or the rest of our Realities of Concealed Carry series, go here. Carrying or keeping a gun to defend yourself is a whole different ballgame than shooting at the range. In fact, when it’s time to defend yourself and your family, simply having a gun doesn't mean as much as you might think. Having a gun in a self-defense encounter is certainly an advantage, but it doesn't mean you'll definitely come out on top. There are a lot of other factors at play, and many of them aren’t under your control. However, there are strategies, tactics, and advanced critical thinking that can improve your odds by making you better and more realistically prepared. That’s why we’re going to be presenting a multi-part series on concealed carry, beginning with this story. The topic of self-defense using a firearm is far bigger than we can cover in a few articles—claiming otherwise would not only be unrealistic, but irresponsible. Just know, our goal with this series is to offer up some baseline information and starting points from which you can build knowledge and skills over time. With that said, let’s get busy! A Few Things to Consider Going to the range is fun, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it if your goal is to become more proficient with a handgun. While structured practice is always better, plinking at targets for fun will probably improve your shooting ability to some degree. As long as you know that plinking at the range isn’t self-defense training, knock yourself out and have some fun. 1. Consider Movement Here’s the big difference between shooting at the range and shooting defensively. No one is shooting back at you! Ok, so that’s obvious, but seriously, there are some “technical” differences for which you can plan and prepare.