Make Your Own Gun Training Course and Have Fun While Learning to Shoot

Concealed carriers and gun owners alike take training seriously. You have to — it’s your life on the line! That said, it’s important to find ways to turn training into a game. That doesn’t mean ignoring the fundamental rules of firearm safety, but it does mean finding ways to get you thinking “outside the box”.

In the video above, Keanu Reeves runs a course at Taran Tactical while training for the movie John Wick. While we can all have the pleasure of setting up a course like this, it does give you a few examples of different types of targets you can use as well as obstacles. It goes to show you that it’s possible to have fun and learn about transitioning between targets

Make Your Own Live-Fire Drills

With the basics of firearm safety and good knowledge about firearms, you too can construct and run your own simulated training environment. It’s important to always ensure you’re complying with your local laws and ensure that no one (or his property) is remotely in the line of fire.

Step 1: Cordon off an area

Rope off an area of land and visually inspect outwards of 2,000 feet (a little less than half a mile) to ensure no stray rounds can wander off. Make sure, if applicable, you get any permitting necessary from your local or state authorities. Some states just require you to take necessary precautions to ensure you’re not endangering other people. Things like roadways, highways, and any sort of publicly-paved road will be an immediate red light in terms of setting up a course.  Private roads can be fantastic training aids so long as you’re following the law.

Once you’ve cordoned off an area, inspected it, and ensured compliance with local codes, post up some signage to let other people know they may be wandering into a live-fire area. During hunting season it’s important to ensure hunters and other sportsmen don’t inadvertently get caught up in this training.

Step 2: Map out a course of action

In any training environment, you have to construct a “plan of action”. For instance, if you have an abandoned shed located in the course, you have the opportunity to practice “slicing the pie” and other crucial techniques for dealing with clearing doorways.

  • Map out where you want your targets to be.
  • Plan how you envision going through the course.
  • Identify any safety concerns that may arise and plan accordingly.

You can, if you choose, also plan out multiple courses using the same terrain. Different skills like shooting from cover or concealment, transitioning between sets of targets or even just transitioning between two targets separated at distance can all be important pieces.

We’ve listed a few to get your mind jogging.

  • Firing from cover and concealment.
  • Moving from a covered position to another covered position.
  • Shooting two targets spaced apart.
  • Shooting target A and then taking cover. Finding target B and engaging from cover.
  • Magazine reloads. Please, please, please remember to take cover when doing a magazine reload. There’s nothing sillier than standing out in the middle of a field switching magazines.
  • Clearing doorways.
  • Communicating in a fire-team.

Step 3: Dry run of the course

If it looks good on paper, make sure the walk matches the print. Without shooting targets, simply move through the course as you would anticipate. Do any safety concerns arise while moving through? Is it safe for a single participant or multiple?

When you’ve completed the dry run, fix anything that needs to be fixed and then comes the best part…

Step 4: Live fire run of the course

This is the big moment. Your planning and course construction have paid off! Hit the timer and move through the course. Always focus on smooth movements over speed or sprinting. Watch as the course you built comes to life before your very eyes. One thing is certain — you will definitely have more fun and learn more doing these types of activities than just the traditional line shooting drills. Best of all, you can incorporate techniques like holstering and movement — two essential pieces for a concealed carrier.

Step 5: Reset

Resetting the course can be as simple as picking up brass and replacing paper targets or repositioning targets in alternate positions.

If you have friends that are of a similar mind, try out each other’s courses. You may find they’ve figured out something really interesting and fun you haven’t considered.

Training should be a lifelong endeavor. The more fun you can get out of it, the more your brain will “click” those techniques into place.

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Sean is an avid hunter and firearms enthusiast. He has been carrying concealed since 2005. His main concealed carry setup is a Springfield Armory Mod.2 9mm carried in an Alien Gear Holster ShapeShift IWB although he does have different methods of carrying depending on the situation.
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