Newly Licensed but Still Not Carrying

Hello Everyone! I have a question. This is just to get a feel. I know it boils down to my personal choice. I have a CCW and I don’t carry yet. I’m not new to firearms, but it has been 30 plus years since I actually fired one. In the past two months, I’ve gotten my basic training, my CCW and practice when I can. However, my personal choice not to carry at this point is due to me not being stressed trained. There is a place close that will do this, but with the ammo shortage, I can’t buy 300 rounds to go to a class, then buy 1300 more rounds to finish the final three classes. I’m alone most of the time and don’t have folks who are willing to help me train under stress. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks


Jennifer, congratulations you have taken a giant leap in your own safety.
You made the statement about stress training, I am not sure what you are asking about. I have found many videos are available about how to handle stressful situations as far as being armed and what to do, what to expect, and most importantly how to deal with the aftermath of an encounter.
When you decide to carry or not it will be your decision based on your needs. I would encourage you to make the choice based on your feelings and no one else can make that for you.

Be as safe and as aware as possible.



Congrats. I enjoy reading your posts.

Each to their own. I know that for many on here, this is a big part of their lives. I can barely keep up with the forum, have minimal time to actually shoot, and don’t expect to be in a gun fight any time soon! your situation may differ.

I practice when I can and believe that the likelihood of my being in a quick need to unholster and fire is minuscule. Being in a place when a bad guy comes in (store, gas station, etc) seems higher, but still tiny. I am not willing to give up most of my life and other hobbies to train like I hear some others do. Again, personal preference.

Tell us more about your definition of stress training.


If by training under stress, you mean that want your body to mimic the conditions you can be in when out in the world…fatigue, high heart rate, rapid breathing. Jumping jacks or other cardio before shooting will do that.


USCCA, has many classes that can help you learn these very important details that you ask for. The Basics and Fundamentals can be received to educate and re-educate subjects that you need the most. There are instructors at USCCA, THAT CAN TEACH YOU, but you must apply it to your training and follow it.

Stress is very dangerous and it can lead to making mistakes. It is necessary to refresh our basic gun rules for safety. Safety be followed daily when operating your equipment and also followed in training, every moment.

Stress can lead you to make wrongful decisions and poor actions that can cause being injured or worse. Other people around you can be hurt or killed as well. We can train and be lead by some of the best instructors and develpe good habits, have an good mindset, and to learn and follow a good safety program.

As you educate and grow, things will come together and your confidence grow as well.

The training will help you be your best in your field and when done the correct way, you will be very pleased with yourself.


Thank you for your comment. The stress training is done to mimic situations that a regular civilian could encounter while carrying - Personal attack, robbery, home invasion and so on. The live rounds are for the range. They use the rubber guns for the actual situations. However, they have a new range that mimics the shooter being in a public area and runs scenarios that cause the shooter to make decisions under stress. It’s actually pretty cool. They took me there to do a private session, but it wasn’t up and running yet for the public.


Thank you. Sometimes I have too much time on my hands. lol Our shooting range is out of order due to a tree falling in front of it and it being too hot to take a chainsaw to it. Where I am the chances are low that I might encounter an event in the public. However, the chances are high I might encounter something in the home.

The stress training I’m talking about would be mimicked situations that someone may encounter where they would have to make the decision to draw their gun and fire. The place that I’m talking about offers that, Plus they have a shooting range where they can play scenarios as though you’re in the public and your forced to make a decision to fire or not. The range actually tracks your shots and tells you how you’ve done. I got to see it when I did a private lesson, but it wasn’t available to the public at that time.


My friend that is with me when I’m shooting will often stand behind me and say danger or tap me on the shoulder for me to draw and shoot to help with some of my stress training.


Thank you. When I was in the military, I thought the stress training helped me a great deal. It made me feel more comfortable and gave me more confidence in my decision making.


Stress yourself, by doing exercises such as push ups or pull
Ups, or quick run before hitting the range or even while at the range. That can help simulate what it’s like to shoot while stressed


Many people use a shot timer to provide some stress. Practice maintaining the same level of accuracy in a shorter time. The amount of stress can be gradually increased as your experience and comfort level allows.


Jennifer, you’re my hero. I have so many friends who carry and, literally, haven’t shot their weapons in a decade. I even have one who carries a brand-new gun and has never fired it. I applaud your wisdom.


Thank you. I feel that if you’re going to do something, learn how to do it first with the best of your ability.


… especially if lives are literally in the balance.


Stressful situations come in any number of ways. Rather than trying to memorize what moves are appropriate under a thousand separate and unique ways in which danger might present itself, and for which you have absolutely no control, you might try a more proven method of handling stress.

Police officers, professional athletes, firefighters, and everyone else who has to perform under a great deal of stress, have one thing in common. They don’t try to train by attempting to simulate each and every specific stressful event, because no two are exactly alike. Trying to recreate all the possible scenarios that can cause you to draw and fire, is clearly impossible, and might possibly drive you nuts.

What you CAN do, is train to develop muscle memory, so that, once the decision is made to draw, or draw and fire, the body takes over and the moves you’ve practiced over and over again, with or without a loaded weapon, reacts nearly automatically.

This doesn’t take thinking out of the process. It merely removes the need to perform the impossible And futile task of trying to remember what you are supposed to do in each separate and specific situation.

Your own behavior is just about the only thing that can be made predictable. There are uncountable studies that clearly demonstrate that, when stressed, people revert to whatever training they’ve had. That’s the main reason we train these repetitive moves in the first place.

One terrible and negative example—the NYPD used to train it’s officers to pick up their expended brass before moving to the next firing station (you may have heard the term “policing the brass?”). They changed that policy after officers got into a firefight with criminals. At least one dead officer was found with the chambers of his revolver empty and shell casings in his hand or pocket (I’m doing this from memory and it a long time ago). Lesson learned.

Good luck. I hope this helped.

They make snap caps that you could use to mimic live ammunition but I do not think it would be accepted at a live fire range. Look online and some of the different ammunition manufacturers as they have some very good deals from time to time on quantities as small as 20 and as large as thousands of rounds. You will also have to take into consideration which state you live in as some have very strict restrictions on shipping ammunition and limits on quantities as well as the actual type of bullet the ammunition is loaded with. I am told New Jersey even restricts hollow points of certain types or maybe it is hollow points in general. I do not know this for fact (NJ laws) but figured I would add it in just so you could be 100% certain that you can legally have ammunition (and type of) shipped to your state.
On another note, every time I come home, I do a drill that I suspect someone is in my home. Each time I will pretend that I hear a noise in a different location within the house and drill to what it would take to clear each room and make sure family members can exit safely. I do not always involve them and sometimes just run the drill in my head but I have always believed in the adage that practice makes perfect. I pray the day never comes that this comes to reality but I hope my repeated drills will make a difference for the best! I also do the a similar thing when I am in convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores etc. I will look for things out of place or people acting stranger than normal, employees who seem stressed and so on. I will look for the best way to exit or to find cover if something were to start. No, I am not the guy walking around the store ducking behind counters or acting like some paranoid crazy person. LOL! I go about making my purchases just like everyone else, I just run the scenarios through my head while carrying on like any other customer. On a side note, just last week my paying attention to detail assisted a video store clerk in preventing a person from walking out with a backpack full of movies, and a day later in another store, I was able to get an employees attention to a person trying to conceal a bundle of news papers. What his intentions were are a bit scary to think of but through my observations of how people act and what to watch for seems to be helping me see what others miss and may be able to save my or someone else’s life someday. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay observant!

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I think the stress Jennifer is talking about isn’t physical stress, it’s stress induced by decision making, she is looking for simulator training,

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Stress training - I’ve only been confronted one time where I I was about to actually pull my firearm and shoot someone. My heart still races some 40 years later as I type this incident. I was meeting one of our firm’s security staff to go pheasant hunting at 5:00 am on a Sunday morning here in Sacto, CA. Our firms building was in a rough part of town. As I drove by the Courthouse I saw a beat up p/u truck going the wrong way on a one way street w head lights out; the truck was occupied by two scuz balls. I flashed my head lights as I passed them. Then they made a U turn and started following me. I was several blocks from the office and there were several opportunities for them to turn and not follow me. As I approached the office I turned into our private parking lot. They turned into the lot and parked two spaces away from the passenger side of my truck. At that time I was carrying my S&W .357 wheel gun. I exited my truck and crouched putting my engine block between their vehicle and mine. I started yelling, “Get outta here”. I’m armed and I’ll shoot you.” Then I heard their passenger side door open. My heart started racing and literally my visual focus narrowed. I thought to my self, this is it and I started to pull my pistol. I yelled, “Show me your hands!” Then I heard a “plop” and the passenger yelled, ok, A******, we won’t deliver your paper next time!” And, they drove away. Literally shaking I put my head down on the hood of my truck as I think I was hyperventilating. I don’t think any amount of “realistic” stress training could have prepared me for that incident. I didn’t do everything perfectly that morning but I didn’t shoot the “paper boy” by mistake either. After that incident I attended Frontsight and shot IDPA. Now at 72, a retired judge, I’ve carried for over 40 years without further incidents. Thank goodness. But that morning lives w me to this date. How we react to stress in this type of situation, is unpredictable. Be safe.


I’m in the same situation. No ammo, no way to get training. I live Indiana right next to Chicago. The rioters were five minutes from my house and I am often home alone. I can’t find any videos that are helpful in these situations.


William H we all have a plan until we get hit in the mouth (I think Mike Tyson said that). Understanding the body’s response and how to use it during a violent or deadly encounter is super important. As a LEO/force-on-force instructor, (IMHO) stress inoculation is a helluva teacher of what we think we will do and what we actually do in a threatening/life or death situation. We train on static ranges and apply the safety rules in everything we do, but those targets aren’t shooting back or charging us with weapon, or grabbing for our gun while still in the holster. Hell, most ppl have never shot a gun without ear protection before. What about even stress testing their gear? They simply read the reviews and trust other ppl’s assessment of the holster, mag pouch, etc. All I’m simply saying is stress testing your handgun skills or gear and knowing where you are mentally and physically is a good thing to know prior to game day.