Self Defense Training Articles
I grew up in a fairly liberal household and the thought of owning a firearm as a youth never really crossed my mind. As a victim of an assault during high school, I began to wonder if there were options for protecting myself. As a good daughter does, I sought the advice from my step-dad and was told the best thing to do was to work out to look good and not waste money on self-defense training because it’s impossible for a female to defend herself against a male. (This is just about the worst advice anyone could possibly give because there are viable options!) Fast forward 20 years and this bad advice is still being propagated by the liberal left when the reality is that firearms saves more lives than MSM ever gives them credit for. Firearms are the greatest equalizer in a fight for women. But owning a firearm and actually knowing how to use one in time of stress are two different stories.
Living in the south, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard the expression “I grew up around guns, of course I know how to shoot” Or “Of course I carry, it’s always in my purse/ glove compartment somewhere”. It’s almost as if they’re using guns as a talisman to ward off evil spirits or as a good luck charm. If things go rough, I wish them the best and hope they’re able to defend themselves and their loved ones but I’m not holding my breath. In order to effectively defend yourself, you have to regularly train because you will naturally default to the highest level of training you have mastered.
Ladies, we have to know our big Why? Why do we carry? Beyond the Constitutional Right to carry, I’m a mother of 3 and want to be able to protect my children and myself if the situation ever arises. I love my husband and want to be able to have his back if we’re ever in a situation together where we have to defend ourselves. Child/Human trafficking is a huge and rising problem in our country and of course, because there are crazy people out there who just like to hurt people. (At the writing of this article, the people in Israel wish they had easy access to firearms to defend themselves against the recent Hamas terror attack.) No matter what the gun laws are like in your area, bad guys will always find a way to get a firearm or weapon to hurt the good guys and I want to be a good guy with a gun to combat the ever present evil.
Mackay and I both conceal carry and have gone through various guns trying to find the right one for our lifestyle. I personally like to carry either a Glock 43x (with some modifications) or a Shadow Systems CR920. I love my Shadow Systems CR 920 for a lot of reasons but mainly for reliability and ease of concealing. (In later blogs I can go over my favorite ways to actually conceal and carry.) Our competition guns are different because of our personal preferences - my hands are a lot smaller than his and therefore our needs are slightly different. In our women’s only classes that we teach, together one of my biggest pet peeves is hearing these beautiful ladies saying the gun they brought to learn on is one their father/boyfriend/uncle/ husband gave them to carry - they don’t know anything about it or how to shoot it. Before you buy your first gun, please please go shoot with them first and take a training class. 9 times out of 10, the ladies leave the class with their gun saying they need something different. Honestly, most come with tiny guns that have safeties that are extremely difficult to manipulate and are hard to shoot accurately therefore making their guns more of a talisman than an actual tool for self-defense.
Find the gun that you want to carry with and then have multiple ways to carry it. I was really surprised at how much slower I was drawing from a belly band and/or my purse than from my holster. Every second counts in an armed engagement and being prepared mentally and physically is key. I have a full sized gun I regularly train with to improve my fundaments and skills and then I train with my smaller conceal carry pistol. To quote my husband “The best gun you have is the gun you are carrying.”
Ladies, I encourage you to know your “why” and then get out and practice with someone other than your husband/dad/uncle who has been around guns all their lives but never formally trained. Train with someone who has teaching experience and is dedicated to helping others learn how to safely carry. (And then learn how to care for and clean your firearm - no one expects you to automatically know how to do this.) You will need to dedicate time to learn how to dry-fire as well as train with your method of conceal carrying. Time at the range is money well spent and from a practical stand point, we make it our date time. Who says you can’t have some romance at the range while learning a skill? You learning how to shoot well will also encourage your significant other to practice as well. You are setting the example for your sons and daughters, grandchildren to take their safety seriously as well. The more I train, the better I get and the more I enjoy training. There is a huge learning curve at first - give yourself some grace to have time to learn and get better. You are worth it and one day, your life might depend on it.
By Amandalyn Barr
If you want the quick and dirty answer it is a resounding YES! However, there are some details to discuss. If you’re shooting a Glock 43 that only holds six rounds and I tell you to carry a spare magazine people say “well of course!” However if you’re carrying Glock 17 that holds 17 rounds and I give you the same advice people wonder why… What kind of gun fight are you planning on that requires more than 17 rounds.
The simple answer is there are more reasons to carry a spare magazine than just round count thought as the primary reason. There are basically three reasons to carry a spare magazine. First is the ammunition count.
How much ammo do you need for a gun fight? Maybe not much or maybe a lot. It really depends. An active shooter situation with multiple threats may require 20-30 rounds to take down all threats. That would be difficult to do with a Glock 43 since you would need 5 spare magazines to accomplish that task.
However a Glock 17 with its 17 rounds would only need 2. What stops us from carrying all that ammunition is simply the bulk and weight. Otherwise we would all carry a Glock 17 size gun with 17 rounds and a 33 round spare magazine. Or better yet we would walk around with an Ar15 tucked in our waist band. All guns require some compromise and with pistols we comprises strength and accuracy for size and wearability. This is why the common advice in our class is “carry the largest gun you will actually carry.”
When we look at civilian gun fights most are done in less than 7 rounds with exceptions going to the 20-30 round count. But here’s the thing the 3-7 round argument is a myth in the sense that you should ask for the source. There’s really no organization that tracks data from civilian engagements so the data is an educated guess at best.
Yet we know of specific anecdotal examples of engagements that went to 30 rounds which is certainly on the high end. However, If I carry a gun with a respectable round count being at least 8 and preferably at least 10. One spare magazine with an extension brings my capacity to 18 - 22 depending on the type of firearm which would be enough to handle certainly the majority of civilian engagements with only very rare situations on the outlier. Those rare situations may even be able to be taken care of with the spare magazines and ammunition that you keep in your vehicle.
Beyond ammunition capacity, remember guns do malfunction and so too do our magazines. A common fix for a double feed is to strip the magazine out and replace it. Hard to do without a spare a magazine; even accomplishing the task of reinserting the original magazine we must remember that double feeds are often caused by damaged or worn out magazines.
The bottom line is that stripping a magazine to the ground is at least in some capacity a fix for some malfunctions that may arise in the moment. Going into a gun fight without a spare magazine is like driving from LA to New York without a spare tire. Sure you might make it but you might not and in this instance, it’s not a towing bill you will face but a one way trip to the morgue.
Finally, we have to acknowledge that though modern self defense ammunition is superb sometimes manufacturers have problems and make mistakes. The simple fact is that most self defense ammo sits on a persons shelves at home so there is very little real world testing of it by comparison to target ammunition so a bad lot number may go unreported to the manufacturer. Even being reported they would not have a good way to disseminate the information to the consumer. You could easily be carrying a lot number that was recalled two years ago!
The best options is to carry one lot number in your gun and a second lot number produced at a different date in your spare magazine while regularly cycling through your carry ammunition to ensure you have fresh reliable ammunition in a defensive situation.
How To Carry
There are a number of options here but these are a few with pros and cons.
-Inside the waistband - These conceal easily but if you're wearing a gun inside your waistband this can get cumbersome.
-Outside the waistband - opposite of the former less cumbersome but harder to conceal.
-Pocket dump - Shoving a magazine into your pocket is a great way to loose it, not be able to access it when you need, and ultimately they move around and get in the way so people quit carrying them.
-Pocket holsters - These are my preferred method I use a magnetic clip pocket holster but there are other options. The spare magazine is always at the ready and secure in my pocket while keeping it enough out of the way I can still utilize the pocket.
-Bellyband - Popular for women slow to access but can fit a lot of different outfits.
-Backpack/purse - Not my favorite since it is an off body carry but it is certainly better than not having one.
There are a number of products and resources out to help you carry a spare magazine comfortably. The bottom line is you need to carry one.
Ok so to begin, my wife and I have carried all three guns. I generally carry one of three firearms on a daily basis: Shadow Systems CR920, Shadow Systems MR920, or a Wilson Combat SFT9. My wife generally carries the Shadow Systems CR920. Those are our personal favorites and have our obvious bias. However, I will say that we came to the conclusion of our favorites by carrying, training, competing, and teaching so this is not just on a whim of what felt good or what looked coolest.
For the purposes of the Glock 43, there are a lot of similarities between the 43 and 43x. At the time we purchased ours, a 43x was not an option but the firearms is effectively the same only the 43x has a substantially higher round count without increasing the size of the gun noticeably.
The first thing we always have to look at as non multi millionaires is price. At the date of this article the Glock 43 comes in at $537.58; a Glock 43x is $582. That is the listed MSRP price and a short google search finds each approximately $100 cheaper. The Smith & Wesson CSX MSRP value is $609 while Shadow Systems is the most expensive at $699 for the Elite model or the about $150 cheaper for the combat variant (discontinued). The MSRP is generally at the $800 range but almost every store I checked advertised $699.
Of the three firearms, Shadow Systems utilizes what they define as a match grade barrel. Glock Gen 5 have been making the same claim however the I did not find that claim regarding the smaller pistols. Truthfully it is realistically a moot point with a barrel this short since you wouldn’t truly achieve match grade accuracy.
Lets briefly look at some of the individual product specs:
The technical specs above yield to the general size of the firearms being relatively similar. The Glock and SS pick up roughly a 1/2 inch on barrel length, while the weight difference is within about 1 ounce for each gun and is a negligible difference. Extended magazines for the CSX bring the round count to 12+1 and the SS to 13+1. The 43 has some extended magazines but none attain the capacity of even a standard magazine for the other three.
In practicality the wearability of each gun is relatively the same. The shadow system seems to ride a touch nicer than the others but that is truly a subjective call and there is very little difference. CR920 and Glock 43x share holster sizes so the world is your oyster as far as options. Neither of the other two were particularly hard to find holster options for unless you like to rock a TLR6 light on your guns. After market support for sights was substantially better for Glocks and SS again since the sights are interchangeable.
From the factory, Glock sights are garbage and I know of no serious shooter competitive or defensive that keeps factory sights on. Ok that might be a little hyperbolic language since I can think of one but as a general rule shooters take that junk off and put quality sights on. The CSX sights are about as bad, but at least they are metal instead of plastic so they will do in a pinch. However, they are poorly designed for defensive shooting (which is an article all to itself). The CR920 takes the cake here with quality tritium combat sights straight from the factory. No need to swap these out in fact you can purchase them to install on your Glocks.
All three use their own proprietary magazines and the quality is about equal for all three, with one big advantage going to the CSX… at the time of this writing there’s a mail in rebate for 3 spare mags at no cost to you. Simply by the feel of them, the CR920 seems to be slightly higher quality but again it is a subjective call. This is the main part that is not interchangeable between the Glock 43, 43x and Shadow Systems firearms. Most Shadow Systems can use Glock mags except this one and the Glock 43 and 43x utilize different magazines.
How's The Trigger?
The CSX is a “1911’ish” design firing single action with a thumb safety and should arguably have the best trigger. The other three models are striker fired and typically have poor triggers in comparison. Personally I have never been a trigger snob as long as the trigger can keep up with the speed at which I shoot. However my main reason for truly disliking the CSX is the trigger.
The Shadow Systems trigger is better and more refined than the Glock but since the design is the same it still has that spongey feel 1911 guys hate. The CSX should in theory have a clean trigger break but truthfully it is worse than the Glocks and that isn’t even my problem with it.
The biggest problem with the CSX is the reset of the trigger. For those of us that shoot competitively and train a lot we get to the point that triggers sometimes struggle to reset as fast as we can with rapid shots. In this case the trigger has a false reset so you will let it move forward to the reset point and try to send another round downrange only to have the trigger not move back. Of course this issue could be trained out of someone that wanted to carry the gun but why would you do that?! The trigger just sucks and Smith & Wesson has a reasonability to the consumer to fix it and provide a quality product, if they want to see this model continue.
Having to train a specific issue for a specific gun that would not apply to any other firearm is a bad idea and will build bad habits that would then be hard to break. The simply fact is I am not going to carry this gun and I recommend you do not either until S&W fixes the issue. One final note on the trigger, it may be possible to have a competent gunsmith fix some of the reset (though it will always have a poor trigger reset) but then you are dealing with the legalities in court of having a trigger modified on a carry gun. Can you explain it to a jury? Probably. But why put yourself in that position?
Grip & Feel
The Glocks and Shadow Systems have polymer frames while the S&W has an aluminum frame. Theoretically the polymer should make the gun lighter however in practicality the guns are small enough that it only makes about 1.5 ounces of difference. In truth, it probably just serves to increase profit margins on a pistol this size. All three have changeable grips and the CSX has the most aggressive texture resembling sandpaper.
Glock uses there rear backstrap interchangeable feature that doesn’t seem to do much but make the grips feel fat which has always been everyones complaint with Glocks in the first place so I don’t know where the secret society is of people that use that but I find them completely unnecessary. Shadow Systems has a similar feature that changes out the rear of the grip rather than just adding an overlay theoretically changing the grip angle to a 1911 or Glock. However, neither of these companies offer this feature on the smaller size Glock 43 or CR920.
The CSX comes with two sets of grips. I found one to be worthless since it leaves a lot of slick aluminum available for your grip. The texture is not bad and I prefer guns with really aggressive texture so if you do not, you may find it annoying. The texture feels like grip tape often added to handles of other firearms. My personal preference is something like the Wilson Combat pattern that is incredibly edgy and grippy without grabbing cloth like the grip tape does which is the only problem I have with the CSX.
From a shooting standpoint I would say they all feel about the same. There was no noticeable difference in the felt recoil and perceived recoil for any of them. All three have sharp snappy recoil typical for what you would expect of a micro subcompact firearm. The only way to reduce this effectively would be to make the gun heavier or bigger with porting which defeats the purpose of this type of gun since by their design they have to be small.
Glock needs no introduction to its reliability and Shadow Systems running the same internals has shown to have similar reliability with some exceptions. All three guns have gone through at least 1000 rounds in our testing and since I have carried a CR920 since their release, my personal one has well over 10,000 rounds through it.
Glock 43/43x is typical Glock, they’ll run with just about anything you put in them and are prone to malfunctions if you limp wrist them. Lacking serration and texture on the slide, you have to get a firmer grip when clearing malfunctions but the operation mechanism is incredibly reliable. All in all I have not yet had a malfunction with this gun, some beginner students have because their grip is not firm enough but this is a very solid 9.5/10 on a reliability scale.
The Shadow Systems utilizes the same internal design as Glock and even has a majority of parts that are interchangeable. The firing pin has the same 5.5 pound spring as the Glock but utilizes a lighter firing pin (I believe its titanium) and in theory should yield to more issues with light primer strikes. From a pragmatic standpoint I did see an occasional light primer strike on low quality ammo since primers have been in short supply. Does it affect its ability to be combat ready? Not really since we would go into combat with quality ammunition. No issues with my own reloads since I use CCI primers but the cheap Turkish primers LAX Ammo was using for a while caused a malfunction about 1/400 rounds.
SS quality control is not as tight as I would like for the cost of the gun and they let things through that really should be found with a good QA process. However, their customer service has been very good about just sending parts and repairing issues without asking too many questions. On the same note, LAX Ammo was not willing to work with us on the large batches of ammo we purchased with primer issues and I have been a customer for 15 years. They have lost me, my school, and my students due to their poor quality service. Reliability rating 8.75/10.
The CSX being a completely different design does not generally have the historic reliability rating of a Glock design but from a functional standpoint we had no reliability issues in 1000 round test. This design gun will however have more reliability issues if you were using it without proper maintenance and care. Letting dirt into the components, not cleaning and changing springs etc.
However, I am not of the opinion that you should own a firearm that doesn’t get maintained so I’ll be the first to say I think that has always been a dumb argument. Toyota has a great reputation for reliability however if you are not changing fluid and components at recommended intervals you’ll still be left stranded at low mileage. Your firearm is no different; reliability should be tested under real world situations that you will find the gun in with proper maintenance as is appropriate with that firearm. My Wilson Combat SFT9 requires more maintenance than my Shadow Systems MR920 or my Glock 17 that doesn’t equate to it being less reliable. In fact the SFT hits primers harder than either and will set off even poor quality primers. But being a hammer fired gun, it is more prone to dirt getting in the mechanism.
Would I take the SFT to war? Absolutely. Would I take it on a Navy SEAL insertion traveling through mud and muck for 3 hours to target? Probably not. But if I was fighting in Bosnia with low quality ammunition it would be my preference. Reliability is on a spectrum based on operating environment and maintenance.
One more final note. People that look for reliability as a primary factor in buying cars lean towards Toyota. Because they know they have a car that will last a long time they take more meticulous care of it. So it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. You end up with similar issues with firearms though sometimes on the opposite end where guys brag about a gun running yet never cleaning it. CSX reliability 8.5/10.
Final thoughts, my wife and I personally carry the Shadow Systems CR920. It is a comfortable carry with a respectable round capacity, with good solid reliability, that shoots well, has a nice price point and the gun is good to go after a 200 round break in. We will never again carry the CSX and use it only for teaching due to the trigger issues, and we also will no longer carry the 43 and use it only in our classroom due to the poor round count. A better comparison of equivalent firearms would be the Shadow Systems CR920, Smith & Wesson Shield, and the Glock 43X.
The mistakes I see when new shooters are picking their new carry gun (CCW is the abbreviation I'll use for the remainder of the discussion), are so prolific it makes me physically squirm when I see the gun store clerk give terrible advice, or the boyfriend who "grew up shooting." Many of these mistakes are stupid and may not lead to anything beyond picking a pistol that is lower quality than what they could have purchased for a similar price; the more dangerous mistakes however could lead to a death or felonious actions on the part of the newer shooter. So let's discuss the biggest faux pas we see sold at the gun store counter.
1. How Does It Feel?
This one is not necessarily dangerous so much as it can lead you in the direction of picking a bad first pistol. People will go to the counter and the clerk behind the glass display cases will show a series of common carry guns and ask you how it feels; or the boyfriend or dad standing next to you will say what do you think. Inevitably you will feel flustered because you don't know any better and you don't know how it should feel.
The proper response you should state Is "I have no idea what it should feel like!" But that's not the reality of the situation. You feel pressured and retort back "it feels good / I don't like the way it fits my hand." First you have to dissect the decision of who told you it should be comfortable. Not a tactician or professional trainer certainly. So where did this idea get into your head? The guy at the counter or your dad/grandfather/boyfriend who continually made comments such as ".45 will knock em down!" or my favorite "it's won two World Wars" (speaking of a 1911 if you don't know that).
The bottom line here Is that the gun may not "feel" great, it may not be the most comfortable, but that has little to do with its capabilities and could lead you into picking a gun that is not adequate for your intended purpose or is simply just poor quality. Drop this notion that a gun should be comfortable... it should be comforting. Get out and practice with it and get training and anyone can make any firearm work for them. I like Glock pistols I have for nearly two decades they've always been my favorite. I can still shoot a 1911, an M&P, a Taurus, Sig Sauer whatever gun you throw at me I guarantee I can shoot it well and I will make it comfortable.
2. She Doesn't Need A Semi Auto
The story stays relatively the same; guy goes to work and sees something on the news that unsettles him; on his way home he purchases a revolver for his girlfriend/fiance/wife (hopefully not all 3!) The ultimate decision was made without your consent or knowledge and you're just supposed to trust that your significant other made a wise choice. The first clue here should be that he spent $500 without talking to you but I wont digress into marriage advice. There's a few problems with this anecdote: 1st you weren't consulted but the bigger issue is that the firearm purchase is a snub nose revolver because "that's all she needs." Is that right Rambo? you can guarantee that she will only need 5 shots? You can guarantee that she will be able to hit anything with a gun that is notoriously hard to shoot well and she has never had any training or practice with it?
Ladies, if this happens to you it's time to get offended because the back locker room talk is different than the softened words he used to tell you why he chose that gun. That gun was chosen because they rarely jam, there's no safety and takes virtually no training to fire one. Sounds like a great option for self defense? Skip forward to the revolver vs semi auto section to go into those details. In the mean time, this is way of telling you nicely that you are not capable of getting good with a mechanical device. Tell him to go to hell and come back with a real defensive tool!
My wife can eat a cheeseburger, put on mascara, while driving a stick shift and singing to the radio. She can turn off a safety, cock a hammer, and reload a pistol just fine. She didn't grow up with guns, I'm not even sure she ever fired one prior to our marriage.
The simple fact is that this is an antiquated piece of advice that needs to die and stay dead. Don't be too harsh on him, chances are he didn't know any better. But the best response in this case is how about instead of buying his 300th gun, he buy you a training class and 1000 rounds of ammunition to practice. With some training, the gun becomes a tool of the trade and the trade is self defense. Without training it is simply a talisman there to ward off evil spirits.
3. The Gun Is Too Small/Big
There are a few basic categories of pistol size so let's briefly break this down.
-1st is the Competition model which have lengthier barrels large grips to get two full hands on and often include things like adjustable sights, lighter triggers etc.
-2nd is Duty which are full size handguns that patrol officers carry. These are big and heavier which is why Soldiers didn't generally carry them but remember Soldiers primary weapons is their rifle while a police officers is their pistol.
-Next is Compact which despite its name is a full size gun and worn as a duty gun by military and contractors as well as police departments and a lot of plain clothes officers. It is only slightly smaller than a duty gun and is my personal favorite for daily carry whether open or concealed. I also compete with this size pistol.
-4th Is our subcompact which is usually about the size of a gun that an average mans hands pinky finger would not fit on the factory grip. The are smaller and designed to be a middle ground for people that want to carry. Both my wife and I carry one daily.
-Lastly, Is our small frame pistols known as "pocket rockets." These guns generally could fit in the palm of your hand and are considered inadequate as a defensive gun for anything other than a backup gun (BUG).
Two common mistakes happen when choosing pistol size. Guys tend to buy a gun that is too big and it ends up staying in the glove box of their car or on the night stand. Both positions do little good unless you're laying in bed or happen to be digging in your glove box when someone tries to carjack you.
Women make the opposite mistake and buy pocket rockets. Pocket pistols are difficult to shoot well even for professional shooters, they are so small as to be impossible to manipulate, and are generally in smaller calibers not suited for self defense.
As a women you really want to be looking in the subcompact range, and If you can, find a way to carry the compact range of pistol sizes. Both of these sizes are comfortable to shoot and carry a round count and caliber suitable for self defense. The mechanics are large enough to manipulate the firearms features and the gun itself is still small enough to be carried daily. Remember if it is not on you, it doesn't help you at all.
4. Poor Choice In Caliber
There used to be some debate among the big 3 calibers: 9mm, .45, and .40. As the last 20 years have produced a ton of research on terminal, internal and external ballistics theres less and less debate each year. Admittedly you still have a group of people that like .357 sig and a few 10mm hold outs but by in large 9mm has taken the crown of the tactical shooting community.
There's a number of reasons for the this. Modern ballistic technology has made 9mm superior to a lot of other rounds in terms of terminal ballistics. The reduced recoil and higher round count in magazines adds obvious advantages and it simply fits the bill of being the smallest round to effectively do the job.
The smaller the round the less recoil the firearm will have, the more capacity, and easier it is to carry. A Glock 19 holds 15 rounds while a standard .45 1911 holds 8 in a much larger and heavier gun. At the end of the day we have to realize that pistols are a compromise over the lethality of rifles and their main advantage is their size and carry-ability. Removing those advantages seems counterproductive. However, the opposite is true as well and many women choose pocket pistols that are difficult to shoot well and have very little incapacitation capabilities.
.22, .25, .32ACP, .380AUTO, are common small frame calibers that are grossly inadequate for self defense. They lack very basic functionality in terms of firing a round that can provide the incapacitating effect needed to end a self defense engagement. Some of these are expensive to fire and difficult to find bulk ammunition for making training a chore. Ultimately these are a poor choice for self defense the terminal ballistic data on this is clear and there's really no debate anymore.
Ultimately, someone will read this and make the generic statement "You stand there and let me shoot you with my .22 and see how you do." This is an infantile and foolish argument given only by untrained self proclaimed tacticians, not true professionals or shooters. The simple fact is I wouldn't stand there and let you stab me with a dinner fork either but it doesn't mean it is a good choice for self defense.
Someone else will jump on afterwards and proclaim the 1911 won two world wars. Again this is a ridiculous argument. 1st off- It surely didn't win Korea or Vietnam so you cant take the credit but not the blame. And secondly, the vast majority of deaths in WW2 were caused by a nuclear weapon which is what ended the war. I love 1911's and carried .45 for years and it does have it's advantages but not for an every day defensive carry pistol.
5. Not Training
Being told to get training by a professional trainer is a lot like having your mechanic tell you that your car needs more regular oil changes. But the simple fact is that you are a moral, ethical and legal liability to yourself and others without adequate training in weapons handling.
Here's our advice on training: the more training you can do the better and if you can train 3 times a week go do it! But for most people that's not reasonable and what ends up happening is most people get overwhelmed by the training that they never do it.
Take one professional training class a year. Even as certified Instructors, my wife and I go to training every year at least once from other schools to learn new techniques and get ourselves more proficient. It is your responsibility as a concealed weapon holder and protector to be proficient with it. Additionally, you should do at least one range session a month. More is better but most people can fit this in.
Notice I say range session; what I mean Is training session. Going to the range and shooting tin cans, impact detonated demolitions, and pumpkins filled with ketchup is fun and is certainly a part of owning firearms but it is not training. You don't get in shape for a powerlifting competition by going to Zumba class, you get there by moving iron and hard workouts.
You have to enter your defensive training regiment with the same mindset. Get out and train work on fundamentals. I recommend 150 round drills once a month. I'll give you a break down of one I would personally use.
-Draw and present on target 3 yards, 5 yards and 7 yards two rounds each. 25 repetitions.
-Add a variance here by moving while you draw and shoot.
-Moving and shooting box drill. 50 rounds.
-1-5 drill or El Presidente with mag changes for a total of 50 rounds.
If you did nothing but this with your defensive handgun once a month you would practice all your defensive skills and maintain proficiency with your firearm to be used in a defensive engagement.
is an entrepreneur and content creator. He lives on a small homestead in central Alabama where his wife and three children raise livestock and enjoy the quit life on their farm. He served as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army from Alaska to Afghanistan and currently owns, along side his wife, Timberline Security Solutions LLC based in Birmingham Alabama.
Amandalyn has spent her professional career doing a little bit of everything from being a licensed real estate agent, to a Private Investigator. Currently she operates, along with her husband, Timberline Security Solutions LLC to train civilians, military and police officers for the battle they may one day face. Together with Mackay they work as Private Investigators and conduct executive level protection details.