I know a lot of us on here aren’t in our 20’s or 30’s - or even 40’s anymore. We train differently at different stages of our concealed carry/self-defense and at different life stages.
Still trying to be a good shape, but I know it’s not gonna be better anymore… I’m in the moment to be more focused on “deadly weapon” self defense than avoiding / escaping plans.
So now, additionally to regular range target shooting, I’m doing holstering, multiple target and follow up shot drills. Mostly dry firing, sometimes live firing at range classes.
“I’m not as good as I once was. But I’m as good once, as I ever was.” Song there.
I spend more time “thinking” about issues/scenario’s than I do trying to “shoot them out”. My muscle memory is still pretty solid and on occasion I can still surprise the “young guns”. As my Boss often says “If I knew I was going to live this long, I might have taken better care of myself.” Nahhh.
I try to stay in shape but I’m not 20 something anymore. I feel the aches and pains of dragging fire hose around, of carrying an extra 20 or so pounds in equipment in the fire service and law enforcement, having hearing degraded from loud trucks, sirens, air horns and maybe some loud music (thank you Nashville). I usually have my EDC on me outside my home (unless I am going to be visiting client’s who have guest accommodations with the county or state) but my body feels the burden of carrying everyday. But, it is a small price to pay. It is my belief that I carry for my protection and the protection of others. And, as a qualified retired law enforcement officer, that obligation is increased as is the privilege to be able to carry where others cannot legally carry.
As I tell my wife with that sparkle in my eye, I may be old(er) but I’m not dead. And as long as I’m alive and kicking, I take my obligations seriously.
There is no more coming home from work to work out for 2 hours. There are no more Sunday runs on the beach. I work too much and just don’t have the energy. I have not stopped going to the range or taking the opportunity to learn, however.
Fifty years of of orthopedic injuries have definitely slowed me down quite a bit and limited my mobility.
I have very little use of my left arm so weak hand shooting is something I do very little of and would never consider in a fight except as an absolute last resort.
I can’t hit the ground and bounce back up like i could even at 40 so if I have to do so I’m going to roll or slide to a position of cover/concealment rather than trying to pop back up and run.
My knees are pretty well gone even after multiple repairs so crouching into a squat and popping back up quickly is no longer really an option either so to get low I’m bending at the waist instead.
I still have outstanding distance vision but I can’t see the sights clearly on a handgun anymore so I practice much more heavily on unsighted fire than sighted. I have considered bi focal shooting glasses but as yet am still shooting well enough that I don’t yet feel the need.
When I come up to a shooting position I simply try to pick up the front sight best I can and level the gun then put my sole focus on the target. The more I practice it the better I get and honestly shoot better unsighted today than I did sighted 20 years ago.
I used to shoot .357 magnum or .40 S&W. My old hands don’t like the recoil, so I now shoot .38 spl & 9mm.
Last Christmas my son brought his Ruger .357 mag snub revolver with him and insisted on shooting .357 instead of .38 at the range. I appreciate shooting as close to what you are carrying as possible, but DAMN! after emptying a 5 round cylinder, I HAD ENOUGH. It hurt to shoot and was not the least bit pleasant.
Most people that are honest with themselves realize they lose a step as they get older. It is one of the things that cause some of us to look into getting a CCW. Everyone from baseball to dancers know when they can’t go one on one with younger competitors. Sometimes equipment allows people to stay in the game a bit longer but not always. It seems only in civilian life we still believe we are in good enough shape to take on the young bulls even when we are well past our prime.
Much like the old story about Sam Colt making men equal a CCW gives older people a chance to defend themselves when they no longer have the realistic option of fight or flight. Sure we still have to be vigilant, we still have to train to defend ourselves and we have to make informed decisions of when force is absolutely necessary. I am long past throwing hands or even most of the Knife defense options I read about in my USCCA magazines. After a few major surgeries and some prescribed medications most of us realize we are less fit or able to defend ourselves than we were 20 years ago. In fact as you get pushing 70 you start realizing how much stronger you were at 60 so 10 years means a lot more than it did at 30.
One of the prompters for my getting a CCW was what happened to an older couple about 4 blocks from my home about a year ago. A young man kicked the door in on the home and accosted the man, 71 and his wife, 70. The intruder spent 15 minutes in the home looking for money and medications. At one point he grabbed the man’s wife and started to hit her trying to see if they had hidden valuables. Being distracted while doing the beating the intruder didn’t see the man retrieve a gun and the 71 year old placed some lead into the young man. Bleeding from his wounds the young man fled.
The police arrived, took a report and left someone with the two while they looked for the intruder. They found him at a Hospital in the next town over suffering from some gunshot wounds. He was arrested and out local police chief recommended that is today;s world citizens should consider getting a CCW because there are simply not enough officers to respond to every emergency 24/7. The 71 year old was never charged with the shooting. Even though the suspect wasn’t armed with anything except a screwdriver and even though the suspect was any larger than the 71 yer old they decided the fear of harm was sufficient to justify self defense.
I have added the USCCA insurance for just such a occasion in or out of the home.
I’m in fair shape for 51 which I try and maintain by staying active. I’d honestly have to say that as I’ve gotten older my training has gotten more serious. As I was younger I was putting holes in paper…as I’ve gotten older I’m determined to protect myself and those around me and that demands a certain level of dedication and responsibility.
In the immortal words of Dirty Harry, “A man has got to know his limitations.”
I know a lot of people who think like you do, @Richard_W! I’m one of them. We have more to lose as we get older and understand that we’re not invincible.
I had an incident occur in an upscale part of town. I came to the realization that I now have about 30 seconds of fight and 5 seconds of run. Finally decided to get my LTC.
Not as fast or as agile as I once was, bad hips and knees. However I still work out and walk 3 miles a day. I practice at least twice a week doing drills that require drawing engaging multiple targets and do tac and emergency reload. This are timed drills and also require getting off the dime. I also strive to be situational aware at all times. Run scenarios through mind constantly.
Till you get my age and realize you have nothing left to lose which makes you even more likely to step up if the need arises.
I’ve lived a good long life and done virtually everything I ever dreamed of doing.
I’m an old Ranger though and to my dying breath I’ll have one good fight left in me.
Getting older means having to accommodate all the vagaries that come with successfully avoiding death…so far. There is that trade-off that also comes with age; Experience, hopefully, that applies to still being dangerous to bad people.
As we age and our physical abilities begin to wain we should, I believe, concentrate on the minute mechanics of employing a firearm at extreme close range. As most personal violence happens at “bad breath” range we should practice being able to defend ourselves just long enough to employ our secondary weapon (your brain is the primary) whether gun or blade. Yes, a good knife can be more viable at body to body range than a gun and less danger to bystanders if any be present. A stout, sharp blade of sufficient length can also do more damage quickly than a gun; Meaning, causing massive hemorrhaging. Although the knife doesn’t pack ballistic capabilities most people abhor the sight of their own blood, even bad guys. Being able to “de-fang the snake” as it is called in Eskrima/Kali can save your life as surely as a well placed shot between the ocular cavities.
Seek out some no-nonsense close combat instruction that is willing to adapt to your age bracket. Believe it or not old boxers have ingrained martial skills that serve them well their whole lives. There are numerous accounts of ‘‘experienced’’ pugilists taking down younger aggressors sometimes even multiples.
Knowledge is power and experience is the key.