The Number One Mistake Shooters Make When Training

The #1 Mistake Shooters Make When Training

I love taking shooting courses. In fact, when I’m not teaching my own courses, I try and attend other folks training as much as I can. The good news is, there are a lot of good instructors in this country so it’s not tough to find a class near you.

However, if you choose to take one of these classes whether it’s local or at a larger training school such as Gunsite or Front Sight, I encourage you not to make the mistake that I see the majority of shooters make.

So what is the mistake?

It’s not training the way they regularly carry concealed on the street. In other words, when I’m carrying concealed I’m usually wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Unless I’m going to church or doing consulting, I try and avoid a suit at all costs. Therefore, when I go to a gun school I am dressed in jeans and a T-shirt.

What kills me is the folks I see who show up in tactical pants and other tactical gear who look like they’re about to join Rambo on his next raid. Now, if by the odd chance they wear that gear on a regular basis, then by all means, train that way. But if I had to guess, I’d say they don’t go grocery shopping decked out from head to toe in 5.11 gear.

However, the way a person dresses is just the beginning. When I attend a gun class I want to shoot well just as much as the next person does. But I always draw from concealment. After all, since that’s how I always carry my gun, drawing from concealment is the proper muscle memory I want to develop.


I have a lot of friends who attend their firearms training wearing an outside the waistband holster. Why do they do this? Because they’re quicker on the draw and feel they do better during the timed shooting drills. Yes, this may be true, but since they carry concealed on a regular basis, practicing with an outside the waistband holster obviously makes no sense.

Lastly, and probably the most ridiculous thing I see is the fellows who show up with huge guns that are clearly not their concealed carry guns. I realize it’s fun to shoot all types of guns, but if you’re going to spend a lot of money attending a pistol course, train with the gun you regularly carry. Take your non-carry guns to the shooting range and other places, but go to the schools with the gun you bet your life on.

As for me, the gun that comes with me to all the training I do is my Glock 19, because that’s my concealed carry gun. I know you may be thinking this is a lot of common sense, but I’m willing to bet that at the next training you attend, the majority of folks will not be training as if it’s “real life.” I just hope you’re not one of them, and that you force yourself to wear regular street clothes… to draw from concealment… and to bring your concealed carry gun with you.



Jason R. Hanson is a former CIA officer. He’s also an NRA Certified Instructor and the author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry: Confessions of a Former CIA Officer. Jason believes there are few things in life as important as being able to protect yourself and your loved ones. That’s why he’s giving away a free report titled, “Insider Secrets of Buying Your First Concealed Carry Firearm” at

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