Top Shot Tips:
How often should I shoot?
Concealed carry Practice - How often should I shoot:
People ask us all the time how much practice is needed to get “good” with a firearm, specifically a handgun. “Good” is a relative term and can be defined many ways. We will try to define “good” here so that you can understand how good you need to be.
It takes 300 hours to become a nail technician in Florida and somehow many of you think that you saying “I’ve been to the gun range before,” means that you are good. Or, “I can hit the target when I go to the range.” You aiming for the center of the target but hitting the bottom is not good. You having a shot group that is 3 feet wide is not good.
Let’s try to define what is good for concealed carry, defensive carry and what you should be striving for as a concealed weapons permit holder in Florida.
Good is better than average accuracy at a good speed.
Step one would be to practice at a range and come close (meaning within 2-4 inches) to what we are aiming at; consistently practicing all of the proper fundamentals and safety skills. Once you have mastered that; you should then realize that taking our time to execute the fundamentals of marksmanship, like we do at the range, is NOT realistic.
It’s a way different story if you actually had to defend yourself.
The actually event statistics say that a self defense situation will be:
1) close in proximity
2) high in intensity
3) short in duration.
Here is what that tells us: SPEED SPEED SPEED. And you would have to do this while being accurate. I'm referring to no wasted motion, and quick enough to get the job done in a self-defense shooting scenario.
This is not something to be over confident or arrogant about. Take the time to learn because people you love will be dependably on it.
Why cut corners? By doing so, are you putting your life and the life of the people you love in danger. You can answer that on your own.
Several steps need to be settled before even attempting to carry:
1. What firearm is best for you? Hint: DON’T take advice from anyone. There is a step by step approach in picking your defensive pistol. And men- please don’t go to your wife or significant other and do the normal “honey my buddy told me: this is the best firearm for women”.
2. You need to choose a holster. This can be another daunting task. Learn how to do it correctly.
3. Carry position and drawing from it regularly. Where on my body will I carry and practicing the draw and purchase process with a clear and double checked firearm. There is a lot that goes into it that you may haven’t thought about.
However, to answer the original question. How much practice will you need to get “good?” How much should you shoot to hit critical shots at a speed consistent with statistics of real defensive shootings? It depends!
It’s recommended by many experts to dry fire at lease twice per week and to live fire at least once every 2 weeks. Enroll your self in a defensive pistol class and invest in learning. Invest in protecting you family like you know you should.
What firearm should I buy?
Firearms should be bought with two criteria in mind:
1) Best Fit
2) Intended Use
Do not let your friends, family members, or the internet dictate the firearm you purchase. You can take suggestions, but STEP ONE is to shoot whatever firearm you are considering purchasing BEFORE actually making the purchase.
Your next question would be, well how do I shoot a firearm if I don't own it?
Well, any range would allow you to rent a firearm for the day to try. After shooting it, you can develop an opinion of the firearm to make an informed decision.
If you are a beginner shooter and have never taken a formal firearms class; we would suggest taking a class being step one in the purchase process. The more knowledge you have about firearms in general; the better choice you will make.
We always say, your safety and the safety of your family may depend on it.
How should you handle a police encounter when carrying?
Have you ever thought through how you should handle interactions with police officers, if you are legally carrying a firearm? Here are some Top Shot Tips:
1. Pull over, put your vehicle in park, and shut off the engine. Stay in the vehicle; never get out unless instructed to do so.
***As you are pulling over lower the window, turn off the radio, turn on the dome light if it’s after dark, and put both hands on the steering wheel.
Start planning NOW to have your registration and insurance available in one fluid motion. Have it organized and know where it is so you don’t have to search for an extended period of time.
2. The first word out of your mouth should be “Officer,” as in “Officer, how can I help you?”
** DON'T make jokes, use sarcasm, raise your voice or argue.
**You CAN ask questions and clarify anything you don’t understand.
If he or she asks if you know why you’ve been pulled over, the best answer is, “Officer, no I don’t.” (If you say yes, you are admitting to a violation.)
3. Make sure you know your laws!
If you choose to or must disclose that you are carrying a firearm; it should sound like this with your hands STILL ON THE STEERING WHEEL;
“Officer, before I reach for my license (or registration or insurance), I just want to let you know that I’m a legal permit holder and I’m carrying today. How would you like to handle that?”
NEVER use the word Gun.
The encounter will be uneventful and, most of the time, pleasant.
Stay safe - Top Shot
GET SERIOUS. GET TRAINED