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Old September 12, 2009, 12:51 AM   #1
Phoebe
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Bad Habits

"If you learn to shoot with a 9mm or other bigger caliber weapon, you will develop bad habits. Everyone should learn with a .22."

Discuss, please. Agree? Disagree? What kind of bad habits would you be able to avoid with a .22? (flinching?)
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Old September 12, 2009, 02:03 AM   #2
Shane Tuttle
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Flinching is one of the big ones. Also, if you're still learning proper grip technique, it's more difficult to practice soundly while continuing to adjust due to recoil. Unless your budget isn't a concern, you'll end up practicing less with centerfire cartridges. Learning to deal with recoil is far down on the priority list. Muscle memory and repetitive, correct form is primary. Wanting to handle .45ACP recoil should be down the road. Once sound practice is a formed habit, moving up to centerfire cartridges will be MUCH easier to handle and less frustration in the long run.

On a side note, this isn't absolute. I taught my wife with a Ruger P95 9mm from the get-go. One thing to know is she had me to teach her every step of the way. If you don't have a solid mentor to go with you everytime you head for the range, I'd recommend the .22lr.
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Old September 12, 2009, 02:42 AM   #3
Nnobby45
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Quote:
"If you learn to shoot with a 9mm or other bigger caliber weapon, you will develop bad habits. Everyone should learn with a .22."
That's kind of an insult to all the shooters who learned to shoot very well with the 9mm and larger. Proper instruction is the key and that's not somethign guaranteed just because you "learned" with the .22.

Not to say that the .22 isn't, with proper instruction, an excellent way to begin.
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Old September 12, 2009, 05:28 AM   #4
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But just because a .22 has minimal recoil, this does not mean you won't develop bad habits. I agree that proper instruction is the key.

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Old September 12, 2009, 09:04 AM   #5
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For basic through advanced pistol marksmanship training, I strongly recommend a good pellet pistol. One of my favorites is the Daisy 717, but there are several good ones available.

You see, in order to become a really good pistol shot, as opposed to the people we see at the range who are happy with an 8" group at 20 feet, you have to master trigger control, follow-through and calling your shots. It's much easier to aquire those skills if the gun you're shooting has no recoil, is super quiet and is very cheap to shoot. A pellet pistol is all those things and you can shoot it in the house or garage. All you need for a backstop is a box of newspapers. Ammo is almost free.

Pistols like the Daisy are pump-up (one pump) and there's no Co2 cost. Make sure you get one with adjustable sights.
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Old September 12, 2009, 09:10 AM   #6
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Old September 12, 2009, 09:36 AM   #7
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The advantage of a .22 for learning is...

that recoil is not present, allowing the shooter to concentrate on the:

sight alignment,
breathe control,
& trigger control.

Larger caliber introduces early the effect of recoil, WHICH may aggravate the learning process. Most semi-auto's need pull power loads to operate, using downloaded ammom (must reload) then you'll need to use less powerful recoil springs.

If using a .38Spl revolver, then the use of target wadcutters then lessens the recoil effect (almost duplicates a .22).
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Old September 12, 2009, 09:43 AM   #8
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I learned to shoot with my grandpa with a 1903 Springfield and a Colt 1909.When i had to qualify with the m16 in the army it was a walk in the park.
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Old September 12, 2009, 09:44 AM   #9
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I think poor triggers result in more problems than most mid level caliber's. I think a 22 is great for staying in shape due to cost, but as far as learning most people can handle a 38 or 9mm.
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Old September 12, 2009, 12:53 PM   #10
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My friend the gun nut was encouraging me to get and practice with a .22 because it lets you practice with cheap ammunition and without having to adjust for recoil and flash.

However, I don't have a .22 pistol. I have been learning to shoot with a small .357 mag/.38 sp Smith and Wesson J-Frame (a Model 60, my only gun) that, by all accounts, is not the best gun to learn on. So far, I'm doing okay, mostly because I've been using low-power .38 sp target shooting loads for the majority of my practice. I shoot only enough of the higher-powered .38 +P and .357 magnum loads to maintain familiarity with them.

Like so many arguments among the experts in many fields, I think that with this one there's no single right answer. It's a question of weighing the cost of buying a second gun, the savings from cheaper ammuntion (.22 is cheap, a very nice aspect), and the advantages of practicing with the easier gun.

In your case, as I recall, you are a member of a local gun club that has lots of guns you can rent and use. Do they have some .22 automatics among their collection? If they do, why not rent them, buy a couple of boxes of .22 ammo, and try them out? If they're easier to use and you like practicing with them, maybe you can afford to continue to rent them at the range for a while, and maybe you can save up for one of your own. If you don't think shooting a .22 is helping you, then don't worry about what the experts say. :-)

Last edited by Shane Tuttle; September 12, 2009 at 08:41 PM.
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Old September 12, 2009, 01:06 PM   #11
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That's sorta like saying you should learn to drive a Yugo then graduate to a Cadillac.

If proper grip, stance, and other techniques are taught, then shooting can be learned on any caliber. I learned on a .357 Magnum.

As Mythbusters would say: Busted.
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Old September 12, 2009, 01:06 PM   #12
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It's hard to argue that it's not EASIER to learn proper shooting with a 22. The key is learning. Learning is far easier with a good teacher. A good teacher will get superior results with any caliber but will almost always have an easier time teaching the fundamentals with a small caliber gun.
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Old September 12, 2009, 01:09 PM   #13
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I learnt to shoot handguns in my military service, with a Browning Hi Power in 9mm.

Many years later I taught my GF (now my wife)to shoot, and we started off with her shooting my 0.40. (BAD mistake!! she ended up liking it so much that for years I had to reload over a thousand rounds a month for her, and she still refers to one of my favourite guns as "Her Browning")

She became confident and proficient fairly quickly and ended up being a regular member in the shooting club where I was shooting regularly at the time. and later qualified as an instructor, working mainly with novices at an indoor range. ( her carry gun is a Glock in 0.357 Sig)

So my answer is no, learning to shoot with a 9mm, 38Spcl, etc does not necessarily need to give you bad habits.
This does not mean that you should start a new shooter with a 44 Mag; a 9mm, 0.40, 38, or 0.45 (or similar), with normal loads ( not +Ps or extra hot stuff) should do just fine.

Brgds,

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Old September 12, 2009, 01:41 PM   #14
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You can practice quite a bit more with a .22 than with centerfire.
It's easier to work through bad habits when you shoot more than 50 rounds a day. It is easier for an instructor to point out and correct problems when you're shooting a lot.
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Old September 12, 2009, 01:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
The advantage of a .22 for learning is...
that recoil is not present, ...
Say what?
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Old September 12, 2009, 05:50 PM   #16
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I was out at a coworker's house the other day with a couple of my handguns to help her learn to shoot. She is recently widowed, and lives alone in a very rural area and is wanting to get her CHL. I did start her with a single action .22 lr to help her get familar with something going bang that would not kick too hard and show her proper grip, and stance. Then I let her fire a few rounds out of my .45 acp. She likes the .45 and shot very well with it.
I do not think smaller caliber helps to eliminate bad habits. Bad habits in shooting are present no matter which caliber you are shooting. Starting with a .22 lr is helpful to help someone gain confidence and learn proper habits if it is available. I have known many that have started with larger calibers that learned properly and are good shots.
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Old September 12, 2009, 06:56 PM   #17
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I've seen a number of folks who became very good shots starting with 9mm or larger, especially in the military. But I, and my children did much better by starting with air pistol, then .22 and then a larger caliber.
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Old September 12, 2009, 07:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Phoebe

Bad Habits
"If you learn to shoot with a 9mm or other bigger caliber weapon, you will develop bad habits. Everyone should learn with a .22."

Discuss, please. Agree? Disagree? What kind of bad habits would you be able to avoid with a .22? (flinching?)
It seems that the consensus here is that shooting a .22 lr is no substitute for good coaching/instruction. I agree.

To me the greatest utility of the .22 lr is that it has low power and low recoil so that the new shooter is not concerned about recoil and can focus on what is being taught. Less distraction and more focus is a good thing in the early stages of instruction as it can more quickly build confidence. Secondly, rimfire ammo is considerably cheaper than 9mm ammo, and one can get in more shooting for the same dollar amount.

On the other hand, for someone to learn defensive pistol shooting that shooter must shoot the gun with which that shooter will use in defensive shooting at some point. Further, the amount of shooting required to become competent varies from person to person.
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Old September 12, 2009, 09:08 PM   #19
Shane Tuttle
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Quote:
That's sorta like saying you should learn to drive a Yugo then graduate to a Cadillac.
Actually, it's saying you should learn to drive a VW with a stickshift before you enter a race with a Ferrari.

This issue isn't if one CAN learn with a centerfire or not. This issue is while providing instruction, it's NORMALLY best that the student has the fewest hurdles to hop over in order to learn the basics.

I pose this question: What's so advantageous to start someone with a .38Spl, 9mm, .45ACP, etc over a .22lr? If one says you end up buying two guns instead of one, I don't buy it.

A three year old CAN learn to ride a bicycle without training wheels. But I think the fewer bumps, scrapes, and shaken self esteem can be buffered by letting the kid have those training wheels for a short while...
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Old September 12, 2009, 09:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
That's sorta like saying you should learn to drive a Yugo then graduate to a Cadillac.
Actually, a more valid analogy would be that you should learn to ride a bicycle (as a child) before you ride your first motorcycle...a dirt bike (as a teenager). After riding a dirt bike, you will be a better (safer, more proficient) street rider.

Of course, I've only been riding for 41 years...so far...
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Old September 12, 2009, 09:26 PM   #21
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Actually I think a .22lr is a bad thing to learn on first also. Ya need to start off with a SuperSoaker water gun (but don't pump it up too much at first or you'll get too much recoil from the high pressure), then move up from there.
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Old September 12, 2009, 10:14 PM   #22
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i learned on my 45, and the only advantage I can offer is that because its my carry gun, I was doing 2/3 things at once. My P345 was the first gun that I bought/own and I will say that instruction is more important than caliber, as long as it(caliber) doesn't take away from your learning ability.
I read about 3-4 books on shooting, self defense, and gun stuff and watched about 10-15 full length videos to try to soak it all up. Then read some forum stuff. Of course, then I practiced. It all helped out. These things that I learned on my own helped me try to reduce those things. I disagree that you need a .22 to not learn bad habits. You can learn just as many or more because of the no recoil factor. Like limp wristing, or not holding the gun correctly because it doesn't take much to handle.
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Old September 14, 2009, 05:44 AM   #23
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the only way to not learn bad habits is to not practice bad habits.

is it easier to not practice bad habits on a .22? maybe, but certainly not for sure. one thing to consider is that if you start out on a .22 you probably wont be gripping the gun firmly enough for when you move up to a real caliber. isn't that just as much a distraction as recoil? i dunno, about everyone but the best thing to help me practice without the distraction of recoil is dry firing mixed with live firing. live firing is good because you familiarize yourself with what the gun is going to do/how it is going to feel in your hands. dry firing is good because like shooting a small caliber recoil and a few other factors are minimized/removed to help you focus on sighting and form and proper trigger pull. but even better than a small caliber dry firing is free!!!!! when you do some more live firing you will immediately see how the dry firing benefited you.

i personally had an issue with recoil aniticipation. most new shooters people i have shot with also have this problem. this problem does not usually develop until you shoot on a larger caliber (at lest 9mm), and is easily corrected with a bit of dry firing to illustrate how steady and still your hands should be. so, again, you aren't saving yourself here by practicing on a 22, because once you move up to a real cailber again your going to encounter new problems. just start with what you are going to be shooting. for me it was forty and 9mm. .22 is fun, but i dont feel it is better practice at all. free is better then cheap.
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Old September 14, 2009, 12:20 PM   #24
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Quote:
Everyone should learn with a .22
I agree.

Quote:
If you learn to shoot with a 9mm or other bigger caliber weapon, you will develop bad habits.
I do not agree.
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Old September 14, 2009, 09:40 PM   #25
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While not strictly necessary, rimfire weapons are invaluable learning and training tools.
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