Don't Replace Training With Equipment
I’m terrible at golf but I enjoy playing every now and again. However, one thing I often notice on the golf course is someone who exchanges training for equipment. By this I mean they try to make up for their lack of training by buying better equipment. I often see the same thing in the shooting world.
Now, there is nothing wrong with good equipment. You should get the best equipment that you can reasonably afford. However, you want to be someone who has equipment that enhances your skills, not someone who has equipment that replaces your skills.
There are a lot of modern enhancements that can be added to firearms and many of them can really help. However, we thought it would be wise to mention a few points to consider before tricking out your gun.
1. Learn the fundamentals of shooting first – In the same way that a golfer should not buy the best driver and just start hacking away, a new shooter should not make his gun into a Ferrari until he has learned the basics of combat shooting. Don’t worry about advanced gear until you have learned how to shoot and move, reload, clear malfunctions, shoot from different positions, etc.
2. Learn to shoot it with iron sights first – Not only are iron sights more reliable, work in every environment, don’t break as easily, and don’t run out of batteries, they also force you to learn good shooting habits. If you can shoot irons then you can shoot optics but not necessarily vice versa. Also, you learn the fundamentals more quickly with irons and it helps your natural point of aim by getting used to lining up both the front and back of the gun every time. Optics are fantastic, but they get dirty, muddy, foggy, and break more easily than irons.
3. Move your gear around your grip, not the other way around – You want to be consistent with how you hold the gun. Move your gear around your pre-established grip, cheek weld, etc. Many people put all the gear on their gun and then try to grip their gun and end up changing their grip. Instead, grip your gun normally and then put your gear around your grip. Move your gear, not your grip.
4. Spend more money on training and less on gear – In the same way that a bad golfer needs golf lessons more than a titanium set of golf clubs, most shooters need training more than they need a new I.R. laser. Don’t assume you know how to shoot just because you have been shooting your whole life. Learn from experts, both military and law enforcement, that can teach you how to shoot better and what gunfights are like in real life.
5. Beware of gear that is gimmicky – The firearms industry is a booming industry and everyone is trying to make a buck. Try to avoid buying gear that is gimmicky or that you don’t really need. It is better to spend that money on a better firearm or more training than on the newest piece of equipment that doesn’t actually help. Remember, five-toed running shoes were once all the rage…
Gear is fantastic. I’m definitely a “gear guy.” I love optics, lasers, grips, and all kinds of enhancements. However, make sure your gear doesn’t replace your training, but only bolsters it.