Hello - I am a new member, who is awaiting his CWP in the state of MD. Also, I am a newbie when it comes to firearms. Now that I have gone to the range every weekend for about a month now and am getting more comfortable with firing the Glock 17/19 (both of which I intend to purchase), what should I be doing when I go to the range to make the best use of my time? I fire about 25-50 rounds each time, as I am still getting used to the sounds I’m making as well as the sounds of the other people firing (Plus, it’s as hot as a bastard at my range ) I don’t want to just go there and fire down range every time. What kind of drills should I be doing at this stage? Should I get professional training instead? Thanks in advance to all who respond.
I would start out here….
@Kevin180 Welcome. You are in the best place for “professional” training.
@Kevin180. Welcome to the community, train hard and stay safe.
How can I possibly resist that question? AAARRRMMMYY training sir!
The reality is that you have to come to terms with the decision you have made to carry a gun when your license comes through. The best way to do that is to educate yourself on the laws of your state / locality and the places that you visit. That in itself can be a daunting task given the disparity of rules throughout the U.S.
Punching holes in paper is a way to build “FUN Duh Mentals” in the learning of your primary carry platform and in guns in general (Front sight, Breathing, Trigger Control). The effort is to strive to be “more than proficient”. You want to be comfortable, not only with your platform but also with the burden that you carry as a CWP holder.
To build your skills as a shooter you should compete in some form of dynamic competition be it IDPA, IPSC or 3 guys and a shot timer. Induce errors into your scenario. Have a bud load your mag’s and stuff a snap cap in it. Remember you get to load his mags too.
One of the things new CWP holders find is that with a gun on their hip they are more AWARE. Primarily because they think everyone is looking at them. People aren’t looking at you because you are carrying a gun they are looking at you because you are acting funny and in general most folks don’t look up from their phone. That said you are more aware, you are not in your phone and you notice people that are also not in theirs. They look at you, you look at them and nod “I see you watching.”
The training you should be doing is to become the invisible or “grey” man which is much more difficult to do than becoming proficient in firearms as it is a mental adjustment that is completely outside the normal thought process.
As to firearms training there are any number of locations that can teach you how to shoot, at a price of course. I do recommend if you are just out of the gate that you get a coach or mentor that can look at your grip and stance as they are the hardest things to “Unlearn” after you have taught yourself bad habits.
Welcome to the family brother and you are blessed to be here.
@Kevin180 since you are purchasing both the Glock 19 & 17 and they are both 9mm you don’t have to buy 2 different types of ammo. The difference also is capacity, the Glock 19 carries 15+1, the 17 carries I believe 17+1. You probably wouldn’t notice any difference in the way they operate. If you been firing 25 to 50 rounds a range session just split the box evenly. You should also take some training with a certified instructor, that will help you even more. Learn how to be safe with it also and purchase a decent safe to store them. Glocks are excellent firearms and very reliable. I’m sure you will enjoy shooting them. The Glock 19 is smaller and easier to conceal carry while I consider the 17 to be more home defense firearm but people do conceal carry them also. Good luck with your carry journey and any questions don’t hesitate to ask.
Here’s a link on training with 50 rounds.
In addition to the actual act of shooting at a target, you can practice skills related to being proficient if you need to use your firearm in self defense - drawing from your holster, clearing malfunctions, magazine changes, strong/weak hand shooting, etc.
Thanks to everyone who responded. Not surprisingly, I have a long journey ahead but I’m excited. Learning the 4 rules of gun safety and the 4 criteria to consider before firing your weapon (from Michael Martin’s excellent book) has already given me some knowledge that is boosting my confidence and understanding, not only of the responsibility I will have but what 2A really means. Yes, I think I need an instructor, and, yes, I was considering competitive shooting. Glock has an organization, I think it is GSSF, or something like that, which I will investigate once my permit comes in, my designated collector’s paperwork gets processed, and I can purchase the Glock 19 Crossover and the 43x. It’s nice to be in such a supportive group.
Shooting at the Range can be boring, especially when you just make a holes in the paper. It also doesn’t improve any skills.
I’d suggest to take a USCCA’s defensive trainings:
- DEFENSIVE SHOOTING FUNDAMENTALS LEVEL 1 and LEVEL 2
- DEFENSIVE PISTOL 1 - 4
Local Ranges can also offer good classes like:
- ADVANCED HANDGUN
- LOW LIGHT CONDITION SHOOTING
The trick is that through these classes you can find a great Instructor or Instructor can create a group of people with same sets of skills and run private classes.
Whatever you learn at class can be practice at the Range…and no more boring hole making
@Craig6 gave you great advice, I would add getting comfortable with carrying options for your handgun. Where you will wear it such as appendix, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 o clock on your waistband. Inside the waist band, outside the waistband, open carry. Then what kind of holster.
Once you have picked those and your firearm. Wear them around the house to get comfortable. Then the biggie, are you going to carry with a round chambered, if you are getting a semi auto? If no round chambered, you need to figure out your draw type for how to get your draw done and a round chambered. I would recommend looking up the Israeli draw on YouTube.
Once that’s done I would recommend a class in Concealed carry and home defense. Then another in Defensive Handgun use.
Alot of things go into being a safe CC. Plus practice, lots of practice.
Follow the other tips presented here. Since ammo is in short supply, I will take 2 magazines and load with one round each. The ranges I have been going to will not allow me to draw from a holster. I put one in the gun and then put both the gun and spare mag on the table. In a safe manner I pick up the gun, acquire the target and fire. Without taking my eyes off the target I drop the mag and reload with the one on the table. Then I fire that one round. My goal is to condition myself to not take my eyes off the target while reloading and slowly decrease the amount of time between original target acquisition and 2nd shot when reloading. On the second shot I want to get to a point where it is grouped tightly with the first in as little time as possible for me.
From time to time I will either cycle in an empty 3rd mag or very round count between 1 and 5 in the first mag to simply vary the training. I have a 9mm and need to get some snap caps so I can load dummy rounds and simulate miss fire clearing. Problem is they have been hard to find.
I can offer my two cents. Bare in mind I’m nothing like a professional instructor, but I know all the basics, so I’ll just tell you what I know to be good and true.
Practice quick reloads and three shot groups. The proper way to do this to ensure you get good reps in, is to load one round in a magazine, put it into the gun, and rack it. Fire that round (always remember proper trigger control), and drop the mag. Then quickly insert a new mag pre loaded with three bullets. Rack the slide via your intended defensive method/preferred method for competitions, or whatever. Then fire those three rounds as fast as you can WHILE MAINTAINING ACCURACY. If you have to go slow for now, that’s fine. Master the technique first. Always be mindful of trigger control. After each round is fired, squeeze the trigger back to the final “break” point as fast as you can, make sure your sight picture is still good, then squeeze it the rest of the way. This takes practice to get good at. It’s a feel, more then anything. Point is, with 50 bullets, you can get like 12 reps in with this method. Practice those reloads on empty, racks with new mag inserted and fast/accurate three shot groups. Trigger control is key.
May I recommend subscribing to WPSN? Warrior Poet Society Network. The main guy there has classes online you can watch for pistol, and lots of other stuff. You would learn a lot.
There is also simplified version of @Todd30’s circle…
…but still… I’m a person who definitely prefer Instructor over correcting myself…
Getting trained by an Instructor is always better way to get training. To find mistakes in your own shooting is a challenge if your not trying to be a perfectionist. 20 holes on the X and all others are mistakes.
All good advice, ideas, knowledge here, however it seems to me all have missed a major point. You live in MD. Not a horrible thing just bad enough. So practice packing your items in boxes so you can move to a state where you have more freedom.
Needed this as a young Airmen, stealing the idea for my next venture into a new firearm.
A lot of great info from a lot of knowledgeable members here already so I’ll keep it short. Get training tools not just guns and ammo. Snap caps/dummy rounds, laser uppers, “blue gun” and extra mags will be more important than having a second pistol to learn the muscle memory for(Not a glock guy so maybe your two square guns are similar enough but I know Glock has a thing for everything so you can get all the above for your respective concealed carry at the very least).
Once you can operate your carry gun effectively and clear “surprise” malfunctions safely you can go to a “Tactical” course. I say that because in the military we have plenty of shooting time to “learn” but that also means bad habits if you’re improperly trained early on. Muzzle discipline (basically imagine you have a never ending laser coming out of that barrel and it kills everything that lines up with it),Trigger discipline (if your finger rests on the trigger “naturally” then “naturally” you will shoot yourself when you go to do anything dynamic firearm in hand) and Shoot/No Shoot Scenarios(think MIB alien firearms course if you’re old enough to remember that or rent it if not because it’s the best Civilian example in my mind of reading a situation vs shooting a target because you have a gun in your pants and it needs to lose a few ounces before you leave the range). All of these can be done without actually firing ammo (great for today’s market) with a bit of help from someone who is a bit further on than you in training and that you have mutual trust with. I’ll stop here and yes this is my idea of “short” when it comes to firearms training.
Also, YouTube can be your friend if you go to the right channels like Warrior Poet, Military Arms Channel, Paul Harrell, Garand Thumb, Jerry Miculek and Tactical Rifleman for a few of the ones I really support. While you get what you pay for, in the beginning it likely won’t take much to feel either overwhelmed or overconfident so something where you just listen and visualize/practice with a Blue Gun will likely be a better foundation for when you’re trying to get that new world record split time with your “Glock Infinity Series 99 Model Square”.
Stay Safe and enjoy the Pew Pew Life (Colion Noir plug lol)