Her initial question was:
I recently just bought a new pistol. I’ve shot it some and it’s a lot of fun. What sort of training do you recommend? – Prepper Pam
This was my response:
Congratulations! It is always fun when you purchase a new gun. I’m always excited when I shoot that very first round through it.
When it comes to firearms training, I would say train as often as you can. Make time if you have to. And not just range time. At home, I would practice (with your firearm unloaded of course) things like drawing it from where you carry it, (purse, concealed on hip, etc), sight alignment, trigger pull, etc. If your pistol has a safety, I would practice switching it off while drawing it. Practice those things all in conjunction.
Doctor Richard Schmidt wrote a book called Performance and Motor Control And Learning. In it, he states that it takes around 300-500 repetitions to develop a new motor pattern. However, once a bad or inadequate habit is already in place, it takes about 3,000-5,000 repetitions to erase and correct that bad motor pattern. (So train right the first time.)
When you go to the range, vary the length of your target from yourself. Shoot at 5 yards, 10 yards, and 15 yards for example. (Much longer ranges with a long gun of course.) Don’t lock yourself in to the same distance from your target every time.
As your experience grows, change things up. Give yourself time limits, ie 3 shots center mass from a holstered position in 3 seconds. Try to put a bit of pressure on yourself. If you ever find yourself in a life or death situation, your physiological reactions to the stressful event can alter the way you shoot, ie elevated heart rate, tunnel vision, etc. So putting a little bit of stress on your body now will begin to prepare you should that ever happen.
If you can, try shooting at more than one target. You might have to engage multiple bad guys. Adding moving targets to your repertoire will also help. (If you can.) Work on accuracy first. Once you are comfortable with accuracy, then work on speed. But remember, accuracy ALWAYS trumps speed!
While you are building your experience (and confidence), I would begin learning about your gun. Each gun is a little different. For example, many guns out there are picky about ammo. I had a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard that did not like steel cased ammo. I guess the striker sometimes did not hit the primer hard enough, and I would have a “No fire.” I’d pull the trigger a second time and the bullet would go off. (My brother had a Taurus TCP738 that HATED steel cased. He had to send the pistol back to the manufacturer for repair after trying to shoot steel case.)
About a month ago, one of my best friends at work hit me up about purchasing his backup weapon, the Sccy CPX-2 , which is a 9mm. I normally would not have a need for this pistol, and would not have purchased it on my own. I already have a backup/off duty gun that I really enjoy. And I do not have any firearms in 9mm. (For pistol I stock .40 cal, .380, and some .357.)
But I knew he needed the money, and he was offering me a VERY fair price. So I purchased it from him thinking I would keep it until he wanted to buy it back. When I mentioned that to him a few days later, he replied that when he did eventually buy a new backup gun, he would go with something different.
So I am now the proud, permanent owner of a Sccy CPX-2.
At this point, I started thinking that maybe I could trade it in for something else. I could at least get out of it what I had in it.
I also wondered if it wouldn’t make a decent weapon for someone in my group. We don’t have any 9mm ammo, but what if we came across some if things went really bad? 100 rounds of 9mm ammo isn’t that expensive, and it might be a pistol I could give to a family member if “things go south”.
Either way, I decided to do a review on this pistol for folks who might want an EDC pistol without breaking the bank. The MSRP on the gun is $319, which means from a reputable dealer you could probably find it for around $250-$270. A used one might be even cheaper.
Some might call me a “Gun Nut”. I prefer the term “Firearm Aficionado!” But I thought I would combine my love of firearms with my love of writing and blogging. So to begin this endeavor, I decided I would start with a review of my old backup, off-duty, EDC pistol; the .380 Bodyguard by Smith and Wesson.
I purchased the Bodyguard wanting a backup pistol for my Glock 23 as well as something I could easily carry off-duty. I looked for something light weight and easily concealable. The S&W Bodyguard fit that bill. The fact that it had a built in laser sight by Insight was a bonus.
The laser is activated with a button on both sides of the gun frame. You hit the button for on, again for pulse, and a third time for off.
The Bodyguard is a hammer fired, double action semi-automatic pistol. The slide is stainless steel and coated in Melonite, while the lower frame is polymer. It came with a single, 6 round magazine with a flared bottom plate for better gripping ability. (Gun has a 6 +1 capacity.)
The barrel on this gun is 2.75 inches, with the total length of the gun at 5.4’ and weighs about 12 oz.
The Bodyguard comes with a safety on the left side, which for a Glock man took a little adjustment. The slide stop lever and the mag release are also on the left side. There is slight notch in the top of the slide so you can tell if there is a loaded chamber. The slide also locks to the rear after the last round is fired.
This is Part II of Firearms for Preppers series. Be sure to check out Part I if you missed it!
In my article Firearms for Beginners, I talk in general about needing at minimum, one long gun and one pistol for a long term survival scenario. The long gun you can use to hunt and to defend yourself at range, while the pistol is a great backup weapon and is many times better suited to self-defense in very close quarters.
But now I want to go into a bit more detail. I want to be a bit more specific. Of course, a lot of what you need depends upon your situation. And that could vary greatly from person to person. But overall, much of what I say will apply to everyone regardless of their situation.
Ok….so you need a long gun and a pistol for a long term disaster scenario. But what kind of pistol? What kind of long gun? Should you stop with just two or gather more? Well, let’s discuss that.
I have seen many articles from various prepper sources taking it a bit further, saying you need a good rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol. Some even go further and say that in addition to those you also need a .22 rifle as well. A few will even say that you need backups of all of those. I cannot argue with any of that logic as I subscribe to it myself. If you have the funds available, then I would absolutely tell you to go that route.
Now I know my situation. I know what my long term plans are. You need to acquire firearms based upon what your plans are should you find yourself in a long term survival situation.
Are you bugging in or bugging out? How many people are in your group? How well trained are these folks? These are questions only you can answer. But to give you some ideas, I’ll give you some examples based upon my plans.
I live in a large suburb of Oklahoma City. So I have firearms for self-defense based upon a city setting. I prefer a pistol and shotgun for urban use. Yet if I had to bug out, I have a rural homestead on several acres I can go to. I have firearms (rifles) I could use in a self-defense scenario in a rural setting as well.
I received an email from a visitor, asking me my thoughts on firearms/weapons for preppers. I had already thought of doing some articles on this subject. It has to be one of the most popular topics amongst “the prepared”.
It is fun to talk about, and it’s a subject I thoroughly enjoying reading and discussing. (Here is a link to a previous firearms article I wrote for people new to firearms.)
I have several firearms, and the majority of them have a role they play both at work and in my preparedness. I also have a few are “fun guns” because I enjoy the shooting sports.
When it comes to “prepper” firearms, I break it down into two categories:
- Firearms for home/self defense and EDC (Every day carry)
- Firearms for a long term survival scenarios. – Part II
Yes, they overlap. But there are some differences.