Rants

I Already Know How To Shoot...

Atlanta CCW CoursesI can't tell you how many times I hear this excuse why people don't want to take a formal training class (or begin with a Level 1 course): "But I already know how to shoot... I grew up with guns... My grandfather taught me how to shoot when I was 6 years old... etc... etc..."

What if I told you that your grandfather didn't know the most ergonomically efficient ways to grip a handgun? What if I told you that shooting for self-protection and the protection of others has literally nothing to do with your grandfather's deer hunting adivce? What if I told you that six year olds don't always hear and retain all of the fundamentals that they are shown- so you have theoretically spent the next 20+ years engraining bad habits into your "shooting abilities?"

I know... You can hit a gnat's ass at 25 yards with your deer rifle. You can even hit a milk jug at 30 feet with a handgun. You can do it all day long... You still don't know how to fight with a firearm. What you have demonstrated is a mediocre ability to employ marksmanship at the above distances. You haven't demonstrated any weapons manipulation skills. You haven't demonstrated any competency for problem solving with a firearm in your hand. You have merely demonstrated that when everything is going right with the world and you are standing in a static position and aiming at a static target that you can put shots down range given an unlimited time frame. You still haven't proven that you know how to shoot.

Introduce a timer to your drills. See what your par time is, and then do some research about your times. Are you drawing from holster and placing hits on target at a distance of 21 feet in under 1.5 seconds? Are your reloads from slide lock less than 2 seconds? Are you clearing double feed malfunctions in less than 2.5 - 3 seconds? Are you engaging multiple targets at various distances? If not- do you really know how to problem solve with a gun in your hand?

Lilburn CCW Courses

When I hear people who have never taken a formal training course say that "they already know how to shoot" it makes me cringe. The reason I want to cringe isn't because I'm desperate to try to earn a new customer. It's not because I have some weird sense of competition with their skill sets. I cringe because I know that I'm talking to another person who doesn't know how little they know. Because the extent of their firearms experience has been milk jugs and deer- they have never pushed themselves into ergonomically efficient movements to help cut down on the time that it takes them to solve a given problem at hand. They own a dozen handguns, but they don't really know how to properly grip any of them. They have every caliber known to man, but they don't know the correct way to clear a double-feed malfunction (let alone doing it one-handed and under stress). In short, they might be able to hit an intended target in the best of circumstances- but they don't know how to problem solve with a gun in their hand. 

If deep down you know that you are one of the people that I'm amicably jeering at in my above examples, then please do everyone a favor... Swallow your pride and take a formal training class. I think you'll be shocked at how much you learn. If you already have a lot of "informal" experience and time behind the trigger- GREAT! That means that your learning curve will be significantly less than many other people's learning curve. However, it doesn't mean that you should skip the necessary fundamentals that only a qualified instructor can provide you. Whether you get training with us at Shooting Strategies, Atlanta Handgun Training, or elsewhere- please seek out a qualified, certified instructor near you for CCW training.

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