Make no mistake: concealed carry requires training. Many gun owners are mistaken in thinking that with a gun licence and being able to point a gun, they’ll be able to defend themselves when the need arises. “Not so,” said Marksman’s Nest chief ranger Geoffrey Coetzee.

“The long and short of it is, if you want to be capable of defending yourself from a deadly threat, get training and carry a firearm. Chances are, you might not ever use your firearm, but surely it’s safer to have it and not need it than to desperately need it when trying to defend yourself?”

Developing skills

Refining your skills and nerve in a threatening situation is key to your safety. And concealed carry training will get you there.

There are many factors involved in this training. Firstly, being able to shoot fast and on-target under extreme stress. Only regular practice gets you there, because the time and effort you spend on learning to operate a firearm properly definitely will pay dividends in effectiveness.

Secondly, you need to be comfortable with every aspect of putting your concealed carry gun to use. So comfortable in fact that you should be able to draw, shoot, clear malfunctions and reload on auto-pilot.

Unconscious thought gets you there

“If you have to use conscious thought to accomplish these tasks, your ability to defend yourself is already diminished,” Geoffrey said. “Because remember, as a concealed carry citizen, you may only use deadly force when you’re in fear for your life or the life of someone else.”

Stress levels soar when in a life-or-death situation. Which is why there’s no substitute for the confidence gained from regular practice, which ensures pin-sharp motor skills.

Training and more training

Operating your gun in a life-threatening situation should come as naturally as driving your car. For this reason, Geoffrey recommends an initial intensive training course, followed by regular practice on the range for best results.

“We ensure that new shooters first use a mental checklist to master the fundamentals. Thereafter, with regular practice, a new shooter will be able to react with conditioned operational thinking. But it’s imperative to learn doing things in the correct way when developing fast responses. That’s why we emphasise that concealed carry requires training.”

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