when being forced to deal with a potentially deadly, fluid situation. At your home while awake, while asleep, on your way to your detached garage, driving along, heads-down during a dinner out, etc etc. What could you do, to survive? How would the venue matter, helping or hindering? What steps can you take in terms of easy precautions (ie, sitting nearer to an exit door, facing the incoming patrons at a restaurant) that might boost your chances of survival?
- Evaluate the pros/cons of having the means of leveraging deadly force upon a presumed assailant. What if you get it wrong? What if you miss and strike the proverbial 3yr old child across the street? What if you're arrested and charged with something? Are you prepared financially, socially, to take those kinds of hits? Are you willing to defend yourself to the point of potentially taking a life, if need be? How far are you prepared to go to assist other, third-parties from harm (and, what do your state's statutes have to say on third-party assists like that)?
- Consider some of the elements proposed in this thread: To Carry or Not to Carry -- What Thinking Did You Go Through?
- Evaluate all means of effective self-defense at your disposal, as a citizen. Consider the firearm, knives, pepper spray, cane or baton, kubotan, basic hand-to-hand (H2H) techniques. Realistically gauge your level of ability with each of these things. Consider carrying one or more tools. Consider the utility of learning basic H2H, close-quarters techniques, both with and without weapons.
- Presuming your CHL course is going to cover shooting skills (basically): consider shooting with both hands, slow-fire; rapid-fire; one-handed; off-handed; starting with an unloaded gun; going through reloads; going through clearing drills (ie, in case of a jammed round or misfired round).
- Continue doing basic safety drills, repetitively, until it's absolutely second-nature and you could do them in your sleep. Preparing to draw; draw; low-ready; firing; reholstering. Dry-fire drills can help quite a lot with thse sorts of things.
August 22nd, 2013 08:36 PM
Wow, quick responses! Thank you for the welcomes and the responses. It's good to hear I'm on the right track.
I've considered all of the negatives and positives of carrying a weapon with me. I still do every day. I've even considered open carrying here as it's legal until I get my CCW, though my intention is not to make myself a target. I live in one of the top 100 most dangerous places to live, according to Neighborhood Scout. I'm single, female, and I live alone. I'm a nurse and have worked both ER and ICU, and I have seen some of the horrible crimes committed here. My most dangerous choice would be not to carry.
I already consider possible scenarios in my every day life. What if that man smoking 5 feet from my car while I'm stopped at the stoplight at 5am decides to attack me? What if I hear someone come into my house while I'm alone? I have planned a lot of this, come up with some responses, decided on what I'd do. CCW is just the next step.
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