As a firearms instructor, it’s been my experience that a lot of folks who carry a defensive handgun do so with limited knowledge about how good they are with that handgun or, more importantly, how good they need to be. The proper employment of a defensive handgun is a careful balance of speed and accuracy. Go too fast and you will not get good hits. Go too slow and the bad guy will hit you first.

The other fact concerning the average guy is that they generally do not have the funds to provide intermediate, advanced or even sustainment training. If you can afford to, by all means go to Gunsite or another reputable firearms training school. You’ll learn, establish you have the necessary skills to save your backside and have fun too.

If you have attended a firearm’s training academy you’ll need to maintain your proficiency. Here are three drills you can use for that purpose. For those that don’t have the time or money to seek professional training, you can use these three drills to elevate your skill level. However, you’ll need to master the basics of sight alignment, trigger control and gun handling first, of course.

As you progress with these drills, incorporate flashlights in low light and movement in any light. It’s also a good idea to integrate the use of cover and concealment. This instills the importance of both. Remember, we fight the way we train. Just as important, find a practice buddy, the informal competition will provide additional incentive.

Position Drill
Often trainers and shooters get caught up in blazing speed. Speed is important but if we cannot hit what we shoot at, speed is useless. The Position Drill is a condensed version of an old police qualification course where shooters were required to engage targets at various distances, from various positions, within a liberal time limit.

Start standing, facing three silhouette targets positioned at 7, 14 and 21 yards. On signal, draw your handgun and fire 2 shots at the closest target, drop to the kneeling position and fire 2 shots at the middle target and then go prone and engage the furthest target with 2 shots. The goal is to obtain 6 kill-zone hits in 15 seconds. This drill develops your ability to smoothly assume various shooting positions and accurately engage targets. Alternatively, you can run this drill for speed. Consider anything less than 8.5 seconds with no misses a good time.

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