Let's Dance

And a 1, 2, 3...1, 2, 3...

Shooting from the hip, literally. Since we had so many new people, and our first female shooter, we did everything step-by-step. It was real informative for me, and I know now why shooting from the draw is such a difficult task to master.

I only joke about this being a dance lesson because we had a first timer female who just so happened to be a ballet dancer. Actually, half of the class was there for the first time. It made me feel special because I had the opportunity to pass on the knowledge I accrued to someone else...I would rather it had been the ballet dancer, but alas, no, it was not to be. Maybe next week, though.

Instructor Greg went through the basics of gun handline and safety for the newbies in the class. It served the regulars as a refresher on how to properly handle firearms. Greg wanted to change our way of thinking that the gun was unloaded even though we treat it as loaded. Instead, he reminds us that we should ALWAYS treat the gun as if it were loaded. The reminder being that if someone hands you a gun, you should always check to see if it is loaded. You should be surprised to see an unloaded gun with enough practice. Anyway, we train as we fight, so, in our minds, we are gonna expect to see gleaming brass as we pull back the action on our favorite blasty toys.


After the requisite safety demonstration for the new shooters, we worked on shooting from the draw. This is a close quarters technique that benefits those placed in an up-close world of hurt and need to shoot quickly. There are approximately five steps to drawing a gun and bringing it into firing mode. I will go through them step by step to show you how we learned this new method of shooting.

STEP ONE: Get your hand on your gun. The important things to remember are a) place your weak hand FLAT against your stomach and grip your pistol firmly in the other hand.

STEP TWO: Lift and clear your gun from the holster.

STEP THREE: Rock and Lock. Pivot your gun arm at the elbow and bring that gun into firing position. In order to fire from this position, cant the pistol so the ejection port faces down and away. This also helps to reduce the risk of semi-autos slapping you in the gut and having your shirt catch in the receiver.

STEP FOUR: Firm Grip. Slide your weak hand across your belly and into its proper grip with your strong hand. From this position you should be able to fire at a target from close range.

STEP FIVE: Raise the gun into proper firing position. Don't bring it over your head in a karate chop, or even bother sweeping it up from a low position. You should concentrate on pressing the gun into service. By moving the gun along an even plane from your anchor point to full extension, you will remain on target and be able to engage bad guys while transitioning to this point.

SHOOT AND SCOOT: After working on the various steps individually, we hung some rolls of carpet on the line and used them as simulated bad guys. The drill here was to 'hug the rug' and on command, shoot from all positions we worked on while moving backwards. Instructor Greg wanted us to have as real a lesson as possible. He stated that there will be times when engagements will occur in under three feet. He wanted us to learn what it feels like when you shoot something point blank.

This last exercise brought it all together for us and taught the newbies, myself included, that firing point blank is not a desireable experience. In other words, you will get messy.

Be safe. I'm gone.

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