WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Why You Should Keep a Firearms Training Diary

During one of this year’s FASTER Saves Lives courses, a student (I’ll refer to her as “Julie” since the student list is confidential) returned after just taking the same course a year before. Her skills, mindset and demeanor were completely different. Julie was like a new person. Partway through the course, I found out why. She showed me her “Mini Magical Mom Moments” book … her 200-page, soft-cover firearms training diary. 

Sponsored by Springfield Armory

Julie reminded the trainers at the beginning of this year’s course that she was one of the problem students last year. She said that since then, she’s spent a lot of time on the range training and wanted to return to retake the class, this time better prepared. 

Julie shooting

When Julie began shooting, it was apparent she made great use of her time on the range. She was a rockstar! Her skills, speed and movement were all those of an accomplished shooter. During a break, she showed me her secret. 

Magical moments book

Julie brought a small journal similar in size to the diary I had as a teen in the ’80s, the one with the lock and tiny key. The outside cover was inconspicuously titled “Mini Magical Mom Moments: A place to record the day’s little wins and the moments of joy.” The inside contained her firearms training journal. 

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Her journal dates back to right after taking her first FASTER Saves Lives course in June 2022. She writes detailed descriptions of how she trains each time, both for dry and live fire. 

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After dry fire practice, Julie records the following:

  • Distance of her target
  • Her position; standing, sitting, kneeling
  • Number of reps
  • What she focuses on
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Her live fire practice notes got more detailed as she progressed throughout the year. In those pages of her firearms training journal, she included:

  • Firearm used
  • Ammunition 
  • Drawings of the target and shot placement
  • Any malfunctions, what they were and how she handled them
  • If she recorded a video
  • Smiley faces and comments about her feelings
  • Number of reps 
  • When she cleaned her firearm
Book list

Inside the front cover of her firearms training journal, Julie also kept track of books she read, podcasts she listened to and videos she watched. As armed staff in a school, it’s essential to have knowledge of the past in order to have an understanding of what may happen in the future. 

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Julie created a great source to track her progress by keeping this firearms training journal. She also has documentation of her training, should this ever come into question at some point in her life. 

Faster workbook

I have no doubt Julie will continue to write in her firearms training journal. Numerous times throughout the three days of training, I caught her jotting notes in it while she was prepping magazines. She is highly focused and wants to succeed with each task at hand. 

Springfield Firearms

Take the time to train weekly, whether it’s dry or live fire. When you are on the range, make sure to spend time with both the firearm you use for EDC and the one (or more) you keep in your home. 

View Springfield Armory’s full line of firearms here

  • About Michelle Cerino

    Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, first entered the firearms industry in 2011 as co-owner, president and trainer at a national training company. She immediately began competing in both 3-Gun and NRA Action Pistol, becoming a sponsored shooter. Michelle is currently a columnist and Managing Editor of Women’s Outdoor News, as well as owner of Pervenio LLC. She also manages social media for Vera Koo and GTM Original. Michelle encourages others to step out of the comforts of home and explore.