Are you comfortable with your firearm?

What exactly does that mean?

When I speak to the fact that everyone who owns a firearm should feel comfortable with it, I am not comparing anyone to my experience, training, or knowledge of firearms. Over the last 30 years I have taken multiple military and law enforcement firearm classes and carried every day that I showed up to work. I try to think back to the day or period in my life when I began to feel totally comfortable with that firearm and it being on my person.

In the military our primary weapon was our rifle, our training introduced us to firearms and the basic handling of them. In 1983 the basics were about all you got as far as training and that alone did not quite make me 100% comfortable with my firearm. I did become a sniper and as far as long guns go, I then received specific and in-depth training on the weapon used as a sniper.
So, to say when I became 100% comfortable with my firearm, I would say it was when I entered Law Enforcement and served in specialized units where we constantly trained on every aspect regarding a handgun.

Now let me explain what I mean about feeling comfortable with your handgun. I’m not referring to whether the firearm feels good in your hand, or if it’s comfortable in that concealed holster you just purchased or even if you know without a doubt whether it is loaded or unloaded.

Feeling comfortable with your handgun is so much more complex than the few things I just mentioned. The true feeling of being comfortable with a firearm is an overly complex thought process that comes ONLY with training, and more training and even more training. (I recently had a student come to a handgun class, it had been about 6 months since her last training with me, and she was realizing the importance of not going so long between training classes.) I’m not referring to generalized training, but training on everything the handgun can do, including things that you would rather the gun not do… such as misfire, jam, run out of ammo.
You see, whatever I do with my handgun I know the correct way to do it, I know the efficient way to do it and I can do it quickly, because I am comfortable with my handgun. This is what I am referring to when I ask, “Are you comfortable with your firearm?” And because my handgun is a tool I also know when to pull it from the toolbox, and when to leave it be.

And keep in mind a handgun is a mechanical mechanism that is prone to occasionally not work. If I don’t know how to fix it and make it work when my life depends on it, what good is it? And, how good am I at providing safety to myself or my loved ones if I am using a handgun as one of the tools to do so?

Through the years I have met a lot of people that own guns but are not comfortable with them. Many have them in their homes but do nothing with them because of that uncomfortable feeling. But they will tell me that it’s there “just in case”. Some have handguns and carry them concealed but have not practiced or taken a class on carrying concealed and drawing their weapon from a concealed holster.
The point I’m trying to make is that if you own a firearm for self-protection, no matter where your firearm is being drawn from: on your person, from your vehicle, from a purse or from somewhere in your home, it doesn’t matter where because it will eventually be in YOUR hand. Therefore, it is so important to be comfortable and knowledgeable of every scenario that your handgun might throw at you.

The different situations you could face against an intruder, a mugger, or attacker will always vary and you have no control over that, however if you are comfortable with your firearm and you know how to deal with those scenarios and fix them quickly, hence being comfortable with your firearm, you can be in control.


For any questions regarding my article, email me at:
Oz Johnson/Lead Instructor, NRA Certified