More on pistols...
"Thanks for the great advice y'all. I'm still working on accuracy--I can reliably hit a 9" target at 25' slow fire with my Glock 23 (which seems to conceal well in the small of my back under an untucked polo or Hawaiian shirt) but I'm nowhere near comfortable with draw-and-fire yet. Practicing draw-and-fire at the range just doesn't seem safe. Will training with an empty weapon at home help?""Dry-firing," as it's called, is not only helpful-- it's mandatory.
1. Find a safe place with a wall that is safe. (If the unthinkable happens, where will that bullet end up? You want to know that it would be only embarrassing, not tragic.).
2. Unload your pistol by: removing the magazine, and THEN pulling the slide back sharply to eject the round.
3. Lock open the slide.
4. Double-check the chamber, by looking into it.
5. Triple-check the chamber, by feeling it with your little finger, with the muzzle pointed up.
6. Place your load in a safe place. Now, many people advocate putting the loaded magazine and Barney Bullet in another room. I happen to embrace reality. Put the load on a table in plain view. NOT in your pocket. NOT behind you. Place them in front of you, where you can see them at all times during the exercise. Thus you know exactly where your ammunition is while messing with your gun; you can SEE it.
7. Put away your other carry ammo. Got a spare magazine? Put it with the other ammo out of the gun.
8. Ideally, you have an empty spare magazine to put into the pistol for the right feel. If not, either unload one or do without. Using a loaded magazine in the pistol is NOT an option. Yes, the weight of an unloaded magazine is different from a loaded magazine. Learn to adapt. The almost empty pistol weighs different from the fully-loaded one, too. BFD.
9. Check it again. Unloaded? Good.
10. Place the cocked pistol in your holster/carrying position.
11. Find a good aiming point across the room. Door knobs are good. Light switches are great. So is your duty load, sitting on the table across the room and out of reach.
12. Start with your hands across your body, preferably clasping each other.
13. Draw smooooooothly. By the numbers: Grip pistol with shooting grip. Unsnap or release whatever retention device you have on the holster. Draw straight up and out of the holster. Begin moving the pistol forward, knocking the safety off as you put your support hand out. Place the pistol-holding hand into the open support hand. Align your sights with your target, placing your finger on the trigger. Press the trigger, following through with the sight picture all the way through the pull.
14. Continue scanning. Seriously, do NOT immediately re-holster.
15. Now, re-cock, and reholster and resecure the holster.
Do it again. A little faster. Try to get your draw set so that your sights are aligned by the time you look for them, on the target. Change targets. Try starting your draw with eyes closed.
If you're motivated, you can do this about 40 times while a Sunbeam coffee pot brews. Do it 10 more times for an even 50 every day.
Take the weekend off, and you get 250 a week.
1000 a month.
12,000 strokes a year.
THAT is how you build muscle memory.
Dry-fire at least 5 shots for every live round you fire in practice. You'll be shocked at how it improves your draw-and-fire.