Concealed Shooting Drills for your Bersa

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You own a Bersa handgun, one of the best deals on the gun market today in terms of quality meeting affordability. Good for you. More than likely you bought the gun for home/personal/car defense. In that case, do you practice regularly for this? Well you should.

Why practice?

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If you carry or keep a gun for protection, you absolutely must practice with it regularly. Should you need it, do you have enough muscle memory built up in aiming, loading, reloading, and firing that Bersa to be able to do it in the dark, or after a car wreck, or while someone is yelling at you with a knife in their hand? If not you need to.

Also, think about liability. Say you do have to use this gun one day. Do you want the criminal's attorney to get you on the stand in a courtroom and ask you how much practice you did? If you tell them, you just shot the gun three years ago at the dump, knocking over old beer cans, what does that do for your credibility?

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How to practice

The first rule of firearms practice is safety. The second rule is: see rule number one. You absolutely must be safe. Always treat a gun as if they are loaded. Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire. Always point it in a safe direction at all times. Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

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(You want to learn the ins and outs of your Bersa long before something like this happens)

You may not know it, but the best practice, that produces the most results, is not in live fire. It's in safe dry fire. Take your Bersa, completely unload it (remove all brass and ammo to another room, rack the slide three times to make sure no rounds are in the chamber, look away then look back into the chamber and both look and feel for bullets), and practice dry firing at a point on a wall in a safe, secure area free from people.

Do the old quarter drill by taking a large coin and laying it on the top of the slide, then pulling the trigger 100x without the quarter falling. This will help smooth your trigger pull, build proper grip muscle memory, and get your mid-brain used to the gun. Feel free to do this for hours. Then practice exchanging magazines and do it 100x. Then practice drawing and firing from your carry holster a minimum of 100x. Practice this using both hands, then each hand alone to gain confidence.

The only cost involved in any of this training is in a pack of snap caps. These plastic encapsulated springs mimic the size and shape of real cartridges and are used for exactly this type of practice. It helps keep the inertial firing pin the Bersa has from peening and damaging the gun if dry fired several thousand times.

What to practice at the range

Once you have become a dry fire ninja, move to a safe, supervised range. You want to use silhouette targets to accustom the reasoning side of your brain to firing at realistic targets rather than looking for circles, squares, or tin cans to shoot at. You want to practice point shooting, fast shots drawn from concealment at a target without using sights, at close-in distances less than three yards. From the five-yard line and beyond you want to practice always using the sights. A typical drill will be to draw from concealment, push out, find your sights, aim at the center mass of the target, and get off two aimed shots in less than four seconds. You will want to mix in shooting at every few yards out to at least the 15, and make sure at least 25% of your shots are with your weak hand only.

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(Its good to practice firing from cover should you have an acceptable range.) has a free downloadable 32-page PDF file of 46 different handgun drills. These include such classics as the Murphy, the Plaxco Reload, the Barrel Drill, Hooded Drills, and others. For the price, you can't beat it (ha-ha). Just about any of these drills are good practice.

Better than popping cans at the dump.

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December 14, 2013  •  05:57 PM
Very interesting article, especially for a new owner.
December 16, 2013  •  09:58 AM
Hey thanks for the article and link to other downloads.
December 17, 2013  •  06:49 PM
Good tip, but a corollary one is missing: be very careful with snap caps; especially if you go on a dry fire rampage (i.e. hundreds of dry fires) it is absolutely imperative to submit your Bersa to a very, very thorough cleaning session because there'll be a massive amount of very, very tiny plastic bits that come off those snap caps and end up stuck inside your barrel, the chamber etc. And you DON'T want to fire your gun with that plastic debris in it and end up with a massively gunked up firearm!
March 3, 2014  •  06:59 AM
good article I get training from a trainer at my range and all of the drills are pretty much the same most important like you said is the the dry fire practice at home start slow get the technique and then speed it up it works thanks
March 3, 2014  •  07:01 AM
@nv1962good tip I never thought of that thanks
February 1, 2017  •  09:25 AM
This is a good article. I have a friend that shoots with me and he wastes a lot of paper meaning no matter how much he shoots almost everything goes into a slightly large single hole. Your credits this to the fact that he dry-fire practices every day.