What is the value of training?


Firearms instructors are periodically asked the question “Why should I take training?” The answer often comes in the form of a list of skills that are taught or the reasoning behind using a certain technique. However, these do not address the underlying fundamental reasons for taking firearms training at all.

  1. You don’t know what you don’t know.
  2. Much of what you know is wrong.
  3. It’s good to have some of the answers to the test before taking it.

These issues relate to both technical competency with using a firearm (gun safety and marksmanship) and the ability to use the firearm correctly in a personal protection situation (legal and tactical).

You don’t know what you don’t know.

Shooters who only take their gun to an indoor range once a year “to sight it in” generally have a highly ‘cocooned’ knowledge of firearms. They know how to operate a firearm in a…

View original post 1,037 more words

6 responses

  1. John Van Swearingen

    The comments on the original post are a trip. Someone described the 5×5 as a “Special Ops” caliber drill with little relevance to the average carrier.

    Done from the pocket or concealment, a 1.8 second first shot and 0.7 splits will get a passing score with oodles of time to spare. From the low ready, it’s even less demanding.

    In your experience as a trainer, has the Overton Window on “difficulty” of drills (I.e. the relevance of such drills to a concealed carrier) shifted in the past five years? Have certain baseline drills like the 5×5, The Test, and the Wizard Drill become more mainstream as acceptable or expected self-evaluation tools?

    1. John Van Swearingen

      For context, my comment was not to say that the 5×5 is particularly easy. I was moreso trying to state that it is a decent test of fundamentals that does not require breakneck splits, target transitions, extreme precision, or physicality. The 5×5 is great for evaluating the average person’s consistency of on-demand performance with a carry-sized pistol at a reasonable distance.

    2. As more people become familiar with the performance capabilities of pistols, it’s inevitable that more challenging drills will become mainstream. The ‘acceptable’ level of performance of even older drills will gain higher benchmarks. In the early days of IPSC, ten seconds on a clean El Presidente was considered a good time. Fifteen years ago, seven seconds was becoming a marginal time for a higher level competitor. Now, four seconds is a decent time.

  2. Claude, Could I have permission to forward this blog-post to my email list of IDPA shooters at the 2 clubs where I am the Match Director? – Lin Edwards


  3. Enjoyed your article sir. So true.

    Sent from my iPad


%d bloggers like this: