Firearms Training: Making It Real

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by prepareordie, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. prepareordie

    prepareordie Monkey+++

    I don't know about how the rest of you practice with your firearms but unfortunately most of my shooting time is limited to a"target" shooting range which has lots of restrictions on how I can shoot (no draws from a holster, stationary targets at set ranges, x number of rounds in mag. etc). While this is great for safety, sighting in, and learning the basics I generally don't think its a good way to improve your defensive shooting skills.

    About a month ago I attend a 10 hour shooting clinic that included defense handgun skills, live fire judgmental shooting in a simulator house, and a night fire course. We shot from standing, moving, cover, squat, and prone positions. Targets were stationary, moving and moving dual target (1 bad guy 1 good guy).

    The best part about the training was that the weather was terrible. High of the day was 45, winds 10-15 mph, rain all day and night, and even some sleet.

    Here are some of my take aways from that training:

    1. Practice with all your gear in all kinds of environments - I knew that but this class really drove it home. Its one thing to use a speed-loader at the range on a nice sunny day - another when its dark, wet, and your hands are cold and you are laying in the mud.

    2. Have a back up - be that gun, knife, light or what ever - My shooting partner's gun stopped functioning due to mud in the middle of an exercise. A back up gun would have been nice just then. Some one in class gave a great quote. "Two is one - one is none -always carry a back-up"

    3. Practice with all your gear in all kinds of environments - I thought I knew how my gear would operate. Example: My flashlight is great for in the house and lighting up a 20 foot hallway but was only adequate to light up a suspect outside in the rain at 25 yards.

    4. Night sites are more than a nice to have - Trying to aim in the dark when you can't see you sites is not fun (but it can be done). After this training I think night sites are worth the extra cost.

    5. Revolvers are still not out of date - (He says with a smile) I was the only revolver shooter (Taurus 627Ti) in the group. Yes, a little slow to reload but I was able to keep up with everyone else and did not have any malfunction issues. Every semi in the group (14 other shooter) had at least one malfunction during the day. Three were down for most of the day. My Taurus loved the mud and the water.

    After going through all of this I don't think I can go back to standard "range" shooting. Now I am trying to incorporate what I have learned within the restrictions at the range. I would like to hear from others out there on how you may have done this.
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Excellent reminders. Something for all of us to seek out in our areas. Thanks
  3. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    EL and I did a little of this the last range trip... Moving fire with an AR at 25 yards with a 4" target got the best of me, lol...
  4. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I agree that its good to practice in more realistic situations but will mention, especialy for the sake of any lurkers who may be new to guns, that the most important and basic thing would be accuracy and that would need to be mastered at the range befor you would bother to worry about how fast you would draw or what ever else. I only mention this because I have seen to many folks who seem to think that all you have to do is have a big mag and be able to pull it out fast and dump all the ammo down range, but it dose no good to fire 20 rounds in 2 seconds if none of them hit.

    That said I know thats one thing I like about haveing a small farm finaly, as long as I keep the targets so that the rounds all hit dirt on the place I can shoot however I please and have been able to do a lot more rapid fire, draw and fire and so on.

    I had started to think I was the only one left around that still prefered a wheel gun. I prefer revolvers for just that reason, have never had a revolver jam and have never fired a semi auto that hasnt had malfunctions at some point.

    Good post though, once you have accuracey mastered it is definatly a good idea to be sure and do some shooting under less plesant conditions and in more realistic ways for defensive situations. [winkthumb]
  5. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Lots of good points, especially the nights sights. When TSHTF and the adrenaline dumps, you fall back on your training, and when you have none panic is the order of the day.
  6. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Great Post POD.
    We used to run obstacle course and then have to take shots while the lungs were working and you could see your heartbeat in your sites.

    Ranges and bench shooting are great for learning a weapon and sighting in but you do need to practice in some less than perfect environments as well.

    thanks for the reminder
  7. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    Shooting competition is one of the best ways. Match pressure is more like pressure of the real thing.
  8. prepareordie

    prepareordie Monkey+++

    Good to know there are a few of us left. Wheel guns are all I shoot. I would buy a semi if they could guarantee me that as long as I can pull the trigger it will go bang. I have not seen one yet that won't hang up.

    Besides the Taurus I own a Ruger Security Six, a pre-63 Ruger Single Action and a 22 year old Charter Arms snub nose. I use the Taurus and snub for my CCWs. Plan on replacing the Charter with a Taurus TI snub by end of this year. All .357/.38s which keeps the ammo collection easy to maintain. Anytime you want to talk revolvers let me know.
  9. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I could see a distinct advantage to a top shelf semi that will keep the malfunctions to an absolute minimum for open combat like a war zone or something where you are most likely going to be encountering squads of folks who are not likely to break. Basicly in that you can reload them faster and be able to shoot more targets but I figure in civilian situations the likelyhood of encountering a large group thats a threat and who wont break and run after the first 1 or 2 of them are hit are exceptionaly slim. So that combined with the fact that my finances would not allow for top shelf quality anyway I just stick to the revolver that I know will go bang for every round in it and try to keep my marksmanship such to assure that can count a minimum of 1 target for every 2 rounds and round per target if bypassing the second shot.

    Since Im in a rural area with almost no violent crime I have seriously thought I may get something along the lines of a 2 shot deringer for everyday CCW especialy in the summer then just adapt the wardrobe to make the Rossi .357 with the 4" barrel work if headed to the city or something.
  10. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Revolver Lover Here Too!

    I own 5 handguns - ALL revolvers, and all but 1 (a 22) in 357 mag. Simplifies my ammo stocks and provides cheap (38spc) target practice.

    Ever since I had a 9mm jam on me while practicing about 15 years ago, I've refused to carry an auto. When I pull the trigger on a revolver.... I KNOW it's going to fire.

    As far as the "less total firepower" issue with revolvers....... eh. If I need more than 6 rounds, I probably should have brought something to the fight other than a handgun.

    my 2 cents :)
  11. prepareordie

    prepareordie Monkey+++

    Blackjack - agree - From what I have seen at these shooting clinic's I've attended and from watching others at the range - most semi shooter's have traded accuracy for speed and extra misses. I strive for accuracy. My rule of thumb is to make the first two count and keep shooting until the threat goes away.
  12. leac

    leac Monkey+++

    Speed into action is nearly everything.

    This is true because most attackers don't have a gun. That means that they hide their evil intent until they are in a position to reach you in less than a second, more often, half a second. Very few attackers won't just back down at the sight of your gun.

    You can't even intimidate anyone with a gun that you don't have visible yet. Furthermore, the range for justifiable civilian shooting is nearly always less than 5 yds, and almost never more than 10 yds. Nearly everyone is far too slow, concentrating way too much on "accuracy", at ranges that will never be needed.

    What matters, really, is what you can do in less than one second after the start signal, at less than 10 ft. With nearly all pistol shooters, if they are starting with the gun in a concealed holster, what they can do is nothing much.
  13. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The range would IMO add to the need for accuracy. Granted you cannot be takeing time to aim but if you are shooting center mass (which is not even a heart or realy a kill shot) at 10 ft then the attacker will still have plenty of time to close with you and attack with a contact weapon or fight you for the gun, where as a head shot will stop them instantly and even a heart shot (about 4-6" above center of mass as marked on silohetes) would stop an attacker much faster which becomes all the more critical at these close ranges. Basic point being that if you dont hit what you are shooting at then shooting wont do much good especialy since if they are that close and you already open fire they may decide they cant outrun the bullets and so feel they have a better chance trying to disarm or kill you than by retreating.
  14. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    My Sig P220 has yet to fail me. I haven't tried any aftermarket mags in it yet and you're more than welcome to try it out. [winkthumb]

    There is a special place in my heart for a revolver and won't disagree about the reliability of a revolver [winkthumb]
  15. Northwoods

    Northwoods Monkey+++

    I guess we are lucky up here. we get to shoot anywhere(within reason) i've got a gravel pit that's is around 750 yards long and i shoot at the Big Pine Gun Club.
    Tatical rifle and Action pistol.
    not that i'm any good at either.
    lots of movement lots of targets both paper and steel.
    it's a good time and great practice.
    also we were the frist place to have a 3 gun match in the state.
  16. Northwoods

    Northwoods Monkey+++

  17. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    A buddy that I used to room with and I went shooting yesterday on some land his sis has and we are gonna try to set up some cool tacti-cool range type stuff:) I will keep you guys posted on progress.
  18. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    It sure is.
  19. strike

    strike Monkey+++

    Heart shot doesn't necessarily mean a thing.

    The heart is the same size as the brain, so if you can hit the heart, why not hit the brain? The brain hit is many times more likely to get the instantaneous stop that is needed for defensive combat, at pistol ranges. Furthermore, a hit anywhere on his head is highly likely to rock his world, even with a "mere" .22lr, buying you .5-1.0 second in which to hit him in the head 2-5 more times.

    With a really high velocity load, a hit that penetrates his cranium is guaranteed to splash his brain. A low velocity load might not do that, but a 2000 fps load will, 100% of the time. Yes, such velocities can be had, in service ammo. Mag Safe has has a 50 gr, 2200 fps 9mm load for over a decade now. THV Arcane had a 2400 fps 9mm load over 20 years ago. RBCD currently has such a 9mm load, and such bullets can be "pulled" and loaded to much more velocity in the 9x23 Winchester, 9x25 Dillon, or the .38 Casull. No, such loads are not dangerous in your gun, they have regular "ball" ammo types of recoil (altho considerably more blast and flash). No, you don't have to practice a lot with them, either.

    What you do have to do is fire 70 rds of them thru your "duty" gun and mags as a reliabity test and reserve 70 or so rds for "carry". When you buy such ammo 100 rs at a time, they cost $2 each. If $200 to save your life is a big deal, simply quit wasting so much money on clunker milsurp bolt actions, .30 AK blasting, slowfire plinking, claybird shooting with the 12 ga, etc.

    No, the autopistol is not what you want for handling lots of attackers, either. For that you need an assault rifle, hand grenades, etc, if they won 't break and run at the first 3-4 shots that you fire (which they nearly always do, in "normal times". ) If it's shtf, it's just stupid not to be keeping your autorifle either in your hand or on the assault sling, so the pistol is just for when you are inside your sleeping bag, a tunnel, on a motorcycle, and similarly restrictive places-positions.
  20. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    Re: Heart shot doesn't necessarily mean a thing.

    The problem with head shots, especially with light-for-caliber bullets, is the fact that the head is hard, curved, bone. Many shots with 9mm and 22s will follow the bone around the outside of the head, not penetrating at all. A heavy, well constructed bullet will usually do the best job on bone.

    I'm not a fan of the light bullets, they seem to forget the infamous failure to stop attributed to the 9mm in the FBI shootout in Miami. The bad guy was shot through the left arm, and the bullet stopped an inch from his heart. The light bullets might be fine if the only shot you might take would be standing, facing a motionless target, but that might not happen, so why take a chance. Hunters after a two hundred pound animal feel themselves well armed with a .270 Win when they have a good chance for a broadside shot into the vitals, but put claws and fangs on that two hundred pound animal, and suddenly the recommended caliber is .338 Win Mag, with it's heavier, deeper penetrating bullet. That .338 will penetrate to the vitals from any angle
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