Advice From A Novice Shooter

Advice From A Novice Shooter
I started working for Calibers about a year ago. I had no experience with tactical shooting and let’s just say I had entered into a whole new world of firearm use. Having hunted for years, I knew the basic firearm safety do’s and don’ts. I am talking the very basic ones, like “Don’t point a gun at someone or shoot at a target unless you know exactly what’s behind it.” When I saw the level that some of my co-workers were shooting, I realized that I had my work cut out for me. I did not expect to be at the same level as someone that had to use their skill set in combat situations, I just wanted to be able to hold my own.
I did jump the gun a little bit with my first training class. Instead of starting with an intro level handgun course, I went straight into a concealed carry class (CCW). The information I garnered in this class was unforgettable, it also proved to me how little I knew in terms of the shooting world. I went from maybe shooting a handgun three or four times in my life to talking about use of deadly force. Most people would think this to be overwhelming; I thought of this as a chance to get a jump on my training. The instructor was more patient than he probably should have been. After spending a short time going over basic handgun fundamentals, I felt ready for anything. At the time I had no idea how wrong I was. I passed the qualifications just fine. I left feeling empowered and enlightened. I have since paid for my mistake. Not to say that taking that class was a mistake (far from it really), but I should have started with a fundamental hand gun course.
As time progressed I became more and more confident with my shooting skills. I practiced as often as I could not realizing that the only thing that I was doing was reinforcing my bad habits. I had a horrible grip and even worse trigger control. I hit a wall. I was not content anymore with just hitting the paper target in a somewhat uniform manner. I wanted to start putting rounds exactly where I wanted them to go. Making them in just the silhouette was no longer an option. I wanted precision. Head shots. Center mass. I wanted to make them count.
We all know the old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” and hopefully we all know this is not true. Thankfully here at Calibers we have a group of very tenacious instructors. After working with them for quite some time I was able to develop a proper shooting technique. Now when I am practicing I am doing it correctly.
One of the most important things that I learned is that training, in the firearm world, is always evolving. There are a few things that are static in the world of shooting, but more often than not someone will develop a new and better way to shoot. With all this being said it is important, I believe, to start with the basics. Even if you think you know what you are doing out on the range there will always be something that can be learned from an introductory level course. It is also very important to take time to become acclimated to the shooting world. For a lot of people that are new to this kind of environment it can be very overwhelming and intimidating.
Take your time, Train right.
-K.V.N.

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