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.
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 5am.
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