If you own your own pistol and are interested in becoming proficient with it, I highly recommend you check out IDPA. That is the International Defensive Pistol Association. Even if you simply take a Concealed Handgun class and earn the right to carry your pistol on your person around town with a Concealed Handgun License (CHL), you need to train yourself to use your weapon in a variety of situations.
This is where the beauty of IDPA comes in. Instead of simply going to the range and shooting paper target at 3, 7, and 15 yards away, you are now introduced to a dynamic environment where you are moving with your weapon, face obstacles, and more. I encourage new shooters to go to the range to familiarize themselves with their handgun, loading & unloading it safely, chambering a round using the slide release or pulling the slide to the rear, and clear blockages should a cartridge not eject cleaning. But there is a world of difference between this and IDPA.
Imagine you are faced with a set of obstacles between various targets and alongside some of these “bad guy” targets are “civilian” targets. You must hit the bad guys either in the head or center mass or you will lose points. Some stations are static and you simply draw from a holster and fire combat-effective rounds as quickly as possible. Other stations force you to move from one target to the next, reloading behind cover, and sometimes even shooting with your off-hand. Now imagine that there is a stopwatch running and the slower you complete the station, the fewer points you receive. This is how IDPA works.
This type of training puts a significant amount of stress on you to hit your targets effectively and do it quickly. It’s a balance between speed and precision. Hitting every shot dead center will cost you time but get those shots still anywhere in the center mass circle and you have saved valuable seconds.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a prepper or you don’t carry a handgun every day, you can still benefit from this popular and fun type of training. I do, once a month.
Till next time, this is Ranger Mark signing off.