Handgun Training For Concealed Carry

Defensive Handgun Training

Why defensive handgun training matters

It’s human nature to be afraid of the unknown. Some people stay locked in their fear. Others choose to educate themselves to the best of their abilities. If you’re carrying a concealed firearm, you need to be in the latter camp.

In our continuing series on concealed carry, we’re going to discuss defensive handgun training and staying connected with your weapon. This training is as important for you as it is for the safety of others in ANY situation. Trivial encounters can escalate quickly. You need to be prepared to defuse a tense situation until law enforcement arrives.

The Basics:

Whether you’re an old hand at concealed carry or you’re new to the team, there are 5 responsibilities you MUST adhere to every time you suit up:

  1. Handle every firearm as if it is loaded.
  2. Never point a firearm at a person, place or thing you aren’t willing to shoot.
  3. Until you’re ready to discharge your weapon keep your finger off the trigger.
  4. Never shoot without knowing what’s in front of your target and behind it, but ALWAYS keep yourself and others safe from attackers.
  5. Understand that any crisis situation could result with taking another person’s life.

Why Handgun Training?

If you follow the basics mentioned above, even in an extreme situation, you can help avoid certain tragedy.

That’s why it’s important to routinely train with your concealed carry firearm. To comfortably do the basics demands that you be comfortable with your firearm and with your own abilities, both mental and physical. This is real life and there are no do-overs.

DO NOT confuse the training we are talking about here with mandatory concealed carry firearm training required in more than 20 states. THAT training seldom teaches self-defense tactics and strategy. You won’t learn how to draw your weapon in any number of ominous situations, or how to shoot and handle a weapon malfunction under those same dangerous conditions.

If you’ve completed mandatory concealed carry firearm training in your home state, you still need defensive firearm training. Taught correctly, such a course should scare the crap out of you.

Here’s How Defensive Firearm Training Works

The goal is to put you into a situation where real crisis reactions happen inside you.

  • You will feel stress.
  • You will have trouble hearing clearly.
  • Your heart rate will be elevated.
  • Your palms will be sweaty.
  • Your mind will be racing.
  • You might see only what is directly in front of you (tunnel vision)

Experiencing these fears in the safety of a training course is preferable to facing them for the first time during a real crisis situation. That’s how someone ends up dead. Don’t let it be you.

Course Topics

Here’s what to look for in a defensive handgun training course:

  1. Close-encounter techniques, including concealed carry drawing skills and how to handle multiple attackers
  2. Street fighting techniques, including entry points to stop an attacker wearing body armor
  3. One-handed return fire
  4. Shooting on the run
  5. Using cover to return fire

Finally, defensive handgun training classes take the paralyzing surprise out of being in an emergency situation. That’s not to say a real-life encounter won’t induce stress. But you’ll know how to assess your surroundings. You’ll have a fair idea of what to expect from an assailant(s) and from bystanders. Most of all, you will know what to expect from yourself and your weapon.

You can only control your actions and reactions so be prepared to the best of your ability. And remember, your concealed carry firearm is only as adept as you.


Just carrying a firearm does not make you and those around you truly safe. Without adequate training, you may even be less safe. So get defensive handgun training, repeat it now and again, and stay safe.

Other posts so far in this series:

Image source: By Coast Guard photo by PA3 Michael Hulme [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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About Bret Smith

I am a long-time lover of all things outdoors. Whether hunting, shooting, fishing or just hiking and camping, I take every opportunity to enjoy nature and share it with others.

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