When I took my NRA Pistol Instructor certification course, the instructor recruited me into the shooting range’s “instructor candidate” program. It’s basically an unpaid internship where I get to help out with classes and in return I get free range time and employee discounts on guns and gear. Plus free training. Since I joined the program, I’ve mostly gotten to help out with intro rifle/pistol/shotgun classes, as well as some basic handgun marksmanship classes. It’s been great fun.

Last Friday I stopped by the range with a plan to work on Dot Torture. When I walked in, I bumped into one of the instructors that I knew. He told me that he’d just wrapped up some individual instruction and asked what I was there to work on. I told him that Dot Torture was the order of the day. He asked if I wanted some help. “Sure!” I replied.

We wound up working on my draw stroke instead of Dot Torture. Mostly I did draw and fire one, both dry and live.

My scribbled draw and shoot one times.

My scribbled draw and shoot one times. Does that say 1.67 down there?

He spent about an hour with me and we wound up shaving my draw stroke from a ~3 second draw to a sub-2 second draw. My fast time of the day was 1.67 seconds from the beep to the (well-landed) shot. Wow.

The major takeaways from the lesson were:

  • Dip my left shoulder down in order to retrieve the pistol from where I conceal it on the 4:00 position on my body;
  • Start prepping the trigger as soon as the pistol comes forward;
  • Set the firmness of my grip on the pistol about midway through the presentation; and
  • Smooth it all out to one clean motion.

We also talked about how one responds to different threats in context terms of how long one should take to aim given the environment, the threat and the distance.

It was good stuff, and I know for sure I was a better shooter walking out the door than when I walked in.

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