Guns & Ammo Network

Collapse bottom bar
Defend Thyself Personal Defense

Train Your Concealed Carry

by George Wehby   |  June 15th, 2011 12

I know its common sense, but like my Dad use to say, “Son, common sense ain’t common.”  Something I saw all the time while in law enforcement was guys spending hours on the range drawing and firing their Glock 17 from their Fobus holster.  They would get their times down to the best possible score and then go home and put a Smith & Wesson revolver in a pocket holster to go to the store or out on the town.

Doesn’t that seem like setting up for failure when it comes time to use your practiced drawing skills?  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with those guns or equipment.  I completely support getting your draw times down to nothing. The problem is failing to train your skills in the manner of your life style.  Consistency is key.  I believe we create a movement memory that will be tapped when we are under extreme stress. If the above mentioned individual has to use his weapon under stress, he is probably going to instinctively go for his Glock 17 in his Fobus holster, only to realize they are at home in his safe and instead he has his revolver in his pocket.  So much for reaction time being trained down to nothing. Food for thought.

  • Sam Jones

    I completely agree. Muscle memory is a learned reaction. Shooting with a completely different gun/holster than the one used for competition, such as IDPA, will have some transferable skills, but will not build a conditioned response for a carry vs. competition gun. The answer would be to use a comparable gun/carry position for competition & concealed carry eg: shoot a 1911 platform from a strong side holster, and carry a 1911 platform in a strong side holster. Small differences such as a leather vs. kydex holster would not cause a huge difference in the conditioned response. Another tip – our IDPA Club has occasional "Carry Gun" matches, where you shoot what you carry (As long as the gun/holster complies with IDPA – so NO pocket holster rigs).

    • Wambli Ska

      I like variety in my carry guns so as an alternative you can just train extensively with every gun you plan to carry. I have shot IDPA matches with my 1911s and with my HK P2000s with LEM triggers. Completely different animals but I never missed a beat with any of them because I know all my carry guns intimately.

  • airborne

    Nothing but true. I realized as a CCW permit holder that the way I MUST carry is very different from what I am allowed at the range. Even at work I must carry concealed and the way it is suppose to be effective is to practice with what I really have on me almost 18 hours a day.

  • Steve

    This principles in this article are true but need to be expanded. I believe the principles of REALITY would be a good theme? It would be great to see more realistc practice being done/offered. However, civilian "matches" are generally preset games peformed with firearms that are NOT carried concealed period, as well as not carried in a "practiced" place. These competitions are also driven by "time". If you ever have to search a house, take cover in a parking lot, your house, or the local market, you are not going to be interested making it a "short" time to getting killed. Some law enforcement has woken up, maybe a little bit. Unfortunately too much is still spent on target range training or the playing of pure speed games. I hoped IDPA was going to be a remedy for many issues. Apprarently, it is not, or there would not be just "occasional" carry gun matches. They would be the rule. We saw many problems exposed when running simmunitions training. Mostly because making mistakes or practicing many "match" habits causes you pain and advises you that you are dead or wounded. Many times, moving or getting cover needs to come first. The gun second. When bullets have to fly, the most critical issue is NOT "hit him first". The most critical issue is that you, or other innocent persons, don't get hit period.

    • gwehby

      I completely agree!!! I will definitely expand on this stuff in future blogs. I have to spread it out a little. lol Great points!!!

    • breamfisher

      I've heard the critique that matches aren't good training because some folks use different gear in the match than what they use to carry. I've wondered: if that's what's keeping someone from shooting the match, why not run your carry gun, in the carry rig, with carry-equivalent ammo? That's what a friend and I used to do. We didn't place high, but we also know our carry guns and rigs inside and out. Just because it's a "competition" doesn't mean you have to treat it as such.

      • BPsniper

        Exactly! Screw the points. Train to win something more important than trophies.

      • Wambli Ska

        "Just because it’s a “competition” doesn’t mean you have to treat it as such."

        Very wise words…

  • John

    You should with anything that you have your life in the abilty of the tool doing it's job.

  • Ken

    Under stress, you will automatically revert to your training, like karate, it becomes a fluid thoughtless action. That is why you train so hard with handgun. Really, "dance with who brung you". If you carry and 38 in your pocket, train that way = live longer!

  • gunrunner428

    As far as running against the clock, fast(est) times shouldn't necessarily be the goal, but observed as another tool towards proficiency. Short of doing jumping jacks and running hard in place to get the pulse and respiration rates up (simulating an adrenaline dump during a potentially violent or extreme encounter) the pressures of a timer sometimes are the easiest way to introduce a little "controlled stress" in the practice of match shooting.

    Handling your gun safely and effectively under this condition is harder than simply doing so with all the time in the world to engage your target and pull the trigger.

    Speaking from personal experience, caffiene intake can really be an eye-opener, as I dropped my carry revolver during a qualification practice with the company I worked for during a reload (a drill I could do with my eyes closed), after going through a super-sized Diet Coke from McD's on the way to the range that day. I did NOT like the jitters and shakes that ensued, but learned very quickly how fallible muscle memory can be under stress.

  • Hondian

    I haven’t seen much about the “Unseen draw”. You quarter to the bad guy, with your off hand shoulder pointing to him/her. Keeping your strong hand elbow tucked behind you, so your draw can not be seen, you draw without moving your visible body parts. You can practice in front of a mirror. What do you think about this?

back to top