There is a huge difference in going to the range and plinking at various targets with multiple pistols, as opposed to practicing self-defense with your favorite Carry Pistol. Practicing the correct things while at the range is very important, and can be both challenging and fun. Target Practice Makes Perfect, just as practice in any other hobby or sport. Here is a recommended book to give you a head start:
First of all you must have a weapon that you have confidence in. What do I mean by confidence. Well, confidence in your pistol is similar to confidence in your putter, your baseball bat, your shotgun, etc. This comprises of totally feeling comfortable with the weight of the pistol, the sights, the recoil, reloading, and the way your hand fits the grip. As with any other sport, once you choose the weapon that fits, now it’s time to practice, practice, practice. This not only makes you a more accurate shooter, but in time it will almost feel as though the pistol is an extension of your arm, or even an appendage. Okay, the appendage thing might be pushing it a bit, but you are looking for a place and time in your practice where you feel as though you are as good with your weapon as you can be. Although skill levels and talent vary greatly from person to person, even the most clumsy of people can still master their weapon with enough practice. Once you choose the weapon for you, here are a few affordable target choices to practice with:
If you haven’t chosen a carry weapon, there are a few things to consider before making your choice. The first one is caliber. How expensive is the ammo you intend to shoot? Can you afford to put as many rounds downrange as needed to get to the “appendage” point? Next to consider is recoil. Knowing how a particular pistol cartridge reacts in the weapon you are leaning toward will make a big difference down the road. You see, we all have a flaw in our shooting skill at the most critical time, with that time being the moment the firing pin strikes the primer. We will elaborate more on that in another article, just remember that if you’re not used to shooting a particular cartridge, it should be avoided until a time that you can practice with that particular round. Third on the list of considerations, and one of the most important, is concealment. How do you plan to carry your weapon when you are out and about? In a side holster? In an inside the pant paddle holster? Or even a very angled small of the back holster? Regardless of where you decide to pack your pistol, what you don’t want is a bulky, heavy, shiny pistol that’s difficult to quickly get from a holstered position to a shooting position. For example, my favorite pistol happens to be a 1911 .45 ACP. These days they do make a compact version of this pistol, but it is still a challenge to carry concealed. The single most recognized advantage to this cartridge is the fact that it has the highest probability of stopping a would be attacker with a single shot. A single round from a .45 fired in to the chest cavity of anyone will be devastating. As with recoil, we will cover the fantastic .45 in another article. As far as color goes, when concealed, you don’t want anything drawing attention to your weapon. High polished steel or plating can do just that. Remember, if you’re carrying so that people know you’re carrying, then you’re carrying for all the wrong reasons. This will ensure you are a target if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a conflict where your weapon has to be used.
Keep in mind that picking the right handgun for you is a very personal decision. Once chosen please don’t forget that “Target Practice Makes Perfect”.