So you’ve completed your concealed carry training course, received your permit to carry and bought a gun. Now what? Just because you have a permit, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep up with your training. The more time that passes, the more we forget. Often the time for self-defense comes when you least expect it and you always want to be prepared. Let’s discuss the best approach to keeping up with your skills after you have received your concealed carry permit.
How often should you train?
Of course, the best answer to this is as much a possible. Now everybody has a busy schedule and making it to the range as often as we’d like is never an easy task. However, having your concealed carry permit is a big responsibility and keeping up with your training is very important. If you are not going to keep up with your training you may want to reconsider the decision to carry. Anyway, if you do plan on carrying, we recommend visiting the gun range at a bare minimum of one to two times per month. If you can, try to go once per week. Remember the more the better, many people practice and train every day. There’s no such thing as over-training!
What to practice when you’re at the range?
When you are first learning to shoot, you are often working on the basic principles or fundamentals, such as keeping a proper stance and grip, breathing techniques and sight alignment. Once you are comfortable with the basics though, it is time to practice more practical techniques for self-defense. Learning skills such as double taps, quick draws, high and low positioning, quick reloads and shooting on the move are examples of useful techniques should that self-defense situation ever arise. Consider taking an advanced course to learn the basics of self-defense with a firearm and then follow up with practice on your own. Be aware of range rules though as different firearm ranges often have different rules regarding allowing quick draws, rapid firing or other types of self-defense training.
When to maintain your equipment?
It is often recommended to clean your firearm after every visit to the range. Now especially if the gun you brought to the range is the same gun you carry or have for self-defense. If that is the case, I would be extra vigilant about maintaining it. Remember, a gun jam at the wrong time could cost lives! My advice: clean and oil it every time you shoot or if its not being used, every several months at a minimum! Ammo kept in a magazine should be replaced every 3 months and ammo kept in cardboard boxes should be replaced annually. Don’t trust your life to old corroded ammunition. Old ammo may typically be discarded at any police station, sheriff’s office, fire station or gunsmith.
Remember, getting that concealed carry permit is just a first step. Following up with your training and maintaining your equipment is just as important! Stay on top of it, work hard and always be prepared!