My first post of this year briefly discussed my goal of doing 3,660 minutes of dry practice in 2019. These posts are mostly for my own accountability. Here are my results to this point in the year.
January 1: 10 minutes presentation
January 2: 10 minutes presentation
January 3: 10 minutes presentation
January 4: 10 minutes presentation
January 5: 10 minutes presentation
January 6: 10 minutes presentation
January 7: 10 minutes presentation
January 8: 10 minutes presentation
January 9: 10 minutes transition from less-lethal (OC spray)
January 10: 10 minutes presentation
January 11: 10 minutes presentation
January 12: 10 minutes presentation
January 13: 10 minutes presentation
January 14: 10 minutes presentation
January 15: 10 minutes presentation
Monthly Target: 310 minutes
Monthly Actual: 150 minutes
Cumulative Target to date: 150 minutes
Cumulative Actual to Date: 150 minutes
Tobacco Free: YES
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I decided to spend the first month of 2020 focusing on the single most important skill for concealed carriers: presentation. Presenting the gun – the act of clearing concealment, getting the gun out of the holster and onto target – is important because it’s absolutely necessary in the employment of your handgun. The odds are fairly low that you will need to do a one-handed, weak-hand-only, double-feed malfunction clearance, even if you have to use your gun. But if you have to use your gun, you will have to get it out of the holster.
I’m not willing to admit that I got lazy last year. I did dry practice for an average of 10+ minutes per day for a full year, after all. I will cop to this: some reps were perhaps not quite as good as they could have been. Beginning a new year was an opportunity to mentally re-focus. I spent these two weeks really focusing on making every single presentation a good one. I focused on high-quality repetitions of clearing my cover garment(s), acquiring my firing grasp, marrying my support hand with the gun, and verifying my presentation with the sights. I did no movement, no weird positions, no nothing except refining my draw and all its associated parts.
I also focused on high-fidelity repetitions when holstering. I made an exaggerated “look” into the holster. I made sure that my thumb safety was engaged, and that I was not depressing the grip safety. Since I live with the potential disadvantages of these two safeties, I absolutely want the reap the full advantages they offer.
Note: all repetitions were performed with my EDC firearm. Throughout the coming year any repetitions performed with anything else will be noted.
Transition from Less-Lethal Force
I also did a small amount of work on transition from less-lethal force (OC spray) to lethal force (my handgun). I carry OC spray every single day, including those times when I can’t carry a firearm. I see quite a few “gun-free zone” signs, but I have yet to see one prohibiting OC spray. If you aren’t carrying OC, I strongly encourage you to reconsider. I use Fox’s Mean Green (it’s plenty strong, and I like the green dye better than the more typical red dye).
If I have my gun on me I still have my OC, and will use it to avoid going to guns if at all possible. I don’t rely on it as an absolute, though. I want to have a mindset of, “OC can fail and I’m ready to drop it and draw if it does.” I also want to have the skills to effect that mindset. If you carry OC I recommend investing in an inert canister. Even after it’s empty you can still use it to dry practice.
During my next two-week block of training I will expand out and focus on drawing across a wider range of situations and scenarios. If you’re serious about concealed carry, you should be very serious about your draw stroke/presentation.
If you carry a gun, you do so because you believe you might be in a gunfight. If you knew you were going to be in a gunfight tomorrow, would you spend some time dry practicing today? We all waste countless minutes per day mindlessly scrolling social media or watching TV. Take just ten of those minutes each day and better yourself.