Over at ammoland.com, former cop Jack Billington reckons he knows the number one mistake shooters make when training for armed self-defense. “It’s not training the way they regularly carry concealed on the street. In other words, when I’m carrying concealed I’m usually wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Unless I’m going to church or doing consulting, I try and avoid a suit at all costs. Therefore, when I go to a gun school I am dressed in jeans and a T-shirt.” Good point, but I disagree . . .
Mr. Billington stresses clothing choice during training in strict accordance to ye olde “train as you mean to fight” adage. Again, spot on. But people wear a variety of clothing when carrying, depending on weather, job and social environment. And a lot of pistoleros change their carry gun and holster to suit. (Not that I wear suits anymore, thank God).
Drawing quickly and efficiently from concealment is Job One for an armed self-defender. Especially as most defensive gun uses end without a shot fired. But an awkward draw may or may not be the difference between life and death. Once you’ve cleared leather, your ability to not get kicked/punched/stabbed/shot — and your ability to shoot your target — is highly likely to be the difference between life and death.
So I think the number one mistake most shooters make when training is . . . they don’t train enough. True! Real answer? New shooters don’t train to move and shoot.
What are the odds the bad guy or guys will be standing still? Low. What’s the advantage of you standing still while trying to shoot a moving target? You’ll be more accurate! Maybe so. But you may also be more dead, as most defensive gun uses begin with a close-quarters attack.
After perfecting your draw(s) — which you can practice in the comfort of your own home (hint: close the curtains) — moving while shooting is the mission critical skill. Most shooters don’t practice it. Ever. That’s a huge mistake.
That said it’s understandable. Square ranges don’t enable/allow moving and shooting, and square ranges are where most people train. The solution? Train to move and shoot at home dry firing your gun (hint: close the curtains) or find a suitable outdoor range. And yes, wear “normal” clothes.