I’m a Responsible Gun Owner? Seriously?

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The description given in the article below is not uncommon and it often applies to military, law enforcement, and hunters as well.

While living in San Antonio, I was a TCOLE (formerly TCLEOSE) certified instructor and worked part-time at the Alamo Area Regional Law Enforcement Academy. As a Texas resident, I took the TxDPS – License to Carry course described below. While living in Wisconsin, I was certified by the state Department of Natural Resources as a Wisconsin Hunter Education instructor and taught classes. I’ve been in the U.S. Army in various capacities for a quarter century and with the US Army Reserve Marksmanship Training and Competitive Program since 2004.

I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with many skilled people in all of these experiences but that was largely due to my seeking them out and knowing what to look for. I already had higher-level shooting experience via organized competition and held Classifications from national-level organizations before doing any of this. The then-director of the DNR Hunter’s Ed program attended HunterShooter events I held. I applied for that Academy after having a fellow Shooting Team member speak well of the training director and his program. My Texas LTC course was taught by a fellow instructor and USAR Shooting Team member. I specifically took the class from him to avoid the clown show described below.

Gun owners are often their own worst enemy. The level of incompetence described here is not uncommon. Military, law enforcement, hunters, and concealed carry people are often at novice levels. Mandatory qualification levels are only useful if they’re difficult enough to assess useful skill. That means people incapable of displaying minimal useful skill must be failed. The other approach is for the program to intend to pass everyone. This means standards are adjusted down until everyone can. This article describes the results of that.
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How To Practice

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https://www.facebook.com/TEDEducation/videos/1489398127740055/

 

  • Repetition of an activity creates myelination by adding and changing the myelin “sheath” covering axions in the brain. Like insulation on electric wires, myelin prevents energy loss of electrical signals from the brain through neural pathways, making the action easier and more efficient to perform.
  • The specific number of repetitions or amount of time needed is unknown, largely because skill is more dependent on the quality and effectiveness of the repeated action through practice. Myelination will occur over time with any repeated action, including those you didn’t intend.
  • Effective practice is mostly about performing a given action/task correctly and often enough through numerous sessions for myelination to occur and then be sustained. Good practice needs to be consistent and intensely focused.
  • Effective practice is focused and targets specific content and weaknesses that work up to and are at the edge of one’s current ability.
  • Regularly conduct short, focused sessions with minimal distractions.
  • Start slowly or in slow motion and build quality, correct repetitions. Remember, myelination occurs with any repeated action, including those you didn’t intend.
  • Gradually build speed of quality repetitions, building up to and/or just beyond the edge of your current ability.
  • Multiple short sessions held regularly are best.
  • Visualize performing skills correctly between sessions. Mentally performing the task correctly is another form of practice.

Circus Trick

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Low skilled people continue to whine about standards drills as not being realistic, tactically relevant, or being a “circus trick.” What they’re really doing is attempting to conceal lack of skill, either their own or others. Rather than blame a lack of fundamental skill for a poor result, it’s easier to blame the evaluation for the poor showing. The fact that such a test is known in advance only serves to make it easier.
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Need A Range

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Handgun Training – Practice Drills For Defensive Shooting by Grant Cunningham

Interesting book with good suggestions.
By Smiley42 on August 22, 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

The book is sound, but I’m at a loss to find a weapons range where I can practice the techniques described in the book. If such a site was available I would certainly be using the book for practice.

Firearms Training: Shooting Drills – Figure-8 Drill by Rob Pincus
Jumpymonkey2000

I don’t have a place where to practice these drills. My range doesn’t allow this. That’s the only thing that stops me.

Defensive Shooting Standards Drill
Ross

These videos all assume something that is usually very wrong. How many people have access to a place to safely set up and shoot like this? Most of us can only shoot at a range where there are prescribed lanes and no opportunity to do anything but shoot in a controlled manner on our own lane.

The types of things shown in these videos are only for the rich guys who own a big piece of land. Great for them, I’m happy for them. The rest of us are working stiffs.

Guess what? Ranges hosting practical, action, and Service Conditions competitions are places these sorts of things can be done. Given that competitive shooters routinely host events featuring movement and shooting around/through barricades, those people and places are open to this sort of thing.

Ranges catering only to the general gun owning public and failing to host such events are more likely to enforce babysitting measures that would prevent the conduct of defensive shooting drills, probably because such gun owners sometimes require babysitting measures.

If such a site was available I would certainly be using the book for practice” is a very telling comment. If/when such a person buys into taking a class, any skills learned will soon degrade as he lacks the facility to put them into practice.

“Students won’t “own” the physical skills at the end of a one or two day class on the range. Getting the skills to the level you need them to be takes Repetition over Time.”

– Rob Pincus

Finding a range/facility/club hosting organized shooting events, attending events, and meeting like-minded participants interested in skill testing and development is more important than whatever class or other instruction someone is trying to sell. No matter how good the instructor, class, book/video/etc. may be, it’s for naught unless the skills, concepts, and ideas can be put to hands-on practice on at least a semi-regular basis. Anything beyond simple range drills will likely require a training partner and certainly requires a range set up more involved than standing still in a booth or seated at a bench and slowly plinking at a single target on a range disallowing shooting from position, drawing from a holster, and/or shooting quickly. Having these things arranged and available to you is the best predictor of skill retention and development. However, once your credit card clears and the class is over or the book/DVD/video is delivered, you’re on your own.

Another reason to support and attend organized shooting events.

Basketball Shooting Coaches

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The difference between winning and losing, and anonymity and stardom, can come down to shooting.

Some teams don’t even have a dedicated shooting coach. “I think some teams don’t because it’s such a new concept,” says Philadelphia 76ers shooting coach John Townsend. “There was a time not every team had a strength and conditioning coach, and it’s just grown and now most teams have at least two. I think eventually it’ll continue to grow for shooting coaches. I try to get to know all the shooting coaches. You have to root for them. The more teams that have shooting coaches, the more likely it’ll be that it’ll continue to grow.

It is fashionable in some circles to deride developing higher-level fundamental skills. The claim that working on basic, fundamental shooting skills in isolation won’t prepare their use when needed in a particular context. This is the opposite of how effective training actually works. Basketball is a fluid game with players constantly moving and shots taken quickly from varying, unknown-in-advance places and situations.

Practice in context would require scrimmaging with nine other players. Yet, even players good enough to make it to the NBA find dedicated work on specific shooting skills in isolation outside of the applied context is improving their overall results. Because that is how skill development works.

The full article:
https://theringer.com/nba-shooting-coaches-kent-bazemore-kawhi-leonard-8660e9939680

Minimum Defensive Shooting Skills

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Solid advice.

Range standards are denigrated in some circles as being unrealistic, arbitrary, out-of-context evaluations but some sort of minimum is still needed.

It’s true the range environment is artificially easier than elsewhere, but this makes meeting some minimum performance standards easier. Pulling it off on the range is not a guarantee of success should things get more difficult, but a failure when it’s easy does not bode well.

What Do We Expect Of You?
Skills And Drills For Saving Lives
By Ralph Mroz

http://americanhandgunner.com/what-do-we-expect-of-you/

Skills

Having self-defense gun skills means in addition to conscious, slow-fire, deliberate marksmanship, you can run the gun at faster speeds, requiring unconscious operation — while still hitting. Mastering static, slow-fire marksmanship isn’t all that difficult, but shooting fast(er) is hard. This is in no small part because you can’t think your way through the shooting. This kind of unconscious, reasonably speedy fire will be called for in a self-defense situation. I submit you have conscious marksmanship reasonably down pat if you can hit an 8″ or 10″ plate at 25 yards almost all of the time once your gun is zeroed. Which is not to say you shouldn’t try to improve this by adding speed.

With regard to faster shooting, all of the following criteria are subjective, and reasonable people may — indeed, will — differ, and it assumes you’re using a full-sized handgun. You’ll need to make adjustments for smaller guns.

Instructor and teacher Tom Givens has probably had more non-cop students prevail in gunfights than any other US instructor. As I write this the tally is over 60 wins, three forfeits (didn’t have a gun) and zero losses. Tom’s students are almost all ordinary, busy people, not training fanatics.

One of his main standards is drawing from concealment and hitting a 7″ x 9″ target in 1.5 seconds at five yards.

Another is to draw from concealment, take a side-step, and hit the same target with three rounds in three seconds at three yards.

This conforms very closely to what he sees in his students’ actual shootings. Since these are two of the standards the data tells us have a history of preparing people to prevail in actual deadly force confrontations, they are great expectations to start with. Neither will “place” you in even a local club match, but neither are they “gimmies” if you don’t practice.

Control

Another standard I’m fond of is the Higginbotham Controllability Drill. You start from a two-handed low ready and put five rounds into a 5.5″ x 8.5″ target — a standard piece of paper folded in half — in two seconds at five yards. For serious — but beginning shooters — this is a goal. Give yourself more time, but work toward two seconds.

Another standard I think a serious shooter should be able to achieve is to hit a plate at 25 yards from a low ready in 2.5 seconds. Start with any size plate you can hit, but the eventual goal is the A-zone of an IPSC target (6″ x 11″), or the down-zero area of an IDPA target (an 8″ circle or plate). Add the draw into the drill to make it harder, but give yourself another half second or so. The objective here is to be able to hit at a distance and your gun will have to be zeroed for your ammo.

Doesn’t happen in the real world? One of Tom Givens’ students had to engage a guy shooting at him from 22 yards. Read the Ayoob Files in this issue about an 80+ yard shot with a 1911, taking a suspect down. Also, think of the shot you’d need to make in an active shooter situation across a parking lot, down a mall or school corridor, etc.

Nailing these drills won’t get you classified as a great shot, and you will want to improve them as your time allows. But we would consider you as being prepared, practical and prudent in a real-life context. And remember, some practice is much better than no practice.

Metrics vs Mediocrity

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Tom Givens and Rangemaster is a renowned instructor and training facility. Givens has had over 60 students involved in documented fights and his experience is one of the best track records of personal defense students in the United States.

Every student trained by Tom Givens at Rangemaster that was forced into a fight that had a gun available won their fight.

Givens is also a successful competitive shooter and trains his students in a competition-compatible approach. Givens’ advice for being successful in a self defense encounter includes preparing in a manner nearly identical to that taken to do well in a shooting match.

Here are words of wisdom from one the most successful and proven defensive shooting instructors in the United States.
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