Shoot More in Order to Shoot Better

How many rounds of ammo do you have in your house right now? Don’t answer me, because it is none of my business. But, for your own personal peace of mind, do the math.

Now, take a box of that ammo and set it aside. That is the ammo you will shoot this week. Right now, I’m not even going to tell you HOW to shoot that ammo. That’s because it is more important to get into the habit of shooting regularly. First you make the commitment. You say you are going to do it and you start down that road.

Lots of people don’t try things because they think they are not good at those things. That is backward thinking.

First, decide you will do it. Bring clarity to your purpose. Say to yourself, “I will work to become a better shooter.” Then, make the commitment to do it. Announce that commitment to the world if you must, because the more people who know about it, the more likely you are to be accountable to keeping that commitment. Be confident that you will learn and improve.

When those elements are in place, you will build competence. That is all there is to it. So many people get those elements in the wrong order. And by having them in the wrong order, you greatly limit your ability and willingness to move forward and improve.

If you start with clarity and commitment, you will build confidence and competence.

Now, about that box of ammo … don’t be a plinker. Expend your ammo with training in mind. My friend Dave Young says, “Every round should have a training value attached.” So, forget about shooting a nice, tight, 25-yard group. Let’s do some serious training.  You’ve got 50 rounds; here is a great way to expend them to ensure you get training value from each round you fire.

Suggested one-box training protocol:

  • Two-handed grip, from the holster, at 5 yards: If your range allows drawing from the holster, get in a good shooting stance, draw and fire one round as quickly as you can safely and accurately hit the target. Repeat 10 times. If you are not allowed to draw from the holster, lay your pistol on the shooting table and conduct the drill by picking up the pistol, establishing the proper two-handed grip, acquiring the target and firing the shot. Reholster or return the firearm to the table reluctantly. Total shots fired: 10
  • One-handed grip, from the holster, at 5 yards: Just like above, but fire with one hand. Repeat 10 times. Total shots fired: 20
  • Transition to one-handed grip, other strong hand: Draw from the holster or pick up the pistol with your strong hand. Transition to your other strong hand and fire two rounds as quickly as you can safely and accurately hit the target. Return to the holster or table and repeat, firing three rounds. Do this twice. Total shots fired: 30
  • Drive the gun, fire at extension: From what is commonly called the “high ready,” hold the gun in a two-handed grip with your elbows against your ribs. Come to full extension and fire at the target as fast as you can safely and accurately hit the target. Fire two rounds. Then fire three rounds. Repeat four times. Total shots fired: 50

There you have it. You have fired a box of ammo, 50 rounds, with four easy drills that will build your gun-fighting skills. As always, observe all firearms safety rules; never let your gun point at anything you are not willing to destroy and keep your finger off the trigger until your muzzle is on target and you have made a conscious decision to shoot.

If you are shooting a nice, tight group, speed up.