Report 38, Maintaining Proficiency During the Winter

What are you doing to maintain proficiency with your every day carry (EDC) during the winter? For those of you who carry on a daily basis, let’s think about your daily routine. When you get ready to go out the door to work, the market or whatever your destination, you retrieve your EDC and check the condition, magazine loaded and inserted in the mag well, you rack the slide and do a chamber check and magazine check, and lastly, carefully holster it. You then check the condition of your spare magazine and put it in its pouch.

We are doing fine so far. You go on about your business throughout the day, paying close attention to those places you can’t carry and you lock your EDC in the car before going into those establishments (you do remember where you can and cannot carry, right?). When you get home, and are settling in for the night, you remove your EDC and store it in its “safe place.”

You go through this routine every day. I would argue that you are missing two key elements to carrying.

  1. When was the last time you dry practiced? Dry practice takes only 15 – 20 minutes and is a major factor in keeping you safe. Let’s review the steps.
    1. Unload your EDC
    2. Go into an empty room (no TV turned on, no husband, wife, friend, kids, etc.
    3. Sweep the room to ensure there is no ammunition in the room. Take the ammo that was in your EDC and remove it from the room.
    4. Set up a target. This could be something as simple as a post-it-note (the small kind). This should be a removable target. Once you are through with your practice remove the target and throw it away.
    5. Conduct a final sweep of the room to ensure you have no ammo in the room (this includes your pockets).
    6. Determine what kind of practice you are going to do (draw from the holster, present from the low-ready, etc.
    7. Conduct your dry practice for no more than 20 minutes. Long duration dry practice can hit a point of diminishing returns. Remember, only correct practice is beneficial.
    8. Upon conclusion of your dry practice session remove the target and dispose of it.
    9. Return your EDC to the condition you normally use when at home and not carrying.
  2. When was the last time you cleaned your EDC? I read a story about a police officer who carried a S&W .38 special snubby as a backup gun (BUG) but did not shoot it much. One day when he was at the range he decided that he needed to practice with it. He pulled it out, took careful aim, and fired the first shot. He said that it looked like a blizzard with all the lint that had blown out the barrel. It did no harm to the speeding bullet or the gun but caused a bit of embarrassment for the LEO. It was a telling tale, he hadn’t cleaned his BUG in a very long time. Even when we don’t shoot the gun, it still needs to be cleaned, at least once a month.

Just because the weather is cold, snowy/rainy and just down-right unpleasant, that doesn’t mean you can’t practice and maintain your proficiency.

If you are looking for additional coaching, contact me to set up a personalized coaching program to get you up to speed with your EDC.