Sunday, March 18, 2007

Guns: Perfect Practice

If you can't get to a shooting range regularly, it can be very difficult to keep your gunhandling and shooting proficiencies at a reasonable level. There aren't a whole lot of remedies to this - as far as I know, the best way to get better at drawing and firing a gun is, well, drawing and firing a gun repeatedly. The next best thing, though, is dry-fire practice.

The first step is the most important. Clear your gun. Clear it again and again. Some would say it's best to take all ammo out of the room - it might be overkill, but it would also prevent any embarrassing mishaps. Even after the gun is clear, the safety rules should still be followed as much as possible, which means not pointing the gun at somebody when dry-firing (it sounds idiotic, but these things happen) and finding a safe backstop (remember, bullets sail through most building materials - try a big mound of dirt or a hard floor of some sort).

The next step is loading up practice ammo if your gun cannot be dry-fired without damaging it (most guns are fine with being dry-fired, but some - like my CZ-75B - may exhibit parts breakage with repeated dry-firing). Double-check to make sure it's practice ammo. A-Zoom snap caps are terrific for this - they last a long time.

The final step is to practice drawing in all the positions you find yourself in everyday life. Whether it's seated at a computer, walking down a hallway, or even crouching down on the ground, it couldn't hurt to practice. Don't go for a quick draw; focus on smoothness and repetition. Draw and snap off a shot, noting your sight picture. Pop-up targets like this give a nice bit of unpredictability and are a sobering reminder of how difficult it is to react to a random stimulus.


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