How “Prepared” Are You…Really?

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Geno, Dec 7, 2007.

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  1. thorazine

    thorazine Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    So if the answer is no to the above are you suggesting we surrender our permit to carry a concealed firearm?
  2. mudriver

    mudriver Member

    Oct 14, 2007
    I have plenty of training and plenty of experience to know how to defend myself and others either with or without weapons. I have helped defend others in unarmed encounters. I acted in these situations instinctively, I didn't really think it through. So for me to say I wouldn't help with a weapon if I had the chance - its hard to say. If my family was there I would focus on their safety first, but aside from that situation I don't really know.
  3. LAK

    LAK Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    I agree fully with AllAmerican. Government is not to decide whether or not a citizen be "qualified" technically in the bearing of arms.

    Being "ready" is through a combination of technical knowledge, skills - and having a fighting mindset. And I do not think that numbers in terms of rounds expended is necessarily a significant decider. One can shoot thousands of rounds a year, and still have some very bad habits.

    I think a good measure in the skills department is that one can pick up the ready weapon(s) concerned, and take care of business instantly. Any time, any day. With speed and sufficient accuracy. No fumbling, no shuffling around, posturing etc.

    Physical handicaps of any individuals aside, the rest is all in the mind. If you are not mentally prepared to fight for your life, your chances are already significantly diminished.


  4. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

    May 25, 2005
    Colorado Front Range
    My belief is that your should focus your training on close range action, but be familiar with longer range shots if necessary. Saying that a CCW holder will NEVER need to shoot at a longer range is kind of like an anti saying you don't need to carry because you will NEVER need it. Yes, both probabilities are low, but they exist. With my luck, the time I NEED my CCW will be the time I NEED to take that 50 yard shot to protect myself or my family.

    With a spree shooter, it is likely that they will off themselves if they are even slightly wounded by return fire. If I had the opportunity (w/ a clear field of fire and backstop behind the shooter), I would not hesitate to launch a few in his direction if I thought it might produce a better outcome. If retreat is not an option, why would you want to wait until the attacker is within 7 ft. to open fire?
  5. sawhitt

    sawhitt Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    Practice, practice, practice. Doc Severinsen said it about his trumpet, but it applies directly to firearms: "If I don't practice for one day, I know it. If I don't practice for two days, the band knows it. If I don't practice for three days, everybody knows it."

    Also, when you're not practicing, think about it. Go through every motion from target identification to safing and holstering after the work is done in minute mental detail.

    In addition to that, work on your mindset every chance you get. In order to survive, you must be willing to fire as soon as the target lines up in your sights or you're going to visit the undertaker.

    Gunsite grad of the 70's. Cooper tattooed this stuff on my brain.

    Would I draw and fire to preserve the life of someone I don't know? Definitely. We've got kids (compared to me) in digital camo and folks in brown or blue who do it every day. It's their job. It's everyone's duty.
  6. YammyMonkey

    YammyMonkey Member

    Jan 6, 2004
    Denver, CO
    This thread ties in nicely with the how much training do you really need thread. None of us know how much we need or if what we have is enough. It's hard for me to believe that some people think there is a point at which you no longer have to train or even that they "have enough." There's a big difference between the person who went through a 4 hour no shooting required CCW course & someone who has spent thousands of dollars & thousands of hours on training but there is no such thing as "too good."

    I have to take a step back here sometimes & take into account the audience. The question of how much training is enough to me would be like asking a Jihadist if we can't all just get along. I've been trying to temper myself on my responses to some of these threads but in reality the only real answer is that we can never have too much training or be too prepared. It is a sacrifice but one worth making.

    One thing I'll suggest is that when you do train, have a plan. Go to the range with specific drills & goals. Do your dry practice with specific drills & goals. Put your time to good use.

    None of us will ever know how prepared we really are until we're tested. Some of us know we're considerably better prepared than most.
  7. DarkSoldier

    DarkSoldier Member

    Jan 16, 2008

    Man, I like your style. Good advice. Good post. Thanks.

  8. kyo

    kyo Member

    Mar 30, 2009
    I think your standards are a little high for most civilians. Money is a big thing in the "training" you mention. I don't have 4k to drop on a tactical shooting class. Do you? I sure don't have literally thousands of dollars to go shooting whenever I want so I can get "better"
    My viewpoint is just because you own a gun doesn't mean you have to revolve your life around it. If you like it that much of a hobby ok, good for you. If you are doing CCW then yes, I agree, practice and get used to what you need to do. I don't see why you can't practice pulling out the weapon from concealed and aiming with an empty gun at home.
    What you are describing pretty much takes an insane feeling of need for it, and almost as much cash.
  9. Defense Minister

    Defense Minister Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    I don't have access to a range that will allow this type of training, nor do I have the funds to shoot enough ammo to become a "tactical combat-shooting" expert. (If anyone has the funds and desire to sponsor me, I will give it a go.) Given these circumstances, and the fact that most defensive shootings occur at what one poster called "spittin' distance", my "tactics training" means playing out different scenarios in my mind so that if I'm ever forced into a shoot/don't shoot situation, I will have my wits about me. It is my opinion that effective self-defense at 5 feet with a firearm is much more about controlling your emotions and staying focused than it is about tactics and marksmanship.
  10. W Turner

    W Turner Member

    Jun 13, 2003
    Hillsboro, AL
    I practice defensive drills at least once a month and have shot IDPA for a few years now. I know that IDPA is not training, so I use it as stress inoculation and to test my gun handling ability. I consistenly score at the bottom of the guys that shoot every weekend, but way above the guys who only shoot in competition avery few months. I can keep my shots on paper while on the move, use cover(concealment) effectively, reload without fumbling, and know enough to keep shooting until the target goes down.

    I know my capabilities and if all I had was my CCW I would not engage any gunman armed with a long gun unless pressed by him.

    My job is not to die for you/your daughter/your wife. My job is to go home to my family when it's all over.

    I am prepared enough to know to keep my mouth shut after a defensive shooting until my lawyer is present and to know that I will NOT know beforehand how I will react after a situation like that.

  11. sawhitt

    sawhitt Member

    Jan 4, 2004

  12. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    West Michigan
    well, i practice shooting weekly, sometimes more. at what range? 20 feet. that is the magic # for michigan law. beyond that, you are going to have to prove that it was self defense, and why you had no other option. as for shooting out to 75 yards, against a carbine, the vast majority of us at that range, including myself, would be sitting ducks. the best thing most of us could do in that case would be to move eraticly until you could get to cover. at 75 yards, my 380 does not have much of a chance at stopping some one. for one thing, the sight radius is way to short, and the sights way to small to shoot that distance! if i had my 45 with me, that would be a much better, but still a long shot for a pistol under those conditions. i think the vast majority of us will never be put in the original scenario, where some whaco goes off. but if we were, ifwe had the chance to shoot, i think most of us would, rather than going down without a fight. a tactical training course? nope. but i would love to. i am certain i could pick up many good things from it. but, i am on a fixed income, with a broken up body. it is doubtful i could pass it, as i probably could not do the vast majority of the shooting positions. i am not in a wheel chair (yet), but i am not going to throw my body around like a teenager for practice. if someone is shooting at me, that is a different story. i would rather end up in that wheel chair, than in a coffin. but i am in no hurry to get into that wheel chair. THAT, scares the he77 out of me.
  13. mustang_steve

    mustang_steve Member

    Jul 14, 2009
    Tampa Bay area, Florida
    The fear of shooting the wrong guy is very sensible and something we all should have in us.

    In your scenario...I'd keep close tabs on him but call the police as well. If it becomes obvious that he's the perp, then the choice on what to do is yours.
  14. JMusic

    JMusic member

    Nov 10, 2005
    East Tennessee
    Too many people look at self defense as a situation that can only be stopped with force. Self defense has been more like a chess game to me. Anything can become a defensive tool. If your in the rain an umbrela may be useful, playing pool a pool stick. I'm very prepared for a SD incident its forthought and not causing your own problems. Its been said here a hundred times awareness and confidense. Guns are a very small part of this fact of life.

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  15. Templar223

    Templar223 Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    Practice? How about training?

    The OP mentions how often those who carry a gun practice with their gun.

    I'd raise the bar even higher and ask how many have had any training? Without training, practice is often just ingraining bad habits and poor technique.


    ETA: I'd add that good training will also include the legal aspects involved with deadly force. Knowing the legal standards by which your actions will be judged, so that you may comport yourself to those standards.

    Furthermore, those who have neither training nor practice are not the sorts of folks I want to entrust my life to. In some ways they are more of a liability than an asset in many situations.
  16. 545days

    545days Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    I believe you are advocating a level of training far, far above that of military units and police officers, with the exception of elite units and enthusiasts. If you shoot 6 times a year, you are already shooting five times more often than the typical police officer. If you spent two days on the range, then you have spent one more than I got before when I was mobilized and shipped to Iraq. I'll also bet that you wouldn't spend over 95% of your range time sitting around and waiting for your turn. Granted, I was a grey haired REMF toiling away on a computer at echelons above reality, but one day on the range was all I got - less than 100 rounds grand total.

    Who defines how good is good enough? How long must a person train to be good enough? Yearly? quarterly? monthly? weekly? daily? The answer will depend on the individual.

    Read The "Armed Citizen" column in the American Rifleman every month, and you will find an endless stream of extremely unprepared people sucessfully defending themselves.

    That said, I agree that more training is better. But even more important than training is mindset.
  17. lawboy

    lawboy Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Excellent question. Answer: I don't know.
    I shoot 3-5 days a week. I compete 1-3 weekends a month in IDPA. I study. I don't know if I am ready, but I am trying to be ready.
  18. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

    Feb 13, 2006
    In the land of make believe.
    And lets not forget the physical fitness aspect of it all. I have seen some really fat gunowners who should be at the gym more than the range. If you are trying to prepare for life and death situations, a heart attack is more likely than a mall shooter.
  19. 03Shadowbob

    03Shadowbob Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    West Palm Beach
    Having been in a shooting before, where training comes into play is with muscle memory. This is because you want to instinctively be able to handle that firearm without thinking about it because trust me, you'll have plenty of other things on your mind at the time.
    "Muscle Memory" for me includes everything from drawing, aiming, trigger pull, reload, etc..
    I think that is where training most comes into play and it's usefulness.
    As far as shooting at 75 yards with my carry gun? Isn't going to happen. I will not put other people's lives in jeopardy to try and take someone out at 75 yards. In a personal defense situation, I find it very hard to believe most anyone would be able to make the shot considering your emotions, frantic breathing, sweating, shaking, adrenalin dump, etc and find that even having a conversation about 75 yard CCW shots is almost irresponsible.
  20. Nicky Santoro

    Nicky Santoro Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    The very sad fact is, we do not know what outcomes might have changed if CCWs had been allowed in the most recent mall shooting.

    We know it wouldn't have been any worse and likely a whole lot better.
  21. Balrog

    Balrog Member

    Nov 28, 2008
    Training is obviously a good thing, but remember that the majority of times when a private citizen uses a weapon to successfully defend himself or his family, he has had NO formal training with a weapon whatsoever.
  22. ChuckWalla

    ChuckWalla Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    Returning fire while taking fire is a whole 'nother animal. There are no drills for that.
  23. gym

    gym member

    Dec 9, 2007
    I don't practice much anymore, I can hit what I am aiming at while moving laterally or front to back. I found that constant practice for me is not practical. There are very few things I do well, driving and shooting are two of three. Rust is for cars, muscle memory is forever if you stay in shape. I have out shot or stayed with guys who practice every day after years of not shooting. It's been like that my whole life. Maybe it's genetics. I have fired other guys guns that I never shot before, and shot them better than they did. I don't shoot long range, or sit there and fire two hundred rounds out of each weapon. If I do go, I fire off 100 rounds and leave, paper targets mean very little as they don't move. That's five minutes of shooting for me.

    My uncles all were shooters, hunters gunsmiths, etc and spent 50 years shooting in competition pistol, shotgun, trap, skeet, and 22& 45 target, I shot better than all of them with little or no practice. Maybe it's just eye hand and you ether have it or not. If I can clear my weapon from its holster first, I can put two or three rounds in any perp who attempts to kill me, if he is lucky maybe he wins.

    I do a minium of 4 hours of cardio a week, and circuit train. There aren't enough hours in the day to do all that is needed. The first time I ever shot a pistol, I felt like I had done it before , that was 50 years ago. I have no interest in shooting rifles, I have been in a few altercations in 40 years and most bad guys suck with guns. There is a difference between knowing what you will do and wondering what you will do. If you have to think then you shouldn't carry a gun. In the split second that you have when faced with a gun weilding psyco, you have a second to draw and fire. Chances are if you don't he may shoot you and yours anyway or miss you assuming his weapon even fires. If this sounds cocky it's not meant to be, it is just my opinion and you are welcome to yours.

    Five shot revolvers are good for up to 2 perps max. I like 7 + rounds, try to save 1 round for surprises, like another bad guy. Carry a 38+p or better. Prey for the best plan for the worse. Also there are very few shoot outs, usually when a gun goes off, everyone heads for a window door, or runs their butt off. Don't overthink this stuff, if you are worried about what some lawyer or instructor told you about your liability, carry a calculator instead of a gun.
  24. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    Not to rain on everyone's sleep with one eye open parade of 'preparedness' but you are more likely to suffer an accident/illness/unexpected night in the cold by FAR than an armed encounter.

    You know how many times in the past 2 years, heck two months you've thought "damn I forgot to bring X" to a significant event?

    Life threatening events aside, its EASY to let 'training' slip for other things... hey can't shoot this weekend having friend over for the big game, hey can't shoot that weekned re-tiling the bathroom, whatever. Hey I don't have time to learn CPR I have ammo to burn!

    Practicing your gun-fu is only ONE part of emergency preparedness.

    Only saying this because I tried REALLY hard to chop off a finger with a rusty hatchet last weekend and wouldn't you know-- me the emergency preparedness loudmouth LEFT my first aid kit in the stuff I took out of my old truck!

    Luckily I had some Neosporin and sports tape, hell I didn't even have a band-aid available!

    Luckily, all that boy scout TRAINING kicked in, and with a bit of moleskin, direct pressure and tape I averted stitches. I voluntarily got the tetnus shot when I got back to town wednesday.

    Point is... CONSTANT gun-fu training will develop reflexes, reaction time etc. But too much fixation on ONE thing, your other skills may suffer.

    Gun fu isn't like other skills, yes you MUST practice to stay sharp, but it's not like you completely forget the fundamentals.

    I recommend IDPA over target shooting, but very few of us outside law enforcement have the luxury of shooting more than once a month.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  25. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Dec 24, 2002
    Forestburg, Texas
    Right, and if you do experience an armed encounter, either you will likely be unable to or too late to draw your gun or if you do draw it, you won't need to fire it. Yeah, it is a bit of a stretch to prepare for this sort of thing for many people, but unlike accidents, armed confrontations are on thing many people can do something about during the event.

    Yep, and the medical training aspect you mention is just one part. You got ALL the parts covered or are you only mentioning the ones that are obvious. Nobody is ready for everything. Folks are more likely to be involved in a road rage incident if they own a car than a gun incident, but how many have had emergency driving courses and maintain their qualification? How many have fire fighting experience? How many have the ability and carry the tools to fix their car if stranded?

    You think most people in law enforcement shoot once a month? LOL!

    Actually, there are. They just aren't lethal force fire drills
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