About Featured Expert: Braden is founder and lead instructor of Langley Firearms Academy, LLC out of Atlanta, Ga. Whether it is a single mom looking to defend her family, or a new shooter who is looking for an effective option for home defense, that is what Langley Firearms Academy is all about! He aims to help and empower people to embrace pistol training and their 2nd amendment rights in a safe and effective manner. He also runs the Youtube channel for Langley Firearms Academy.
Want more from Braden Langley and Pistol Training? He put together a 40 minute bootcamp course on pistol accuracy and it can be downloaded here for not cost!
The following is a condensed version of the full audio interview, which can be found in the above link at Science of Skill’s SoundCloud station.
Coach Dan: Mr Braden Langley. The first question I wanted to be able to dive into here is around equipment. A lot of the people that are tuned in maybe already have a firearm, or are seriously considering getting one, or getting another one. When someone’s going out in the pistol market, we’re talking about what brand, what model, what grips, what ammo. What do you normally advise people to do to think through the process of their initial equipment buy for a pistol?
Braden Langley: You have to get your hands on a gun and you have to feel it. It’s a lot of feel. There’s obviously certain brands that are more reputable than others, Smith and Wesson is amazing, Glock is amazing, Springfield is a great brand, Sig Sauer is also a great brand. They all have different price points, they have different features. Pretty much as a rule, whether you’re going with a revolver or you’re going with a semi-automatic hand gun, the larger companies have the better warranties, they have the better R&D, they have the better name in the field. That’s always a really good place to start.
CD: There is some intimidation when purchasing a firearm. There’s a very small segment of society that knows more about weapons than the guy who works behind a gun counter all day. Gotta be less than 1% of folks walking around. There is some intimidation at work – how do you get over that?
BL: It’s all about that comfort level, that’s a huge piece. A perfect example in my world when I’m training people, I’ll train couples frequently. Sometimes the male is more comfortable and sometimes the female’s more comfortable. There are no stereotypes that this really follows, it’s not a set rule. Each person brings their own experience to the table and if you’re intimidated and don’t have a lot of experience, that’s not a bad thing. Just approach it from a standpoint that you don’t know it, you don’t even know what you need to know yet.
CD: You have to train people to go through a sub-checklist to ensure that if you splash cold water in their face and they had a pistol in their hand, they could get up, point it at the target, and make it work. There’s a lot of systematic training you have to go through to get yourself to be an accurate pistol shooter. How do you describe that and how do you train people to do that?
BL: The best way that I can explain it is it’s very similar to Martial Arts. Martial Arts is a lot of mental, it’s a lot of spiritual, and it’s a lot of physical. All those things are tied together and it’s the same within the gun world. If you want to be very successful, whether you want to be a marksman with a pistol or you just want to be confident that you can put a good grouping on paper to defend yourself. It’s all about three key things, really. Confidence is a huge one, that is massive. Confidence comes with time, once you master the other two pieces. The next one is, basically you have to understand the fundamentals. You need to focus on the physical fundamentals on how that gun is holding in your hand, how your stance is aligned, and how you’re aligning those sights up. Those three things will tie in together to make you one complete very stable platform. The third piece is very, very mental, you’ve got to get your mind right and you’ve got to focus in center. When you know your gun extremely well and you know the recoil, how it’s going to be on your hand and how it’s going to feel and how everything’s going to tie together, the next thing is you just need to do is something called hyperfocus. It’s exactly like it sounds. Your stance, everything is perfect and you’re focusing on being as still as a stone and you’re just letting that gun do everything in your hand and you’re almost not even moving the whole time.
CD: Last question I’m going to have is around finding some instruction. When you talk about practice, a lot of people are going to be interested in how often, for how long and generally, you start a lot of beginners and get people to basic levels of proficiency in terms of your in person teaching. Are you often advising, once a Saturday hit the range, twice a week hit the range if you can. Are you advising, hit the range at a certain cadence and do some dry fire drills or some laser pointer, stuff that you could do in your house kind of drills at a certain cadence? What’s sort of the minimal frequency that really can still show consistent progress in your experience as a teacher?
BL: Yeah. I’ll be honest with you, it completely depends on the level of focus that you’re putting forward. If you are in that zen state that we’re talking about and you’re following the protocols and the training and you know that you’re following the training and that gun’s feeling natural. If you go to a range once a week and you are putting in let’s just say 50 rounds. You’re going to be excellent within three months. That’s a high level of training. I don’t expect my clients to come in once a week. I always tell people, if you want to be familiar and remain familiar, come in once a month, if you want to be proficient and continually get better, you’re going to need to come in twice a month, once every two weeks.
CD: Got it. Hopefully this is helpful for folks who are tuned in. If anybody does take Braden’s advice here on instruction or accuracy or what not, make sure you e-mail in, let us know what you liked about this one from this episode and what kind of actions you had taken. I certainly appreciate folks being able to tune in through the entirety of the episode. We went into OT but Braden, I feel like it was worth it brother. I appreciate you being here with us in the Science of Skill podcast.