My husband, the Peace-Loving Warrior, is an artist. After just a week or so off from disciplined work in his studio, he notices an immediate decline in his drawing ability. The motor skills involved with drawing and painting require that they be repeated often; that you pay constant attention to retaining them.
The same holds true with your shooting skills. So, listed below are five ways to increase your competence and performance with your pistol. And let me make it clear, that your first priority is to get REAL training from professionals. All of these methods below should be reinforced by your instructors.
1. Learn to draw your gun properly from a trainer. Then it's your responsibility to practice your draw repeatedly.....Master Grip; Lift and Clear; Roll and Lock; Punch Out. Do it until it is an unconscious process. Create muscle memory.
2. Dry fire in your home. Of course, before you begin this drill, it is imperative that you do a chamber check, both visually and with your finger. Have no ammo in the room and maintain your "safe direction" rules. This dry fire drill allows you to practice your trigger press, maintain a sight picture until the trigger breaks, and then follow through. After the shot, work on catching the link (or resetting the trigger).
3. Have good gear. Good holsters, mag pouches and belts only improve your shooting. Fighting a nylon holster that doesn't support the weapon only leads to frustration. A Blade Tech Revolution holster costs $30 and solves this problem for a reasonable cost.
4. Consider buying a shot timer. A shot timer measures your speed from your draw to the time the shot is fired, as well as additional shots. A shot timer gives you a frame of reference and a goal to shoot for. It will be the best money you spend (after your initial training) to improve your speed and accuracy. No other training tool illustrates the speed vs. accuracy issue, and it helps you find your "sweet spot" between the two. I would recommend the Pocket Pro 2 from Midway USA.
5. Go to pistol-training.com. Select a drill for that week's training regimen. These drills are fun and tend to work on specifics. Some work on speed; some on strong hand-only; others are two-hand precision drills. Some of my favorites are the Bill drill and the Press Six drill. If the drill requires a special target, like the Press Six drill, then pistol-training.com provides a PDF file of the target you can print out. Many others require only 3x5 cards or standard IDPA targets.
If you will follow these simple methods, they will allow you to increase your training, speed and skill without breaking the ammo bank. I constantly see plinkers who equate training to total rounds spent at the shooting range. "750 rounds in an hour must mean I did some serious training." Wrong! You just wasted 750 rounds of ammo and learned nothing. Here is a much better use of your time and money: fifty rounds fired in a two-shot sequence with a polished, safe and proper draw, in under two seconds. That's what I'm talking about!
So cutting to the chase, here's what I'm trying to say .... when you start down this path of training how to properly implement your pistol, it's just as important to practice what you've learned. Practice with a goal in mind; repetition increases competence, and competence keeps you safe. It may be said too often, but in this case it's true --- Use it or lose it!
2 Corinthians 3:5 "Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God."