That seems like a very simple question... and it is a simple question. There are a lot of folks who practice often, many even compete in various shooting sports matches, IDPA, USPA, etc., but is it truly preparing you for your daily needs when it comes to carrying concealed? I also know a lot of folks go to the shootin' range and stand there putting holes in a fixed target at a fixed distance.
It's OK if you go to the local shootin' range occasionally or regularly, but are you drawing from concealment? I'm talkin' bout real concealment, not the unzipped jacket or shoot-me-first concealment you see folks sportin' at an IDPA match. It was a high of eighteen degrees 'round here yesterday. CCW folks are not walkin' around here with t-shirts tucked into their jeans covered by an unzipped wind-breaker or fishin' vest.
Now don't get me wrong, practicing shooting at the range or in competition are great for building skills... just like weight-lifting and aerobic exercise is great for football players, but you still need to get out on the field and run some plays before game day. And just like the coaches, you need to track your progress too. Are you "scoring" your targets while timing yourself? If you're not keeping track of your hits and accuracy while timing yourself, how do you know if you're getting any better?
Do you practice and run your gun, holster, and equipment like you carry daily? Do you practice reloading from your concealed extra magazine? Do you have a "competition" holster and a "daily carry" holster? Do you practice with your "daily carry" holster too?
Now I realize that many folks don't always have a place to practice that allows you to draw and fire from concealment... let alone shoot move or practice seeking cover, but it would be good if you can at least find some place that will let you practice you real-life skills occasionally. We're fortunate to have a place out back, but I'm sure if you look around your area, you'd eventually find some place to practice those daily carry skills.
So when you're walking around in 18 degrees with gusty winter wind blowing about... how fast can you get to your gun when your wearing three layers of clothes under your fully zipped-up, heavy winter jacket? Do you carry in an alternative location in that situation?
As I asked before... Do you practice like you carry?
So, what are your thoughts?