Hey! Welcome back, I'm glad you made it. I've been doing a lot of interviewing this past week, and I noticed something about my sports jacket that kind of disturbed me. Now when I bought it I made sure I worked with the people at the men's store to be sure it would conceal my holster well while still looking good. Surprising? It really shouldn't be. With the number of people who have cancelled carry permits on the rise, many of the better stores are more than willing to work with you though they may ask you to unload your weapon as a safety precaution.
What concerns me though is that the sleeves have become rather tight around my biceps lately. Not sure if I've started to put some fat on my upper arms or if my efforts to get back in shape after all the health problems I've had over the past year is adding muscle to my arms. It sure hasn't done anything to shrink my stomach yet! But the point is that I was concerned that the jacket might bind my arms at the wrong time; so I went down to my favorite range for a little tactical practice and sure enough, and sure enough I couldn't draw with my holster in it's normal position and still put the first round on target smoothly!
Now admittedly I don't wear suits very often so this might not seem to be that big a deal to some of you. Especially since I can change guns and holsters to overcome the problem, but if I hadn't stopped by the range I would never have known just how bad it really was! If I had needed to defend myself I would have been in some serious trouble and would never have known it until it was too late. Which brings us to the whole point of this ramble.
If you are going to carry a gun for self defense, you absolutely must practice your shooting skills regularly. I don't care what someone else may tell you, shooting a gun is NOT like riding a bike! If you don't practice then you'll fumble things badly when the adrenaline kicks in, and one of the things you need to practice is drawing and registering your gun. In fact as my little story shows, you need to practice while wearing any style of dress you might find yourself wearing. So you can draw rattle snake quick when wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Fine. I'm proud of you. What happens when winter comes and you're wearing a heavy coat? If you're wearing a suit? Or even worse, a trench coat over that nice suit? Believe me, Murphy will bite you hard if you don't practice in every combination of clothes you may find yourself in; and he bites harder than a pissed off pit bull!
"But my range won't let me do that!" some of you are saying. Yeah, that can be a bit of a problem, but it doesn't mean you can't practice drawing from the holster. Contrary to popular belief, it's actually perfectly safe to dry fire most modern center fire hand guns; and even if that isn't true for yours, they make a product called "Snap Caps" which are basically rounds with no powder or primers. So find a safe place in your house where you're not going to break something, unload your gun, and get to it. In fact many experts (including the man who trained me) recommend doing this at least 10 times a day in addition to live fire practice at the range. In a surprisingly short period of time this daily practice will have you moving as smooth as, well, Wyatt Earp. Which brings up another point to keep in mind.
According to legend, Wyatt Earp, one the most respected as well as feared gun men in the old west reportedly once said that it's not who shoots first that wins but the one who shoots accurately first. You can be faster than Jerry Miculek, but if your first shot tends to hit the 7 ring on the range then sorry to say you probably won't be able to hit the broad side of a barn from the inside when the chips are down. So take your time and practice doing it right. When your first shot from the holster is consistently hitting the x-ring, then you can start trying to up your speed. Until then just concentrate on the basics.
In the meantime though, it seems I've done it again with the chapter length rambles. So until we meet again in this little corner of cyberspace I call my own you take care of yourself and your family. And as always, remember. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing with attitude!