This article began as some thoughts when I was listening to the P&S Kyle Defoor interview a few months ago, and I am finally putting thoughts on paper (or the internet’s version of paper). “Tell me about your rifle” (here) was Kyle’s question that started me thinking. On a similar vein, more handgun-focused, was the phrase “tell me a story about your pistol.”
Ask yourself “How confident am I in my gear?” In that worst case scenario where a failure of your gear means grave bodily injury or death, can you count on it all the time, every time? If not, why not? How can you bring your gear up to that level of trust?
Watching videos of many violent encounters, you quickly realize how vital the opening moments are. As someone closes distance, can you guarantee that your handgun is where it should be? Will it have fallen out, shifted position drastically, or otherwise become unavailable? When you press the trigger, how sure are you that the gun will fire, and that is will hit at the point of aim of your sights?
If you grab your rifle, is your optic going to be on? Will it have shifted to where you might be endangering others? Once again, do you have confidence that it will fire the first time, and any number of times afterwards that you might need it?
Now to the training issue: do you have the confidence in your own ability to take a shot, and know it will go where you intend it to? Can you consistently draw on target efficiently and without hang-ups? Can you do it all the time, every time?
Recently I have been in a gear reduction mode, getting rid of unnecessary equipment (no it’s not to buy a MAWL). For that ‘duty equipment,’ consider the boring part of gear purchases that we might need to make, and consider making those purchases, instead of the new ‘exciting’ gear. Gear like replacement springs and parts, new sights, tools, quality holsters and mag pouches, medical gear, batteries, etc.
I’ll end with (yet another) question: so what? Here are a few practical examples:
-Missing a shot during training is much easier to diagnose when you know your pistol had a solid zero.
-Knowing your recoil spring is on its last legs and might break in half like the last one stays in the back of your mind, and can be a distraction (from personal experience)
-Trying to carry a squared away gun in a sub-par holster or with an inferior belt kills comfort, conceal-ability, and consistency (and reduces confidence)
When you prepare with the proper gear and training, it gives you confidence knowing you and your gear can perform on command, every time.