This is why you should take someone you trust with you to the range:

In February of this year, I went to the range with one of my Marine Vet. friends to work on some tactics for some different situations.

Keep in mind that, initially, we’re trained not to draw unless we have to, and to shoot until the threat is gone. So we set up balloons (which are great for practice), then set some parameters:

  1. Shoot your balloons
  2. If you shoot all your balloons and (the other person) still has balloons, shoot theirs too.
  3. Reload if you have to
  4. Shoot until the “threat” is gone

He had a .45 1911, and I had my concealed carry .38 special. Keeping gun safety in mind, we proceeded to practice this way. We went a couple of rounds of shooting, evaluating, and setting up more balloons. Towards the end of our time at the range, my friend loaded my .38 special, set up 4 balloons for me and we started another round of practice.

I was shooting at my balloons, and as one popped, I went to the next one. On my last balloon, I heard one of the worst sounds: Click—no bang. I squeezed the trigger again, missing my last target. Frustrated, I reloaded as fast as I could and finally popped my last balloon.

My friend had finished his targets, but was out of plinking ammo after all our previous rounds, so based on our parameters, I was the only one “to defend us.” Now, knowing I was frustrated, my friend tells me that in spite of the situation, I did very well.

When he had loaded my .38 special, he used 4 live rounds, and one spent casing—on purpose as a test. I passed. My friend wanted to test to see what I would do if there was a click—no bang. This was a test because if I had been carrying my winter conceal carry gun (CZ82), I would have had to pull back the slide to eject the casing, and then continue firing.

The thing NOT to do is look at your gun in the middle of any situation.

If you have to look at your gun, you’re in trouble—you are an easy target. The best way to keep from having to look at your gun is to keep up with gun cleaning and maintenance (even if you haven’t shot your gun in a while), and to shoot regulated ammunition (old stuff can be unstable).

How many times have you been at the range and been tested (other than proficiency)?

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