Common Causes For Bad Shooting
Bad shooting happens to everyone. No one is born a perfect shooter; even Annie Oakley had to work her way up.
Even expert marksman are still never completely satisfied with their shooting abilities. There's always room to improve handgun shooting skills. And in the world of concealed carry, it's all the more important to address the issues that may hinder us in an actual hostile event.
In this article, we'll cover some common ccw mistakes and include some recommendations for how to fix it.
Not Practicing With Your Concealed Carry Gun Will Lead To Bad Shooting
Practice with something other than your concealed carry gun? That's going to lead to bad shooting.
As much as nobody likes to do the same ole' thing everyday, plenty of concealed carriers like to mix it up with taking different daily carries. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just make sure each weapon you're carrying is one that you've taken the opportunity to extensively practice including the draw from a gun holster. It does no good to practice with one set of firearms and carry another.
- Remediation: At the range, take the opportunity to cycle through each concealed carry firearm you anticipate bringing with you in your daily life. Make sure you can use the gear you'll actually have on you.
- Try: Practicing with both the gun holster you intend to carry the firearm as well as the firearm. This makes the reality of carrying it more familiar.
Pistol Shooting Mistakes: Speed Kills...Your Accuracy
One of the biggest pistol shooting mistakes when it comes to training...and real-life scenarios...is rushing. Speed kills your accuracy first, so don't go too fast for your skill level.
Maybe for sports cars and fighter jets this is true, but when it comes to taking aim and putting a bullet on target – shooting accuracy matters more than speed. While this may seem counter-intuitive in a life or death situation, the fundamentals of good marksmanship never rest. And especially in an actual concealed carrier situation – your reflexes are already going to be moving way ahead of your conscious mind. It's important to, if given the opportunity, to slow down and focus on shooting accuracy and getting that first shot perfect.
Instead of focusing on being fast, focus on being efficient firstly and foremostly. A number of gunfighters have been attributed with the quote, but the idea is spot on:
Speed's fine, but accuracy is final!
- Remediation: The first step is at the range. Practice slowly, efficiently and consistently, and speed will come. The better and more thorough the practice – the faster you can use your weapon effectively when it really matters.
- Try: Focusing first on accuracy. This means buckling down on things like sight alignment, sight picture, breathing, trigger control, and support.
- Avoid: Rapid fire drills aren't going to save you time. While at the range and in real life – where ever you may find yourself, there you are. Putting nine or ten rounds down range in a second is one thing. Getting them into a tight shot group is entirely another.
Mistake: “I know what I'm doing and everyone else does, too.”
If you're an experienced concealed carrier, you're likely used to your routines. You know exactly what angle your pistol or revolver has to be positioned in your inside the waistband holster. Once that firearm comes out, your body instinctively reacts, putting controlled, well-placed shots on target. The only problem? Does everyone else know what it is you're doing and why?
- Remediation: In an actual hostile event where a concealed firearm is necessary, it's just as important to practice the fundamentals of firearm safety and marksmanship as it is good communication. Practice talking through a theoretical situation, ensuring non-armed participants stay down until the threat is completely neutralized, and that they understand a semblance of what likely unfolded in a matter of minutes if not seconds.
- Try: After completing a volley (observe, stance, draw, fire, secure) with your concealed carry firearm and holster, inform a theoretical audience of what you would want them to know in that situation.
- Avoid: Barking orders or appearing to be in a position above what you are – an armed civilian responding to an emergency life-threatening situation with lethal force. If possible, be calm and reassuring as these two things will help people understand what they need to do in the immediate timeline.
Have you seen any particular mistakes when either observing others or yourself during CCW shooting practice? How do you think you could improve?
Tell us in the comments section below.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.