How Long Until I Become Confident Using a Firearm?

Confidence Using Firearms Cover

Hi, I’m Austin Davis, National Training Director at Concealed Coalition, and I’m here today to answer two related questions. 

The first comes from Liz, a fellow Texan from Rotan, Texas:

How much training do you need to be confident to carry a firearm? 

Excellent question. You know, when we think about building confidence using firearms, you need training. Furthermore, the training needs to be recent, it needs to be relevant, and it needs to be realistic.

But when it comes to training and how much you need, it depends on how good you want to be. In my world, the difference between professionals and an amateur is this: a professional and an amateur perform at different levels. An amateur will perform a task until they get it right. A professional will perform the task until they can’t get it wrong.

So how much training do you need before you have confidence in using firearms? You need enough so that when the time comes, you don’t have to think about it. You will have performed it so many times that it will happen automatically.

Here’s another question, also from a Texan, David, from Tyler:

How long does training take before it becomes second nature, and how often should you reinforce the training?

This is a well thought-out question. How long does training take? Does it take effect?

Well, the question is, do you already have training programmed in that little memory loop? If you have a really poorly thought-out draw stroke, it’s going to take me probably two or three good repetitions for every bad repetition that you have, sort of motor learning involved in that. Then the question is, once you have that new skill, how often do you need to train it?

What I like to tell people looking for confidence using firearms is this: I want you to train as often as you can, as fresh as you can. 

When it comes time to train, remember: training practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent. So we want to make sure that we practice the motion perfectly. You want to start out very slowly and get the mechanics properly.

Developing confidence using firearms
Remember that practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent. When developing your confidence using firearms, you should ensure you are practicing mechanics properly.

Once you get the mechanics worked out properly, work on consistency. Then, after you get mechanics and consistency, then you can jump up on intensity. So to answer your two-part question, you want to train as often as you can, but as fresh as you can. The minute you start getting sloppy, shut that session down. More short sessions are better than one long session. 

How long does it take to acquire those skill sets? Depends on whether you’re coming to me brand new with no bad habits, or I’ve gotta reprogram things. By the way, I do have live, in-person training opportunities with me through Virtual Tactical Academy. Text me “Academy” at (713) 528-8411 to learn more!

Finally, thanks for the questions! I love getting them. If you have any comments or a better way to answer these, please send them over via text at (713) 528-8411. I look forward to hearing from you.

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