People ask why Not Right Shooters?
The answer is very simple.  
I am a left handed shooter, "Not Right" which sometimes presents some unique challenges.  Most of my shooting friends would give me a hard time about being left handed and not being right and that was how the name and logo came to be.

What is practical Shooting?
Practical shooting is a sport that measures a shooters ability to shoot accurately and quickly using a full power firearm (Handgun, Rifle or Shotgun). Typically this is done through a series of scenario based courses called stages in which the shooter is challenged to navigate through the course and the various obstacles while shooting the required targets. These stages can range from only a few targets to many targets with lots of movement in order to test the skills of the shooter.  In most typically matches there are anywhere from 3 to as many a 12 stages that the shooters will have to negotiate. Two of the larger organizations that host practical shooting matches and can provide loads of additional information are the United States Practical Shooting Association and the International Defensive Pistol Association.   The USPSA has an excellent video that demonstrates the style of shooting that surrounds USPSA matches.

What is the difference between practical shooting and defensive shooting?
Some of the fundamentals of shooting are the same whether you are interested in "Practical Shooting" or "Defensive Shooting".  For instance proper sight picture, grip, proper trigger control and recoil management are fundamentally the same and need to be developed to a high level of proficiency and understanding.  However the similarities of the 2 disciplines generally stops there.  

In the USPSA type of "Practical Shooting" sports you are being driven by time and accuracy. This generally means that you will be looking for the quickest and shortest distance to complete the course of fire without regard to things such as checking for additional threats around you, barricades and cover may be present in the course of fire but not necessarily used unless it helps with accuracy and time of scoring.   In the IDPA form of "Practical Shooting" the methodology moves closer to a "Defensive Shooting" methodology in that it requires the shooter to use barricades and cover, limits the number of targets and typically has shots of a much shooter distance.

In true "Defensive Shooting" along with training and becoming proficient with the fundamentals of shootings discussed above you will also attempt to incorporate or mimic your body's natural response to stress and other factors commonly occurring in a "Dynamic Critical Incident" as defined by Rob Pincus in his Combat Focus Training Program. In these scenarios you will be practicing techniques that are congruent to what your body does naturally so under stress you are not working against yourself.  For example the loss of the fine motor skills that occurs under stress are considered in the training as well as the choice of equipment. You can get more information on the principles behind the Combat Focus 
philosophy from Rob Pincus' DVD or Book on Combat Focus Shooting Evolution.

What is this Combat Focus© Shooting and a Dynamic Critical Incident you are referring to?

Combat Focus© Shooting is an Intuitive Shooting program designed to help the student be more efficient with a defensive firearm in the context of a Dynamic Critical Incident. 

A Dynamic Critical Incident is defined in the Combat Focus Shooting philosophy as  an event that is

1. Surprising - You didn't know or expect it to happen

2. Chaotic - You are unsure of what is going to happen next

3. Threatening - and the appropriate response is the use of lethal force.  Not every threat requires or is appropriate for the use of lethal force.

I am a new shooter how should I get started?

As a new shooter it is always best to attend a certified firearms safety traingin course to gain a basic understanding of how to handle a firearm safely.  From there depending on your intended purpose you will have any number of choices.  For instance if you are interested in shooting in competition I would recommend you attend a couple of the matches to gain a better understanding of what it entails.  One thing I have found is that competitive shooters are a friendly breed and always willing to answer questions and help new potential competitors break into the sport.  Often you can contact the match director ahead of time and let them know you are anew shooter that is interested in coming to watch and learn and they will typically set you up with a person to talk to. On the other hand if your primary purpose is personal defense there are a number of courses that can help develop those skills and the knowledge needed to operate in a personal defense capacity.  The NRA has basic firearms courses as well as basic personal protection courses.  Then of course there are a number of more advanced level personal defense course such as I. C. E. Training's Combat Focus Shooting courses.

Which firearm should I get?
That is the million dollar question and the answer is it depends.  There is so much to consider in this regard but I have narrowed it down some fundamental questions that  need to be answered before you can narrow your choices down.  Its important to note that this only scratches the surface of information that goes into this decision.  Ask lots of questions of multiple people until you are comfortable.

1.  Purpose of the firearm.  Is it for competition?  Is it for personal defense in the home?  Is it for concealed carry?  Is it for hunting? Or does it need to be used for multiple purposes?

2.  Comfort & Fit.  Regardless of your choice of a firearm it must be comfortable for you to handle and shoot.  It should fit your hand properly and allow you to operate the firearm without constantly having to move your grip around.

3.  Cost.  Yes cost.  firearms can range from a s low as a couple hundred dollars to thousands.  What is your budget that you have to spend.  Keep in mind that depend on the purpose you have to factor in incidentals such holster, spare ammo carriers or lights if appropriate.

Once those questions have been addressed you should be able to, with the assistance of a "qualified Knowledgeable" salesperson, narrow your choices down to a handfull of firearms.  At that point I would recommend renting or demoing them before making your final decision.  If you are a new shooter and planning on attending a firearm safety course I would not rush out to purchase a firearm but instead see if the instructor or facility has rental firearms available.  The bottom line is if you are not comfortable handling and operating the firearm you chose, it will only be more uncomfortable when it comes time to use it under stress.

I am a woman so do I need to limit myself to the smaller firearms or calibers?

I often people talk about women needing to limit themselves to smaller caliber firearms such 22, 32, or 380. Unless you have a physical issue that limits your ability to manage recoil control properly such as arthritis most people can efficiently use any of the common calibers that are used for personal defense and/or competition.  It comes down to developing the proper techniques including grip, stance and recoil control.  Obviously starting out with a smaller caliber will make developing those skill a little easier initially but that is the case male or female.  Ultimately it will take time and practice with the firearm (regardless of caliber) you intend to use in order to become proficient in its use.  As an example of this take a look at this video of 13 year old Katelyn Francis shooting Stage 1 of the Fallen Brethren 3 Gun Match.  In this video she is using a fully automatic ACR, a Benelli 12 gauge shotgun and a Smith & Wesson M&P Pro 9mm handgun.

How often should I practice?

As with anything that requires a high level of skill proficiency the more you practice the more proficient you will become. Unfortunately there are a number of restrictions that limit ones ability to practice such as access to a range, time and, with the increasing cost of ammunition, financial resources.  In order to offset some of these limitations, there are a number of drills that helps in honing some of the fundamental skills of shooting that does not require a range or ammo.  These are called dry fire practice drills.  A couple of excellent resources for dry fire practice are available.  The first is a book geared more towards competition skill development written by Steve Anderson called Refinement and Repetition.  The second which is more geared towards personal defense skills development is an excellent DVD that is part of the Rob Pincus' I.C.E. Training DVD series called Dry Fire Practice & Methodology.


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