7 Tips to Bring the Gunfight to the Range

August 09, 2016 1 Comment

7 Tips to Bring the Gunfight to the Range

This article was originally published on policeone.com.

Many firearm trainers view range training as marginally effective for gunfight training and conditioning. However, if you bring the proper emotional perspective, train at the real speed of the gunfight, and learn to shoot under pressure and emotional duress, you will be amazed at how well you can and will do in a gunfight. I know because I have had many of my students over the years report successful encounters to me. They all report a similar thing...

“Ron, it was just like we did in training.”

When you train at a higher level and you realize that you can perform there, you get a huge boost in both confidence and performance. It is not a lowest-common-denominator world on the street when it comes to performance. Fractions of a second count and you should be working to make the most of the time you have to work with.

While range training is only part of preparing for a real-world gunfight scenario, here are seven tips to help you bring the gunfight to the range:

  1. Practice with the emotional intensity of a real encounter. You are FIGHTING, not just shooting. Psychological toughness/dominance is a mindset that must be exercised in order to develop it. As part of your training, visualize what you are doing as an actual encounter. Mindset is everything and it starts before you get to the range.
  2. Practice in the apparel and with the gear that you normally wear. What you wear will change the way you access your gun and shoot. Know what you can and can’t do with certain items of clothing or equipment on. Get in low positions, lie on the ground, and get in awkward positions around cover. Make sure you can access your gun and magazines from each of these positions. If it doesn’t work the way you want, change it around until it does.
  3. Practice in different temperatures, light conditions, and with different targets. Shooting in good weather or daylight is nice. Shooting in whatever weather or light conditions is present is part of the psychological toughening process. Practice reloads without using your eyes to do it; if it is dark outside, or you need to see what’s going on, you may not be able to see what your hands are doing.
  4. Practice speed with precision. Safely pay attention to trigger finger and muzzle. Get an electronic timer — they don’t lie — to get accurate time measurement as you work toward cutting your times down. Work from both a ready position and from the holster.
  5. Train the entire visual field, from point shooting, to soft focus, to hard focus. Targets at different distances have different visual requirements.
  6. Cycle your training. Change what you do and how you do it: distance, targets, time, and positions.
  7. Make it count. Track performance on everything — draws, reloads, movement, distance, scores, time — as you compete in a meaningful way. Put your phone on a tripod and film yourself shooting. You can spot many things that can be improved with it.


Ron Avery, co-founder

Tactical Performance Center

1 Response


October 06, 2016

Great article, will try and incorporate in for my training days, I have always believed you have to be aggressive in police work when using force. This article really emphasis it. I have used a timer on occasion, but now I will put more emphasis on getting better quality training for my time.

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