Whether your main focus is target shooting with a plinker of a handgun, or carrying a firearm for self-defense on a daily basis, you’ll benefit from regularly practicing with any guns you own. In fact, there are many benefits to practicing with your firearms. Shooting is a decayable skill, and opting to rarely handle and practice with your gun could very well prove costly in the long run in a variety of ways.
Let’s talk about the overall benefits of training regularly and how not doing so could be costly financially, emotionally and criminally as a result of a mishap at the range, in your home or while carrying a firearm outside of the house.
Becoming Intimately Familiar With Your Firearms
Becoming familiar with a firearm you are handling is imperative, but becoming intimately familiar with firearms you own is paramount. The main differentiating factor is that when you’re on a range and shooting a gun you’re unfamiliar with, you want to become well-versed enough to handle the firearm safely. However, owning a firearm pushes you into a category where you should be very well-versed and near expert level at handling what you choose to call your own.
Assuming you find yourself at a range with a friend or two, you may not always have the benefit of becoming acquainted with a gun before handling it. For this reason, practicing regularly with firearms that you possess will help you be more comfortable with models you haven’t fired previously, much like driving an unfamiliar vehicle.
At their most basic level, firearms are a tool and could be compared to nearly any tool in a variety of respects. For instance, if you aren’t familiar with a table saw but attempt to use one without being well versed on their overall functionality, you’re at a greater risk of injury or property damage. Likewise, if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle but attempt to just jump on one and ride it, you’re probably going to end up in a situation you’d rather not be in.
Having access to a firearm allows you to familiarize yourself with it constantly. Maintaining the highest standard of safety while handling your gun in any situation, privately or otherwise, will translate to how you handle it either at the range or in a self-defense scenario. The safer you are with your own firearms, the less likely you are to experience a costly mishap.
Ammunition prices are currently through the roof, and consistently getting out to the range to keep your skills sharp isn’t an option for most of us. However, dry fire training is a highly valuable, low budget exercise that helps you maintain a level of accuracy and stability that you may not otherwise have time and resources to at a live range.
Using Mantis Laser Academy helps make the most of your dry fire training by giving you immediate feedback on everything from your initial draw to your follow-through with your trigger pull. When it comes to live fire training, our MantisX line of products provides an additional level of feedback with the follow-up shots and recoil management.
For the rifle owners out there, our trigger resetting Blackbeard system now allows for dry fire laser training with no need to recharge your gun. Our Blackbeard system allows you to track your follow-up shots while using a laser cartridge with one less step added to the mix.
Using the Mantis system in both dry and live fire training can help keep costs down by using less ammunition than you would at the range. With dry fire training, this is obvious due to not using live ammunition at all. At the range, being more accurate in your shooting will help you go through less rounds to achieve and maintain a tight grouping. Odds are, if you’re shooting large groupings scattered throughout your target, you’re probably going to try and make those groupings tighter, thus using more ammunition.
When it comes to a defensive situation, you could argue that the absolute most important shot you’ll fire is the initial one. This is one way that dry fire training and live fire training are indistinguishable. Many ranges won’t allow you to draw from a holster (or a bedside quick access gun safe for that matter) and fire your gun, so in a private environment with a laser training cartridge like the Pink Rhino keeps this skill very sharp.
With shooting being a decayable skill, I like to look at it in a similar fashion to running a marathon. Once you’re actually able to run a marathon, maintaining that athletic aptitude is much easier and requires less effort than stopping for months and restarting your training regimen. It’s the initial training to get the first mile under your belt that truly is the hardest when you’re coming from not being a runner.
Maintaining tight groupings accurately and precisely is much easier once you hone in your initial shooting skills. Even though you may have a great day on the range where you’re sending rounds directly through your target, you’ll need to maintain that discipline in order to ensure it doesn’t fade away. In theory, once you reach your pinnacle of tight groupings with your firearms, you’ll need to shoot less to maintain these results.
There’s no arguing that dry fire training aids are extremely beneficial when it comes to maintaining accurate and precise shooting aptitude, but I could easily make the argument that it’s just as effective, if not more so, as live fire training. You can dry fire train in far more realistic scenarios than you can safely live fire train in, especially when it comes to your home environment. This means that less ammo is being used to run through more real-world situations, and this is one reason why I give so much credence to utilizing readily available dry fire training aids.
For those who want a more realistic experience rather than just hearing the firing pin click the back of a laser, you could opt for a realistic blowback system that uses compressed air. These systems are readily available in civilian and professional markets.
Practicing Home Defense Scenarios
For any serious firearm owner who exercises their right to own guns for self-defense and defending your family and home, practicing and preparing for home defense scenarios is paramount. While live fire training in the home is difficult, if not impossible, dry fire training in a home environment is not only easy and inexpensive to do, it can also be fun for the whole family.
There are tons of dry fire training aids available to the average consumer, from our Pink Rhino laser cartridge that works with our entire Mantis product suite, to laser training pistols and audible feedback laser targets and simulators.
The benefits of training for a home defense situation are vast, and we touch on how not being trained and versed in handling your firearm in your home can prove costly further down in the article. At the end of the day, most people buy guns not only to have fun at the range, but to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones in case they ever have to. Incorporating dry fire training into your regular regimen will always be time and money well spent.
Improving Accuracy And Precision
Let’s stay on theme here with the title of this article, and this section will help illustrate this point perfectly. Being that lack of practice can, in fact, prove harmful in the long run, improving accuracy and precision by practicing with your firearms can pay dividends.
It’s highly unlikely that being inaccurate on the range could have undesired consequences, short of not hitting your target as you would have liked. However, not being accurate in a self-defense scenario is definitely not the circumstance you want to experience. Whether you’re in the home environment, or (heaven forbid) in a public area with innocent bystanders surrounding you, accuracy is imperative when it comes to deploying your firearm in a defensive situation.
Being inaccurate in a place where accuracy is vital can alter your life forever. For example, not being accurate during a home defense scenario could gravely injure your loved ones, and being in a public area could open your life up to unwanted consequences, both financially and criminally. Let’s talk about what exactly could be the costly consequences if you lack the proper training with firearms, or even maintaining a level of proficiency needed to safely deploy a gun if the scenario arises.
How a Lack of Training Could Prove Costly
There are countless ways that a lack of training with your firearms can prove costly, and I don’t just mean monetarily costly, but life-changing as well. For the sake of this article, I’ve broken down this section into a few of the obvious, yet most important, costly consequences to consider when it comes to not training with your firearm. On a personal note, I’ll say that we make dry fire training so easy and readily accessible for you that there’s really no excuse for being untrained and not intimately familiar with your firearms.
So let’s talk about the main reasons as to why a lack of training could prove costly, in both a monetary and life-altering way.
Well, criminal liability is the obvious consequence that nobody wants to be a party to. I really need to emphasize this for people to understand that deploying your firearm in a defensive situation in public creates a scenario where 99% of potential targets are unintended targets, while the person you’re trying to defend against is now the narrow factor in a sea of innocent bystanders.
One thing to keep in mind is that just because you hit your target, especially if it’s with a high caliber, full metal jacket round, that doesn’t mean your bullet will come to rest immediately. You will be fully responsible for everything that bullet hits until it comes to rest. One misplaced round fired from your gun, even with the best of intentions, can alter your life forever. Sadly, there are plenty of examples out there of people who had honest defensive intentions but weren’t able to contain their targeting to not include innocent lives.
While civil liability varies from state to state and situation to situation, you’d be dreaming if you think that you could deploy a firearm in a defensive situation in or around public areas and simply put your gun away and drive home for dinner. At a minimum, you’ll be questioned and likely detained until the situation is sorted out. Then after that, there’s a decent chance the situation won’t just disappear.
If I had to deploy a gun in a public area where (even if my shot was on target) people were at risk or witnessed a traumatic situation, I’d be awaiting a phone call from a litany of attorneys asking for compensation for a client who I traumatized. Even without criminal charges, civil liability will find its way to creep up in your life when you may least expect it, potentially extending a nightmare situation for years.
For those of you who haven’t caught on yet, when I say “civil liability,” I’m talking about financial liability. One of the best quotes I’ve ever heard is, “There’s a lawyer attached to every bullet leaving your firearm.”
Injuries to Loved Ones
I/ve talked about criminal and civil liability directly relating to discharging a firearm in public, but what about a self-defense situation within your home? If you’re going to experience any defensive situation, the likelihood is that the situation you experience will be intruders in your own home. Drywall and studs will do absolutely nothing to stop a bullet, and most likely your interior doors are as good as cardboard at stopping rounds as well.
Assuming you don’t live alone on a ranch with no neighbors around and no family inside, you really need to understand where and how you can safely discharge a firearm without risking harm to those you care about. Not only do you need to practice and be efficient with defending your family within your home, but anybody you live with needs to be aware of your plan, how to act in situations like this, and what to do if something goes wrong. If you have young children, they’ll need to know where to go, where to hide, and most importantly… what not to do if there’s an intruder in your house.
I don’t know about you, but there’s no amount of civil or criminal liability that would make me feel worse than harming my own loved ones from negligently discharging a firearm within my home in an attempt to protect my family. I’ll say again that the interior walls and doors of a house will do absolutely nothing to stop a bullet.
Undesired Damage To Property
I’ve saved the least impactful of these factors for last, but it’s still nevertheless important to consider undesired damage to property. Short of taking undesired furniture out to a range and punching holes in it, I’m not sure if any damage to property would be considered “desired.”
When I say undesired damage to property, I’m not necessarily talking about shooting an urn full of ashes off your mantle or a sentimental antique being damaged. I’m referring to the practical and valuable things that are likely to get destroyed. Aside from the obvious damage to walls and doors in the house, think of how many electronics you may have, from computers and mounted televisions to the cars in your garage. Of course, this is implying that you get into a shootout while trying to defend your household, but sadly, this isn’t too far from reality if you do find an armed intruder in your house.
Sure, insurance may help you recover or pay for some, if not all, of the damaged tangible items, but you’ll also have to deal with the damage done to the minds of you and your loved ones. Getting into such a situation would be traumatizing for everybody involved, and it’s something people have to live with forever. Some may cope better than others, but especially a house with young children will have to navigate waters that not many people can practically relate to.
Live Fire Training Is Important, But You’ll Never Regret Dry Fire Training
We left off the last section with a bit of a downer, so let’s lighten the mood a bit with how fun training can be. Yes, live fire training will always be the best way to train, and arguably the most fun, but you will never regret incorporating dry fire training into your regimen. While many things in life are a genuine waste of time, dry fire training doesn’t grace that list.
Dry fire training is arguably the most fun you’ll have on a rainy day. Yes, yes… we all know that an indoor range doesn’t care about the weather, but who wouldn’t love training within a home environment when the weather is less than ideal outside? The reality is that you can’t truly train via live fire within your home environment, so dry fire training is extremely important when it comes to avoiding the consequences of a lack of training within your household, as we mentioned above.
Live fire training will always make for better understanding of how your gun actually fires when the trigger is pulled, but dry fire training will always make for a better situational training session in realistic environments that are otherwise impossible to live fire train in.
One could argue that in most self-defense scenarios, the initial trigger pull is the most important. Dry fire training is just as good as live fire training when it comes to practicing that initial deployment and trigger pull. Not to mention, you’ll save tons of money by incorporating dry fire training into your life. We’ve even discussed the possible savings in another article that you can read here. (LINK SAVINGS ARTICLE)
Are You Ready To Take Your Training To The Next Level?
Making the most of training with your firearm requires more than just a fun day at the range. If you’re ready to take your training to the next level and become a more proficient shooter, then our Mantis line of products can help get you there. The Mantis systems have been proven to improve your shooting immediately and make you a better shooter overall. The money saved with either dry fire training or conserving ammunition at the range will help pay for any of our products quicker than you realize. For those of you who own an AR, our new Blackbeard auto-resetting system makes training even easier by removing the need to reset your bolt with every shot.
If you’re ready to join the Mantis family, or even upgrade your current Mantis training system, then you can check out everything we have to offer by visiting our product page on our website and finding the system that works best for you. We even offer functionality for shotguns and bows, so we have something for any and all types of shooters out there. When you get around to training with our Mantis system either on the range or in the comfort of your own home, be sure to share your experiences with us via Instagram and Facebook. We love seeing people improve their accuracy nearly overnight!
As always, we hope you enjoyed this article and found at least some of the information helpful or entertaining to you. We hope you’ll join the Mantis family if you haven’t already done so. Even if you already own one of our amazing products, we offer an unbeatable trade-in program when you’re ready to take your existing training to the next level.