“I’ve never done this before”.

“You’ve never shot?  Really?  Your grip is spot on, and your shot placement is exceptional.  I’m shocked to hear that this is the first time you’ve ever shot.”

“No… I’ve actually been shooting for years… this is the first time I’ve ever shot out of a holster and done anything… you know… ‘tactical’.

“Oh… I see.  Well, you’re doing a great job.  Your tac loads and your presentations out of the holster need to be refined, but that will come with time and practice.”

“Thanks.  I wish I had learned this before I got my CCW.”

“You carry a gun?”

“Yeah, for about six months”

“You weren’t told how to shoot from a holster in your CCW class?”

“Nope… we shot at an indoor range off of the bench”.

“Well… great… I’m glad your here.  Do you normally carry your gun at the 3 o’clock position that your wearing it now?”

“No.  I only carry occasionally, and when I do I carry it I guess a little further back at the 4 o’clock position.”

“Ok… well first off lets move that holster to where you normally carry it, and then before you leave tonight give me a few minutes to chastise you about not carrying your gun every day.”

“Yeah… I’ve read your blog.  I figured that was coming.”

(If you have arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)

I had this conversation last week with one of our newest members.  Artemis has launched a new marksmanship program for our Access Members, and during the month of April we have opened it up to anyone who wants to try it out.  

Rather than treat our “range” as a traditional indoor range where a customer shoots repeatedly at a static target we have have elected to treat our Marksmanship Program more as an outdoor tactical training simulator.

We essentially turn our VirTra 180 into an outdoor range with anywhere from three to eight targets and we have the students approach the firing line.  We then run them through a proscribed course of fire just like we do when we are doing our live fire work at Prado.

The gentleman above is like many of our students.

They have shot for years, but have not been properly trained.  Most of them have also never had the opportunity to shoot in a tactical environment.

I started out shooting rifles, and since my courses all were at traditional ranges for most of my early career I shot exclusively off of a bench.  This was fine, and I enjoyed it but when I began hunting I realized many of the skill sets I had mastered were lacking for my new environment.

Range practice now involved shooting from various positions that mimicked what I would experience afield.

The same goes for pistol shooting.

The fact that this student is a ccw holder and never was taught how to properly shoot out of a holster is unconscionable.

The fact is though, it is not his fault.

One does not know what one does not know.  It never dawned on him that there was a “way” to do it efficiently, and that mastery of that way takes practice.

Many of us in the “gun community” take it for granted that everyone that carries a gun is as passionate or has the means and time to master this craft.  We also presuppose that everyone is as eager to maximize training opportunities as we are.

This is simply not the case, and we must realize this.

It is not that these people shirk this responsibility, many of them just don’t realize it exists in the first place.

It is essential that everyone that uses a gun for self defense be as trained as possible.

All of us would agree to this statement, but there must be readily accessible training opportunities as well.

The goal behind our Access Program, and specifically our

Tactical Marksmanship program was to enhance those opportunities, and allow everyone the opportunity to become a better practical shooter.

…and to give us the opportunity to chastise those that choose not to carry their gun everyday!

You have the RIGHT to bear arms…. you have the RESPONSIBILITY to train!


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