Whether you are in a training course or just on the gun range, you have probably heard some great advice. It seems that just about every gun owner has some pearl of wisdom to share. Whether it is shooting techniques or gun safety, everyone is a firearms instructor. Not that this is a bad thing, sharing knowledge is how we progress as a civilization. So, it’s time to share yours. What is the best firearm training advice you’ve ever heard?
The Best Firearm Training Advice You’ve Ever Received
In our latest Real Talk segment on Facebook, we reached out for some of the great advice you’ve heard over the years. And as with other Real Talk segments, you covered many great areas of the topic, for a well-rounded discussion.
Safety and First Aid
Because I am an ardent supporter of firearm safety, I felt this was the best place to start. While a few here address some of the basic rules of safety, others address general safety and first aid considerations.
If we are going to start with firearm safety, we might as well start with the basics:
“Treat every [firearm] as if it is loaded.”
“The unloaded gun shoots the loudest.”
“Keep your booger hook off the bang bang switch till [you’re] ready to fire.”
“NEVER point a gun, whether you believe it to be loaded or not, at another human unless you intend to kill that person. A firearm is NOT a toy!”
Something tells me that there is a story here:
“Carry a tourniquet.”
Speaking of safety, how much do you rely on your firearm’s mechanical safety? These readers don’t seem to be as comfortable about depending on them:
“Treat every gun like there is no safety. [Mine] has none so it’s handy advice. LoL.”
“Safety is something that [happens] between your ears, not something you hold in your hand.”
Bringing up the next generation to respect firearms. I am totally on board with this:
“Teach kids to respect guns and that they aren’t toys.”
I would personally like to add the importance of eye and ear protection. You only get one set of ears and eyes; you should do everything you can to take care of them.
The Importance of Practice
If you are going to spend time on the shooting range, you might as well make the most of it. The importance of proper training and practice cannot be overstated. Likewise, if you take part in a training program, spending time practicing what you learn only solidifies the instruction.
I have to admit, although I have heard this before, I kind of forgot it. The statement is very profound and illustrates the importance of practicing the right way:
“Practice makes permanent, not perfect.”
As with anything you do, you should do it with purpose. If you are going to take your time to do it, make it mean something:
“Train with purpose.”
“Shooting is a process, not an event.”
Timing is everything and training for the possibility of a gunfight includes considering how fast things happen:
“‘Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. In a gun fight[,] you need to take your time in a hurry.’ by Wyatt Earp.”
“Gun fights are won in millimeters and milliseconds.”
“Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”
Getting out to the range is a great way to get better and faster. A good way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your training is to mimic real life scenarios where possible. Another great way to practice your aim is to get involved in competition shooting. Always look for opportunities.
Be Intentional in Your Carry
Unfortunately, there are those who treat a firearm as a security blanket. They don’t go beyond the fact that it makes them feel safe to have their concealed carry permit and a firearm. But there are serious implications to carrying a firearm and potentially using it for self-defense.
Understand the seriousness of carrying a firearm and its potential use, as well as how best to use it:
“Don’t carry a gun unless you are prepared to use it.”
“Aim for center mass.”
“Anything worth shooting once is worth shooting twice.”
Focus, intent, and drive rule the day. It is best not to get into a gunfight at all. But if you do, mind yourself and take steps to ensure success:
“Have a clear and calm head before you pull the trigger.”
“[The] gun goes where the eyes go.”
“If you are not shooting, you should be moving, if you are not moving, you should be making use of cover and reloading.”
“The best gun fight is the one you don’t have to fight; but if fight you must, fight to win till it’s over, then live another day.”
I would like to personally add an entry here. I remember learning years ago that any time you carry a gun and get into an altercation, there is a gun involved. That is something that has always stuck with me.
If you are carrying—or anytime, really—mind yourself. Do not let yourself be driven by emotion or ego. Always remain calm, cool, and collected, until it’s time not to be. But never be the reason there is an altercation because your firearm is involved. And some law enforcement agencies might even take that into consideration.
I’ll be honest, I was a little surprised that only one person mentioned legal considerations. Anytime you carry anything with self-defense intent you should understand the laws in your state and local jurisdiction. Ignorance of the law isn’t a valid defense anywhere in the United States.
“Know and understand your [self-defense] laws.”
If you would like to learn more about the laws in your state, U.S. LawShield is a great resource. It also offers legal services to members. Likewise, it recently released downloadable guides for traveling with a firearm, with one for each state and a national guide.
Train hard but train safe. And, when the opportunity arises to share your wisdom with new shooters, go ahead and be “that guy.” You may save someone’s life.