Many don’t realize it, but shooting is a perishable skill that must be continuously renewed through practice and training. Every expert recommends regular range time to both improve and maintain accuracy and the skills needed to ward off a deadly attack. This is constantly proven by the thousands of rounds fired every year by competitors to stay at the top of their fields.
While most of us can’t afford the money or time to fire that number of rounds, regular range time is needed to ensure that muscle memory stays at current levels, and even more to improve on those skills. In addition, it is important to learn your carry gun, as firearms, while similar in many regards, are not all the same with controls located in different locations and working in different ways; a 1911 safety lever is disengaged by pressing it down while the safety on a Beretta 92 must be moved up before firing.
Even if time is an issue, or lack of ammunition, dry fire practice, with or without a training laser, is better than nothing and can be done almost anywhere. On a regular basis, I unload my Kimber, stand in front of a mirror and practice drawing and firing. Also, whenever I swap guns or carry methods, whether for testing purposes or because I just want to carry something different, I spend a few minutes locking the muscle memory in my mind for that day. I don’t ever want to reach for my gun because of a situation to discover that it is somewhere else, which could cause me to lose precious seconds, and change the desired outcome.
Life is busy. With two youngsters clamoring for my time, I’m well aware that heading to the range for training is sometimes difficult. However, since part of my job as a father, husband and honest citizen is ensuring that my skills are up to the task, I make time for both dry- and live-fire practice. You should too.