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28 February 2018 by Online Carry Training

I like to think I’ve seen it all when it comes to firearms techniques. There isn’t really one ‘right way’ for self-defense firearms training; however there are many wrong ways. Here are 8 of the most common mistakes people make:

1. Taking Bad Advice
Just because someone owns a lot of guns or is a police officer or veteran does not make them a firearms expert. Find competent, knowledgeable instructors. Check instructor's references. Talk with people who have taken the class you're thinking of attending.

2. Getting the Wrong Training
You are not planning to be a soldier or a police officer. You just want to be able to defend yourself. Soldiers and police officers use different tactics with different firearms to achieve different goals and therefore need different training. A civilian risks prison using tactics that are acceptable on the battlefield. A soldier would be unconcerned with civil lawsuits while returning enemy fire from 200 yards away. Get training designed for civilian self defense.

3. Choosing the Wrong Gun or Caliber
There is no perfect gun, perfect caliber, or perfect combination. If there was we'd all have one. Determining the right gun requires assessment of factors including body size, hand size, experience, and most importantly, what you want to do with it.

4. Believing “This is the right way to do it”
After you get some good quality professional instruction, go out and get some more - from someone else. Each skill you learn should be compared and contrasted with every other skill. Some will work better in certain situations. Some will work better for you personally. There is not one way to do it. If an instructor tells you “this is how you will do this on my range,” respect his position and the fact that there may be a safety or liability issue involved. If an instructor tells you “this is the only way to do this,” find another trainer.

5. Failing to Do Dry-Fire Drills
Ammunition is expensive. Practicing dry fire drills saves time and money and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Obviously, safety must be paramount. Not only should “practice” guns be unloaded and double checked but any ammunition should be stored in another room. Most accuracy issues can be traced back to trigger control, and dry fire practice can help — without costing $20 a box. You can practice drawing from a holster — either open or concealed — during the same training session.

6. Believing Square Ranges and Paper Targets Prepare You for a Lethal Force Encounter
Every self-defense shooting incident is different but they all have some things in common. They don't happen on a square pistol range, the threat won't be a two dimensional stationary paper target, the threat will be trying to hurt or kill you, and you won't get to run the drill again if you're not prepared beforehand. Practice shooting from multiple body positions and angles. Practice shooting, loading and reloading with your non-gun hand from multiple positions. Whenever possible use 3D targets and put clothing on them to get used to shooting at real threats and understanding that your hits will not appear as clean round holes in white or black paper.

7. Failing to do Force-on-Force Training
The point of training is so that they will never see anything in a gunfight for the first time. If you never train with force-on-force drills then you will see the entire incident for the first time. Airsoft guns and gear are cheap and add the ability to shoot at “bad guys” who are shooting back at you.

8. Thinking All You Need to Carry is a Gun and a Holster
There are 4 items anyone who carries a gun for self-defense should always carry:
• At least one spare magazine or speed loader .
• A cell phone to call the police and your lawyer.
• Less lethal weapons such as OC sprays or TASERs not only provide you with force options but could help you in court.. Being able to testify that you had a knife or a can of pepper spray but that their use was not the proper lifesaving response to the encounter may get you out of a tight legal spot.
• A good flashlight.

Lastly, if you decide to carry a firearm for self-defense, carry it as often as the law allows because we can't predict when you will be attacked. National Carry Academy offers both online and in-person concealed carry training. Click here to get started today. 

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