My Gun Journey: Training, Training, and More Training

RedState's Jeff Charles trains with his firearm. (via Twitter)

I’ve not been very diligent about documenting my journey as a new gun owner. But now, I’m getting back on it.

In 2021, I finally made the plunge and purchased my very first firearm. After about a month of research, I decided which pistols to try out. Then, I decided which one was right for me.


But my journey did not stop there. I knew that simply purchasing a gun was not the end of the story. After all, what good is having a gun if you don’t know how to use it? For the life of me, I can’t understand why some folks don’t think it necessary to become proficient with their weapons.

So, about a month after I became a gun owner, I drove from Austin to Dallas to train with Cecil from On Point Defense Group. To put it simply, he is an amazing trainer.

I spent most of the day in a personal class to learn how to manipulate my weapon. He ran me through several drills, including moving while shooting, which I had not done until that point. It was a lot of fun, but it was mentally grueling.

Cecil had me go through these exercises slowly at first. He taught me the proper steps to follow when pulling and presenting my weapon, which is not as easy as it appears! The key was to develop muscle memory. This is essential because if you find yourself in a dangerous situation, you don’t want to have to remember each of the steps under pressure. Here is some of the footage. Don’t make fun of me!

I would say my primary struggle when it comes to shooting is recoil anticipation. Sometimes, my hands shake and I push down on the barrel because I know the gun is going to buck when I pull the trigger. I was also too focused on hitting the bullseye on the target – so much so that my groupings were not as tight as they could be.


In a genius move, Cecil had me shoot at the iron plate instead of the paper because he knew that if I had no bullseye, I would shoot better. He was right. When I wasn’t so focused on the target, my groupings were MUCH better. Overall, the class was very informative–and it made me a much better shooter.

But I have a confession to make: I fell off on my training.

I know, I know. Life got in the way, and I wasn’t going to the range as much this year. Don’t worry, I am getting back on the wagon and will definitely be taking more training courses and continue to document my journey.

Over the past year, I’ve learned that being a gun owner is a serious responsibility. But it is also a lot of fun. Training at the range and in classes gives me a thrill that no hobby has. I am looking forward to diving deeper into this world and sharing it with you all! Stay tuned, folks.


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