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Old March 1, 2013, 05:04 PM   #1
Powdersmoke
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BB pistol for extra practice

A few years back I decided that a semi automatic CO2 powered BB pitol would be a good way to get some extra pistol shooting practice cheap. I worked my way up till a couple years ago I shot 20,000 shots besides my 2200-2400 shots (I'd have to check my records) with my center fire handguns. The net results were, I got to where I could shoot like ganbusters with the BB pistol, fast and accurate. This did not seem to translate into any huge improvement in my center fire handgun shooting however. I even taught myself some bad habits like relaxing my grip as I went through a fast shot string due to the lack of recoil from the BB pistol. I still shoot the BB pistol for extra practice but with alot more focus on maintaining proper technique. Time will tell if it makes a difference. Anyone else out there shooting BBs for extra practice? How has it worked for you?

Last edited by Powdersmoke; March 1, 2013 at 05:35 PM.
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Old March 1, 2013, 06:01 PM   #2
savagest
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is the BB a blowback style? That simulates recoil pretty good. I use a pellet rifle to practice. It helps a lot because you have to follow through or your groups suck.
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Old March 1, 2013, 06:07 PM   #3
Powdersmoke
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No mine isn't the blowback style, might be something to look into. I've also thought about trying to find a really light .22 pistol that will at least give some recoil.
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Old March 1, 2013, 07:35 PM   #4
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdersmoke
A few years back I decided that a semi automatic CO2 powered BB pitol would be a good way to get some extra pistol shooting practice cheap. ... The net results were, I got to where I could shoot like ganbusters with the BB ..... This did not seem to translate into any huge improvement in my center fire handgun shooting however. I even taught myself some bad habits...
A good illustration of the adage: Practice doesn't make perfect; only perfect practice makes perfect. Also realize that practice makes permanent, so if you keep doing something wrong over and over, you simply become an expert at doing it wrong.

Quality pellet, BB or airsoft guns, or dry fire, can provide very valuable practice. But one needs to concentrate and work at it, as well a augmenting such practice with live fire exercises.

Now that you've acquired some bad habits you will want to work diligently to overwrite your incorrect programming with correct programing. To do this you will want to practice slowly and deliberately concentrating on doing everything exactly right each time. Pay close attention to what you're doing and how you're doing it, and work hard to make each repetition perfect. That can be very boring, but it's the way to become proficient.

In learning a physical skill, we all go through a four step process:
  1. Unconscious Incompetence: We can't do something and we don't even know how to do it;

  2. Conscious Incompetence: We can't physically do something, at least consistently, even though we know in our mind how to do it;

  3. Conscious Competence: We know how to do something and can do it properly consistently, but only if we think about what we're doing and concentrate on doing it properly; and

  4. Unconscious Competence: At this final stage we know how to do something and can do it reflexively, on demand and without having to think about it.
At the third stage, you need to think through the physical task consciously in order to do it perfectly. To move on to Unconscious Competence, start slowly, concentrating on doing each step of the task perfectly. Strive for smoothness. As you get smoother, you will also get quicker. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

Going from Conscious Competence to Unconscious Competence is usually thought to take around 5,000 good repetitions. The good news is that, in the case of shooting, dry practice will count. The bad news is that poor repetitions don't count and can set you back.

If one has reached the stage of Unconscious Competence he will still need to practice regularly and properly to maintain proficiency, but it's easier to maintain it once achieved than it was to first achieve it.
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Old March 1, 2013, 09:11 PM   #5
ModernGunner
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I use one of the pellet pistols designed to look like a Colt Python.

Works for me to help maintain eye / hand coordination and trigger pull.

I've not found any noticeable negatives from practicing with it. Does it transfer directly to firing a .44 mag? No, because there's no noticeable recoil. But if I use only that as the benchmark, then practicing with my .22 Buckmark would serve no purpose either.

It's all practice, weapons manipulation in some form, and IMO, worth the time and effort. Ya just have to ignore those aspects that don't transfer across and retain those aspects that do.
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Old March 1, 2013, 10:35 PM   #6
Slopemeno
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I have a Daisy 717 pellet pistol that's the perfect "parlor gun". Low power, recoilless, and super accurate (for what I paid..). I've even taken to doing my dry firing on it to isolate all the handling wear on it.
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Old March 2, 2013, 10:06 AM   #7
Powdersmoke
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Franks post took what I had concluded on my own and added valuable input, thanks. I do believe that there is some benefit to be had from the bb practice. Repetitions build muscle memory so getting a correct firing grip, drawing and aligning the sights and squeezing off the shot are all good things to practice. I will just be doing it alot more deliberately for a while. The upside was I didn't manage to hurt my center fire shooting
either so I guess I caught myself in time.
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Old March 2, 2013, 05:32 PM   #8
g.willikers
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For maximum airgun recoil effect, take a look at the Umarex copy of the Beretta PX4.
It's a CO2 powered .177 pellet pistol, with a rifled barrel and blowback action, that shoots about like a .22 at respectable distances.
Quite accurate and realistic.
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Old March 2, 2013, 08:31 PM   #9
Rainbow Demon
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I have several CO2 BB pistols.
I still have my first which is a Crosman 38C . Its missing the barrel liner and the valve body has been rebuilt several times, but finally the threads stripped. If I ever find one I can strip for parts i may try to rebuild it again. Its very stoutly built with thick machined brass valve body, not at all like the latter models.

My favorite now is a Crossman /Urmarex/ Walther PPKS. Its a metal blowback with smoothbore barrel. Not very powerful, but kicks more than a .22 pocket pistol, so it gives the illusion of shooting a real PPK.

I have a Gamo replica of a SIG .380, DOA .177 BB repeater with rifled bore for single loading pellets. The DA trigger pull is much like that of my I frame Handejector.

I also have a replica of the S&W 59, representing a later model than my Model 59 but with similar styling.
Its not heavy enough to provide realistic practice, but learning to control a heavy DA pull with such a light pistol does seem to help in controling the real thing.
Both the BB gun and the real Model 59 have rather sloppy DA pull anyway.

My best CO2 pistol is the S&W 78g in .22 caliber. A very accurate single shot with fully adjustable target sights. Sturdy cast alloy construction, a beefy BB pistol with excellent trigger pull.
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Old March 2, 2013, 08:33 PM   #10
stephen426
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With the cost of ammo (not to mention the availability), I try to keep my skills sharp with my Airsoft. While the weight and feel (not to mention recoil) are obviously different, I believe that it provides a lot of benefits (especially compared to doing nothing at all).

The most important skill Airsoft works for me is point shooting. I place a sticky target about 15 feet away and start from the low ready position. I bring the gun up without using the sights and try to get as clost to bulls eye as possible. When I practiced all the time, I was grouping about 2 inches consistently from 15 feet away. You should obviously get an Airsoft that is a good replica of your carry gun (possible even fits your holster). Practice drawing from concealment and shooting as quickly as possible after drawing. In a real life defensive situation, pretty little groups is highly over rated. Getting lead on your target first is what often wins the fight. I observed a bunch of thug looking characters at the range holding the gun sideways and just pulling the trigger as quickly as possible. While their target looked more like a shotgun blast, they were still hitting the target fairly regularly. My point is that a lucky shot (or unlucky shot if you are the one getting hit) still counts. I'd give up my ability to make pretty little groups in exchange for draw and shoot skills of the legendary gun slingers.

Of course you need to stay on top of your training and not get sloppy or develop bad habits. My years of punching pretty little groups actually helped me out when I tried IPSC for the first time a few years ago. There is a lot to be said for muscle memory, especially trigger control, and point shooting. Good luck!
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Old March 2, 2013, 09:02 PM   #11
Rainbow Demon
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Airsoft replicas can be very realistic, if manufactured with cast metal frames or with steel or lead inserts to bring the weight and balance close to that of the real steel pistols they mimic.
The lighter versions may look real but have little utility as a trainer.

Some of the more expensive all metal blowback airsoft pistols are indistinguishable from the real thing till the magazine is removed or the slide pulled back.
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Old March 3, 2013, 12:35 PM   #12
Powdersmoke
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My CO2 pistol is a replica of a S+W 59 series too. Yes the DAO pull is heavy and not too smooth. Does anyone have any experience with the S+W M+P replica BB pistol. One of my center fires is a Smith M+P. I wonder if the weight and trigger action on the BB pistol are similar.

Last edited by Powdersmoke; March 3, 2013 at 01:19 PM.
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Old March 4, 2013, 07:20 PM   #13
BuckRub
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I also believe it can have invaluable pros. Although it can have negatives too if you practice them. Does great for sight alignment, trigger pull and other cheap pros. Anything that can be done cheap or free and gives a positive. Keep it up. Also a lot of dry firing practice with YOUR CC gun is great too.
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