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Old July 8, 2012, 01:25 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2002
Location: northern CA for a little while longer
Posts: 1,744
As an instructor, I'd rather see the typical student/shooter/user practicing a bit more frequently, versus in one long, round-heavy shooting session.


There's a common issue to be considered whether the person is shooting more rounds in any single session, or fewer rounds spread out over more frequents sessions, and that is WHAT they're practicing, and HOW they're going about doing it.

I see far too many folks "practicing" poor habits, and getting "better" at consistently doing their poor habits. In other words, they're constantly doing and reinforcing "skills" and techniques they shouldn't be doing, continuing to do things that are counter productive to what they should be doing.

This is where some periodic help from an instructor can be a worthwhile investment of time & money.

While there are folks who are naturally gifted with the eye/hand coordination that makes it easier to pick up physical skills like shooting (or other physical pursuits), most of us seem to require some help from an instructor (coach, etc) in order to realize when we're doing something incorrectly and how to best address it. A lifetime of poor or bad habits isn't erased after a single training session, either. All that time spent doing something incorrectly must be "over-written" by a lot of time doing it right.

Bottom line, though, is that once I can get someone to realize they ought to change something in their shooting skillset, and accept the reason for the need to change, I want to make the changeover as easy as possible on them.

I tell them that simply burning 500-700 rounds in one range session isn't usually the best way to go about it. Fatigue and frustration can undermine their intentions, and once that happens they probably won't realize that they've "fallen back" into their bad habit/improper technique. Especially if they're practicing on their own and I can't be there to observe and correct them.

This isn't an endurance test of a skilled shooter. That can come later, if necessary.

I'd much rather a student shooter focus on specific aspects of their new skillset with each round fired, and not become tired or fatigued to the point that they're wasting ammo & their time.

I've applied this to myself, as well. There are times when I'm working some range session and I may shoot 50, 100, 200 (or more rounds), spread out over several hours ... and yet other times when I may only shoot 1-2 mag loads, looking to spot check myself on something (especially looking for that "cold" performance without a "warm up").

It's the quality and intended purpose of each practice/training round fired that's important. Not the sheer number of rounds and the quantity of gunsmoke in the air.

I'd rather someone only fire 10 or 20 rounds ... or 2-3 mag or cylinder loads ... and positively reinforce proper technique, rather than fire a 1-2 boxes of ammo (or more) hoping that sheer exuberance of shooting a lot of rounds might somehow help them achieve their goal of becoming better.

I didn't check either box in your poll. Mostly because shooting 200 rounds each session, spread out over 3 weekly sessions, is probably more shooting than many of the average shooters with whom I've worked could properly & effectively do while developing their skillset foundation and refining their skills. Later on, after they've developed to a certain point (which can vary by the individual), sure, then they can shoot more rounds per session and run the sessions close together.

Of course, that's just me.
Retired LE - firearms instructor & armorer

Last edited by fastbolt; July 8, 2012 at 01:30 PM.
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