I recently switched everyday carry guns from a Wilson Combat X-TAC to a Cabot S-Class. Over the years, I put thousands of rounds through my Bill Wilson blaster. The Cabot, not so much (yet). In my defense, it’s still early days. And life gets in the way. As a gun blogger cranking out posts at a furious clip (not magazine) and a single father tending to a 13-year-old, blah, blah, blah. I should be shooting more.

Back in the day, I shot my EDC three times a week. Now I shoot once a month. Maybe. With the opening of The Range at Austin‘s VIP lounge, TTAG’s new blogging spot, I’ll soon repair my ever-frangible marksmanship skills. It can’t happen soon enough, both for my safety and mental health (I heart ballistic therapy). How about you? How often do you shoot your EDC? Do you suffer from seasonally adjusted shooting disorder?

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51 Responses to Question of the Day: How Often Do You Shoot Your Everyday Carry Gun?

  1. I switch between a .357 snub during the summer and a .45 Colt Officer during the winter months, so I spend considerable more time shooting/dry firing during the transitions than during the summer/winter doldrums. Weekly shooting, daily dry fire during the transitions, one-two times monthly shooting, three times a week dry fire drills during the doldrums.

  2. Once a week is the goal but twice a month is generally the reality.

    My goal is to increase dry fire which I sometimes ignore for long stretches. I need to get a routine going after the Holidays.

  3. forget monthly or weekly practice. I don’t shoot nearly enough. Not even close.

    As I acknowledge this failing, I do keep things to a minimum complexity to use. As in, pull it out and squeeze the trigger.

  4. Guns come in families these days. Shoot one Glock or Springfield and you have shot them all. Same for the 1911. So I shoot a carry gun every time I go to the range.

    • One major reason my primary concealed pistol is a mini version of my nightstand gun, which is a mid sized version of my hog/deer pistol. The smaller 2 are the same caliber and chamber the same load when in use (HST 147gr std pressure). The larger is 10mm. But the sights, manual of arms, trigger pull, and overall feel are identical save for the longer/fatter grip on the bigger two.

  5. i have only one pistol, my carry gun. i feel that is the better way to go. so when i go out, i dont have to sit and make a choice about what to carry. When i go to the range or happen to do another competition, i use my trusty Steyr s9-a1. love it.

  6. After the training/breaking in period where I shoot it weekly until comfortable/proficient my live range time will be about once a week dedicated to my carry with the remaining three weekends focusing on rifle/carbine or a competition pistol. Still takes up the majority of my dryfire/draw practice though which occurs daily.

    A gun’s a gun and after so many years and so many tens of thousands of rounds one should be “carry proficient” with just about anything on the planet. Even “combat” proficient. Competition is where things get ridiculous. Carry and combat are about precision while competition is about accuracy. Any fool can dump a mag into a body sized target as far as the eye can clearly see therefore practice regarding carry/combat should focus on manipulation (reloads, malfunctions) and tactics (movement, cover, concealment).

    Just my non-professional never-served-a-day lifelong student and amateur competitor opinion.

  7. I try to put my carry gun into my competition rigs. That way, every time I go out to shoot a match, I get trigger time with my carry gun. That may change now that I have a dedicated G34 for competitions, but I might just adjust my rig to carry the G34. OWB holster with a sweat shirt over it meets the letter of the law as far as concealed carry in IL goes.

  8. At least twice a month, maybe average 100rds + per session. Try to mix it up a bit with different targets, ranges, etc.. I believe that regardless of what your EDC is, brand, etc.. the more range time and familiarity you can get with it, the better..

    • I’ve gotta start that, extending the distance until I literally cannot cut paper. If a killer is shooting people a hundred yards from me, and I have an extra mag, I have to have an idea of where I “might” hit the sucker, to sail a few his way.

  9. After the initial 500rd reliability test, never, other than the yearly 100rd function check.

    Clean&lube is done weekly. No ammo goes in the chamber twice.

    Identical gun as a beater that I literally beat to death. Lost count how many rounds through that one.

    • I’m the opposite. No matter how hard you try to baby your EDC you’re going to at least end up with holster wear and probably a few dings and scratches too.

    • Clean and lube *weekly*? YGBSM!! I also have a duplicate for actual practice, but once I began carrying the primary, I didn’t draw the gun for 18 months, then drew at the range, without inspecting, and fired the mag empty, reloaded with the extra mag and emptied that, then went home and cleaned and reloaded, in another 18 months I expect to repeat. I cannot imagine C&L weekly.

      And no round goes in the chamber twice? What’s the point in that? Unless you’re one of those who has the gun constantly swimming in oil, that seems completely unnecessary, I don’t imagine my ammo knows whether it has been in the chamber, or not!

      • It’s not that hard if you make it a habit. I just put a calendar entry in my phone, recurring weekly, to remind me to check tyre pressure, fuel gauge, various fluid level, CLP the guns, trim my nails, charge my backup phones, check the clocks around the house, show my wife who’s the boss…

        As for the ammo, it goes in the practice bin after being racked out, just in case the primer is deadened, or the bullet is setback. Since I do this weekly this is also a way to slowly replace the whole mag since it may be affect by my sweat.

        An ounce of prevention, they say…

      • There have been instances of failures to fire by police departments that were shown to be caused by defective primers. The chemicals in the primer broke up and fell out. The rounds in question had been cycled while loading and unloading the guns countless times and the battering was thought to be the cause of the primer problems. Making sure it only hits the chamber once is certainly overkill, but I also try to get rid of my carry ammunition pretty regularly even though I rarely load and unload.

  10. About every other weekend. Being an RSO at my local club gives me a good reason to go and get some recoil therapy.

  11. Shoot my “every day carry” a handful of times a year. For sure, I’d love to do more, and additional good training is never a bad thing. For protecting myself and mine, I’m not sure there is a constructive conversation to be had with someone that asks how much training I have(particularly if they are not a POTG). As, I don’t care if I qualify to whatever they choose as their standard. Right vs, not a right thing. Get lost. hehe

  12. ah reckin ’bout 5000 bullets, without cleanin’ tha gun, jes’ ’bout duz it fer figgerin’ if a particalar piece is reliable. Clean ‘er up, and walk ‘er around after that.

  13. In summer, about 3x per month about 50rds each time. In the cold of winter about 1x per month 50rds. Laser dry fire – a least 20 draws and fire every day. My hands are still a bit more steady dry firing than live firing, but my live fire shakiness is slowly disappearing. I thought my Don Knotts imitation was all due to naturally shaky hands until I laser dry fired for the first time.

  14. Working @ home today so I’ll be shooting the plate challenge this afternoon in my meadow. Thanks for the inspiration, TTAG!

  15. Getting to the range and shooting doesn’t happen as much as it should, however, drawing and presenting gets practiced weekly. I carry appendix (IWB), and I practice the entire mechanics which is clear, grip, lift, meet and move my clearing arm, (left arm) extend to shooting position and then of course retract, clear behind me with left right look then re-holster. I carry a P229 chambered so there isn’t any racking the slide, taking a safety off etc.
    We may not be able to make it to the range as often as we like, but we can all practice the mechanics of the draw. When SHTF or that critical moment when we need our weapon, this is whats likely going to save our bacon. More than likely it won’t be a long-range gun battle, but rather a close range situation, probably under ten feet or so.

  16. Once every couple of months. My requirement for qualifying with the M-16 (USAF) was once every 3 years. I shoot other guns whenever the mood strikes:

    • I had to qualify annually in the USAF because I was stationed near NK. We were able to practice a lot, I went 4 times a year and we practiced with pistols, M60 and shotguns. Being on the edge of civilization had that advantage.

  17. My EDC is small and thus, not a lot of fun to shoot. I shoot my “fun” guns far more often but I do shoot my EDC probably quarterly to make sure it is functioning properly.

  18. Twice a month on average, though that has varied recently due to life events (wedding, etc…) and so forth. I do dry fire and do mag change drills almost daily though.

    My small goal which I generally achieve is to do some type of firearm-related drill on a daily basis.

  19. I carry daily. I have 3 different pistols in rotation my m&p and it’s little brother bodyguard have same manual of arms. My other pistol is my hi power clone, it gets shot the most now. I probably have 10k-15k rounds through M&P pistols over the last 10 years, so I shoot them every 3 or 6 months. The Hi power gets a few hundred rounds through it once or twice each month. I’ve been neglecting to shoot the .380 as often because I ran through the bulk ammo.

  20. I try for once a month, with draw drills every other week if I can help it. Reality is closer to draw drills once a month, shooting every other month.

  21. I used to shoot two or three times a week. Then a bad back got in the way — Tiger Woods, I feel your pain! I was lucky to get to the range once a month.

    I’m starting to get back into frequent shooting now that the sacroiliac seems to have stopped ruining my life. But the occasional sharp twinge reminds my that I’m one wrong turn away from being immobile again.

  22. I haven’t been out in 4-5 months. Had to replace a vehicle recently, so that extra money goes to a monthly payment now. I dry fire daily. Anything that can be done dry, I do. Until I can free up some money for ammo, this process will have to do.

  23. Once or twice a month. IDPA or Zombie matches. The only thing that changes between CCW and the match is the ammunition. I made my practice ammo match the PD ammo that I carry. Can’t tell the difference when mixed in the magazine.

  24. My carry gun is a mouse pistol and not fun to run a lot of rounds through. I’ve got a couple of boxes down the pipe so I trust it will go bang but I’m not concerned about “marksmanship” with it. 7 yards is about what it’s for and I can operate it just fine. I probably run it every 3 or 4 months and that’s when I’m with someone who wants to try a P3AT out.

  25. I shoot my EDC (Springfield XDs-9, 3.3″) on average once a month. Ideally, it would be twice per month. The months I do go twice I notice my groups are smaller on the 2nd outing (this goes for all my guns, which is not surprising). I take turns between the range and shooting in the woods. I probably shoot an average of 25-30 rounds of range ammo with my XDs each time I take it out, and once or twice a year I’ll shoot a round or two of my defense ammo. Overall, I go shooting 12-14 times per year, on average. Ideally, I’d like to go shooting 24-28 times per year (twice per month, and occasionally more). But life (and cost) gets in the way of my shooting hobby.

  26. At least 2 times per month. I usually go at lunch, set up a course of fire (multiple targets and movement) and run through it. I always mix in some dud rounds (home made…i reload) to keep failure skills on my mind.

  27. Don’t get nearly enough recoil therapy to suit me. As a result my carry guns all have the same basic operation, and I do make a point of doing some transition work spring and fall when the primary changes. Usually Glock 19 to Springfield XDS 4.0 since the heat of Georgia summers calls for something I feel comfortable carrying under a T-shirt.

  28. I average 2-3 times a month for either my G19 or G23. It’s reassuring to have only a few days or so since I last shot the gun so that I know it works. I shoot out my self defense ammo every 6 months. I take better care of my guns than I need to, because I need them to work. They’re fresh and clean, and always loaded with shiny HST +P 9mm 124 grain or Winchester Ranger RA40T .40 180 grain.

    Any violent encounter is a competition, and I don’t want to be in 2nd place. I haven’t yet and I will make every reasonable effort to keep it that way.

  29. I have two guns that I carry regularly. I’d like to shoot at least twice a month, but I don’t always manage that. Sometimes I’m doing good to shoot one of them once a month. My normal routine when going to the range is to draw and empty the mag that is in the gun and then go through my spare mag. That is also my reliability check. I expect to get 100% through those mags without problems. I will then either clean or wipe down the gun as needed and load with fresh ammo.

  30. My most common carry guns are the Kahr P380 (my “always” gun) and my G43. The Kahr lives in a pocket, the G43 lives in an IWB holster. At least once a week, I do the following. I enter my shooting club with my carry gun concealed normally. After putting my bags down, I run paper target out 10 or 20 ft. I then draw from concealment and shoot 3 shots at the target as quickly as possible. Key factors are:
    1) I don’t prep my clothes. This is done exactly how I normally carry. because I’m carrying normally.
    2) I dont’ prep my gun. The gun is untouched from early in the morning when I first put it on.
    3) I am shooting my normal carry ammo.

    In other words, NOTHING is prepped for range use. The gun is presented EXACTLY as it would if I had to use it defensively.

    This is key. I’ve found that doing this flushes out challenges in different carry garments. It flushes out flaws in gun position or holsters.

    What have I learned?
    1) buttoned up heavy outer shirts are difficult to get in through.
    2) zipped up winter coats are REALLY slow to draw from.
    3) while practicing a reload from a speedloader with a S&W 340 PD, I learned that my new CT LaserGrips blocked my speedloader.
    4) Both guns run flawlessly with the self defense ammo I carry in them.
    5) Lint doesn’t seem to be a problem.
    6) Once I get going I’m reasonably fast.
    7) Indoor ranges don’t allow you the freedom to MOVE and shoot, which is really what you should be doing.

    Here’s a vid of me drawing from winter clothes. Very slow on the draw. Nothing prepped like I described above.

    Don

    https://youtu.be/d3sGxSrlLwQ

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