View Full Version : Necessary Training

July 7, 2006, 02:46 PM
Hello .. My question is how often should one pratice?I am not law enforcement. My main wepon we be the the single action 1911 45. I live in New Jersey and can't carry. I want the best training possible..

tony pasley
July 7, 2006, 07:00 PM
as much as you can the old saying pratice makes perfect well there is no one perfect but the only way to get better is pratice praticepratice

July 7, 2006, 09:57 PM
Bigdaddy, . . .

The old saying, . . . practice makes perfect, . . . is a very appropriate answer to your question.

That does not mean that you have to shoot, . . . bang, . . . every time you practice.

You can get snap caps and use them to dry fire your weapon, . . . allowing you the opportunity to pull the trigger, . . . but not put holes in anything.

Playing scenarios with your family can be fun if the family will participate. I know some who just laugh and snicker, . . . "we'll never need to do that" and they unfortunately believe they won't. I hope they won't, . . . but I am also a realist, . . . it may very well happen.

In short, . . . your "practice" doesn't all have to be range time, . . . but it is good to have as much range time as you can get.

May God bless,

July 8, 2006, 12:06 AM
First, welcome to TFL!

I agree with the above posters, the more practice the better. This also means familliarity with the weapon in use(controls, condition, etc.), and the surroundings in which it may be deployed.

In this I mean know your quarters, and formulate a plan for shoot, don't shot scenarios, know where the rounds will likely go in case of a miss and the fields of fire that may expose you unnecessarily.

Seems tedious, but in an emergency, it will all pay off.

Once again, welcome aboard, enjoy the board!


July 8, 2006, 03:01 PM
i have a friend in the air marshals, and when they change their carry position, eg from crossdraw to strongside or whatever...they practice drawing and firing from the new position over 1000 times....this develops whats called muscle memory. It's kind of like driving standard transmission, i dont think, clutch shift gas clutch etc, everytime i change gears, it just happens in one swift fluid motion, even when i'm tired or hungover or pissed off. why? because ive done it so many thousands of times its burned into my mind.

I recently bought a 1911 that i want to start carrying on the reg. So at home with a snap cap i practice. draw..drop thumb safety...point...squeeze. I do this over and over, one trigger pull per draw. I figure after 1000 or so times itll become muscle memory, if i have to pull my gun in a tense situation my brain racing my heart pumping, ill still remember to drop that safety and sqeeze.

this can be done with multiple platforms as well, as long as your brain knows what gun is in the holster, the action to perform will be the same.

July 10, 2006, 09:21 AM
If I understand the question correctly, you're asking about the "minimum" amount of practice necessary to maintain skill, i.e., to avoid becomming "rusty"?

In our martial arts class, we recommend a minimum of three hours of hard training each week. More experienced students need more (up to 10 hours a week), and beginning students can get away with less. (Coincidentally, our classes meet twice a week, 1-1/2 hours each class...) This amount of training will usually result in a steady increase in skill for as long as the regimen is maintained. But, the range of practice needed varies GREATLY with the individual.

I've tried to adapt this concept to my pistol training. I'm still a beginner in pistol, so the regimen I've adopted is focused on basic pistol operation. For me, I typically equate 50 rounds of slow, well-aimed range firing with around 1 hour of training. I equate 100 dry-fires with around 1 hour of training. And, I will often train double-feed jam clearing with snap caps for one hour at a time. Do each of these, once a week, and there you go. You've got your three hours, and you will find that your basic pistol skills will improve steadily. (It helps with time management that the dry firing and the double-feed jam clearing can be done at home. You only need to go to the range once a week.)

Now, with respect to the advanced tactical training, if you're still a beginner like me, then you've got to add that to your 3 hours of basic training. Find what works for you. I haven't added any advanced tactical training to my regimen, because I don't believe that I'm that skilled yet.

July 11, 2006, 04:05 PM
I'm starting to believe my thinking deviates from the norm around here in that I don't believe that more is necessarily better.

Shooting a handgun, or any gun, for that matter, is a physical thing but it isn't in the same class as a martial art or even dancing. I do agree, however, agree that a certain amount of practice is necessary for your motions with respect to gun handling to become automatic. The problem is that beyond that there is a falling off of ability (you begin to lose your edge, that is) and a certain degree of overfamiliarity may set in that is not good. That isn't quite what I mean to say but that is as close as I can find words for. It is human nature that you just can't be in peak form all the time. Mistakes begin to happen.

I have suggested that you not shoot more than a basic load of ammuntion in one range session. That usually isn't very practical for most people--it wasn't for me. But I found that long range sessions, at least with a given handgun, was not productive. So basically, practice often but not for long periods. And that is just one element to the big picture.

tony pasley
July 11, 2006, 07:33 PM
pratice isn't always firing live rounds. you have to pratice siting,drawing,clearing,and shooting all aspects have to be praticed regularly

July 11, 2006, 07:45 PM
You need to practice one hour a day. Or at least once a week.

July 12, 2006, 03:14 PM
I disagree, an hour a day might be neccessary for olympic competition but thats about it. I used to practice constantly but the first shot of the day always sucked and the last was pretty good. No athlete competes or performs without warm up. In defensive shooting you'll never be ready for anything and most likely wont be warmed up at the time either. The first shot of the day will tell you alot about your ability but sitting there for an hour getting in the zone is pointless unless your trying to beat your personel record.

July 13, 2006, 08:12 AM
15 minutes aday drawing and dry firing IMO will help a lot. You can get to the range once a month or sooner to validate your practices.

July 18, 2006, 08:16 AM
SAFETY is the FIRST thing you MUST learn

Rule 1. Treat Every Firearm as If It Is Loaded
Rule 2. Always Point A Firearm At A Safe Direction
Rule 3. Idedify Your Target and What Is Behind It
Rule 4. Do Not Handle Firearms Whilst Under The Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

As you can appreciate gun handling does present some dangers if not done correctly. Get some training from a reputable instructor (the local club might be the way to go)
Learn how to safely Load and Unload your firearm, and check that it is clear (empty).
Then learn the Fundamentals of Marksmanship i.e. Stance, Grip, Sight Alignment, Sight Picture, Trigger Control… etc

Practice your drills at the range progressively. Learn one before you move to the next. NEVER practice SCENARIOS at HOME or tragedy will result.

Once you have reached a level of competence, practicing twice a week will allow you to maintain that level of competence – alas this is unlikely to happen with most gun owners.

July 20, 2006, 12:13 AM
Winston, I have to ask why you don't want to practice at home?
A gun with snap caps is as safe as anything.
But of course after you make sure TWICE or THREE TIMES that there's no real ammo in it.
I agree there's some absent minded folk, or those who think they're beyond all common safety rules(Rambo Jrs.) probably would end up shooting someone at home.

July 23, 2006, 11:06 PM
I agree with BlueTrain...excellent post.

I have been in LE(large state agency) for about 18 years and am a range officer and pistol instructor for that agency.

One thing people don't do enough is work on their platform when shooting. That is, for example, arms straight and locked out, wrists straight and locked, sight ramp at the same angle with your arms, etc. Then, for any combat shooting inside of 15 yards, you should not be using sight alignment, that wastes valuable milliseconds. Practice drawing and in one motion bring the "platform" up to eye level and look at the target center mass. If everything is aligned correctly, you will hit center mass every time. Practice this dry at home and then run through a box of ammo at the range...

Enough for now, my post was getting too long.:)

July 25, 2006, 12:47 AM
gdeal has it right practice makes permanant NOT perfect.. You didnt mention your background with firearms if you are new to this find a good teacher. If you learn bad habits and practice those it is very hard to unlearn them. Just something to think about