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  #1  
Old 04-30-2012, 9:54 PM
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Question Practicing Techniques?

Are there any ways to "practice" or train on handgun use that can be done without firing live rounds? With a packed work week who knows when and how often I can make it to the range, and am going to take some courses but those are still a bit off. So I was curious what I could do to learn more on my own, if anything.

I know there are a ton of youtube videos, I am hesitant to 'follow' along any because most are probably not that great.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 04-30-2012, 9:57 PM
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Dryfiring can do wonders to improving your trigger pull. You can also do things like mag changes, drawing from concealment, and malfunction drills all without live ammo, too, although dummy rounds would be nice to get the weight closer to the real thing.

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Old 04-30-2012, 10:14 PM
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Practice loading your mags haha.

No but seriously you can practice presentation, dryfiring, mag changes etc as mentioned above.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:49 PM
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Until you have had at least one lesson, you won't really know what to practice.

You might be reinforcing bad habits ...

But generally, dry fire is the answer.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:18 PM
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Good points, especially on the reinforcing of bad habits, that had not occurred to me

I have 10 snap caps, so I can fully load a mag for practice, even though it's a pain in the ***** lol.

How do you simulate malfunctions / jam clearing?
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Old 05-01-2012, 3:05 AM
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you can buy Dry Fire Drill manuals. I know Front Sight sells them, I would guess there are others. They will also teach you how to simulate level 1-2-3 failure.
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Old 05-01-2012, 5:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
Until you have had at least one lesson, you won't really know what to practice.

You might be reinforcing bad habits ...

But generally, dry fire is the answer.
Have to agree here.

Perfect dry practice makes perfect.

At the very least, have an experienced person show you how to do some drills. Do them slowly until you get better.

Slow is smooth.
Smooth is fast.
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Old 05-01-2012, 8:33 AM
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I always practice holster draws from an IWB holster, which really helped me with smoothness and speed. I also dry fire every day to practice trigger control and sight alignment. Taking a class will be beneficial since you'll learn proper technique, which you should then practice every day. If you don't have the time or money to spend on a class, a few popular instructors make some youtube videos covering basic technique, which is better than nothing IMO.
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Old 05-01-2012, 8:42 AM
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You need to start with the fundamentals, stance, grip, sight picture and trigger control. Use a straight drop OWB holster to begin with. Other than dry fire, the best training tool is an AirSoft. It does everything the real thing does, but without the noise and recoil. They are accurate to 10 yards, depending on the make of gun, and leave a little dent on standard cardboard targets so you can see your hits. Google up David Sevigny videos on the fundamentals of shooting a Glock. With your airsoft you can practice first shots, reloads, strong/weak hand, transitions, shooting positions,.
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Old 05-01-2012, 8:53 AM
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I have a big bag of plastic rounds that shoot plastic low-velocity bullets with primers...not really "dry-fire" and you still have to be careful -- they move out pretty quickly. I also saw a hammer-activated laser device that will project a dot on a screen, making dry-fire more effective. Dry firing alone will help with the mental side of shooting though.
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Old 05-01-2012, 9:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighLander51 View Post
You need to start with the fundamentals, stance, grip, sight picture and trigger control. Use a straight drop OWB holster to begin with. Other than dry fire, the best training tool is an AirSoft. It does everything the real thing does, but without the noise and recoil. They are accurate to 10 yards, depending on the make of gun, and leave a little dent on standard cardboard targets so you can see your hits. Google up David Sevigny videos on the fundamentals of shooting a Glock. With your airsoft you can practice first shots, reloads, strong/weak hand, transitions, shooting positions,.
Ah good idea, I will go and pick up an airsoft, perhaps one is similar in size and shape to a Glock? I will look up Mr. Sevigny as well.
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Old 05-01-2012, 9:21 AM
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Originally Posted by OldShooter32 View Post
I have a big bag of plastic rounds that shoot plastic low-velocity bullets with primers...not really "dry-fire" and you still have to be careful -- they move out pretty quickly. I also saw a hammer-activated laser device that will project a dot on a screen, making dry-fire more effective. Dry firing alone will help with the mental side of shooting though.
Plastic rounds? What are these magical things and where does one getz them!?
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Old 05-01-2012, 9:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShooter32 View Post
I have a big bag of plastic rounds that shoot plastic low-velocity bullets with primers...not really "dry-fire" and you still have to be careful -- they move out pretty quickly. I also saw a hammer-activated laser device that will project a dot on a screen, making dry-fire more effective. Dry firing alone will help with the mental side of shooting though.
i went on youtube to see what you were talking about. i might actually look into buy some of these...
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:06 AM
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I think you need to be able to reload to use the plastic rounds. By reload I mean reload metallic cartridges, not stick a magaazine in the gun.

With a glock it's a bit harder to dry fire because you have to rack the slide a bit (you don't have to full pull it back) to reset the trigger.

With a DA/SA gun, you can dryfire and the trigger pulls the hammer back each time, so DA/SA, DA are awesome for that!

As for youtube, there is a great one with Todd Jarret explaining grip and stuff. Very nice

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50-plo48

On Youtube, look for the videos with the sponsored guys, not just the random guy videos. Watch the Todd Jarret one first.

If you are a newbie, I would like to SUGGEST learning the thumbs forward grip, which naturally puts you into the isoceles stance. Of course if Weaver is more comfortable, do that. Todd is showing the thumbs forward grip, it's what is used in most competitive pistol shooting, and is a very good grip, though AWKWARD and unnatural feeling at first. Weaver stance is what you see on TV and the grip that comes with it. Try not to do a "teacup grip"or a 1970's Holding your wrist grip.

If you are not a newbie, then ignore me.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:13 AM
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Take a look at these:
http://nextleveltraining.com/
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:22 AM
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Search tap rack bang on Youtube and you can find out how to simulate jam and double feed
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Louislee6 View Post
Search tap rack bang on Youtube and you can find out how to simulate jam and double feed
Only thing is, if you train tap, rack, bang, that is what you will do. What if someone steps into your line of fire? Might not be able to stop yourself from bang.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:41 AM
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Default Dry firing is great practice.

If you're going to practice dry firing make sure you do it safely.

1. Never have live ammo in the same room that you'll be practicing in.
2. Verify that the gun is unloaded and that all magazines are empty before starting.
3. Always have a proper backstop capable of stopping a round to point at.
4. Obey all safety rules as if you're using live rounds.
5. Remove the target from the backstop and put it away the second you're done dry firing.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatryan View Post

How do you simulate malfunctions / jam clearing?
Go here...http://firearms.atactv.com/
Check handguns and malfunctions in the quick search field to bring up a few step-by-step videos. They will cover the various drills. There is more than one type of malfunction, and there is more than one drill you need to learn to clear them.

That said, your smartest move is to pony up and take a Tactical Pistol I course. Videos are fun to watch, a great refresher, and certainly better than nothing. However, the best way to learn is with an instructor right there to help you. You learn by doing, and there will be an instruction walking you through every step of the training, and it all builds up in the end. A basic safety course, is NOT the same thing.

After you take a course you will have a step by step training regimin for each time you go to the range. From warm up drills like the trigger control drill, to working at full speed, to malfunction drills, to dry fire drills, and so on.

Last edited by tacticalcity; 05-01-2012 at 11:56 AM..
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert Gamble View Post
Only thing is, if you train tap, rack, bang, that is what you will do. What if someone steps into your line of fire? Might not be able to stop yourself from bang.
Why take a blind shot? That's negligence IMO. Tap, rack,....bang would be just as effective as tap, rack, bang.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:03 PM
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1) Trigger Pull

The important thing to remember about dry firing is that you are trying to burn the perfect trigger pull into your subconscious mind. So when you need to pull the trigger you will be able to break a good shot.

Private instruction or classes can help but trust me you don't show up to class and after 6-18 hours of instruction come out with perfect trigger control. It is developed through practice at the range and practice at home. Going back and forth until you've developed your trigger pull. The classes/instruction are references and ways to flush out anything that doesn't work for you.

2) Running the Gun
Learn how to reload, clear malfunctions, draw your holster etc. etc. and practice it at home. If you attend classes or get instruction you'll get one way for every class you take with their own twist on it. Panteo Production videos are pretty good I would start there if you want a video.

3) Information
Eventually you'll be able to filter out what is sound and what isn't if you keep an open mind and are able to be honest with your self critique.

If you have ever played a sport before in your life I think lessons learned from practice and competition are very applicable when it comes to shooting.

Last edited by Kempfer; 05-01-2012 at 12:05 PM..
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatryan View Post
Ah good idea, I will go and pick up an airsoft, perhaps one is similar in size and shape to a Glock? I will look up Mr. Sevigny as well.
Good quality AirSofts are identical in size and function. Check Tokyo Marui Model 17 Gas Blowback Pistol (Gen 3)
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Old 05-01-2012, 1:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatryan View Post
Are there any ways to "practice" or train on handgun use that can be done without firing live rounds? With a packed work week who knows when and how often I can make it to the range, and am going to take some courses but those are still a bit off. So I was curious what I could do to learn more on my own, if anything.

I know there are a ton of youtube videos, I am hesitant to 'follow' along any because most are probably not that great.

Thanks for your input!
Sorry if I'm covering things that have already been addressed. I did not have the opportunity to read the entire thread up to this point.

You can cover a lot of ground with dry practice runs: Start with your marksmanship basics of stance, grip, sight alignment, breathing and trigger press, follow-through/Trigger reset. I've had quite a few students in 2-day classes go had problems on day one with anticipated recoil. I had them do dry practice as "homework" for the second day and they did significantly better. Make every repetition count, focus on every aspect of the "shot" correct where you see things being off.

Once you have the basics down, incorporate proactive and reactive weapon manipulations (reloads and stoppage drills). Start out slowly and focus on running the drills without looking directly at your weapon. Then increase the speed with focus on keeping everything smooth.

Lastly, add the draw from the holster. Same approach here, starting slow and focus on smoothing all your moves... the speed will follow. Add after-action assessments to this drill and you have a very efficient training regimen.
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Old 05-01-2012, 1:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatryan View Post
Good points, especially on the reinforcing of bad habits, that had not occurred to me

I have 10 snap caps, so I can fully load a mag for practice, even though it's a pain in the ***** lol.

How do you simulate malfunctions / jam clearing?
In a recent firearms training course I had, we simulated the stovepipe, but putting an empty case in the breach.
Since you have so many snapcaps, load 9 into your magazine. Simulate the stovepipe by putting the last and 10th snapcap into between your breach and the barrel/chamber.
SORRY! I just realized, I'm not sure what handgun you have - but I'm guessing it's slide action type? not a revolver?
anyway, with one snapcap in the breach simulating the stovepipe, practice clearing it.
Here's how we learned to clear it - pretty straightforward
1. with stovepipe simulation in place, pretend to fire a round by pulling the trigger. This simulates having fired a previous shot, but that previous shot caused a stovepipe, and when you go to fire another round you get nothing, because of the stovepipe has blocked the loading of the next round.

2. clear the stovepipe
with a switch almost 1-2 speed, snap the slide action back while at the same time twisting your strong-arm wrist (the wrist of the hand you use to pull the trigger with) quickly to "throw" the stovepipe out. Doing this should have cleared and loaded/chambered the next round.

3. after clearning the malfunction (stovepipe in this case), quickly get back on target, focusing on sight picture and sight alignment.

4. repeat.

Step 2 is where the most practice should be. Throwing the stovepipe-round away takes some practice. If you don't do it right, the stovepipe may not go away and end up falling back into the breach if you don't throw it (ie. twist your wrist) away correctly

actually - here's a YouTube of what I'm talking about
arg, I guess I should have searched YT first
http://youtu.be/0-0uF7QlySQ
"Tap, Rack, Roll"
Tap the magazine
Rack the slide
Roll the wrist
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Old 05-01-2012, 3:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Solutions View Post
.......
You can cover a lot of ground with dry practice runs: Start with your marksmanship basics of stance, grip, sight alignment, breathing and trigger press, follow-through/Trigger reset. .......Make every repetition count, focus on every aspect of the "shot" correct where you see things being off.

Once you have the basics down.........
+1

To the OP, I would only add that even if you think you have mastered the fundamentals you HAVEN'T. Practice the fundamentals as much as you can.
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Old 05-01-2012, 3:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacticalcity View Post

That said, your smartest move is to pony up and take a Tactical Pistol I course. Videos are fun to watch, a great refresher, and certainly better than nothing. However, the best way to learn is with an instructor right there to help you. You learn by doing, and there will be an instruction walking you through every step of the training, and it all builds up in the end. A basic safety course, is NOT the same thing.
I absolutely want to take a course, just trying to find one
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