One of the discouraging things if you want to mimic the exploits and adventures of the really serious students of the gun, in addition to realizing that they are leaving no time for a normal life, is just how much it must all cost. Between the ammo that they blast through wholesale and the courses they attend, to say nothing of the gear they buy, it gets prohibitively expensive.
Setting aside for this post (the subject will be addressed in many others) just how much you need to practice to achieve the goal of armed self-defense competency, let’s look at it from another angle. Since nothing’s free, how much is it reasonable to expect someone to allocate from the family funds every year to achieve this goal? Let’s set an arbitrary number of $1000/year. This is more or less in line with what it might cost to play at a golf club for a season, what it might cost to keep a boat in the water for a season, etc. Of course you can do much less expensive things: running, for example, will set you back the price of a set of running shoes a year. But let’s go with $1000/year for now. What does that buy you?
Well, at about 30 cents/round for 9mm, that’s 3000 rounds. Over the course of a 30-week season*, that’s 100 rounds a week. Granted, that’s not much compared to the “serious” guys and gals, but it would seem that one could maintain a reasonable level of self-defense competency with 3000 pulls of the trigger every year – and maybe even a little less, assuming that you will want to occasionally buy new gear or attend professional training. In fact, I believe this to be so, so long as those 2000-3000 trigger pulls are done intelligently and with a training purpose.
In fact, to hold that one must spend more than $1000 a year to maintain a reasonable of armed self-defense competency will shut out all but a narrow segment of the population, and flies in the face of the fact that many marginally-trained people manage to effectively defend themselves with their gun every year. We’ll explore ways to do this in future posts.
* I say a 30-week season because many of us live where there is real weather. If you live in a place that only gets sissy weather (I’m looking at you, California), then sure, you get to practice outside all year long…along with the ridiculous taxes, stupid gun laws, and even stupider politics (but who am I to cast aspersions; I live in Massachusetts!).
Finally: I’ll hit this point often and hard: if you carry a gun for self-defense, you have to know the law. Invest the money you’d spend on shaving a tenth of a second off your splits with Andrew Branca’s book or seminars — it’ll pay far greater dividends. Visit this link to learn more, and use the discount code “streetstandards” for a 10% discount.