How do I improve my marksmanship without going to the range?

There is no substitute for going to the range to practice the skills you received during training with a professional. However, there are things you can do at home, and get in practice every day.

Practicing at home with an unloaded firearm is a good way to retain and develop your skills. Many people refer to this as dry practice, rather than dry firing, because there is no firing involved.

Safety first. Remove all ammunition from the room. Make sure there are no other people or animals around. Make sure the firearm is unloaded. Have an area where, even if there were an unintentional discharge, there would be no harm to a person, and only minimal damage to property. Make sure there is a complete stop for any unintentional discharge. This would include a basement brick wall as a good example. A sheet rock wall with people on the other side is not a good choice, due to overpenetration of an unintentional discharge.

Place a target on a wall, use it for practice, and immediately remove it when you are done. Do not leave it up when you are done, as you may re-load your firearm, forget that you did, and have an unpleasant surprise when you do “just one more” repetition of dry practice.

There are some drills that we discuss during training. One is to draw your weapon and aim at the point where you want to be, with your eyes closed. After a few attempts you will find that you are aiming very close to the point you wish to hit.

Try practicing with a dime on top of your firearm.  Squeeze and release the trigger without making the dime fall off of the firearm. This will assist with trigger control and application of steady pressure. This is very helpful, and hard to do, if you are practicing with a revolver.

Also practice drawing with the exact combination of clothing, belt, holster and handgun you will carry outside of the home. Every combination is a bit different, and it is useful to iron out any glitches in your draw before you need the gun in a panic situation. Also, check to be sure you are not printing, to be sure that your firearm cannot be seen by others.

You can also do all of these things at the range. This is a good way to get it some extra practice, without significant additional cost. It is also a safer place to put into practice these ways to make you a better and safer shooter.

Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness

When you are out of your home you should be constantly aware of what is going on around you. You do not need to be paranoid, have a weapon drawn at all times, or be on some other high level of alert. That would be appropriate in a war zone, not in (hopefully) most American cities.

Instead, scan and determine whether someone may be a threat, and look for signs that a threat may be present. In our classes we will discuss several threats that you should recognize, and what to do when you do. In short, whenever a person presents any deadly weapon, whether it is a gun, knife, ball bat, pipe, or the like, you are being threatened and should proceed to protect yourself.

We provide CCW classes in Colorado, especially Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland and other NoCo locations. In our concealed carry classes we will discuss ways to identify threats and what you should do.