5 Mistakes That Start With Bad Training


Bad training breeds worse mistakes.  But it’s not just bad mistakes that hurt people – it’s also making the mistake that tactics used in a law enforcement or military setting will apply to individual combat scenarios.  In this article, we go after a few “cart before the horse” training mistakes and uncover some of the myth behind it – and why those myths are dangerous.

Quick Draw McGraw

In the heat of the moment, people panic.  They rush to draw their concealed pistol and react to a situation taking place right before their eyes.  And it’s those times where it pays to start training slow.  In this short video below, Doug Koenig discusses his method of drawing and putting a round downrange in a fast, accurate manner.  He can move that quickly.  Not everyone can – starting off.

Fundamentals:  Each person is going to have a slightly different style but the basics of a good, clean draw include:

  • Economy of movement.  The less your body has to move before your pistol is firmly aimed at target – the better.
  • Drawing from the holster only far enough to clear the retention on your inside the waistband holster.
  • Ensure your non-dominant hand is out of the way of your draw hand’s path of movement.
  • Avoid “fishing” (wheeling down) or wheeling up when you go to move on target.
  • Both hands for support on the pistol (or revolver) grip
  • Natural body position usually includes feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.

The great part about practicing your concealed carry draw is you don’t have to be at the range to do it.  Ensuring that the firearm is unloaded, you can practice in the comfort of anywhere private and secure.  Focusing on finding the perfect mixture of comfortable, fast, reflexive movement and sight alignment is the first step to having an accurate AND fast first draw.

More Bullets = More Win

In an actual defensive scenario involving any number of other people in the mix, putting more rounds downrange faster is a recipe for disaster.  Tight, controlled shots utilizing the fundamentals of marksmanship include :

  • Sight Alignment
  • Sight Picture
  • Breathing
  • Trigger Control
  • Bone Support
  • …and the Four Principles of Firearm Safety!

As was said in the Marine Corps Rifleman’s Creed,

My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit…

Car Door Cover

If the vehicle you’re driving didn’t come with ballistic armor, don’t trust the car door to stop a bullet.  If the choice is getting behind a car or fighting out in the open – the car certainly wins.  The door, however, does not.

No one should fight for any length of time without cover and concealment.  Outside of literally you having the drop on an armed criminal, your profile needs to be reduced to the smallest possible size as quick as is feasible.  A car door is not that.

“Stack” Mentality

If you do have an actual fire team of trained warriors with you in an actual hostile situation, make sure you have a team of medics and surgeons on standby.  While the military and law enforcement generally train to “stack” through doorways – there’s a simple logic that works for them but won’t for the average person.


In the “stack” formation, rushing a doorway guarantees the two first guys take the brunt of hostile fire, but the two behind them have a fighting chance of clearing the doorway.  When numbers and arms are on your side (and a great team of surgeons on standby) – this is technically feasible.

Where it all goes bad: If you’re on your own, the delicate balance between getting the drop on someone and getting dropped is extremely fine.  Worse?  There’s nobody to haul you out.  That’s where it’s key to exercise caution and get the other guy reveal his position before you do yours.

What to try instead:  Practice clearing a room with incremental progress.  Weapon at the ready, expose yourself as little as possible while trying to get as best a picture as you can of what lies around that next corner.

See any follies or bad myths that can lead to mistakes crop up?  Tell us about them in the comments section below.

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