The debate for whether or not competition shooting for concealed carriers, and its effectiveness for training, has raged amongst gun enthusiasts for decades. Although each side of the argument has its valid points, the one that they share is, when in a shooting competition, the shooter is forced to both think and react under a certain amount of stress.
As with most endeavors, there are both pros and cons to the discussion. Now we will take a look at both sides of this ongoing argument.
When an individual chooses to competition shoot, the stress they put themselves under can help to diagnose any issues that the shooter may be experiencing. In most cases, these issues will only surface when the shooter has to make a split-second decision. Many find that they have somewhat of an epiphany when they begin competition shooting. They assume it will be a smooth transition from their regular shooting routine, but in the end, they realize they were wrong.
When engaging in shooting on a range, you are very unlikely to do much moving around. You will aim at a target and shoot. However, with competition shooting, the dynamics change significantly. The shooter will have to incorporate movement and will have to be quick to shoot. It may not be easy at first, but with time and patience, the routine becomes more natural.
Competition shooting will admittedly help you with development of your reflexes, as well as the ability to practice drawing your weapon from its holster. However, it also tends to foster bad habits, as well. Many, when asked the one bad habit they have developed, it is that of a lack of them shooting from cover.
Competition shooting, such a that of IDPA and steel competitions, primarily focuses on the development of quick shots, lending less focus to that of cover-based shooting. Cover-based shooting gives you the advantage of both concealment from your opponent and allows you to shield yourself from any possible gunfire.
Sim rounds lend an extra amount of urgency and danger for the shooter. Probably one of the most effective and productive means of training is through the use of simulation rounds. Many individuals, on a day in, day out basis, do not have access to sim rounds and, as a result, do not get the benefit of their use.
Competition shooting can be a very effective means to train and make you that much better of a shooter. You will be able to better hone your skills through the use of both simulated ammo and simulated stressful situations that will allow you to better train yourself for real-life situations.
Competition shooting is not a one-stop source but can be a great tool to add to the overall bigger picture that is your training. It is best to keep in mind that competition training is in no way a replacement for training courses, but more of a means to keep yourself sharp and proficient.