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Accuracy With Your Concealed Carry Pistol

I am Jack Cragle a certified concealed carry instructor. I train a lot of folks on how to correctly use their pistols for self defense. You won't believe what kind of excuses I hear from people about why they can't shoot their pistols accurately. I am only interested in teaching the correct and most effective way to use a pistol in self defense. My methods involve some work for a person to get the shooting methods into their muscle memory. That is necessary for accurate shooting. I teach my students that the only way they can really protect themselves when they are attacked is to be able to shoot instinctively. That means they need to get all the proper shooting skills into that muscle memory so that they don't have to think about doing it, they just do it.

You have to get your mindset right before you can even begin to be an accurate shot. That means you are not going to let anything keep you from becoming an accurate shot. Once you have made that decision you can start the continuous training that is required to build your muscle memory. The biggest mistake that new shooters make is to go to the range a bunch of times and start shooting in a way that they believe is right. I urge anyone who is thinking about getting a concealed carry permit to get some time with a qualified instructor before you go buy a gun. The instructor will start you down the right path and help get the right pistol for you, then train you in the correct way to shoot it.

I still get a lot of people who have already bought their pistol and they want me to train them. I can do it, it just complicates things a little. I sometimes have to break them of some bad habits they have formed because they have done “self-instruction” at the range. Last week I started training a lady who said that there was something wrong with her pistol. It was not accurate, she could not hit the target with it. I inspected her pistol, a brand new Ruper LCP. I told her that I wanted to shot it to see what might be causing the inaccuracy, knowing full well there was nothing wrong with it. I fired 5 shots within an inch of the center of the target at 25 feet. I told her that it was not the pistol, but her own inaccuracy that caused the misses. Not to worry I would help her to learn the way to correct the problem.

My training involves corrections to a shooting stance and corrections of balance in order to get a person to be able to consistently hit the target. I teach other shooting methods that require a different approach to shooting in addition to the type that someone will do in the range. Let's face it no one will encounter an attacker who is standing still at a distance of 25 feet so that you can shoot at them. Proper training requires that someone who is attacked be taught how to handle situations where an attacker may come from any direction. The person who is attacked has to be able to defend against such attacks.

Once new shooters learn that I may change some of their shooting skills some say that they are good enough at the range so they will be good enough if someone attacked them. This is big mistake. If you look at the shooting skill of someone who is an expert at shooting in the range, it is a proven fact that they will be very inaccurate if they are in a situation and have to use their gun for protection, if they have not done extensive training for self protection. Some say that they are comfortable with their accuracy at the range and there is no need to take additional training. I would like to talk to them after they have had an encounter with an attacker, if they are still alive.

Others insist that they can learn on their own. Also a big mistake. Concealed carry and the methods of using a concealed pistol correctly have to be taught by an expert, you can't just magically be able to do it. I really do not like to take as student someone who has been “self-training” for a long time because they have drilled a lot of bad habits into their muscle memory and it is almost impossible to help them learn new correct habits.

The last incorrect view that I will mention here is the one where a person says that they are not born with the right skills to be an accurate shooter. I agree with that. They need to be taught the correct skills and they will be an accurate shooter. They must learn the right forms, stance, grip, sight picture, and then practice these until they can perform them without thinking. Everyone can be taught to shoot accurately.