It has been a crazy few months in the firearms industry…

Gun sales records are being broken on a regular basis.

Gun ranges are full, wait times are high, and many require reservations.

Training classes, especially concealed carry classes, are full and booked out weeks or months in advance.

The events that are causing all of this demand are quite sad, but the end result of MILLIONS of additional people deciding to take responsibility for their own safety should be encouraging and heartwarming.

It’s great that more people have guns. And it’s great that more people have concealed carry permits. But in most cases, neither of those qualify as “training.” In the crawl-walk-run learning progression, getting a gun and going through a concealed carry permit class is usually about the same level as a baby getting up on it’s hands and knees for his first time. It’s exciting. Everyone around should cheer. But everyone should appreciate it for what it is…a beginning step and not the end goal.

If you’re like most shooters, you know this and are on a constant quest to master your craft so that if you ever need to defend yourself, you’ll be ready.  So, today, I’m going to share 2 drills with you from Dry Fire Training Cards and Dry Fire Fit.

But first, a quick disclaimer: Dry Fire is practicing all of the steps of shooting with NO LIVE AMMO PRESENT.  Remember, guns are designed to project extreme force at a distance. Just so we’re on the same page, NEVER do these drills with a firearm capable of firing projectiles. These drills are designed to supplement live training. Consult your medical professional before doing any exercise. The user of these drills assumes all liability for their actions and holds the creator and contributors of these cards harmless. These cards are for educational purposes only and it is your responsibility to verify that their content is safe and legal for you to do before attempting. I suggest using a Dry Fire Pistol from SIRT, a Blue gun, a plastic training barrel from BladeTech, a Safety Rod from FAB Defense, an airsoft gun.

DFTC_GrouchoThe first drill is based on the “Duck/Groucho Walk” card from Dry Fire Training Cards and it’s the foundation of taking your stationary shooting skills and executing them on the move. You can do it with a training pistol OR with a camera phone. It’s somewhat of an advanced drill, but the ability to do the drill with a camera phone means that almost anyone can do it while they’re taking a break at work and not cause any problems.

  1. Pick a target across the room and aim your pistol at it.
  2. Squat so that you drop your hips 6-12”, keeping your torso upright and your sights in alignment.
  3. Keep your hips dropped and smoothly walk towards your target while minimizing the wobble of your sights. When you get 2-3 feet away from the target, stop and walk in reverse.

A couple of big helpful tips on this one…

First off, when you squat, I want you to visualize a set of railroad tracks on each side of your hips going between you and your target.

You have an axle coming out of your hips with wheels on them that are riding on the tracks. This will allow you to go forward and backwards effortlessly, but you won’t be able to move up and down or side to side. Simply ride the rails and your target will just get bigger as you move closer. Any wobble of the sights means that you’re fighting the rails.

This isn’t something that most people can do without practice. The brain has to learn how to send the right electrical impulses to the muscles at the right time to do what you want them to do, so be patient and go as slow as you need to to stay on the rail.

One thing you can do to measure your improvement is to use a metronome. Here’s 2 ways to do this…first is to step and shoot with each beep.

The 2nd way is to alternate stepping and shooting.

Do what works best for you.

As you speed up, you’ll reach a point where you just ride the rails and shoot without needing to focus on timing your steps and your shots. The most common feedback you’ll get at this point is that you look like you’re floating.

The second tip is to practice this throughout the day with the camera on your phone. You don’t even need to use the video feature…just focus on keeping the screen centered on your target as you move back and forth in whatever room you’re in. If you need a quick excuse for what you’re doing, say you’re practicing being able to move smoothly for shooting video.

Do this back-and-forth drill for 5 sets of 1 minute each with a 30 second break between sets with either a pistol or with a camera phone. If your performance drops off, slow down or stop doing the drill immediately and come back to it later in the day.

As you get more and more comfortable with this drill, make the following modification:

Begin the drill by standing relaxed, with your arms at your side and pistol holstered. Drop your hips and start moving forward or backwards as you draw your pistol and engage the target. Alternate between starting with forward movement and backwards movement.

Once you are comfortable doing this drill forwards and backwards and moving at a fast pace, begin working side to side and at various angles. This won’t happen the first day you start doing the drill, but will happen eventually.

For more dry fire drills that cover fundamentals, advanced skills, low light drills, and exercise based drills, check out www.DryFireTrainingCards.com

The next drill is from the “Roll Under Concealment” drill from Dry Fire Fit.

DryFireFit_Roll_Under_Concealment “Sitting in a chair, roll to the ground, draw, and engage a target under and beyond a real or imaginary chair or table.”

This came from both real and training situations where people were sitting at tables when an active shooter entered the front of the room.

The tendency is to shoot over the top of the table, either while sitting, standing, or kneeling, depending on the shooter’s reaction.  Regardless of which you do, the process of drawing and getting an accurate shot off is going to take 1-3 seconds and the shooter only has to see you, swing, and get 1 or 2 hits to interrupt your drawstroke before you get your first round off.

In many cases, it’s better to drop to the ground and engage the attacker from concealment (not cover). If you’ve seen the movie “44 Minutes” about the North Hollywood Shootout, you’ll recognize the tactic.

Depending on the situation, you may drop out of their line of sight and the first realization they have that you’re a threat is when your first round hits them in the leg. In addition, the fact that you don’t have rounds coming directly at you may give you the visual patience necessary to take the extra .1-.2 seconds to make an effective first shot.

This drill is as much about figuring out HOW to get to the ground as it is shooting from the ground. The fastest way down is to fall, but you want to figure out how to get down to the ground in such a way that you can practice it multiple times without regretting it tomorrow.

Play with it. Don’t move into pain. Figure out the best technique that works for you.  And next time you sit down in a public place, take a second to see if the tactic would work for you.

For more advanced, dynamic, 360 degree dry fire drills that will stretch you as a shooter and help you make accurate shots while moving, from the ground, and from awkward, unstable positions like what happen in real gunfights, go to www.DryFireFit.com.

These are drills…great drills…but if you need more comprehensive training, I suggest the 2 following courses:

3010Pistol.com < Created by a Force Recon Marine. It’s a written course with supplemental videos that’s guaranteed to put you in the top 10% of shooters in the next 30 days.

ConcealedCarryMastersCourse.com < Created by a Navy SEAL. This is a 9.5 hour DVD course that combines instruction, follow along dry fire drills (think of it like a follow along workout program…except it’s learning to shoot better from concealment), and live fire examples.

Questions? Comments? Let me know by commenting below.