The Hunt for Cheaper Training Alternatives

Posted: January 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Everyone knows ammo prices are through the roof right now. Even if you are a reloader like myself primers are getting hard to find in this neck of the woods. Shooting is a perishable skill and you need to keep your finger on a trigger to keep those skills sharp. How can we do this with our current situation and not have to take out a large load to support ourselves? Well, we have a few options that are cheaper and today we will explore a couple of our options and the pros and cons of them.

Our first option is training with 22 LR. This option is probably the most obvious to most shooters. Nearly everyone has a 22 caliber in either a pistol or rifle in the safe. This round is still fairly cheap and the most importantly it’s still readily available. The down side to training with lower powered rounds is you don’t get the same feedback from the gun. To me building body mechanics is more important than feedback. Drawing from holster or shouldering the rifle, trigger control, and follow through are still the same and that is what is important and needs to be focused on no matter how we train. Magpul came out with a statement recently thy they will be changing their course requirements to help ease the financial burden on the portion of the gun owners that are interested in using them to improve their skills by allowing 22’s in their classes now. Here is a link to their announcement.

But is there an even cheaper form of training than the 22? I believe so. I’m a huge advocate for dry firing.  Like we said above you don’t get the feedback of the full power rounds but the mechanics are still there. If I’m at the range and I see my groups opening up I will drop the mag and go back to basics by dry firing the gun. There is a new book out and available now called  Champion Shooting: Guaranteed Results in 15 Minutes A Day: Champion Shooting. I plan on picking it up and seeing what it has to offer. I was turned on to this book from reading the  When the Balloon Goes Up blog who got an early copy and shared some of the contents of the book in a recent post. (Hat tip to them for the info) The pros to dry fire practice is you don’t need anything more than the firearm you already have to practice. The downside is if you are using a common semi auto pistol you will need to rack the slide between every trigger pull so you can get the full experience of multiple shots.

The third option we have takes care of the downside to dry firing with the common pistol. I would like to introduce the SIRT training pistol. The Top Shot fans might remember the creator of the Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger pistol, Mike Hughes from season 3. For almost two years I have been drooling over having one of these and with ammo prices skyrocketing and the word floating around that we might not see supply catch back up for another year this is going to be a near future purchase. I’m seeing a whole world of opportunities opening up to me with having one of these. I could literally set up entire competition stages in my basement and “shoot it” without wasting a single bullet. (when the wife is away of course) Granted, the training pistol starts at $253 so it can’t be called a cheaper alternative to dry firing but i believe this is what bridges the gap between that and 22’s. Fingers crossed I can catch some time with someone at their booth at Shot Show and bring back some information. I might have heard through the grape-vine that they will be introducing an M&P model to their line soon so stay tuned for more to come.

I have stated multiple time throughout this post that nothing is going to be as good as a real full-power load. But even with full-power loads if your mechanics are not right you are just wasting precious ammo. These cheaper alternatives I have offered will help you to focus on the basics (grip, trigger press, follow through), build that muscle memory, and help you get the most out of your training with the pricey stuff.

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