One of the more common questions I get when it comes to concealed carry is how to focus on training for carrying concealed. There are a number of new gun owners who don’t have the knowledge or just experienced shooters who want to focus on drawing from concealment. In past articles, I have written about various drills and targets you can use but there are also tips, in general, to help you guys out when it comes to carrying concealed. If you don’t necessarily enjoy printing off specific targets, there are still plenty of things you can do to improve your skills at the range with minimal effort. Let’s dive into some easy range tips to help with concealed carry.
Low Round Count
Probably the most common trend I see at the range is someone stuffing their magazine full, walking up to the line and firing their entire magazine into a static target before heading back to the bench and jamming their magazine full again. Listen, I know it’s an easy trap to fall into when you head to the range, I have done this more times than I care to admit honestly. This style of shooting is easy and can be really relaxing after a long week, but it doesn’t really do much for you when it comes to training. When looking at the vast majority of self-defense situations, they are typically 3-8 rounds and typically don’t go to a full 15-18 rounds.
Having that information, we can start to build a training outline to focus on short but high-energy drills to try and bring the stress level up while you train. With ammo costs as high as they are, it’s important to be sparing with your round count since ammo prices haven’t come down in the last year. Having the ability to use every round to better yourself makes training that much more effective in the long run. Keeping the rounds to a 5-7 maximum in your magazine makes you focus more on your target as well as forces you to stop and do a slide lock reload or end the drill. It seems like an incredibly simple concept but trust me, it works when you’re out at the range.
Start From Inside The Holster
Another extremely simple way to get reps in without having to add more steps into your range session is just to draw from your holster every time you go to shoot. I started drawing from the holster every time I shoot about four years ago and it really just gives you a habit to build into your routine which helps establish a muscle memory over time while you’re at the range. Having the ability to test out your draw in a relaxed situation will not only make you more confident with drawing but will also make you faster over time.
For individuals like myself who live in seasonal areas, drawing from concealment with a jacket or cover garment is another great way to understand drawing from concealments with multiple layers on. Again just like the low round count concept, drawing from concealment every time is an easy step to build into your range routine that can help develop other skills without a ton of effort. Next time you find yourself at the range try giving this a go and see how things will slowly but surely get better.
Take Time In Between Sets
Out of all the tips in this article, taking time in between my sets has been the hardest adjustment for me when heading to the range. I have always been the type to keep busy and keep things moving along so I can head home and go on with my day. Shooting back to back will make you improve typically with accuracy and your pace between shots. For good training though, it’s important to take a step back and do other tasks before shooting another set.
This can range from heading down to your target and taping up holes or just loading a few more rounds into your magazine. Anything you can do to physically break your train of thought and clear your head is a positive for training. It makes each set of targets closer to your first set than just shooting magazine after magazine into your target. Super simple but if you make an effort to change your routine, it will start to improve your sets over time.
Get A Shot Timer For A Surprise Start
I will be the first one to admit, shot timers can really develop some bad habits when it comes to split times and chasing the ultra fast times. It’s not good to fall into the internet trend of shooting faster and faster while letting your group size be the victim of your newfound speed. One thing shot timers are fantastic at is the art of surprising you with a start point. Having a shot timer on a random delayed start point will force you to draw on an uncertain command which isn’t too far off what will happen in the real world.
If a shot timer just isn’t in your budget, having a friend yell “threat” or “fire” is another effective way of getting a surprise draw. Having this surprise method will add a little bit of stress as well as show you some potential flaws you need to work on either at home dry firing or at the range. It’s a fairly simple tool but still proves to be effective at adding another layer to help you improve yourself.
There have been a few times over the last few months where I’ve shot with new shooters only to hear them say how hard it is to get into training for carrying concealed. People will make excuses about it costs too much to buy certain equipment or it’s too hard to get specific paper targets. These tricks apart from the shot timer don’t take any extra energy or money to implement. All it takes is an open mind and wanting to make a change for the better in yourself to start with.
Let me know what you guys do to train specifically for carrying concealed down in the comments. Do you just go to the range or do you focus on drawing from concealment to improve your skills? If you have any questions about carrying concealed or just firearm-related questions, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.