Live Fire Pistol Practice on the Range
As soon as you get your concealed carry permit you need to establish a training regimen for firing your weapon on the range. When you're starting out with your training. you should be supervised by a certified instructor. Just going out and shooting at cans by the side of the road is not defensive pistol training. You need to be instructed by a certified pistol instructor. He can help you find a range that will meet your practicing needs. You need to spend several sessions with your instructor practicing with your weapon to become familiar with your pistol's operation.
Find a range that will allow you to do practice firing by drawing your weapon from a concealed carry location, and train there with your instructor. Every range has its own policies and procedures and it may be difficult to find one that will allow you to do this kind of firing. Most ranges are not crowded during the week, especially during the middle of a workday. Sometimes you can engage targets at different positions if the range allows it. You may need to arrange in advance to have this kind of session at a range with your instructor.
Even practicing with your weapon at a range that does not allow specialty firing will help you tremendously. Your instructor will teach you how to handle your weapon properly. You will improve your site alignment, breath control, grip, and your trigger squeeze. All of these are important parts of being able to concealed carry effectively.
One very effective method that you can practice with your instructor involves having your instructor load a dummy round into your weapon with other live rounds. You will begin firing your weapon. When you attempt to fire the dummy round you will see if you flinch when the round does not fire. This will allow you to adjust your trigger control to keep from flinching, which can be very useful when encountering a threat in real life.
It is important for you to be aware of your surroundings when encountering a threat. Once you have fired at an assailant be aware of any other assailant that might be in the area. You can practice this at the range by scanning from side to side once you have fired a round. Be sure that your weapon is pointed downrange. Force yourself to really focus and not just move your head from side to side in order to identify a possible assailant. Training yourself to do this in advance will make your response to a threat much more effective.