Since you are counting on your firearm to protect your life, you should be practicing regularly. How often is regularly? A lot of that will vary with the individual and their time constraints, experience level and finances. While you do not need to practice every day, thirty to fifty rounds a couple of times a month is a good average. If you are a new shooter or a weak shooter, you may need more practice. A skilled, experienced shooter may require less. The point is not to rest on your laurels. Keep your skills up with regular practice.
You are not going to kill an attacker with cheap, target practice ammo, so when you carry you should be loaded with the real deal. It makes perfect sense not to shoot your more expensive ammo at the shooting range when you practice. It is a good idea to periodically load a few shells of the ammo you plan to carry on a regular basis. Ammo can vary in how it feels and performs. You don’t want any surprises just when you need your ammo the most.
Additionally, all too often, many shooters forget to switch out their practice ammo to the better self-defense ammo when the concealed carry. Can you rely on your practice ammo to stop an attacker if you have to fire your weapon? Get in the habit of ALWAYS switching out your ammo.
You never know when a some bad guy might attack so you need to practice drawing from concealment in a variety of types of clothing such as business war, casual wear, evening wear etc. If your firearm has an external safety that must be taken off before firing, practice taking the safety off before shooting each string of fire. Practice so that clearing the clothing, gripping the firearm, drawing the firearm, taking the safety off, pointing the firearm downrange, and placing your finger on the trigger all become one natural, fluid motion.
The whole reason we became concealed carriers in the first place was to defend ourselves and our loved ones from some bad guy. That means we need to be prepared to draw from concealment, shoot to kill and not get tripped up because we weren’t prepared.