Hitting Your Target

April 7 2014
by Claude Werner
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The recent incident involving an Illinois Concealed Carry License holder generated quite a bit of commentary because none of his bullets hit either of the criminals. “More range time required” was a typical comment. In an urban area as populous as Chicago, the criminal is the only safe backstop for pistol bullets.

However, given the urban environment that this incident took place in, “More range time” might not have been helpful. The Firearm Concealed Carry Act specifies a course of fire while training for the License.

  • 10 rounds from a distance of 5 yards,
  • 10 rounds from a distance of 7 yards, and
  • 10 rounds from a distance of 10 yards

To qualify, 70% of the rounds fired must hit the target. Although, oriented around police shooting distances, the Act does not specify that the firing must be done by drawing from a holster, as is the case with most states. The indoor ranges available to Chicagoans generally prohibit drawing from the holster when shooting. But in almost any incident involving a concealed carrier, being able to make a good hit when drawing from the holster is key.

The solution for most people is “dryfire.” The process of dryfire is using the firearm without any ammunition. It allows practicing tasks, such as drawing, that many people in urban areas will be unable to practice under any other circumstances.

This can be done at home on a regular basis, as long as specific safety protocols are followed.

  • Always make sure the pistol is unloaded when dryfiring.
  • There should be no live ammunition in the practice area.
  • Do not immediately reload your pistol after dryfiring. Do something else for awhile to remove dryfire from your thoughts.
  • When you reload your pistol, say “This pistol is loaded” out loud.

Many people will be more comfortable using an inert (plastic) pistol when practicing the draw. These are available from a number of manufacturers, such as Ring’s  or Beretta.  Using a barrel insert is another safety option. The barrel insert eliminates the possibility that ammunition can be chambered.

Doing dryfire can be very useful for concealed carriers who wish to be proficient with their pistols. For many people in the urban environment, it is the only feasible method available for realistic skill practice on a regular basis.

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