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View Full Version : Using .22LR as a training tool?


JakiChan
01-11-2010, 11:15 PM
I'm almost ready to make my first sidearm purchase and leaning towards the P226. One thing I was pondering was also getting the .22 conversion kit. The advantage to this seems to be cost. However the kit costs $350. I did some math, and at 22c/rnd for 9mm, 4c/rnd for .22, and $350 for the kit the break even point is 1922 rounds. That sounds like a lot to me. But maybe I'm wrong.

Is there any reason *not* to train with a .22 kit for the same gun I'm going to shoot in a larger caliber? Would I just be wasting money?

Millions-Knives
01-11-2010, 11:23 PM
What if you can't find any 9mm?

And if you feel you're competent to introduce someone to the sport who may be recoil sensitive? (You only have 1 handgun)

You feel like spending the ENTIRE day at the range plinking until your thumbs bleed?

I think a .22lr kit is worth it.

*I completely avoided the training thing... LOL
The trigger should remain the same... more range time!

BamBam-31
01-11-2010, 11:23 PM
Using a .22lr as a training tool is priceless. It goes beyond the $$$. Yes, it's definitely cheaper to shoot .22lr vs. centerfire, so you get lots more trigger time. That's huge. What you also get is reduced recoil, reduced blast, reduced flip, all of which leads to less flinch. As a training aid, a .22lr is invaluable.

I'm not familiar with Sig's conversion kits, though. Not sure if they're worth the money. For that price, however, you can buy a Ruger Mk. III or a Browning Buckmark. Then you'd have TWO guns. Worth a look, at the very least.

JakiChan
01-11-2010, 11:30 PM
For that price, however, you can buy a Ruger Mk. III or a Browning Buckmark. Then you'd have TWO guns. Worth a look, at the very least.

The only thing there is then you're learning on a different gun. Completely different ergonomics, etc. At least it would seem to me.

demo
01-11-2010, 11:31 PM
use that $350 to buy a reloading press and all the reloading goodies. then shoot for 10 cents a round. and you wont have to worry about the handgun ammo ban. do the math on that :)

some guys like to practice with 22. but for me, I didn't get better until I started shooting magnums regularly.

BamBam-31
01-11-2010, 11:36 PM
The only thing there is then you're learning on a different gun. Completely different ergonomics, etc. At least it would seem to me.

True, but the basics are the same. Sight alignment, trigger control, breathing, etc. With minor tweaking, those principles can transfer readily from platform to platform.

Most people see significant improvement in their pistol shooting by putting aside the centerfires and concentrating on .22lr's and dry firing.

sholling
01-11-2010, 11:37 PM
I often use a Browning Buck Mark as practice tool.

HCz
01-12-2010, 1:39 AM
the break even point is 1922 rounds. That sounds like a lot to me. But maybe I'm wrong.

Doesn't seem like that many rounds. It will go fast if you practice often enough. Have fun.

CSACANNONEER
01-12-2010, 6:06 AM
Personaly, I'd buy a dedicated .22lr pistol before buying a centerfire pistol. Oh yea, 2000 rounds of .22lr is nothing! I'll sometimes go through +500 a day so, I figure 2000 rounds is somewhere between 3 and 10 trips to the range. Look at buying a Ruger or Browning .22lr for $350 or less. I will caution you against buying a plastic .22lr like a mosqiuto, berreta, walther, S&W 21s, etc. I've seen all of them fail within a year when heavily used by regulars at the range I used to work at. The Rugers, Brownings, High Standard, S&W 41s, etc. all hold up really well and you should expect them to last for 100s of 1000s of rounds.

Bird of Fire
01-12-2010, 7:36 AM
Every single time I go to the range to shoot my handguns, my ruger MKIII 22/45 comes with me. I warm up with that, and it gets me in the zone before I switch over to my centerfire pistols. It's hands down the best training tool I ever bought.

mif_slim
01-12-2010, 7:45 AM
I agree with alot of folks about buying the MK or BuckMark. I have both and my XD40 and I can say that the MK/BM had helped me train alot and switching from plateform to another is a sinch. You'll be a better shooter if you can switch to diffrent gun and shoot the same.

I look at it like this; Its like driving a 5(6) speed car, if you learned how to drive one, you can easily adjust to another 5(6) speed car.

joelogic
01-12-2010, 7:51 AM
If you think wasting $350 on a conversion kit is a big deal, wait until you start shooting more. This sport is expensive.

bombadillo
01-12-2010, 8:04 AM
Thats not much considering putting down 4 bricks of .22lr is a piece of cake. I could do that easily in a few range sessions.

Zeke003
01-12-2010, 8:08 AM
I've got the 226 and 229 with the conversion kits, didn't have any problems with them after the break in and it's helped me a lot. The other guys in the thread are right, you go through 2k of .22 with a quickness.
:thumbsup:

Ravenslair
01-12-2010, 8:14 AM
Everyone should have a .22 for training. As has been stated already, they are great for practicing the fundamentals for very cheap. You will find that your flinching will decrease over time. You get so used to training on a super light recoil gun that once you pick up a "normal" recoiling gun that a lot of it is gone. Plus, it makes it VERY cheap to train the fundamentals. You can pick up a 22/45 on gunbroker for about $300.

Rover
01-12-2010, 8:50 AM
My first handgun was a 9mm, and even with a few classes, I sucked as pistol shooter. I would be fine if a morbidly obese person entered my home, but if the anorexic mafia wanted my TV, there's no way I could have hit them.

Then I bought a 22/45, and shot the F out of it, along with a few more lessons. It has cured my flinch, which was the majority of my problem, and because ammo is about $0.03/round I can shoot it as much as I want and never even think about what it costs. I'm sure a .22 conversion would have worked just as well, but as far as I'm aware there still isn't one for the XD9, but now that I can shoot my 9mm as well as my other centerfire handguns pretty well, it's nice to have a whole other pistol to teach friends to shoot with, plink with, etc. Having shot many .22 conversions as well, I can tell you the 22/45 is a hell of a lot more accurate than any of them (mine has a 6" bull barrel), which adds a whole other level of fun to shooting .22s.

My recommendation is, if funds allow you to, buy both a .22 target pistol and the conversion. The .22 dedicated pistol will allow you to shoot on the cheap just for the heck of it, and is a great tool to teach new shooters with, and the .22 conversion will allow you to practice the ergonomics of your pistol on the cheap.

Check the local shops for deals, got my Ruger from my local shop for $225 or so with 5 magazines. I need to buy another one though, it's like the last drum stick in a bucket of KFC when I go shooting with my friends everybody fights over who gets it, doesn't matter what else is in our pile of guns for the day, it never gets a break.

sd1023x
01-12-2010, 8:55 AM
A good article that breaks it down somewhat. Your opinion may vary.

Skills you can work on effectively with a .22 equivalent to your normal pistol:

* marksmanship
* strong- and weak-hand only shooting
* draw stroke
* reloads
* transitions
* judgmental shooting
* shooting on the move… With SOM, the line between good .22 training and bad .22 training is definitely easy to cross. But like transition drills, SOM training can benefit from a .22 in terms of learning how to move your feet and position your body for a stable shooting platform on the move.

Skills you should not practice with a .22lr handgun:

* recoil management
* sight tracking
* rapid multiple shots on a single target
* failure drills


http://pistol-training.com/archives/2302

qaz987
01-12-2010, 12:02 PM
use that $350 to buy a reloading press and all the reloading goodies. then shoot for 10 cents a round. and you wont have to worry about the handgun ammo ban. do the math on that :)

some guys like to practice with 22. but for me, I didn't get better until I started shooting magnums regularly.

I agree 100%.

GunNutz
01-12-2010, 12:11 PM
I was just talking about this with my buddy, who is considering getting a .22 conversion kit for his para. Personally, I chose to buy a separate .22 altogether because it was only like $100 more than a conversion kit to get a target pistol with adjustable sights, which is fun as hell and accurate.

With the kit, you have the advantage of using the same sight picture, ergos, etc that you will be shooting your larger caliber rounds out of. But the gun will shoot dramatically different, most likely have a different point of impact and a different feel about it.

.22 is one of my favorite rounds to shoot, and it's cheap, but I prefer to have a separate pistol. Just my opinion. I mean, what's the point of having that big old safe, if I don't try to fill her up?

B Strong
01-12-2010, 3:37 PM
I'm a big fan of high quality .22 conversion kits, with this caveat:

The conversion must run 100%, and you must understand that while you are gaining trigger time, you are not experiencing the exact function wrt recoil as you would with the standard centerfire caliber.

Training with it for anything other than basic bullseye target shooting isn't really training you for real world defensive use.

Even the Colt Ace .22, while it gives a better recoil simulation, isn't that good for practical defensive use training.

My Kimber conversion kit on my TLR/RLII is going on 10K rounds though, so I still vote with my trigger finger.

Sinixstar
01-12-2010, 3:47 PM
I'd say go for it. 1900 rounds of 22lr is NOT difficult to go through. I've gone through 500+ in a single range outing.

I think it is definately worth it to have a .22 to train with. If it's a conversion kit that fits to your primary weapon, so much the better. Training your eyes, developing better trigger control, all the 'technical' aspects of shooting - you can practice super cheap and super easy with the .22 over a bigger caliber such as the 9mm.
It's also a great tool for helping rid yourself of a flinch. I bring my Browning buckmark to the range with me every time I go. Once I run some .45 and feel myself getting twitchy, or my grip tightening too much from recoil - I jump on the .22. Few minutes later my hands calm back down and i'm back to normal.

In short - it's absolutely worth the money - do it.

JakiChan
01-12-2010, 3:48 PM
I appreciate all the input. I am leaning towards getting my P226 and then picking up a .22 kit a month later or so. Cars, home theater, now guns...why can't I have a cheap hobby for once?

9mmepiphany
01-12-2010, 3:53 PM
just a note 2000 rounds is only 40rds (less than a box) per week...if you take 2 weeks off a year. plus 50 rounds of .22lr in focused practice will do more for you than 50 rounds of 9mm...focus being on trigger control

i got the conversion kit for a Sig 226 when they first came out and then i got a 226ST to put it on. i have way more .22lr rounds through it than 9mm, but then i'm still trying to get used to it's trigger. i had the action tuned and sent the kit along to ensure everything was balanced together.

i have a Ruger Mk II target with the 5.5"bbl and nice Hogue rubber grips that i hardly every take out since i got the kit...i'm about ready to sell it

it's a shame we can't get the Sig 2-step 226 here in CA. you get a 226 with the .22lr upper and a coupon for the CF upper, you basically get the conversion kit for free

Jonathan Doe
01-12-2010, 4:13 PM
I like 22's. That is why I bought 22LR conversion kits for P226, 92FS and 1911 on top of 22 caliber firearms that I have. It is fun to shoot also.

stix213
01-12-2010, 4:51 PM
One thing to keep in mind is when you shoot .22LR, at least for me, I end up shooting more than I would normally with a round with more kick to it.