New to concealed carry or a veteran with decades of experience, shooting drills as well as constant practice with arms is always warranted, not just recreational shooting. Like any skill—as they say—if you don't use it you lose it. Over time, skills degrade. To keep your skills sharp to concealed carrying or as a beginner you'll need to keep up at drills.
Concealed carry techniques differ from traditional shooting techniques as well as bullseye shooting. Let's go over a breakdown drill for concealed carry shooters to get everyone back to practicing regularly.
In the beginning, drills may seem incredibly complex to a beginner, but the entire point is to take that complexity and break it down into smaller, simpler actions.
Note that it is extremely important to remember your gun safety during drills of any kind.
For beginners, you should be going to a trained and certified instructor--but it is better to practice how to holster and unholster your weapon, as well as dry firing first. Always refer to the 5 basic principles of gun safety no matter what skill level with firearms you have:
- Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
- Always point your gun in a safe direction.
- Never point your gun at anything you don't intend to shoot.
- Be sure of your target and what's beyond it.
Simple Draw and Fire - Dry-Fire
Note: You should have already been familiar or be practicing grip, how to hold your gun, and where your finger placement should be before the simple draw and fire.
Starting simple for a drill is the best place to begin. Dry fire is the fastest, easiest and least expensive (or dangerous) means of solving a frequent problem: pulling the trigger without pulling sights off-target. Put the ammo away, in another area or under lock and key for now. Then double-check and triple-check there is no live ammo in the gun or the room again.
Make sure to wear your favorite or preferred holster, keep it in the same place to help memorize where it is and practice this drill with it often.
Get into your preferred firing stance. Now, practice the meat and potatoes drill of concealed carry which is the simple draw and fire. There are more advanced skills of course, but they all come from and build from this very basic skill.
To draw and fire, you'll need to practice clearing your garment, drawing from the holster, presenting, aiming and firing—five individual components of one action. This drill seems like it should be a breeze when you read it laid out like this, but it incorporates many things into a single movement.
As an experienced handgun owner, LEO, military or veteran you might wonder what the point of practicing something so simple or something you've already mastered is. The point is the very true saying that practice makes perfect. The more you keep practicing or the more you return to practicing simple basics such as the draw, the better you get and remain at it.
Don't forget when practicing your simple draw and fire that if you live in an area that experiences drastic seasonal changes, to practice in your seasonal gear—sweaters, winter jackets, and so on.
Where to Practice?
You may not be able to practice drawing from a holster on the public range. We don't recommend practicing inside the home with your real handgun, either. If you ask anyone who has experienced an accidental discharge, they say they didn't think it would happen to them because they were always careful…except for the one time the gun went off.
Don't chance it. If you can't find a range that will allow you practicing your holster draw, use the Blue Gun method.
The Blue Gun method is using a toy/plastic gun that's relatively the same size and shape to practice with. This is the safest indoor method for now. Eventually, you should be able to practice in a safer area with your handgun and holster but start here, it's the safest option.
Another solution is to seek out various private clubs in your area to see if they allow practicing drawing from concealment. Some of the major handgun sports, such as the IDPA, mandates drawing from concealment while USPSA doesn't prohibit it.
It might seem a bit of a hassle or obvious to practice draw and fire, but it truly is necessary. Practice until you are comfortable or comfortable again. Speed and fluidity are key. Snagging your gun on a piece of clothing or accidentally fumbling it at a critical time of need could prove deadly.
The more comfortable you are with your draw, the better you'll do under pressure. Good luck and keep practicing!