When it comes to self-defense, firearms are the great equalizer, allowing a frail old woman to defend herself just as effectively as a star athlete in their physical prime. With that said, though, being able to adequately defend yourself with a firearm requires more than the ability to pull a trigger; if you want to ensure that you are able to effectively use your firearm in a life and death scenario, you’ll need to have the right skills and training.
Time spent at the range doing typical target practice is certainly a great place to start, but the reality is that self-defense scenarios are going to differ wildly from calmly firing rounds at a stationary, paper target. In order to truly prepare yourself for these situations, you’ll need to get a little more creative with your shooting drills.
Below, we’ll take a look at three drills that you can use to improve your ability to defend yourself with a firearm.
Double Tap Drill
Neutralizing a threat will most often require you to put more than one round on the target. At the very least, putting multiple rounds downrange is good insurance. This is why most all police and military personnel practice the double tap drill. In case you’re not yet familiar with the term, double tap involves rapidly firing two rounds at the target, grouping them as close together as possible.
To practice the double tap drill, start with your handgun at your side or in its holster, draw your weapon up, quickly aim at the target, and fire two rounds in rapid succession. Ideally, both rounds will strike the target near the center and will also be grouped as close together as possible.
Practice the double tap drill until you are able to fire both rounds without any pause between the two shots while also maintaining your accuracy and putting the rounds in a tight group.
The Wall Drill
Not every drill requires you to fire live rounds in order to improve your abilities, and the wall drill is one of several “dry fire” drills that allow you to train with your firearm at any time without having to go to the range or purchase ammunition.
The reason that the wall drill is effective is that it allows you to practice trigger control. A lack of trigger control is one of the main things that can cause a shot to go off target, so improving your trigger control will improve your accuracy as well.
To perform the wall drill, first make sure that your firearm is unloaded. After you have checked and double checked that your firearm is unloaded, aim the sights at a point on the wall and squeeze the trigger, paying close attention to whether or not the front sight moves and if so by how much.
Practice the drill until you are able to squeeze the trigger without moving the front sight off of the point that you are aiming at and your accuracy will improve.
Draw and Fire Drill
Unless you plan on carrying your firearm in your hand at all times, being able to quickly and smoothly draw the gun from its holster and transition to a firing position is every bit as important as accurately placing rounds on the target once you are in a firing position.
Start with your firearm in the holster however you would normally carry it, facing your target. Then, without taking your eyes off of the target, draw your firearm from the holster, aim, and fire as quickly as you possibly can without sacrificing accuracy.
Practice until you are able to draw and fire in one quick, fluid motion, then mix things up by practicing at different distances, putting multiple rounds downrange, starting by facing away from your target, or any other variation that you feel might be useful in a self-defense scenario.
As any concealed carry instructor will tell you, regular practicing with your firearm is the only way to ensure that you will be prepared should you ever have to use it. Practicing the three drills outlined above is a great way to begin developing the skills that may one day save your life.
Of course, there are plenty of other effective drills to explore once you’ve mastered these three, and you should certainly continue to expand your skills in every way that you can. Let us know your favorite drill in the comments section below.
~ American Gun News