Train Difficult…

In addition to dragging the old Webley out for the first time in about fifty years I also brought along my Glock 19. For me, the G19 is pretty much a full sized gun and too big to carry or conceal easily. It is, however, my “bedside gun” alongside a spare G17 magazine giving me around 36 rounds to deal with a threat or fight to my long gun. Since I don’t practice with it often and I wanted to test my 9mm reloads in it I decided to lug it to the range along with the snubbies and Glock 43 that I normally carry.

I practice the most with my carry guns for a few reasons. If I encounter a dangerous situation and need a firearm the chances are that it will be away from home. They are also much more difficult weapons to master than larger firearms like the G19.


I ran the dot torture drill with the G19 first. I figured since I had practiced with it the least I should spend some quality time with it up front. Thing was that at the 20 foot distance I was working I couldn’t seem to miss. On some of the multi-shot dots I was all the rounds through the same, ragged hole and doing so pretty quickly. I chalked it up to one of those special days where everything just seems to work better than normal until I picked up the Smith & Wesson 442.


I went from sending each round through the same hole as quickly as I could bring the gun back on target to struggling to hit the dot. The better sights on the Ruger LCR helped me bring (most of) my shots back into the dot and far more quickly than the 442. The Glock 43 was better still with the shots grouped nicely inside the two inch dots and even better speed but nowhere near what I could do with the Glock 19. The bottom line is that not having shot the G19 in a fairly long while my times and accuracy on the Dot drill were significantly better than they were when I trained with it regularly…

So, why could I shoot the G19, which I rarely train with these days, so much better than the guns I practice with regularly?

Here’s my theory…

As I mentioned before, snubbies and pocket 9mm semis are much more difficult guns to shoot well. So, I practice with them a lot and practicing (training) with things that are difficult makes me better with the things that are easy…a lot better. The long, fairly heavy triggers on the revolvers, the light weight and snappy recoil of the revolvers and the G43 take a lot of work, work that makes me a much better shooter with the easier to shoot G19.

Should everyone go out and buy a revolver and/or a pocket 9mm to practice with?

Sure, why not? As long as it doesn’t drive up the prices on the guns and ammo I want to buy, I got no problem with it. If you can’t afford that you can still benefit from this little observation. Focus your training on harder drills than what you might need in “real life” violent encounters. Do I really need to be able to hit a two inch target at twenty feet to stop an attacker? Probably not, but if I can do that on demand I can hit a larger target even faster (don’t forget to practice that occasionally as well). It’s the same principle of “training difficult” so that real world actions are easier.

God bless.

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