Question of the Day: Do You Train Like You Fight?

cy vy shooting through cover (courtesy

I’m not 100 percent sure YouTuber cy vic has a complete understanding of the use of cover and concealment. (Video below.) But his post’s title indicates that he’s got a good grasp of combat pistol basics . . .

“Run&gun like you fight. Slow is smooth smooth is fast.” Do you train like you fight? Or do you stand stock still at a square range, loose a bunch of rounds and call it good? If so, our man Grobman would like a word . . .


  1. avatar Joe R. says:

    Do you fight like you train? That’s the real question. Followed up with, ‘Do you even train’ (brah) and ‘Do you even fight’.

    [More] Seriously – I don’t know. I try to treat every handling of a weapon as some sort of training, but is it? Maybe? Is my training even training? If I get “real training” how long is the shelf-life if I don’t do it every day?

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      Not so much the training, but shooting is a perishable skill…

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Yes, but the more you have done it, the longer it lasts.

    2. avatar kevin says:

      I’m a lover, not a fighter.

  2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    yes. either way, i go first.

  3. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Question of the Day: Do You Train Like You Fight?”

    That’s a REALLY stupid question, because nobody can know what they’re going to run into, nor do they know who they’re going to run into…IF I “trained like I’d fight”, I’d be carrying a select fire M16A4 and perhaps some other “toys”, but because I’m NOT in syria, afghanistan, iraq, etc, I can’t very well do that…Having said that, I shoot every day, and that’s about all I can do…

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      That’s a LOT.

      1. avatar WI Patriot says:

        It’s helps to reload…doesn’t cost me less, but it allows me to shoot more…

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          you’d have to reload at least once a day.

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          ‘…doesn’t cost me less, but it allows me to shoot more…’

          I ran into a similar situation when I started brewing my own beer. 🍺

        3. avatar Joe R. says:

          Yeah? How much beer did you shoot after that.

  4. avatar little horn says:

    what a horrible video

    1. avatar ozzallos says:

      It’s like Mister T took over Hickok45’s range.

  5. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    The first mag is always very slow.
    A perfect grip, with a perfect draw, proper sight alignment, slow press.
    All done while standing squared away at the target. One shot at a time.
    Follow up mags are quick. Moving, shooting then moving. Shooting while moving.
    Our range is a great place with big pits and lots of props.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      I used to do that.

      Nowadays, my first shots are with what i have been carrying.

      Two targets, draw cold and shoot as fast as i can hit.

      Reload …shoot again.

      Then i go to the basics and try to improve on the things i just did wrong, slow, or sloppy.


  6. I learn how to be fast and accurate with a gun so I don’t have to fight.
    Learning to be alert and situationaly aware is something you can train all day every day.
    As far as “gunfighting” goes, sight picture and trigger press is all that really matters. Everything else is just DON’T GET SHOT. And if I have to practice that then, I don’t like my chances.

  7. avatar Brandan says:

    I train with my Mossberg in the manner that I’d likely fight with it: butt naked in the dark and without earpro.

  8. avatar jwtaylor says:

    I work very hard to fight like I train.

  9. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Yes, I have trained in similar environments. It is monumentally important. And it really boosts your confidence.

  10. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I’ve been looking for a range set up like:
    Gas Station
    Rest Area
    Restaurant (but not a French Sandwich Shop).

    Still looking. Until then I’ll move my target stands around and shoot from around my truck, trees, etc.

  11. avatar strych9 says:

    When it comes to guns no, because quite frankly it’s not actually possible and even if it were the price would be astronomical.

  12. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    I don’t expect ever to need to get into a “gunfight,” but you never know. As someone said above, I have no idea what specifics to “train” for regarding a gunfight, since the possibilities are pretty much infinite. What I do is practice situational awareness and conflict avoidance all the time, and do some form of dry fire exercise every day. Then, when I go to the range each week, I test my dry fire experience with live fire exercises, including moving and use of cover, various positions, two and alternating one hand firing practice, and a few other things. I seldom fire more than a dozen rounds each range trip. If I need to fire more to verify my dry fire practice, I know I need to do more dry fire…

  13. avatar Joe R. says:

    I’ve tried to find a decent link, but I encountered (somewhere) something that said that your first 5 rounds in a firefight are expended before (even the relatively ‘trained’) are able to truly engage an enemy / target. I don’t suppose that means for point-blank employment of a weapon, but, I guess it still m i g h t.

    I was trained to train that way. Dump a mag into the target as fast as possible, at the maximum ‘engagement distance’ for the pistol (40 meters) and at minimum ‘engagement distances’ with the rifle (7 meters), then work on the minutia.

    I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but it felt like the right way to go about it, at the time.

  14. avatar G says:

    Not everyone lives in a rural area with a large property to shoot on like that, or a big outdoor range near by that lets you run around inside the firing line. Unless you own a big property in a rural area, i dont see how anyone could realistically train like this on their own.

    1. avatar epickett says:

      Exactly. Most of us are ONLY going to be able to train standing in one spot against paper targets. And unfortunately most ranges won’t let you fire from the draw, either.

  15. avatar ironicatbest says:

    I don’t fight with trains.

    1. avatar Snatchums says:

      They will usually win.

    2. avatar Snatchums says:

      Aside; I know your screen name is “Ironic At Best” but every time I see it my brain immediately registers “Iron Cat Beast”, which I might add is a way cooler name.

      1. avatar ironicatbest says:

        LOL …for some reason Snatchums your name makes me want to go fishing? Have nice Day

  16. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    I train to stay off walls and avoid sticking my gun or anything else through holes in a wall, too easy to get it taken away and bullets love to travel along walls. Other than that I fire to verify my guns are still zeroed and train firing on the move to and from cover with at least one transition between guns(rifle or shotgun to pistol and vice versa), one reload (tactical and emergency), and one malfunction drill (whether the gun malfunctions or not) takes maybe 60 rounds for a short session. 20 to verify zero (I usually do that with 5 then spend the other 15 plinking around) 10 for the first stage (from out in the open to cover), 10 for the 2nd stage (from one covered position to another), emergency reload rifle ran dry, 10 rounds (behind cover), tactical reload, 20 rounds moving back to start position, malfunction drill, transition, 7-11 rounds (pistol) on multiple targets moving to cover, transition, 10 remaining rifle rounds on targets from a stationary position. Probably over training for the most likely scenarios I face.

  17. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    I don’t know, I’ve never been in a gunfight. Hopefully I’ll never find out.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Amen to that.

      Kind of like fire extinguisher training. Hope you never need it.

  18. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’ve been in a lot of sh!t, and recently at that, to say that I’m grateful for my training. I’ll also be supervising training coming up soon, so I’ll have a lot of opportunities to help train young cops coming in, as well as a few disgruntled veterans. Thankfully I’ve got a good crew to help me out.

  19. avatar Bart says:

    I train like I fight.

    I was at the trap range with my buddy the other day. He’s an old guy, but usually does pretty well. Anyway, he said “pull” to the RO and I had to correct him. I told the RO to release the clay pigeon and then yell either “threat” or “contact.”

    My friend and the RO seemed puzzled. I told them that we had to “train like we fight” and “avoid training scars.” That didn’t seem to clear it up so I said that some experts from the internet insisted that we do it this way.

  20. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    Sadly, I cannot train like I fight. Its very hard to find people willing to have their organs cut out while watching me stomp them into a muddy mess. I don’t screw around.

  21. avatar Ralph says:

    Do I train like I fight? Well, I train all the time but I haven’t killed anyone I train with, so no. Besides, I hear that they arrest you for that even if you don’t do it on purpose.

  22. avatar spartan357 says:

    I went to the range to train like this – it took forever for the background music to start. Kind of threw me off my dramatic slow motion action moves…
    maybe next time

  23. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    Pro tip: Lace up your boots.

  24. avatar Damcowboy says:

    Slow may be smooth, but it aint never fast. I wish we could bury that stupid trope. Slow is just frickin slow. You wanna shoot fast and accurate, then practice and train shooting fast. If you are getting all A’s in practice, then you are training too damn slow. Only fast is fast.

  25. avatar mark s. says:

    Let’s back up here a bit and think about the intent , or what I believe is the intent , of this post . OK , what I think should be the intent of this post . Train with your carry weapon , with what you have to bring to the fight . Are you are a first class sprinter or an average Joe , i.e. a 5’10” , 220 pound man with beer gut , bad knees , poor vision , and most likely suffer some disorientation under stress . How do you overcome these obstacles if and when you’re confronted with a bad guy or more than one bad guy that is prepared to cause you physical harm ?
    I have developed several drills for REGULAR people that I personally train myself with and others .
    First , let me acknowledge that I am blessed to own land that is secluded and remote that affords me the resource to create the training course I use . This is a resource that you should seek out if you do can .
    I walk with 2 canes now , bad back , surgery not an option .
    I have changed ( adapted ) my personal training over the years to reflect my transition into middle and late in life physical changes , if you are honest with yourself you have too , or you need to . You may also need to change your tools that you use for defense to offence .
    I have gone from a 357 revolver , to a 9mm , to a 45 , back to a 9mm and now to a PMR 30 ( 22 WMR ) for my everyday carry . Each one of these were , by good conscience , fully reasoned choices on my part . My decision to switch to the 22 WMR took well over a year and I am now fully comfortable in my decision to do so and it all revolves around my training . Let me explain .
    I now train myself to shoot in three ways . 1. One handed , both left and right , while balancing myself with a cane . 2. While falling backwards , I use industrial rubber mats and 3. From a seated and sometimes lying position . These are more than likely the positions I will be in if confronted by a bad guy with ill intent .
    I feel better protected with 30 rounds that I can accurately place inside a pie pan size at 25 feet and closer under stress , from my ass than with 17 rounds that I miss 50% under the same conditions or 7 rounds that I may only get 10% hits . I also feel more comfortable with the idea of facing multiple assailants with my PMR 30 , it is a large gun , it is loud , it produces giant scary fireballs , it stays on target very well and very quickly can inflict 1200 grains of lead where I want them to go . Do I feel a rim fire 22 WMR is 100% reliable from a semi auto pistol format ? No , but I have found the ammo this pistol likes , it is very reliable , it expands well , it’s fast and has a tendency for a ever so slight tumble . It produces sufficient energy at defensive distances on tissue and bone and is known to bounce around inside a human in a manner that creates multiple sources of blood loss . The 22 WMR has enough velocity to penetrate layers of many different materials and is a flat enough bullet to give decent range accuracy if called for .
    I have also been an advocate of stress training for decades now , and this can be achieved simply by introducing competition into your training , and preferably competition that offers rewards to the winner and loss to the loser , is under timed conditions and is unusual and entertaining . I believe the drawing of your weapon from your carry holster should be ‘ on the clock ‘ and always best 2 out of three .
    My latest training exercise uses 10 helium filled balloons , tied to strings that range from 5’ to 6’5 and arranged randomly by stapling to a 10 foot 2×4 , 12 inches apart and laid on the ground . You make two of these and get your shooting buddy , mine usually being my wife and you have 15 seconds to draw and shoot as many balloons as possible . I practice this under the conditions I described above so my wife , not having to drop a cane , or shoot from her ass , has routinely beaten me on this drill but I’m getting better and even though I won’t say what we play for , I think I win either way .

    1. avatar epickett says:

      Mark, sounds like you’re pretty well prepared – great! Hey, can I ask what ammo you use for your PMR-30? My PMR-30 *and* CMR-30 are pretty damn fussy. I’ve had decent luck with Fiocchi, but I can’t always find it in stock…

      1. avatar mark s. says:

        Sure , I have tried close to all of the different loads out there and the ones I stay away from are any of the pointed rounds , any mgf. any grain . the ones I find very reliable in my PMR’s are CCI Maxi-Mag HP + V in the 30 grain , CCI Maxi-Mag regulars in 40 grain and Hornady Critical Defense 45 grain FTX . The regular Armscor 40 grain JHP are OK also but they run a little dirty so I don’t run them in my carry mags . I would recommend you run about 25-50 rounds through these pistols of what ever round you find works best , every couple weeks , if you intend on carrying as your everyday . I have accumulated thousands of 22 WMR over the years since I have many weapons in this caliber but I visit Gunbot , wikiarms and ammograb almost on a daily basis and have them on my e-mail alert for some of my particular hunts .

  26. avatar adverse5 says:

    A fight is like remodeling an old house, you never know what you are going to run into.

  27. avatar johnny108 says:

    I train like I fight:
    Dressed as a nun with a bullwhip on my hip, love and hate tattooed on my knuckles,
    with a bottle of Steinhager gin

  28. avatar kap says:

    too old to practice all the un armed drills, keep whacking up the targets accidentally when doing Kurkri drills , usually run out of ammo before I can get into training mode, trigger finger gets stiff after a couple thousand rounds or so. some fancy gun trainer about half my age tells me that I’m doing old school stuff and it does not apply in today’s world, guess my understanding of a gun fight is out dated, so now I just practice blowing up empty beer cans being tossed of the porch then dance them on the ground giving me time to finish another one, yup porch shooting training at it’s best

  29. Great post! We are linking to this great post on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email