The fact you’ve chosen to carry a firearm means you want to be prepared to protect yourself. Being able to hit what you shoot at – that’s what it’s all about. However, simply having a gun isn’t enough. You need to, among other things, HIT what you aim at. Otherwise the resulting use of your firearm may create more problems than it solves.
Unfortunately, to be blunt, most concealed carriers are not skilled enough to hit what they shoot at. I know I sound pessimistic, but I have seen it for decades; shooters who do not prepare for the realities of when, where and how real world situations occur.
Are You Ready?
If you want to do this right and have a chance of survival, you have to be as ready as you can be. Being ready is a byproduct of preparation. Here is the beginner’s list:
- First step – you need to have a concealable gun, like the Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 9mm.
- Second step – you have to train and practice. And I mean doing it like it matters. You can’t just shoot 10 shots through the gun to see if it works and say you are good to go. The gun will work. You’ve picked the most reliable compact handgun possible. That’s why I carry one. I’m not worried about the gun working, I’m worried about you working.
- Third Step – learn marksmanship. To train to protect your life, you need to look beyond just having the gun and knowing some tactics. You have to address the elements of marksmanship that lead to its effective use. If “IT” hits the fan and you have to shoot, you had better hit what you are shooting at. In regards to that, there are two points that standout as being the most important: Fire Control & Aiming.
In this article, I’m going to address aiming.
Front Sight Fiasco
The problem with aiming is that we have taught you all wrong. I apologize. We “shooting instructors” tend to focus on aiming in a clinical sense with little attention paid to how situations might really happen. Let me explain.
Scenario: You are in a fight for your life, things are happening around you fast and the distances are close. Too close. Like the really dangerous distances of contact and just out-of-contact range.
Action plan: You will likely need a better marksmanship goal than the old guidelines of, “Look for that crisp, clear front sight focus.” I have heard it explained far too often that you can’t hit anything if the front sight isn’t clearly in focus. This is absurd.
In a fight you will likely need to watch and monitor what is happening. Your gun may be in your hand. You likely will have it pointed at an imminent threat. You likely will be stressed and nervous. You likely will be scared. You will likely be reacting to events as they unwind. And, unfortunately, if national statistics are referenced, you will likely MISS when the time comes to shoot. Let’s try to avoid this by outfitting ourselves well.