Semi automatics are loaded with six rounds. Revolvers are loaded to capacity, five or six rounds.
Make sure you allow the gun to come down naturally on its own to the target without "muscling it", acquire a second sight picture, and reset or releasing the trigger.
Aimed shots: Firing a series of aimed shots in a relatively rapid sequence, one immediately after the other onto a single target (as in the last exercise), is referred to as firing a series of aimed shots. These are aimed shots. The second shot should only occur as fast as you can accurately aim it.
Safety: Note the importance of keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction and your finger off the trigger while loading or reloading, particularly while reloading from behind cover.
For the remainder of the exercise it is your responsibility to perform a reload when you see fit to do so. You will also fully load the magazine on semi-Autos. Bring extra magazines, speed loaders, and speed strips to the line fully loaded. This does NOT mean have a loaded gun on your hip or one in your hand unless you are at the firing line. It DOES mean you are to have your magazines/speed-loaders charged and ready for use.
When shooting, you may tend to get tunnel vision. Do not concentrate on the target to the exclusion of everything else around you. This tunnel vision is exacerbated in a high-stress situation.
To break tunnel vision after firing, assess the target, and be alert for additional unseen attackers, lower your handgun just enough to look over your sights and assess the area to the left and to the right of the target once it is no longer a threat, and do wide angle visual scan around yourself to search for additional threats.
Without a firearm, return the firearm to a ready position, assessing left and right, and doing a 360- degree scan.
Your entire upper torso moves with your head so that your eyes and the gun's muzzle track as a unit. Point the gun in the direction of whatever you are looking at.
For safety purposes on the range, be careful not to turn too far when assessing left and right. Unless, you really like getting thrown off the range with bunches of people yelling at you, many of them armed!
In a close-range defensive encounter, you usually do not have the time to acquire perfect sight alignment. While accuracy is important, it is also important to deliver effective shots onto the target as rapidly as your ability allows.
As soon as the front sight is lined up somewhere within the rear sight, you should fire. The front sight blade may be slightly off to the right, left, high, or low, but as long as it is somewhere in the notch created by the rear sight, you can fire. This is referred to as a flash sight picture.
You should be able to acquire this flash sight picture within a fraction of a second of bringing the sights onto the target at close range (i.e. 15 feet or less).
A flash sight picture is used as the first shot when at close range and the shot must be taken quickly. It is also used as a technique to deliver rapid follow-up shots.
The farther away a target is, the more time you have to acquire a more proper sight picture. Also, the farther away a target is, the more critical proper sight alignment and trigger control become in hitting the target. Conversely, the closer the target, the less time you have.
Sight Alignment Deviation Drill (minimum 24 rounds, 8 rounds at each
Target distance: 9, 15 and 21 feet
Note that for those shooting short-barreled handguns, sight alignment is more critical than for those with longer barrels. This is because the closer the front sight is to the rear sight, any misalignment of the sights will cause a greater angle of deviation or error. As the distance between the sights increases, any misalignment has a lesser effect.
As a demonstration as to how far the sights can be misaligned, fire the following exercise (this only needs to be done once):
Accelerated shots are very similar to aimed shots, except that rather than a refined sight picture for each shot, a flash sight picture is used instead.
The sequence of accelerated shots is:
You should shoot at your own speed, and only as fast as you can safely and accurately shoot.
Target distance: 9 to 21 feet
Assume a ready position with an unloaded firearm.
From a ready position, dry-fire two shots in quick succession using a flash sight picture for each shot and return to a ready position.
Repeat several times, dry firing two, three, or four shots until you are comfortable in rapidly acquiring a flash sight picture.
Pay particular attention to your trigger control and whether or not you are focusing on the front sight and whether the front sight is staying in the rear sight notch.
Remember that you are also to assess left and right every time you return to a ready position.
What is cover? Cover is anything that will protect all or part of the body from incoming fire.
What is concealment?
Concealment is anything that hides all or part of the body from observation.
It differs from cover in that it will not stop incoming fire.
Why are cover and concealment important? Cover can reduce the risk of injury. Concealment can prevent an adversary from locating you or being able to deliver accurate fire toward you.
Which is preferable, cover or concealment? Cover is usually preferable to concealment.
When should cover or concealment be used? Cover or concealment should be sought whenever possible, particularly to reload or clear a malfunction.
Will cover protect equally against all types of ammunition? The degree of cover an object provides depends on what it is constructed of and what is being shot at it. An object that provides cover from a .22 rimfire might not provide cover from a 9mm.
Although there is ample concealment in most homes, usually very little cover is avaiable.
Take a moment to visualize what objects in your own homes could be used as cover or concealment.
When should yo make use of cover or concealment?
Whenever it is available!
Note that a two-handed position is assumed behind cover and the upper body leans out (tilts left or right) just enough to acquire the target.
Note that you do not switch hands. You maintain a grip with your strong hand. This usually necessitates exposing slightly more of your body and/or head compared to shooting from the strong side (assuming you are not cross- dominant).
Resume the position without a firearm. Have someone walk around the cover to observe the amount of body mass being exposed and the amount being protected.
MAKE SURE the gun's muzzle is clear of the cover.
Canting the gun often allows you to keep more of your body behind cover
Remember, when shooting from cover the barrel is below the line of sight and YOU need to make sure that the muzzle is clear of the cover.
Depending on the object being used as cover, serious injury may result if you fire into the cover directly in front of you.
Target location: Check the gun to target line to ensure all bullets correctly impact into the backstop.
Caution: For the following exercises, YOU are to move slowly and work on the proper technique of moving.
Assume a standing position behind cover without a firearm. Verify that the position uses cover to its maximum potential.
Practice assuming the standing position behind cover with an unloaded firearm from a standing ready position.
Lean out and cant the gun to align with the target.
Dry fire: From a standing ready position, practice assuming a standing position behind cover and dry fire two or three accelerated shots as soon as possible after assuming the standing position behind cover.
The kneeling position is used quite frequently in defensive shooting. Use kneepads for practice.
The line between the knee and hip of the strong- side leg is perpendicular to the ground. Support-side knee is over the toe.
Beginning from a ready position, demonstrate getting into the kneeling position by:
If you are standing too close to cover, or do not want to move any closer to it, drop your knee into position rather than stepping forward.
The muzzle is kept pointed in a safe direction and the hands are extended into position as the knee contacts the ground. Stand up as you would normally do from a kneeling position ensuring you keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
Practice both methods of assuming the position:
Dryfire: From a standing ready position, practice assuming a kneeling position and dry fire two or three accelerated shots as soon as possible after assuming the kneeling position.
Repeat Exercise 8 using the weak side of the cover.
(minimum 6 rounds)
Note that sometimes an attack occurs so close and so fast that any reference to sight alignment becomes unnecessary or impossible.
In this situation, you need to extend your handgun in a two-handed grip toward the center of mass of the target and fire as soon as your arms extend fully into the firing position.
You are focused on the target rather than the sights. Specifically, you are focused on the precise point you want your bullet to strike the target.
The sights are at eye level, and you will usually see at least the rear sight in your peripheral vision.
Raise or extend your handgun from a ready position to its normal firing position with the sights at eye level. The difference is that the shot is fired as soon as the handgun is in the firing position without any attempt to visually align the front and rear sights.