Armed self-defense has three main parts: gun-handling (the fine art of bringing your firearm to bear on a threat without shooting yourself or a friend or forgetting how the damn thing works), marksmanship (hitting your target) and strategy (mastering the who, what, when, where and how of the thing). Gun ranges are excellent for the first two-thirds of the skill set. Not so good for the strategy side. Dry firing at home, running around like a pre-teen imitating your favorite cop show cop, is a better bet. Still, needs must. If your gun range is at all accommodating, here’s a few shooting positions to add to your regular repertoire . . .
NOTE: Always check with your range master to see if shooters are allowed to assume any and/or all of the following positions. Do not attempt any of these shots unless you have the gun handling skills needed to perform them. If in doubt, ask a professional instructor for supervision.
* “Bad” stance – If you normally shoot in an isosceles stance, shoot side on. And vice versa. The chances that you’ll have perfect form in a self-defense situation are almost as low as the odds that the perp will stand still and “take it like a man.”
* Bended knee – As Dee Brown might have warned (if she’d been writing about armed self-defense rather than Native American history), you don’t want to bury your heart at wounded knee. To keep your ticker ticking if your legs are knocked out of commission, practice shooting from one knee. Then the other. Then both.
* Sitting down – Concealed carry weapons permit holders are the type of people who’d look a bad guy in the eye and declare “I’m not going to take this sitting down!” Yes, well, perps have a predilection for knocking good guys on their ass. You need to be able to shoot when you’ve been knocked ass over tea kettle (as the Brits are wont to say). Practice shooting sitting criss-cross apple sauce and legs forward. When you shoot, sit up, lean forward and lean back.
* Lying down – Same as above. Only lying down is even more important; hitting the deck is an excellent way not to get shot. Practice shooting whilst lying on your stomach, on your back and on your side (facing both directions). If you can find a range that lets you do so from behind cover or concealment, that would be most excellent.
Basically, don’t let style points blind you to the fact that gun battles are nasty, brutish and short. And awkward.