Training drills for dynamic self-defense shooting


Most ranges force shooters to shoot in ideal (safe) conditions.

Ranges are designed to be low-stress and are well lit.

Safety rules dictate that shooters don’t draw from a holster, let alone from concealment.

Shooters are encouraged to stand still in a Weaver, Isosceles, or modified stance.

All shots go straight forward in a relatively narrow field of fire and the muzzle better not point up, down, or too far to either side or you risk getting kicked out.

And, many ranges won’t allow you to shoot faster than 1 round per second.

After practicing with all of these restrictions, we’re expected to be able to shoot a moving attacker posing a lethal force threat while we’re moving in low light with NO stance with a likelihood that the attacker will have buddies coming at us from an angle or flanking us.

In addition, we might have to shoot under/around cover or draw and shoot from the ground after being knocked down.

It’s kind of silly when you think about it.

It’d be like taking someone with a basketball hoop in their backyard, telling them to stand and shoot free throws and 3-pointers for a half hour a week, and then putting them straight into a championship game at Madison Square Garden without the benefit of scrimmaging or a season of regular-season games.

Or an MMA enthusiast going straight from working out on a heavy bag in their garage to fighting a title match in the UFC…without any mat time, sparring, or warmup time.

Make no mistake about it, a fight for your life will be like a championship game or a title match…it’s a winner take all situation.

Good guys can and (thankfully) do get lucky sometimes, but you want to do everything you can to stack the odds in your favor.

We see stories every single day about good guys with guns and inadequate training successfully stopping violent attacks, but we also see nationwide law enforcement hit ratios in the 15%-20% range.  If you have to use the gun, I want you to hit with more than 15-20% of the shots you fire.

And here are 3 keys to making that happen that will work regardless of whether you carry a gun in a professional capacity or as a civilian defender…

First, practice the fundamentals until you’ve mastered them.  Don’t stop training when you can hit your target…train until you can’t miss.

Second, add reality based training to the mix by adding motion, low light, and situations and shooting positions that challenge your vision, balance, and ability to line up the sights with drills like >THESE<

Third, add in stress…low level stress like performing in front of peers, timed qualifications, competition, and shooting during/after exercise.  If possible, add higher level stress, like force on force, ice water, or mild electric shock feedback (static electricity—Shock Vest, Shock Knife, etc.) if your doctor says your heart can handle the stress.

If everyone agrees that training in a realistic manner helps with survival in real-life self-defense situations, why don’t most ranges let shooters train in the way that will maximize their effectiveness?

In 2 words—safety and liability.

Which is why we suggest doing the vast majority of your realistic training with inert training guns like the SIRT, Blue/red plastic block guns, airsoft trainers, or firearms with a non-functioning resetting trigger, barrel plug, or training barrel inserted so that it’s impossible to insert live rounds into the chamber.

A few weeks ago, I shot the MGM Ironman 3-day 3-gun match.  I did about 95+% of my practice leading up to the match with dry fire…in fact 100% of my shotgun practice for the last 7+ months was dry fire.  Here’s an example of how you can perform under timed/competition stress (low stress) that includes lots of running when you do the majority of your training with dry fire drills like >THESE<

Click >HERE< for the pistol drills that I used to get ready for this match.  We’re going to have the carbine dry fire drills ready for sale in the next few weeks.

There are a couple of BIG opportunities for improvement (mistakes) in these videos.  Not the foot shuffling with the carbine, but more fundamental opportunities for improvement…let me know if you see them 🙂

Questions?  Comments?  Things you’d like to add?  Please do by commenting below:

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1 Comment

  • Michael McDonald

    Reply Reply July 8, 2016

    Really appreciate the practical/useful information that you put out in your articles and videos. I’ve been trying to find the link about used but still usable LE body armour. If that was in one of your recent articles, could you send that to me? Thanks, keep up the GOOD work!

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