Practicing Target Discrimination

My wife and I both carry.  We have fortunately never had need to use our firearms in self defense.  One of the things that we do practice however, is target discrimination.  It is one thing to shoot at a static piece of paper, and quite another when the situation actually arises.  There is training that you can do in order to practice more realistic scenarios such as IDPA.  Ammunition is expensive, and when in those situations, you are already alert.  So how do you practice target discrimination, and maintaining a level of alertness when going about your day?  My wife and I use a “game” that has been around since the seventies.


“Slug bug.”  We are constantly on the lookout for Volkswagen Beetles, trying to spot it before the other one of us does.  Lately this has become more difficult as there are cars that will resemble the Beetle from a distance in traffic.  Mini Coopers are not Beetles. Nissan Leafs are not Beetles.  There are a myriad of others as well. My lovely wife is up on me in the count.  In any case this is an easy way to practice target discrimination in an “uncontrolled” environment.  We have even taken to calling out slug bugs in movies and on television.  Obviously this can be applied to any vehicle on the road, or even any company franchise.  Subway restaurants and Starbucks are prolific.  (This obviously only works in unfamiliar areas.)  You can pick roughly anything to attempt to find to keep your guard up.  A certain color of shirt, yoga pants, whatever.  The object is to stay alert to your surroundings and practice discriminating innocent bystander from target assailant.  Practicing this urban target discrimination will help with those skills, but you will still need to practice some type of target discrimination that involves actual shooting.  Oh, by the way, slug bug.  (It’s higher up on this page.)

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