Shooting For Perfection

Like many of you, I am balancing a crazy work schedule,
kids, wife, family obligations, honey-do lists that are never-ending, and just
trying to relax, but I still think about self-defense, preparing for my family,
and how I can best do that. Recently, that has focused on two main areas:
physical health and my pistol marksmanship skills. With that, I had two
programs that I worked on simultaneously, and thus far, I can see a lot of
improvement.

Health:

There are many reasons why this SHOULD be our number one
consideration for both protecting our home and hearth and preventing
unnecessary hardship. During the pandemic, when gyms were closed, and even
going outside was considered illegal in some areas, many people let this slide.
I didn’t do as bad as it helped me deal with stress, and it was part of my job.
This January (on the 2nd), I was encouraged to try the 75 Hard
Challenge, which I finished on the 18th of March.

It was rigorous and took some time to do, but it also allowed
me to work on areas I hadn’t before. Many people talk about wearing armor,
bugging out with their bags, guns, and food, but few have trained for it. When
I started doing one of my 45-minute workouts outside (at -8 with the windchill
at 5 am because my day is so busy), I carried a 40lb rucksack with ammo, water,
food, spare clothes, etc. I have done this in the military but not often in
recent years. By the end, I was carrying my concealed holster with a dummy gun
(Roughneck with a true-to-weight Glock as I can’t CC where I am at legally) and
had a battle belt, backup ammunition in mags, and plate carrier with armor. All
totaled out. It was close to 80lbs. While this sounds insane, I dropped close
to 30lbs doing the program, so the felt weight on my joints was only about 50
lbs. This, mixed in with a fasting diet (part of the program, I did 18 hours
fast with a six-hour eating window and prep being able to do physical work on sub-optimal
calorie intake), I feel better than ever. This is helping me by improving my
fitness and enabling me to be better at concealed carry because all my clothes
are fit looser. Did I look a little odd wearing all this hiking through the
hills/streets of my neighborhood? Maybe, but not many other people are out at 5
am.

Shooting:

This is a shooting site, and as I said, it has been essential
for me to improve my pistol shooting. It has been challenging because ammo was
expensive (still is, but getting better), we moved to cross country, I started
going back to school, and every other excuse. I am a competent rifle shooter
and hunter and play a bit with shotguns, but I have found that pistol shooting
tends to be one you must consistently work on to improve. I read a fantastic
book, The Guerilla Gunfighter: Clandestine Concealed Carry (part of the 75 Hard
is reading ten pages a day in a self-help/business book, so I picked that one,)
which had a ton of great philosophical points, some good drills, and helped me
to see that with practice a pistol could be a distance weapon (100 yards
claimed by the author, John Mosby). In line with that, I practiced doing 50
draws from concealed every day in everything from sweats, gym shorts, workout
pants, and the like, and what I said earlier about including it on my rucking.

On top of that, I tried to go to the range. Some of the
techniques discussed in the book made a real difference, and I noticed my
groups decreased and my times increased. The only downside is most ranges won’t
let you draw from concealed and shoot for liability reasons, so I did what I
could. Unlike many other sources, the off hand was focused on providing that
stable and crushing grip, whereas the trigger hand was relatively relaxed. I
also practiced shooting smaller areas; not ok with hits outside of the “A”
rings on the IPSCC targets. If I couldn’t hit it at ten yards, I focused on seven
yards, five yards, or three yards. That seemed to pay dividends at 25 yards,
where I was still well within the kill zone, with no flyers or misses.

The bottom line is that if you want to do well, you need to
practice and work at it. It is highly improbable that you will be 100% ready to
go should you need to if you don’t put in the sweat equity on the front side.

Author: Ian Bolser

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