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Whatever gun training you’re doing (you are training, right?), whether its concealed carry training or training for competition, some skeet and trap shooting before dove, pheasant or duck season, or long-range rifle shooting prior to pursuing roving protein treats from Nature’s Meat Aisle, you should do it with a partner.

Granted, some of us are, by nature, introverts, some of us bordering on the anti-social. Some people are so far gone psychologically they leave nasty remarks for strangers to read on the internet. After all, such folks are usually desperately in need of a hug or therapy, which is why they do those things.

Still, when you can get out there to train, you should do it with a partner whenever possible. Here are three reasons why the buddy system is a really good idea.


training requirement gun firearms

The first is accountability, and this applies across several dimensions. Granted, this requires you to pick somebody who isn’t going to BS you or be a “yes” man (or “yes” woman). You need someone who will tell you when you do something wrong.

A good training partner will call you out on anything unsafe, which is good for all the obvious reasons. If we’re going to say that we’re safe and responsible gun owners, then we better act the part. That means holding each other accountable when we do dumb stuff at the range.

A good partner will also hold you accountable for mistakes. They’ll tell you if you’re flinching just before pulling the trigger, that you’re rushing the shot or any other flubs you may be making but don’t realize.

Remember the 5 P’s: Proper Practice Prevents Poor Performance. Getting called out or encouraged to do better helps you improve rather than just getting comfortable.

Synergy, aka Mutually Beneficial Competition

gun range training partner

“Synergy” is one of those business-speak buzzwords that makes me want to employ dynamic paradigm-shifting outside-the-box solutions to the speaker’s personal branding or – in plain English – beat them around the head and shoulders for saying that kind of thing.

What the term means is when two people or organizations do something together for their mutual benefit, sometimes in a competitive fashion.

In other words, get a training partner who you can compete with. You’ll work harder to try to beat them, they’ll work harder to try and beat you, and the end result is both of you will become better shooters for it at the end of the day.

It Gets You Out Of The House And Socializing


Look, sometimes it’s good to get out of the house and interacting with other adults human beings. As much as family time or alone time is good and necessary, you also need time for friends and so on. Diminishing Marginal Utility applies just as much to people as it does to anything else, and compartmentalization (separating various areas of your life) has its benefits as well.

Anything else you want to add? Just here for the discussion? I’ll give you a topic: the “Ford v. Ferrari” movie looks pretty darn good, but Dan Gurney deserves his own biopic. Discuss.

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  1. I’ve never trained alone. For one, I don’t want to be without aid if I ever perforate my thigh upon seating/drawing from the holster. Never had any NDs or accidents over my lifetime, but I’ve known some who have, and one who ended his own life by getting cocky and showing off in a routine that ended with the muzzle pointed toward his head and the gun unexpectedly firing. I also personally witnessed someone assume his shotgun was empty and ND it while it was pointed only inches above his buddy’s head. That guy was ejected from the range for life, and his buddy loaded his shorts with the brown stuff.

    I recall in my very first instructor course long ago, the first two hours were spent just learning gun safety and how to be the “watchful buddy” and make sure your partner always kept his/her finger off the trigger when not firing and the muzzle pointed downrange. I’ve seen so many groups of morons out in the desert walk around amongst themselves with muzzles swinging all over the place.

  2. golf is not a sport.
    gurney was amazing, as was enzo.
    i could watch a ten hour documentary on can- am/ group c.
    and group b rally.

  3. Trump’s valiant service in ‘Nam, coupled with the fact he’s a morally upstanding self made man, make him worthy of our collective awe, deference and respect. MAGA for 1000 years!

  4. Look, sometimes it’s good to get out of the house and interacting with other adults human beings. As much as family time or alone time is good and necessary, you also need time for friends and so on.

    This most assuredly applies to me. Trouble is, I keep asking friends to go shooting and they never seem to have time for it, even though they always have time for their children’s sports, shopping, and various other diversions.

    Maybe, because I am such an awesome/fast/accurate shooter, they feel awful when they see how poorly they shoot compared to me and then they don’t want to go.

    (Note: while I am a very good shooter, I am definitely not anywhere even remotely close to IDPA or three-gun champion level.)

    • I’ll go shooting with you.
      I have a secret spot out in the Everglades where we can run and gun.
      I also have 2 friends with ranges on their private property.
      Let’s go plinking!

    • I’d suggest you join a local gun club/range that has activities. Some even have public events. You’ll have a good chance of finding other active shooters (the good kind) to hang out with.

  5. I like training with others for many reasons. Not the least of which is comraderie. The idea of shooting clays before birds is a good idea too. Sometimes things don’t go that way. I was invited to a last minute quail hunt last Wednesday. First time I shot a bird since last January. Three of us. Dogs recovered 23 birds. Held my own.

  6. Safety is a prime reason to train with a partner. Not just in case of a ND but it’s good to have someone watch your back or the guns when there are others around, you never know who’s at a public range.

  7. Eberything is more fun with the right partner, why just the other night we were,,,,,,. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  8. I can’t argue against the first aid / safety benefits of shooting in groups but I’ve always preferred shooting alone. Other people are a distraction and sometimes outright annoying.

  9. Nope. I train for USPSA competition and take it pretty seriously. I much prefer training alone because i can focus on the drills that I need to do, not what some else needs, and I can get double the shots in as opposed to waiting on someone else.

    Training with someone else is fine if you want socializing but its horrible if you need to get a job done and maximize your results.

    If you need someone else for accountability I guess thats fine for you but then I would say you are not all that serious about getting better, which is fine if thats what you want.

    If you want to see what you are doing wrong then video yourself. That works great. You can always review that later with someone better than you, or send it to a top level coach/shooter
    many of whom do this for a fee.

  10. Well, we humans are very social species and togetherness makes us better. I would even join the group program on trainings where you can get lots of tips from other’s experience.

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