Special Forces Techniques For Conceal Carry

This week, Instructor Zee takes us through his 3 favorite drills for training with your concealed carry pistol. 

Viewers seemed to love our series of videos that covered the CTEs, or Critical Task Evaluation drills, showing the actual tests that many Special Operation units use to gauge their shooting skill level. We get lots of comments from viewers telling us how that have practiced and can match the standards that we listed. That’s great, and it should be everyone’s goal. However, please note that our Special Operations Forces (or at least my last unit) are required to pass all these drills “cold.” By that, I mean that they don’t get any time to warm up. In other words, these guys must be ready to perform to standard, at the drop of a dime, day or night, when the situation presents itself. 

Likewise, here at Tactical Rifleman, we believe that if you carry a concealed firearm for self-defense, you should be able to perform to standard, at the drop of a dime, day or night, when the “moment of truth” presents itself. 

Now, we are not saying that you should be able to conduct all the Special Operations CTEs to standard with your concealed carry pistol. However, there are basic drills that you need to be able to do: Draw, Speed Reload, and Rapid Engagement. 

Where we see flaws in people’s training, is that they always “dress down” for shooting on the range. In other words, they wear clothing that they know that they can draw and shoot fast from. A classic example of this can be found at local IDPA competitions. These competitions require that competitors shoot while wearing cover garments. Cool. However, MOST competitors wear those ugly “Photographer Vests” (with weighted pocket), so they can quickly throw the jacket back and get a faster draw.  That’s not real life. 

Real life is what you are wearing right now. Real life is what you are going to wear tomorrow, wear next week, next month, next season. What you wear daily changes, or at least I hope it does, and really changes once the seasons/weather gets really hot or really cold. 

So, why don’t we train that way? You consider yourself “prepared” because you are carrying a gun. Have you ever quickly drawn and engaged a target while wearing today’s outfit?

Here’s an easy drill that will change your life for the better… Once you get up in the morning and dress for the day; before you load your pistol and leave the house, go ahead and Dry-Fire ten (10) draws from that holster and that outfit you are wearing. Now, remember to ENSURE that the firearm is UNLOADED. Sounds like a “no brainer” but you would be surprised how many people leave their concealed carry guns loaded all night. Again, this is simple, once you are dressed and you have clipped on that holster; before you load your pistol, practice your draw. Easy. Pick a spot on the wall in a safe direction and dry fire. Rack the slide, reholster, and repeat nine more times. Did I mention Ensuring that the pistol was UNLOADED? 

This will do several things. First, it will ensure that you can actually draw safely from that outfit, without cloth, strings, zippers, and other crap interfering with your draw. Second, it will change the way you dress, I assure you. Third, it will give you confidence that, at the moment of truth, you can safely draw and fire your concealed carry firearm. Plus, all the daily loading and unloading will ensure that you keep that firearm fully functional and free of lint, dust, rust, and everything else that I see on guy’s concealed carry rigs. 

Always give yourself a few dry runs with your set up for the day, and always run some plain clothes and concealed carry set up drills when you do finally make it out to the range. 

Zee’s three drills are simple… First, draw from concealment with a single shot on target. Second, draw and engage, Reload (preferably from behind cover if available) and fire again. Lastly, Zee recommends the “Now” drill; which is pounding the target with a whole magazine, quickly reloading, and then sending one more bullet to stop the clock. This last drill will help you build on handling the sharp recoil impulse of some small pistols while still driving those sights back down into the center of the target. 

The cornerstone of being a Green Beret or any other Special Operations Soldier is training and knowing the basics! As you can see, there is not much flare or pizazz to these few shooting drills shown. Don’t be fooled though, as there are many important components that are being worked that apply to many more complex drills. I suggest doing these basic drills until you have acceptable accuracy and speed (safety always first). Once you are easily executing these drills, instead of graduating to other shooting drills, add some stressors to the mix. A few things you can add that will give you some stress and better simulate a real life threatening scenario are: time standards (shot timer), physical activity(sprints or calisthenics), target variations (smaller, target ID, hostage, etc), or even an audience of peers watching you. We like to add all of these stressors with a large dose of “shit talking” while the other guy is shooting. 

After that, get some “Force on Force” training with training munitions (UTM/Simmunitions/etc) that really puts your skills to the test in a 2-way gun fight. Remember, the flat range with no bad guys is the easiest place to execute shooting drills; you can only go so far there. If you want to be challenged and really increase your shooting skills; come train with us in one of our Tactical Rifleman shooting courses, that you can find at

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Responsible Armed Citizens | Concealed Carry Drills

Everyday concealed carry has gained more and more popularity in recent years, both in practice and in politics. It’s estimated there are over 16 million concealed carry permit holders in the United States, that’s a 256% increase in permits since 2007. Keep in mind that number does not include folks who carry in the 15 states that allow permitless or constitutional carry, not to mention folks who choose to carry without a permit. There are a variety of reasons folks choose to carry a concealed weapon including personal protection, crime prevention, and sheepdog mentality. Concealed Carry Weapon or (CCW) is a part of everyday life for millions of Americans, for those who carry there are a multitude of considerations that factor into everyday carry. The magnitude of obligation that is assigned with the decision to carry is not limited to choosing a firearm and deciding on a carry method. Personal protection does not end with holstering a loaded pistol on your way out the door in the morning.

Carrying a concealed weapon comes with great responsibility. There is a lot more to arming yourself with a deadly weapon than simply buying a small pistol and a concealed holster. As responsible gun owners and CCW citizens it’s important that we do our part when it comes to concealed carry. It’s critical to familiarize yourself with your chosen firearm, your carry method, and to practice real world scenarios when it comes to CCW. Whether it’s dry fire drills, live ammunition practice, or simply better familiarizing yourself with your pistol, mags, and holster; drills and intentional practice are critical to concealed carry, firearm safety, and an obligation in arming yourself in society.

A quick online search for Concealed Carry Drills will produce over 1 million results at the click of a mouse. It’s obvious that the topic of concealed carry and real world preparedness for those who choose to carry is a critical topic in society today. YouTube channels like USCCA (United States Concealed Carry Association), Iraqveteran8888NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation), and On Target all have multiple video series centered around the topic of concealed carry practice and concealed carry drills.

This video details dry fire drill options, by USCCA, it focuses on the use of snap caps for practice and drills for concealed carry.

Iraqveteran8888 has a great multipart series that covers many aspects of concealed carry. Check out this video, number three in the series, detailing drills.

The folks over at NSSF produce quality videos covering a host of topics around shooting sports, personal carry, and firearms in general. Here they discuss drawing a pistol in a car, the options for situational carry, and practice.

Over at the On Target channel, the guys cover everything firearm related, including this terrific video over basic drills for concealed carry.

Choosing to carry a concealed weapon is a personal choice and must be taken seriously. If you choose to add a firearm to your everyday carry, keep in mind the implications and obligations that accompany that choice. Take advantage of the wealth of resources available for training, proof of concept, and practical implementation to keep you and your family safe.