Tactical shooting has become more and more practical over the years. As an increased number of gun owners are choosing to conceal and carry, a regular day at the range is not sufficient training for an active shooter situation. For these intense possibilities, you must hone your tactical shooting skills so you can be an effective deterrent in any type of environment or situation.
In a perfect world, all you would have to do is go to the range and punch paper in a relaxed and stress-free environment. Tactical shooting requires more training. While the fundamentals of shooting are paramount, it requires that you go beyond the basics. You have to know how to shoot and move — often while also communicating to others — in any situation.
Here are some of the best tips for improving your tactical shooting skills.
- Master the Fundamentals
Learning and mastering the fundamentals is the most important thing you can do. Being able to shoot at the range will help you to transition to tactical shooting. Without this solid foundation, you will never be able to progress to fine-tuning your skills.
Make sure you are spending time at the range to master the basic style of shooting. You will be surprised at how quickly your skills will translate into tactical shooting. To learn more about the fundamentals of marksmanship, ask the professionals.
Once you are proficient in these skills, you can begin the transition to tactical shooting. This should include more intense practices, like speed reloads and multiple target drills that can be conducted at the range. As you progress through these different skill sets, you will be prepared to take on more advanced styles of tactical and situational shooting.
- Practice how you fight
To prepare for any situation, you have to practice your defensive moves. If you use an inside the waistband holster, make sure that you wear it any time you practice at the range. You will want to do this with all the items that you carry every day, like your holster, pistol, magazines and bullets, so you will know exactly how to respond.
In an active shooter situation, you will not have the time to think about your response. Instead, you need to spend time practicing exactly how you plan to fight ahead of time. That way, you will be geared up and ready to go without hesitation.
If you train for an incident ahead of time, muscle memory will take over, and you will not find yourself fumbling when seconds count. The more you practice, the better you will be when the stress and adrenaline kick in. This is why military and law enforcement practice in their full kit. If you want to be ready when it counts, it is important that you use this method as well.
- Commit to a pistol
Every person who conceals and carries should have an everyday pistol they are comfortable with. The pistol is not meant to be an accessory, and you should find one that you rely on for your carry option.
If you find a certain model that you like — whether it’s a Glock or a Colt or some other piece — make sure you are getting regular time at the range and perform your tactical shooting drills with that gun. The more time you spend with it, the better you will perform with it.
- Awkward shooting positions
You may find yourself having to shoot from a variety of positions in an active shooter crisis. To prepare for these possibilities, make sure you are spending some of your time at the range shooting from a variety of postures. This will help to familiarize you with what is comfortable, and it will also help to improve your overall marksmanship. Continue to push the envelope in your shooting practice, and you will only increase your skills.
- Moving Targets
Moving goes both ways. Not only should you be comfortable with shooting on the move, you should know how to shoot at moving targets. A tactical shooting situation is fluid, and you will be moving from cover to cover, as will the assailant. It is important that you master the challenging skill set required to shoot and hit moving targets.
- Reloading Drills
A situation may occur where you will have to reload in the middle of a crisis, whether this is because you have expended all your ammo or because you have a malfunction that is easier to clear with a reload. Therefore, you need to consistently practice how to reload your pistol. This skill is almost as important as shooting itself, as it could mean the difference between life and death.
You should go to the range and try a number of different scenarios to sharpen your reloading drills. Make sure that you are conducting them under stress so that you will be able to perform in a tactical situation. Practice a good variety of pistol reload drills to help hone these important skills.
- Shoot with Eyes Open
Tactical shooting is all about being aware of your surroundings. To make sure you are truly aware while shooting, one of the best things that you can do is shoot with your eyes open. Fight the urge to close your eyes when you pull the trigger. Not only will this help with your marksmanship, but you will be able to quickly identify multiple threats and engage them accordingly.
Tactical shooting is a skill you will have to consistently work on to improve. The scenarios of a crisis situation continuously change as the threat evolves, so staying on top of your shooting is important.
Once the fundamentals are covered, you can begin to expand your skill set with quick reloading drills and other aspects of tactical shooting. It is important that you train on how to be prepared, and stick to one pistol for your everyday carry. This will allow you to be prepared in any situation.
Contributed by Benji Menez
Director of Marketing