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Posted: 4/30/2009 12:30:06 PM EDT
Say ammo became so scarce that you only had a few boxes for the rest of your life. Practicing proper grip, retention, mag insertions, aiming, dry firing etc. is all you could do for training. Would it be enough for you to be able to maintain your skills so if you had to shoot in defence you could still control recoil and keep the bullets accurate and on target?

How about with an AR or even a bolt gun?
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 12:33:03 PM EDT
oh yeah, if the basics are there you can do what you have to do.

Plus if you practice dry firing, reloads, draws you can get very good without firing a round.

not to mention those guys who have airsoft replicas of their real piece who get pretty good with them real thing
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 12:42:57 PM EDT
Buy an Airsoft replica of the gun in question. It's not 100% obviously (recoil, sound are different) but I think it's worthy of mention.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 12:57:07 PM EDT
You can get proficient with every gun handling skill except consistently and reliably hitting your target.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:00:54 PM EDT
I've shot the same guns, or identical/extremely similar guns, for the majority of my life. If I couldn't get much ammo, I'm pretty sure I'd be ok.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:04:03 PM EDT
Yes. Absolutely.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:09:08 PM EDT
BB pistols would also be a great training tool.    A good .22 is also a great training tool.   I always start out with a .22 pistol when I'm at the range.    I also try to finish with one, so I can "fix" any bad habits that might form under heavy recoil.

I've found my airsoft replica to be great for drawing from concealment and firing.    It helped a lot when it came to using the real thing.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:09:48 PM EDT
Nothing replaces live fire.

You could still keep basics up but not as good as you could with real live training
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:11:06 PM EDT
DRY FIRE DRILLS!

over and over and over and over.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:15:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:16:30 PM EDT
Very easily.  I've made Master in IDPA and A class pushing Master class in USPSA, and 90% of my practice is done with dry firing.  Make sure you practice correctly, grip the gun the same and as tightly as you would in live fire.  You can not only keep your skills up but actually gain speed, accuracy, and consistency just dry firing.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:25:57 PM EDT
Yes.  I'm a pretty good shot and  was just as good after 8 months of no shooting as I was when I was shooting twice a week.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:26:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
I'm going to go against the flow and say No.

I have had times where I didn't shoot for a short period, and when I went to the range, I was amazed at how much proficiency I had lost.

Just like physical training, you can't "put it in the bank".

If you stop, proficiency starts to deteriorate.  Dry firing may help a little, but it isn't the same as shooting.



There was a study done some time ago with college basketball athletes regarding physical practice vs. mental practice, and the outcome was a total surprise.

The study divided the group into three parts:

1) would physically practice a normal amount of time every day,

2) would not physically practice, but would focus on mentally walking thru a practice (ie - they practiced in their minds)

3) did neither of the above.

Month or two later, the group was brought together and their physical skills measured.

Of course, no one was surprised that group 3's skills deteriorated quickly.  Group 1 stayed the same.  The real surprise was that group 2's skills were JUST AS proficient as group 1's!

So I vote that if you devote focused mental attention, even while sitting on your ass at work, you can maintain at least some level of proficiency.  Of course, coupling it with dry-firing and muscle-memory exercises would likely give the most superior outcome.

Once again, this shows it is all about the mental game.  Not the caliber, whether it's HST or not, or how GI Joe/Navy Seal/Delta Force/ Recon 7 your model of pistol is.

Just MHO, though.  

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:29:51 PM EDT
Dry fire + air soft.  Live fire>air soft>dry fire>nothing.  With a bolt gun, it'd be even more difficult, you'd probably have to get a pellet rifle or .22lr.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:36:39 PM EDT
I call it shadow boxing.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:40:49 PM EDT
Years back, I used to compete in airgun and .22 3-position matches.  Practice twice a week for two hours a night.  One day I got pulled out my grandpa's .270 winchester model 70 (never had shot it before) and was getting tight groups right off the bat.  Shooting a pellet gun and shooting a powerful centerfire cartridge gun are no different.  Now if there was nothing to practice with, kiss any skills you had goodbye.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:41:57 PM EDT
And the same goes for pistols.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:43:22 PM EDT
I'd say rifle are more forgiving to less practice.

At least for me, handguns require some kind of consistency of range time to keep the skills sharp.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:44:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hebrew_Battle_Rifle:
You can get proficient with every gun handling skill except consistently and reliably hitting your target.


I'd say I agree.

And those two skills seem like they would be the most important.

BUT

Training is better than NO Training.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:19:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 2:20:15 PM EDT by 580DBF]
I think that once a person has attained a given level of skill, a lack of practice leads to some level of degradation of that skill.  However, from a practical standpoint, what degradation is tolerable?  If you are still GTG at minute-of-man at relevant ranges, then the degradation is of no real consequence.  If you are poking holes in air, then you need to work on that.

I realize that most Arfcommers can put Ed McGivern to shame regarding shot placement, but hits, any hits, count.  I'll settle for any hit over a miss, and once I learned how to hit accurately, my ability to hit will never go away completely, unless I am blind or crippled.  I'll take a COM hit and be happy, and I can do that, without current practice, at normal gunfight range.  As with any form of shooting, when you increase the range, you increase the difficulty, and this is where skill degradation shows up first.  If you want bullseye performance, you need to shoot alot, and continuously, to maintain that level of skill.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:24:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:27:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Star_Scream:
DRY FIRE DRILLS!

over and over and over and over.



Yup. I was reading an article recently and a top IDPA shooter was being interviewed and he said that dry firing is the best thing you can do outside actual range time. I dry fire a LOT. I really think it's benefical to handgun noobs who have accuracy problems (jerking the trigger) and are recoil sensitive (works against the flinch).

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:30:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 82ND-ABN:
You either put lead down range and become a better shooter or you don't.



Obviously, actually shooting is the BEST thing one can do. But MOST people don't have the funds to fire thousands upon thousands of rounds a year. Practicing smart at the range will help maximize the benefit from rounds fired. But outside of that, dry fire is a proven practice method that works well.

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:31:45 PM EDT
Of all of the gun handling skills that you have, only ONE involves actually shooting. So, it is self evident that all other gun handling skills are learned and honed without actually shooting.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:46:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hebrew_Battle_Rifle:
Of all of the gun handling skills that you have, only ONE involves actually shooting. So, it is self evident that all other gun handling skills are learned and honed without actually shooting.


yep, dry fire dry fire dry fire.

I usually rest a quarter or dime on the barrel of the pistol and practice.

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:47:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 2:59:39 PM EDT by 444]
Absolutely you can not just maintain proficiency but you can gain proficiency.

Every serious competitive shooter spends a lot of time dry firing. With a handgun you can do a lot of work that is actually better done dry than it is live. You can perfect your draw. You can perfect your draw from concealment. You can work on the "three secrets" (sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control) and with follow through. You can work on position firing (kneeling, prone, barricade positions, unorrhodox positons like firing under over and around things, rollover positions). You can practice reloads. You can pratice malfunction clearences (buy yourself a dozen snap caps which you can also insert randomly in your magazines when you are firing live ammo to have malfunctions that you have to clear). You can get comfortable shooting with a light along with all kinds of other light related techniques like doing reloads and clearing malfunctions with a light.
I have heard of guys working on their technique of shooting on the move by combining a work out on the treadmill with dry firing.
I have a special dry firing trigger in one of my Glocks that resets itself so you don't have to run the action to reset the trigger. With that trigger you can practice engaging multiple targets and driving the gun onto the next target. You can use that trigger to practice trigger reset. This trigger will not fire live ammo which is a plus for dry fire safety. I have two Glock 17s and I have this trigger in one and shoot live ammo out of the other one.

IMO, if you spent a few hours a week in SERIOUS dry practice with set drills and set goals you would be a better pistol shooter than if you spent that same amount of time on a range shooting from one static position or plinking. I think you can get MORE out of dry practice than you can with live fire in a whole lot of basic fundamentals.

All of the above goes for a rifle as well. Especially working on natural point of aim and your shooting positions.

If you want to be really good you should be doing a LOT of dry practice even if you are shooting live ammo a couple times a week. The more you dry practice (beyond just snapping the gun at a target on the wall) the more you will understand and appreciate how much there is to gain from dry practice. You will find yourself on the range realizing that what you are practicing with live ammo is almost a waste of ammo because you could practice the same skill 1000s of times at home dry.



Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:48:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:50:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:55:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 3:10:29 PM EDT by 444]
Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Originally Posted By 444:
You can work on the "three secrets" (sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control) and with follow through.


To an extent...but all the dryfire in the world won't change the instinct to react differently when you know the gun is going to go boom.




Dry fire augments live fire. It doesn't replace it. The idea is that you get a lot more reps. If you fire 100 rounds a week in live practice and go through the motions 2000 times a week dry, you will be a much better shooter than someone who simply fires 100 rounds a week and puts the gun away until next week.
By the same token, if for some reason you can't practice at a range. It might be because you can't afford it, you can't find any ammo to buy, or you simply can't fit it into your schedule, dry fire will help you maintain and perfect a lot of your shooting technique and is FAR better than just not doing anything instead.

Many times I have gone to a range and set up whatever I was going to shoot and actually did some dry firing. Then fired some live ammo. And then dry fired some more alternating between dry and live fire at the range. I think I get a lot more out of that than just burning through ammo.

Not to be argumentitive but this isn't even a question for serious discussion. This has been an accepted and valid technique for decades if not a century. Read any book about competitive shooting or competitive shooters. Go to any website where serious competitors post. For that matter, go to a shooting school like Gunsite. They not only teach dry fire but give you assignments to work on in your hotel room after class. One school I went to (I think it was Gunsite) issued you a small pistol case that contained a steel block to use in your hotel room for dry firing just as a precaution against injuring someone with an ND. They issued them out on the first day of class and expected you to dry practice in the evenings to work on the techniques you were taught that day in class. If you fucked up the next day they would ask if you had been dry practicing at night. At Gunsite I stayed in a house right outside the gate that had a dry fire range in the back with silhouettes set up so you could practice the stuff you were learning, dry. Another school I went to was really big on dry fire. Before you ever even went to the range for the first time they went over their safety rules for dry firing. Then they passed out a paper which you were required to sign saying you read and understood the safety rules for dry practice.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:01:33 PM EDT
I think dry fire practice is wonderful in training draw, grip, trigger press, and sight alignment. It does not address recoil management or follow through sight picture. Without live fire practice, those skills will diminish.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:06:03 PM EDT
wasn't there a japanese guy who won some competition after training mostly with airsoft in his home country?
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:09:25 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:10:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:20:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 3:20:55 PM EDT by brett1970]
with the way ammo is so hard to find now, i think everyone is doing some dryfire practice. I know i have been.., just dont want to dwindle my stash until i know i can replace it at a reasonable cost
hey my new avatar is up... cool!!
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:23:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Star_Scream:
DRY FIRE DRILLS!

over and over and over and over.


THIS. Range practice is to confirm your dry practice skills are correct and ingrained.

Which, is not to say a couple boxes on steel at the range ain't fun, too.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:31:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Originally Posted By 444:
You can work on the "three secrets" (sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control) and with follow through.


To an extent...but all the dryfire in the world won't change the instinct to react differently when you know the gun is going to go boom.



I agree here. Good practice, but for me, I've got to get live rounds down range too.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:34:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 3:35:04 PM EDT by HK_Shooter_03]
You can't practice watching your front sight without recoil.



Dry firing has limitations.

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:37:52 PM EDT
If you get good and then don't shoot for a while you can still come back pretty quickly. Once you've got how to shoot with your pistol of choice down really well it can be like riding a bicycle.

That said...

If you suck and you have long periods of nothing in between suck, you're gonna get nothing but suck.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:42:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SkagSig40:
Say ammo became so scarce that you only had a few boxes for the rest of your life. Practicing proper grip, retention, mag insertions, aiming, dry firing etc. is all you could do for training. Would it be enough for you to be able to maintain your skills so if you had to shoot in defence you could still control recoil and keep the bullets accurate and on target?

How about with an AR or even a bolt gun?



Most shooters would do well to train without ammo anyway.  Going to the range and blasting a couple of hundred rounds into a target is not the way to get the most bang for the buck.  Practice gun handling.  Drawing, reloading, malfunction drills, dry firing, all can be practiced without shooting.  You can make a box of 50 go a long way if you structure your training.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:42:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 3:47:07 PM EDT by rock71]
Originally Posted By Hebrew_Battle_Rifle:
You can get proficient with every gun handling skill except consistently and reliably hitting your target.



So so wrong.


Sight alignment and trigger control are the same whether the gun goes bang or not.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:46:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
I'm going to go against the flow and say No.

I have had times where I didn't shoot for a short period, and when I went to the range, I was amazed at how much proficiency I had lost.

Just like physical training, you can't "put it in the bank".

If you stop, proficiency starts to deteriorate.  Dry firing may help a little, but it isn't the same as shooting.



I'm going to have to agree.  Just last week I took my Sig out for the first time in about a year and was surprised at how much proficiency I had lost.  I used to be highly lethal with that pistol and found last week that my groupings weren't very tight and I didn't have the follow-up like I used to.  

So I would have to say that it would be difficult to maintain any tome of consistency without actually shooting.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:46:42 PM EDT
Yes

my old man had not fired a handgun since he retired off NYPD almost 40 yrs ago. while he was in town took him out shooting. he tried that glock thing and while hitting the target was not comfortable with a semi. He di however hit COM with it.
hand him the S&W 640 he goes into his old NYPD trained stance and drops 5 into the X @ 15yds. hands me the gun, looks at his target and says, YEP still got it!. lets go home
he trained by point shooting and many years later did not miss a beat.


my neighbor shoots here and there. him and his 2 brothers could pick up any handgun, show them the mechanics of it and @ 25yds drop them in the X. those bastards never miss a beat. they're even more deadly with rifles. Old iron sight shooters.  he takes out a new marlin semi @ 50yds hits high & left. i'm spotting tell him where he hits ,does that kentucky windage thing .  runs off 3 rds and SOB on the money. some shooters have it most don't
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:48:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 3:49:47 PM EDT by Yossarian]
Originally Posted By jtielke:
Very easily.  I've made Master in IDPA and A class pushing Master class in USPSA, and 90% of my practice is done with dry firing.  Make sure you practice correctly, grip the gun the same and as tightly as you would in live fire.  You can not only keep your skills up but actually gain speed, accuracy, and consistency just dry firing.



This.

I would add train yourself, disicipline yourself when dry firing to maintain focus on the front sight.  This will help you get back on target quicker and help with the nasty habit of looking for your holes.  


Edit.

I will add as far as target shooting goes, or doing double taps I think you can keep your skill up.  As for combat shooting, it will help but those will deteriorate more quickly.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:52:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/1/2009 5:26:56 AM EDT by VACaver]
I don't think I could remain proficient at all without live firing. As it is, I think I barely maintain proficiency and am willing to bet many here are in the same boat.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:52:05 PM EDT
Dry fire plus mental imaging will do wonders for your proficiency. It's a good way to practice. Try aiming and firing at people on your TV to maintain trigger squeeze and sight allignment skills.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:53:14 PM EDT
Yeah... I can hold my own without practicing for awhile. I f you have the basics down, they won't leave you, but practice never hurts.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 3:56:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By rock71:
Originally Posted By Hebrew_Battle_Rifle:
You can get proficient with every gun handling skill except consistently and reliably hitting your target.



So so wrong.


Sight alignment and trigger control are the same whether the gun goes bang or not.


I agree.

Live or not,  slight alignment, grip, stance, and the fundamentals are the same.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 4:07:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hebrew_Battle_Rifle:
Of all of the gun handling skills that you have, only ONE involves actually shooting. So, it is self evident that all other gun handling skills are learned and honed without actually shooting.


This. Setting your firearm on a bench and shooting for accuracy is one thing. Actual firing at a target only affirms that proficiency in skills have been attained, through training and practice, in bringing a firearm from rest (holster, sling or other transport position) to battery (proper draw, grip, sight alignment and target acquisition). Then there are reloads, malfunction clearances and movement issues requiring practice that a public-access range will frown upon. I haven't found a public range that allows drawing from a holster and firing.

I'm fortunate in that I get to train and practice, on occasion, with LEO at a LE facility that allows these types of activities. The practice I do off-range has  garnered respect for my skills from "professionals".

My ex thought I was a freak for wandering around the house or watching TV "fondling" my carbine and sidearm. Long ago I gave up being self-conscious about doing things around the house in gear. My next door neighbor was glad to hear he wasn't the only one who did did this.

I'm good, but by no means a "professional". Just my WELL-TRAINED opinion and it cost you nothing.

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 4:10:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 580DBF:
I think that once a person has attained a given level of skill, a lack of practice leads to some level of degradation of that skill.  However, from a practical standpoint, what degradation is tolerable?  If you are still GTG at minute-of-man at relevant ranges, then the degradation is of no real consequence.  If you are poking holes in air, then you need to work on that.

I realize that most Arfcommers can put Ed McGivern to shame regarding shot placement, but hits, any hits, count.  I'll settle for any hit over a miss, and once I learned how to hit accurately, my ability to hit will never go away completely, unless I am blind or crippled.  I'll take a COM hit and be happy, and I can do that, without current practice, at normal gunfight range.  As with any form of shooting, when you increase the range, you increase the difficulty, and this is where skill degradation shows up first.  If you want bullseye performance, you need to shoot alot, and continuously, to maintain that level of skill.


I tend to agree.  I've slacked off a lot on my pistol range time recently with the ammo price situation.  I used to hit the range 2-4 times a month depending on various scheduling factors.  Now I'm averaging more like once every 2-3 months it seems (I have plenty of ammo stocked up, I'm choosing not to waste much while I can't resupply as easily).  I can see the deterioration on paper at the range, as in "oh no, that 6 inch group was a 4 inch group a year ago!", but I'm not too concerned.  Either way, it's minute-of-bad-guy at reasonable ranges, and that's all I really care about.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 4:10:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Star_Scream:
Originally Posted By rock71:
Originally Posted By Hebrew_Battle_Rifle:
You can get proficient with every gun handling skill except consistently and reliably hitting your target.



So so wrong.


Sight alignment and trigger control are the same whether the gun goes bang or not.


I agree.

Live or not,  slight alignment, grip, stance, and the fundamentals are the same.


Well then I guess that you two will never need more than one 50 rd box of ammo for the rest of your life.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 4:14:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 4:15:23 PM EDT by Foxnews_FTW]
Originally Posted By Hebrew_Battle_Rifle:
Originally Posted By Star_Scream:
Originally Posted By rock71:
Originally Posted By Hebrew_Battle_Rifle:
You can get proficient with every gun handling skill except consistently and reliably hitting your target.



So so wrong.


Sight alignment and trigger control are the same whether the gun goes bang or not.


I agree.

Live or not,  slight alignment, grip, stance, and the fundamentals are the same.


Well then I guess that you two will never need more than one 50 rd box of ammo for the rest of your life.


Ninja skills!!
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