SHOT Show 2012: Don't shoot your TV!

Be creative in developing drills that enable you to practice technically- and tactically-sound skills, while simultaneously “mixing things up and keeping things interesting”

During SHOT Show 2012, I ran into John “Tony” Mayer of JM Custom Kydex. . Regular readers of this space will recall that for Christmas, a great friend of mine — who had apparently taken pity on me for my well-worn, level-two leather holster — gave me a beautiful new concealed-carry rig from JM Custom Kydex. I was telling Tony how much I love his holster — the only problem being that it’s definitely different from the holster I’ve had for several years (and drawn from quite literally about 10,000 times). I knew I had to quickly get used to the new one if I was going to begin using it in the near future, so that first evening after I got it, I began repetitions with my Blue Gun, doing about 100 draws.

A couple of evenings later, I did another set of 100 draws.

A couple evenings later, I loaded a couple mags with dummy rounds and started doing some of my typical drill regimen using my personal-protection pistol that new holster.

Shoot, Don’t Shoot!
As we all know, that sort of thing — hundreds upon hundreds of reps — can get pretty old, pretty fast, so I began contemplating how I could mix things up a bit. Then I remembered a tip someone had submitted to PoliceOne a while back — perhaps three years ago — involving shoot-don’t-shoot dry-fire drills with your TV. Here’s the thing. I love my TV, so — despite the bumper stickers imploring me to do so — there’s no chance in the world I’d ever point my pistol at that beautiful HD screen (never point at anything you’re unwilling to lose forever!).

But I spend 10-12 hours a day in front of a computer monitor, and the thought of shooting that thing occurs to me roughly once every three or four hours (at a minimum!).

So I set up a PowerPoint slideshow with 42 shoot-don’t-shoot slides consisting of 21 shoot targets, and 21 don’t-shoot targets (if you must know, I chose to use images of three famously nice-looking bikini-clad supermodels, three famously-evil terrorist dirtbags, and one of a famously-gnarly movie zombie).

I created a random number of each image as well as randomizing (as best I could) the order in which they appear. I set the transitions such that a blank slide comes up in between each image, allowing me to practice scanning, breathing, and reholstering, as well as giving me time to get ready for the next decision-making cycle before the next image is revealed.

This is, quite admittedly, a very (very) poor man’s Hogan’s Alley, but I’ve found it to be a pretty interesting way to do lots and lots of repetitions with my awesome new holster. Hell, every few slides I even get to see a really attractive woman in a bikini.

The whole point of this little column is twofold:

1.) When you get a new piece of gear, it is imperative you go well out of your way to consciously practice repetitions with it so you get to a place you’re comfortable — at least as comfortable with it as the gear you’re replacing, if not more so.

2.) Be creative in developing drills that enable you to practice technically- and tactically-sound skills, while simultaneously “mixing things up and keeping things interesting” within a safe training environment.

One Final Thought
En route to “Media Day” at the range on Monday, I was telling my good friend Lindsey Bertomen about this new drill, and he said that he does, in fact, practice draws and pistol manipulations with his TV. He simply inserts a training barrel into his sidearm, and selects a character on the show to whom he will respond “and solve the problem” as they say. I’m going to get myself a similar barrel — perhaps this one from 5.11 Tactical.

Stay safe out there my friends.

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA). Doug is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Read more articles by PoliceOne Editor in Chief Doug Wyllie by clicking here.

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