Why I Made Firearm Practice My New Year's Resolution

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posted on January 3, 2020
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I don’t go in for the New Year’s Resolution stuff usually. But a trip to the range the other day drove home a point to me and caused me to make one new resolution for 2020. That resolution is simply to practice more. During that trip to the range, I realized that my shooting skills had slipped just a bit, and it took quite a while (and a good deal of ammunition) to get back up to what I am capable of doing.

We sometimes forget that shooting skills are quickly diminishing skills. We certainly may know what to do, but doing it is a whole other thing. Our hand-to-eye coordination is off and our movements get sluggish, all of which can prevent us from delivering that first quick, accurate shot that is so important in personal defense.

The same is true with training. We may take a very good and useful class and pick up lots of good training tips. But, as time goes by, we tend to forget the little nuances of technique that had us performing so well. Often, we begin to make mistakes that we don’t even know that we are making.

For that reason, I have made my own resolution to go easy on buying guns and gear this coming year and focus instead on improving my performance. I try to take at least one training class per year; this year I’m going to try to make it two. Instead of spending the evenings after class visiting with fellow students, I am going to take a little time to write down some notes about the day’s training so that I can more easily remember them.

Of course, good training doesn’t amount to much if we don’t practice it once we get home. About two trips to the range per month is not an unreasonable goal. Taking those class notes to the range and working on improving the skills that need improving is important. It keeps what we spent our good money learning fresh in our mind.

In conjunction with those trips to the range, dry practice in the home, about once a week, will pay dividends, too. This is an excellent way to work on improving the pistol presentation, flash sight picture and surprise trigger break. 

Of course, all of these things are part and parcel to taking our personal defense seriously. No one is a natural-born defensive shooter. It takes training, practice and study to develop and maintain life-saving skills. I’d like to be able to say that I don’t need the continued training and practice because I spent a lot of years as a Texas peace officer and besides, I’m a gun writer, but I’d only be kidding myself. So it’s time to get honest with myself and get to work.

At any rate, that’s my personal resolution for 2020. What’s yours?

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