Practice Deploying your Firearm!


I have had the wonderful privilege of training with some of the best firearms instructors in the world.  I have learned so many things about gun fighting and pray that I never have to use any of these skills.  I have fired thousands and thousands of rounds on every type of civilian, military and law enforcement ranges but the one skill that I have practiced without shooting an actual bullet or worked with one of these professional instructors is the actual deployment of my firearm.  Yes, drawing the firearm out of the holster.

All the training in the world amounts to nothing if you can’t get your weapon out of the holster and able to engage your threat.  The practicing of deploying your primary and backup firearm should be done from open carry, concealed carry, standing, kneeling (one or two knees), seated, prone (on your back, on your stomach, or on either side), in your vehicle, in your bed, and just about any other place you can think of. You should also practice while you are defending yourself from an adversary attack. All this training can all be done without firing any rounds and it cost absolutely nothing, except your time.

My good friend and instructor, Hock Hockheim has taught many students to practice drawing your firearm from the Stop 6 positions.  These are the six common stopping or sticking points/collisions in a fight.

Stop 1 – The Stand-off/Showdown/Interview

Stop 2 – Hands on Hands/Fingers in Fingers

Stop 3 – The Forearm Crash Collision

Stop 4 – The Biceps/Neck Line Collision

Stop 5 – The Bear Hug “Clinch”

Stop 6 – The Ground Stop

Once you have worked through the Stop 6 positions, the next step is conducting a few “Pressure” drills or what Tony Blauer calls Ballistic Micro-Fightsä.  These realistic scenarios & drills are conducted with all participants wearing some type of protective equipment and problem solving is learned in a controlled but physically demanding environment.  The end goal of the training is the justified deployment of the firearm to resolve a deadly force situation.

Stay tune for some future clips on exactly what I am talking about in this Blog post.  Until then, train smart, train safe and train each and everyday!


Additional thoughts on Gun ownership

Ok!  Here are some follow up thought on “GUN” ownership. In addition to carrying the weapon daily, I would suggest you practice your stance as well as drawing and presenting the weapon before you ever even set foot on the range and start shooting.  If you cannot get your firearm out of the holster and pointing at the threat, then it serves no purpose.  Buy yourself a blue or red training firearm and do drills everyday.  Practice drawing while standing, kneeling, sitting, and in any other position which you think you might find yourself.  Practically speaking, you should complete 20 hours of practice before ever shooting a firearm.  Firearm deployment and handling are two the most important skills that you can learn in the dry-fire environment.  Once you reach the 20 hour mark, it is time to practice these same skills with your real weapon.  Make sure your firearm is safely cleared and empty.  The feeling will be different because of the weight of the weapon.  JUST DO IT.  Spend another 20 hours before launching the first round down range.

I cannot stress enough learning realistic empty-hand self-defense techniques.  The first step is to defend yourself.  What if you cannot get to the firearm right away?  Once you have stopped or deflected the initial assault, then you can deploy your weapon system.  It is so important that you learn realistic techniques that have been pressured-tested.  For simplicity’s sake, WWII combatives are great.  Learn them well and they will serve you in a crisis situation.  Practice deploying the firearm after the initial assault.  Deployment must be fast, so practice, practice and practice some more.

Okay, now it is time to learn to actually shoot the weapon.  My recommendation is to train with no less than three different firearms instructors.  Find a civilian NRA instructor, a police firearms instructor, and a SWAT firearms instructor, and train with all of them.  Listen and learn.  They will all teach you differently, but that is advantageous to you.  If you are fortunate enough to find a Federal Air Marshal firearms instructor, seize the opportunity to train with him.  FAMs know concealed carry, they are expert close-range shooters and they are truly the most highly skilled firearms instructors in the Federal Government.

For the first couple of months, try to shoot at least several hundred rounds per month.  Do not just launch lead down range.  Use the drills that all the instructors taught you and practice them religiously.  Accuracy is final!  It is your duty to learn to shoot as accurately as possible.  A good standard is to draw and fire three rounds in 5 seconds at 5 yards.  Your target is a 3X5 index card.  Once you accomplish this, your skills are sound.  But don’t get lazy.  Keep practicing—you want these skills sharp if race day ever comes.

Some thoughts on owning a firearm.

Some ask, why own a firearm?  I say, why not?  First things first.  If you wish to own a firearm, the first thing you must do is decide if you can use it against someone.  Are you mentally prepared to take a human life?  If not, then DO NOT purchase a firearm; it is a waste of your time and money.  Keep in mind there is a difference between murdering and killing someone.  I had the fine privilege of listening to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (author of On Killing) speak in 2007 and he addressed this very issue as it related to soldiers and police officers.  The accurate translation of the good book says, “Thou shalt not murder.”   It did NOT say, “Thall shalt not kill.”  Don’t take my word for it—look it up!   An unfortunate by-product of Self Protection might be the killing of another.  Let’s deal with this upfront! There should be no moral dilemma when it comes to protecting yourself and your family.

Once this decision is made, go find a good firearms instructor and discuss weapons with him.  Talk with several and pick the one(s) you like.  You should consider the firearms instructor’s recommendation on the appropriate firearm, but if you find that you do not like the recommendation, you will not carry it.  Find a conceal carry or basic pistol course and try out several firearms on a range before buying.  One of the most important things you can do once you procure the gun is to begin carrying it daily and become comfortable with it.  Buy an excellent belt and holster.  DO NOT buy a cheap system. . .it will fail you!  If you are going to do this, do it right.  The holster and the belt are just as important as the firearm.  Any GALCO product or Black Point Tactical holster is a great place to start: or

In the next blog entry, I will give you more of my opinions about firearms, I obviously have a lot of them.  Thanks for listening.