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Top Shot Firearms Academy and Gun Club
  • How often should I shoot?
    Concealed Carry Practice - How often should I shoot?: People often ask us how much practice is needed to get "good" with a firearm, specifically a handgun. "Good" is a relative term and can be defined in many ways. However, we will try to explain "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" or "I can hit the target when I go to the range" means that you are good. However, 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 define what is good for concealed carry, defensive carry, and what you should strive for as a concealed weapons permit holder in Florida. Good is better than average accuracy at a reasonable speed. Step one would be to practice at a range and come close (meaning within 2-4 inches) to what we are aiming at while 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, as we do at the range, is NOT realistic. It's a way different story if you have to defend yourself. The actual 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 overconfident or arrogant about. Instead, take the time to learn because the people you love will depend on it. Why cut corners? By doing so, are you putting your life and the lives 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 to picking your defensive pistol. And men- please don't go to your wife or significant other and do the typical "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. You need to decide where on your body you will carry and, most importantly, practice the draw and purchase process with a clear and double-checked firearm. There is a lot that goes into it than 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 the statistics of actual defensive shootings? It depends! It's recommended by many experts to dry fire at least twice per week and to live fire at least once every two weeks. Enroll yourself in a defensive pistol class and invest in learning. Invest in protecting your 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
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