It’s very much a case of, for good marksmanship practice makes perfect. Just think about it: you’ve bought a gun for self-defence and now what? Hitting the range once or twice a year certainly won’t improve your marksmanship or self-defence skills.
Knowing how to use your gun quickly and accurately when it counts, is what matters most. And this situation is usually under stress.
Ideally, good marksmanship should be practised weekly to become confident behind the trigger.
Some drills can be practised in the comfort of your home. And the man who’ll show you how and what, is firearm pro and chief ranger at Marksman’s Nest, Geoffrey Coetzee.
Do note that all these exercises are done only by dry-firing your firearm. Always make doubly sure that your weapon is free of live ammo. However, dry-firing your weapon empty will damage it. So we recommend using a snap cap. The latter is a fake plastic bullet with no primer or propellant.
The trigger squeeze
Consistent trigger squeeze while keeping a good sight picture is imperative. Take a coin and place the coin on top of the barrel, close to the muzzle. Assume a good shooting stance, aim and grab a sight picture. Practise your trigger squeeze all the way until it breaks and you fire. When you’ve mastered this art, you should be able to break the trigger with your sights on target, while the coin remains intact on the barrel.
Take note that this little drill requires loads of concentration, good and steady hands, and the perfect squeeze to keep the coin from falling. So, practise over and over again.
When the clock is ticking, you need to get to your weapon in super-quick fashion. No attacker will give you time and a friendly warning. Therefore, it’s essential to master the quick-draw. And for this exercise, you don’t actually need to dry-fire.
That said, by following through with dry-firing, you’ll develop the necessary muscle memory for the entire self-defence exercise. Let’s hope not, but if ever you’re in a situation where you need to defend yourself and others, muscle memory is what wins the day.
Double-check that your firearm is empty before loading your snap cap. Ensure that your holster is set up correctly either in the 6 o’clock (for left-handers) or 4 o’ clock (for right-handers) position.
Keep your face, head and shoulders in line with your target while you draw. Stand with your feet spread shoulder-width. Don’t rotate your upper body and use only your arms to draw. Practise grabbing a sight picture while extending your arms to aim.
These short drills will go a long way in ensuring muscle memory for good marksmanship. Because, for good marksmanship practice makes perfect. However, now it’s time to hit the range to get scored on how effective your home drills have been.