Just returned home from another day at KR Training. Today was a single class, Defensive Pistol Skills 1.
I want to start by giving a pat on the back to all the students for attending. Last night we had some wicked storms roll across Texas dumping 2-3″ or more of rain. Some minor flooding, many stock tanks are overflowing their banks. It makes it tough to drive, and a soggy situation for a class. But class was held despite all the rain and muddy conditions. Why? Because life isn’t always ideal. You can’t ask that mugger to come back when it’s 75° and sunny, so it’s good to practice in less than ideal conditions. So a big pat on the back for all the students for being troopers today…especially when the mud was flying as bullets impacted the muddy backstop. :-)
Today’s class really demonstrated the value of dry fire. Because of the rainy conditions, we modified the class a bit to work on some skills dry in the classroom. This enabled students to focus on the fundamental skills and not get too caught up nor overwhelmed by a lot of other factors. Plus since there’s no BANG occurring, there’s no flinching, you can learn proper trigger press, you don’t have to reload and thus can work the trigger many many many more times. There’s no question the students all shot better and progressed faster because of the dry work.
Another reason to work dry? You can do things you can’t otherwise do. For example, the last “close quarters” drill we do? Good luck finding a range that will allow you to do that drill. But you can work on that skill dry at home. No, it’s not 100% the same, but it’s better than never practicing the skill at all. Everything we did in class today you can do dry to work on those skills: draw, present, trigger prep, follow through, trigger reset, clearing concealment garments, reloading, moving, one-handed shooting, running the 3 Seconds or Less drill. All can and should be done dry.
Besides… with the rains like it is, many ranges are going to be closed due to conditions (e.g. Austin Rifle Club will probably be flooded since it’s located in a floodplain). Dry work to the rescue!
Otherwise, the usual set of comments apply:
- Slow down. Yes speed matters, but only if you can accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish. No one cares about the first person to get a wrong answer. Spraying and praying, smoking and hoping? It’s only leads to unacceptable hits. Right now you are learning, so slow down. Do it correctly. Slow it down, do it right. The more you do it correctly, the better off you’ll be. Then as it becomes second nature, you will go faster, and be correct and faster. Slow down. Be correct.
- Don’t be married to your equipment. Gun, holster, magazine pouches, whatever. Your gear will affect your skill and abilities. Good gear will help you, bad gear will hinder you. I’m sure some of you in the class with less than optimum gear choices may have seen how, under these circumstances, that gear just isn’t going to fly. I also hope that you’ll be looking for better gear. Here’s the guide to gun selection. If you have other questions about gear, never hesitate to contact us.
- Small guns are hard to shoot. That’s the trade-off for getting a smaller size. However, most people don’t need guns as small as they think they do. Or at least look at it this way: small guns are advanced guns. You are better served by getting a full-sized gun and learning to shoot it well. Build up your skills, lay the solid foundation. When you’re really good with the big gun, then you can start to toy with the small gun. Or, you may find that you don’t really need a small gun. Most people who can conceal a Glock 26 can conceal a Glock 19 just as easily. Circumstances vary from person to person, of course, but most people can conceal a G19 fine and will shoot it a lot better than a G26.
- Complex guns are hard to shoot. Guns with decockers. Guns with double-action/single-action trigger pulls. Guns with all manners of switches and levers. One person had a gun with 3 very similar levers all in a row on the left-side of the gun (I think it was a Taurus): one for takedown, one for slide-lock, one for manual thumb safety… a maze of twisty little levers, all alike. I carried a Springfield XD for years, but I too am starting to agree that the grip safety is just unnecessary. Sure the 1911 design is one thing, but did the XD really need to engineer it in? One person with an XD today drew with a poor grip on his gun and the safety could have missed being depressed and then the gun no workie. Putting on my engineer hat, things should be as simple as they need to be, but no simpler. DA/SA trigger pulls? fails that test. Decocker? fails that test. Thumb safety on non-1911 style guns? fails that test. Why complicate things? You have enough to do already.
- And as I wrote above, dry practice is your friend!
Another good class. Another good group of students…. muddy students, but good students. :-)