Posted by on December 23, 2016 9:00 am
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Categories: Shooting Accuracy and Drills

They say practice makes perfect. Maybe a better saying is, “practice makes better”. Whatever you call it, it works. And, with shooting, practice is critical.

James England wrote an inspirational article at the Concealed Nation site about the importance of range time and practicing for concealed carry. Please read his short piece on gun range practice habits.

A man and a boy out hunting with shotguns, circa 1955.

Photo by NPR (yes, NPR and guns).

You Shoot Like You Practice

“Every person who owns a gun should practice with it with live ammunition. There is no ‘perfect amount’ of practice. The gun you have right now in your possession will save your life if you use it properly.”

– England

Some gun owners never practice or practice so infrequently as to not accomplish anything. That is not good. Others get a little work in whenever they can get around to it. That’s not much better. Others run a semi-regular schedule. Actually, that is what most shooter do. Think of that as the minimum standard.

Really “good” shooters practice on a regular basis, sometimes weekly or even daily. A few even belong to organizations like the International Practice Shooting Confederation. Through the IPSC they compete in competitive events.

England says the secret to good shooting is to find a way to make practice fun. He recommends finding shooting events in your area. Then, attend some of them. Make sure you competent with each gun you plan to use. Remember, you shoot the way you practice.

And make sure the time you spend on the range is quality time. The Concealed Nation motto is: “train how you intend to fight.” Adopt that as your own if you are serious about self defense.

Beginners should start out with an organized class. An instructor provides invaluable feedback about shooting mechanics. They also offer tips on everything. More experienced gunners set their own programs. But even they benefit from occasional expert advice.

There are many, many benefits of regular practice. They include:

  • Confidence;
  • Target IDing;
  • Safety experience; and
  • Fun for everyone.


Photo by Range Systems.

The best thing about practicing is that it ensures one knows how to react when it really counts. That the practicing is so much fun is a great side perk. Put all together, it is a terrific and rewarding experience.

Get out to the range as soon as you can. Yet another benefit is the camaraderie that comes with shooting. It is a great team builder. It’s fun for friends. And it is an excellent family activity. Take the kids the next time you shoot. Teach them self defense, safety, and confidence. They will carry on the tradition.

Perrin Lovett writes about freedom, firearms, and cigars (and everything else) at He is none too fond of government meddling.

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