Mentor Speaks on Self-Guided Training

Claude Warner speaks at Georgia convention about self-guided practiceWhile out researching one of my first ArmedCandy blog posts, over two years ago, I was lucky enough to meet a man who is a highly regarded instructor in the firearms community. He is nationally regarded as an expert on snubby revolvers, though his knowledge seems unlimited. He is also an accomplished gun writer and has been, something of a mentor to me. Surprisingly, it was not until this past weekend, that I was able to sit in one of his lectures for the first time.

Claude Werner spoke at the Georgia convention this weekend, on “self directed practice”. It was not just that I had been looking for an opportunity to hear a lecture of Claude’s for a while, but as a mostly self-taught shooter, this topic was something in-which I was very interested.

One of Mr. Werner’s first statements caught me off guard. He mentioned his personal feelings against legal training requirements for gun owners. Hearing this from a man whose opinion I regard so highly, through me for a moment. Claude then went on to explain that in comparison to the number of gun owners in America, the number of certified instructors (teaching classes at maximum levels) would only be able to offer instruction to between 2-5% of them. Seeing this startling deficiency gave me a much clearer understanding of Claude’s reasoning. So if we can’t rely on classes to keep up our shooting skills, how can we know become better shooters and judge our competence?

Mr. Werner then went on to explain why he felt most people, going to the range, were wasting time and money and the standards by which they should actually be measuring and building their training. I will cover the tips I learned from Claude Werner’s lecture on self-guided shooting practice next week, but for now I’d like to ask, do you have a self guided regimen for range visits? Do you have clear standards by which you measure the success of your practice sessions? Do you adjust your training standards as you improve your skills?


    1. I plan to give you some great resources on Monday! Plus I have recently reviewed/received some products that will make the exercises even more do-able (even dry-fire options!!!)

  1. Yep, my personal favorite standard is the “beat the dropped coin” for a draw and dry fire… Its old, made-up based on nothing more than gravity and not flashy! But its cheap and readily availible needing nothing more than a mirror, a couple of coins and an unloaded gun/holster.

      1. Ok well here’s the procedure:
        Step one: UNLOAD THE GUN AND RACK/LOCK THE SLIDE TO THE REAR now put the gun down (usually on my bed)
        Step two: drop ALL ammo (I usually leave mine on the bed)
        Step three: pick up the gun, look in the mag well/ chamber (if you see ammo repeat step one)
        Step four: take your pinky finger insert it into the chamber then the magwell if you feel anything but hole repeat step one
        Step five: go to the bathroom repeat steps three and four! (No these aren’t jokes! Yes they need to be done! A lot of people have ND’ED DOING THIS WRONG!)
        Step six: drop the slide, holster, put a coin on the back of your weak hand and hold it at shoulder level.
        Step seven: when ready drop the coin (I like pennies, they’re cheap and easy to get) and as the coin is falling draw and dryfire at whatever target you’ve selected (I like post-it notes on the mirror).

        The goal is to break the shot before you hear the coin hit the floor… Which I do about half the time on a good day. The mirror serves to let you see your movements and diagnose any issues.

      2. Also I’m sorry for any spelling/grammer errors the checks on my crackberry suck…

  2. Claude is a treasure for sure. One thing that has always struck me, is the number of folks on my local range who do not have shot timers, set drills or a means to record data. As for my old self, I’ve shamelessly stolen several drills from ToddG and use’em to see where I am.

  3. This is one reason I like shooting competitions. It motivates me to improve and provides a context for gauging improvement.

  4. You where Pro mandatory training before? I mean I get how you see that as a legitimate solution but I wouldn’t go spreadin it around its just constitutionally indefensible and generally not cool.

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