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5 Must Have Concealed Carry Skill Sets

June 08, 20245 min read

You’re going on about your day. Everything is going normally. You go into your local grocery store to pick up a few items. You hear a bit of commotion in the background, so you turn around to see what it’s about.

“What the heck…” You think as you watch a group of men and women rushing through the crowd, beating people and knocking them to the ground using baseball bats and metal pipes.

They are now only a few yards away, and you are mere seconds from being next.

You have a choice to make, and you better make it quick: Do I run, or do I fight?

Unfortunately, to get to the exit means you have to run through the attackers. You have no choice but to fight because it doesn’t look like this gang is interested in negotiating.

This scenario was quite common just a couple of years ago during the COVID pandemic. More so in some parts of the country. Part of why gun ownership and concealed carry applications reached record levels.

Although those who found themselves in the middle of such incidents may have carried a gun for protection, too many were not skilled enough, if at all, to handle such an attack.

If you intend to carry a firearm for protection, there are 5 skill sets I believe you must possess in order to dominate and survive a violent attack. In my opinion, these are non-negotiable.

1. The Fundamentals

The fundamentals of shooting are the proper posture, grip, breathing, aiming, and squeezing the trigger.

Your development as a shooter, especially for self-defense, depends on how good your fundamentals are.

2. Shooting with either hand.

Shooting effectively with 2 hands is a given. But violent attacks are dynamic and often over in seconds. The attackers will usually have a deadly weapon of some sort. You may get injured, and if one of your arms or hands is incapacitated, you will likely have to shoot back with one hand, and it may even be your weak hand.

If you’re holding a child in your arms, you can’t just drop them so you can shoot with both hands. Or perhaps you want to shield a loved one by guiding them back with one arm while you shoot with the other.

Anything can happen, and you must adapt skillfully.

So, dedicating some practice time to shooting effectively with either hand is very important.

3. Presentation from a holster.

Unless you can present your firearm safely and quickly enough to get effective shots on target, your pistol will not do you much good. In the scenario above, the attackers were closing in fast, and you had no escape.

A determined attacker can close a distance of 7 yards in approximately 1.5 seconds, provided there is nothing in its way. That’s not a lot of time to get your gun out and get enough shots off to stop the threat.

Not every scenario may require you to be that fast, but unfortunately, we can’t predict how an attack will unfold and how much time we’ll have.

So, whatever you carry your gun in, be it a holster, purse, or backpack, make sure you practice that presentation until it is dialed in.

4. Emergency reloads.

Most self-defense incidents will likely not require an emergency reload. That means you run out of bullets and have to replace your empty magazine with a full one so you can continue to defend yourself.

However, in a scenario like the one above where there are multiple attackers and multiple victims, you may need more ammunition and quite possibly be required to perform an emergency reload.

It is also quite common in self-defense incidents to shoot more bullets than expected, be it because of panic or because the attacker just keeps coming.

You may get injured and forced to fight with only one hand. That means potentially having to perform an emergency reload with only one hand available.

Also, magazines can break or malfunction too. So, having a spare is a smart precaution.

Carrying a spare magazine or two and knowing how to quickly change them if need be is essential to being able to continue to fight back.

5. Fixing malfunctions.

Most good quality guns these days, except perhaps 22 caliber firearms, don’t often experience malfunctions, but they still may.

Malfunctions can also be caused by faulty ammunition, magazines, and human error. It’s not always the gun.

There are several common malfunctions, and if you carry a firearm for protection, you ought to know how to quickly recognize them, fix them, and resume shooting.

I take care of my guns very well, yet I still have malfunctions occur for all the reasons above and more.

Some malfunctions may not be fixable on the spot, but the most common ones are, and you must know how to fix them quickly, or you’re out of the fight or worse.

These five skill sets are not the end all be all, but further development towards becoming a confident, effective, and safe concealed carrier rests on these 5 skill sets.

Learning to perform these skills is one thing. Learning to perform these skills on demand and under pressure is a whole other thing.

It requires the right kind of instruction and consistent deliberate practice over an extended period. It takes commitment.

The kind of commitment most gun owners don’t have. How do I know? I am at the range multiple times a week and rarely, if ever, see anyone perform these skill sets. Even the ones that are permitted by the range.

Too many people are trying to figure things out on their own and not willing to invest in good instruction and well-planned practice sessions. It’s evident by all the holes in the walls, the ceilings, and the pings you hear on the metal railings.

I can’t tell you what to do. I can only try to make you aware of what you ought to learn and pay attention to. The rest is up to you.

I hope none of us ever need these skills in real life, but it only takes once to make us either wish we had them or glad we did.

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Joe Yagar

Joe Yagar is a NRA Certified Instructor in the Bradenton-Sarasota area.

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