This is an honest question I ask myself and wondered if maybe the gun community thought of it, too.
What is the biggest thing holding back your firearms skills?
We see defensive gun use scenarios played out in real life nearly every single day on the news. Whether it’s a home invasion or a concealed carrier stopping a gas station from being robbed, we’re always left asking ourselves:
What would we do in that situation?
And then comes the second part of that — do we feel confident in our abilities to do those things?
Now, not every concealed carrier needs to be a knight in shining armor. In fact, trying to step into someone else’s business can be a recipe for disaster. But, should the time come — we’ll have to use the skills we’ve practiced to good use. Are they up to snuff?
Here’s a couple things I get from readers who write in to ask questions.
Reasons why firearms skills are held back:
- Ammunition can be expensive
- Range time can be costly
- Too busy to go to the range regularly
- Classes are only offered during working hours
- Quality time with family comes first
- Work too darn much
- Lack of proper equipment
- Hearing and eye protection should always be used.
- Firearms should be cleaned after being used.
- Lack of confidence
- Person doesn’t feel confident in disassembling pistol
- Person has a natural ingrained fear of loud noises
- Person is worried about being judged for poor performance
Believe it or not, every single one of these can be remedied cost-efficiently.
It starts with time management, setting a budget for munitions, range time, and classes, and continually building upon your personal base of knowledge with firearms. While there are plenty of experts, even experts still have areas that they seek to improve upon… As should we.
Every single time a piece of paper goes up on the target line, if you see results you’re not satisfied with — training needs to be a priority. And the only way to get better is to practice.
If paper targets are easy, then it’s time to move on to more challenging training and scenarios. No one is 100% prepared all the time — no matter how prepared he or she thinks she is.
Overconfidence is actually harder to overcome than a lack of confidence. A lack of confidence can be fixed by simply implementing a routine training cycle and recording your results. You will see, over time, you will get a better handle on aiming the gun accurately and precisely.
Overconfidence can stem from having handled guns for so long, the very idea that a person could fail at a critical moment is laughable. There’s also people that think because they’ve handled their gun in the home, suddenly that makes them ready to handle real danger. This is a huge problem. This is where we begin to run into negligent discharges and silly mistakes that are easily avoidable.
So, in conclusion, sit down with a piece of paper and take an honest assessment of how confident you feel with your concealed carry firearm.
- Question: Do you know how to safely disassemble?
Remedy: Read your pistol’s instruction manual. Look up some YouTube videos on disassembly of your specific pistol make and model.
- Question: Do you feel confident that you can hit a target center mass at a variety of distances?
- Question: Do you find your aim is less than ideal?
Remedy: Work on remedial marksmanship. The basics are:
- Can you quickly and safely draw your handgun from its holster and put it on target?
- Are you comfortable scanning and assessing multiple targets?
- How well can you change a magazine when it’s stored in your pocket or holster?
If any of these answers shake your confidence or you feel something is lacking, this is motivation to work out a schedule that fits with your budget and time constraints. The safety of yourself, your family, and those around you will all be greatly improved.