Practical Practice

How much practice is enough to maintain your skill set? I mean how much time is required to keep your 1.5 second drawstroke from concealed?

I have found that folks get a little wrapped around the axle with this subject. On the one hand, they want to have lighting fast draw strokes and surgical precision. Who wouldn’t, I mean that is the ultimate goal for just about everyone. The problem is the amount of time, resources and effort necessary to maintain that skill at the upper regions of human performance is a lot more costly across the board.

A good friend of mine is pretty lucky, his spouse is a recognized competitive shooter with sponsors dropping off thousands of rounds of ammunition annually. Then they have a modest range that provides everything they need to practice. That is just about everyone’s dream come true, when that is your job and you have the time dedicated as well as the support it is kind of hard not to keep your skills at that level. At that point there better not be an excuse for not being at the top of your game.

The recreational shooting enthusiast by contrast can find the time, has limited resources and generally no support. I believe this represents the large majority of the industry. You have to prioritize what is important and then dedicated your efforts towards improving and sustaining. Sounds easy, but the real hard part is what do you prioritize?

You can look to the everyday citizen who has had to employ their firearm in the immediate defense of life. It seems we have a lot more of them lately or the media is reporting on them in a half ass effort to draw public ire for your own personal safely. It really doesn’t matter, I’m not sure these are the most accurate sources to turn to. Take a look at them more closely, was the intended victim a true student of the art with countless hours under their belt, carefully selected equipment and high standards.

I’m thinking not. So, in this case if the intended victim was a student of the art what might be the more practical skills to practice. I’ll bet as a collective we could come up with a couple that would resonate with the majority. If you had to pick just two objectives to religiously practice; one major and one minor what would they be?

One for sure is what we call combat marksmanship. The difference between basic, marksmanship and combat marksmanship is best understood as a balance between speed and accuracy. Your speed is fast enough that you are not sloppy or imprecise and your accuracy is precise enough for the required shot.

The next skill would be the drawstroke, but with a twist. It’s one thing to draw on a firing line and replicate that action over and over and it is a totally different situation to work from the less than perfect scenarios. The other point is not so much how fast your drawstroke is, but how efficient you are at moving the muzzle from the holster directly to the target. As soon as you change body positions or locations, this becomes a lot more difficult.

So, when practice time is at a premium you will have to prioritize what is practical, what will transcend the range and be effective in the real world.

4 thoughts on “Practical Practice

  1. flashback says:

    I have read repeatedly that most bad guy encounters are very close in nature so every so often we’ll practice at drawing the gun and shooting from retention…your reference to combat marksmanship is very applicable in this case as there’s no way one could fully extend and get perfect sight alignment/picture in these cases.
    Just be aware of where your support hand is!

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