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Old June 24, 2017, 03:18 PM   #1
papa_spaceflight
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What firearms do I take to the range?

I'm relatively new to shooting. Received my first gun (S&W model 64) last year as a gift. Recently I made my first purchase (S&W M&P 2.0 9mm), and I also gun I'm borrowing for target practice (walther p22).

The question is, where do I start? When I go to the range should I warm up with the .22 and then switch to one of the others? Should I spend lots of time practicing with just the .22? Or should I spend my time with one of the larger calibers? Which is the best way to focus my time to improve my shooting?

Thanks for all the help. The firing line has been a wealth of knowledge in my first steps of gun ownership.
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Old June 24, 2017, 03:32 PM   #2
CalmerThanYou
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Bringing three guns to the range is reasonable. Bring them all, shoot as often as time allows and become proficient with all three.
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Old June 24, 2017, 03:38 PM   #3
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Well that depends.. do you carry any of these guns? if so it should always goto the range 1st and foremost.

If you don't carry and just wanna practice the fundamentals.. and can find 22lr at a reasonable price (nothing is reasonable about 22lr these days imo)

Then take the p22 and just have fun and practice fundamentals.
The p22 will offer you the most practice for your dollar.
I will say however that I don't believe firing 500-1k rounds a session is the best.
Shorter more freq sessions I think are best IF possible.

I use to take 5-6, sometimes 7 guns to the range when I first started out.
I quickly got sick of that, lot of crap to lug, lot of cleaning afterwards.. any more I just take my 2 carry guns + maybe a fun gun.

If you just have the 3 you could take all of them and not be overwhelmed I think.
But if you're just taking one I'd probably focus on the p22.
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Old June 24, 2017, 04:06 PM   #4
g.willikers
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Besides the question of what to practice with, there's the question of what and how to practice.
The last two questions are best addressed after acquiring suitable training.
Have you considered buying some time with an instructor if you haven't as yet?
Without knowing what and how to practice, just going to the range and slinging lead won't accomplish all that much.
It may be a lot of fun, but isn't too likely to increase your skills nearly as much as guidance from someone who knows and can teach others how.
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Old June 24, 2017, 04:53 PM   #5
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At the your current level of experience (or phase in your life), I think bringing all three and figuring out what they are like, what you shoot best, and just generic learning and experience-gaining is just fine.

As you get deeper into this, just remember one thing; the more guns you bring, the more you gotta clean!
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Old June 24, 2017, 08:07 PM   #6
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A .22 is a great way to practice fundamentals without being distracted by recoil or, to a large extent, the report. I almost never go to the range without shooting my .22. Sometimes I shoot it first, other times not. If I am having any problem at all, I go back to the .22 to work it out, then go back to the larger caliber. It almost always helps me identify and resolve my fault.

It is a great idea to have both a revolver and a 9 mm pistol to learn with. You will want your own .22 soon, too. Everyone needs one. Some have more than they need.
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Old June 24, 2017, 08:39 PM   #7
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I use the .22 in between shooting the centerfires at the range so they can cool down.....
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Old June 24, 2017, 08:47 PM   #8
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Bring as any as you can keep track off and carry including ammo and other gear
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Old June 24, 2017, 09:49 PM   #9
chaim
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The range I go to most often limits you to 4 guns per range trip. I find that usually that is a reasonable number to get some meaningful practice and also get some variety. For instance, for tomorrow's range trip, I'm bringing my CZ P01, my S&W M&P40c, my 3" Rossi 461, and my S&W 1911SC.

The CZ P01 is going to be one of my carry guns. After this trip it will finally have enough rounds for me to put it into my carry/HD "rotation" (I don't rotate, they are more a range of selections filling slightly difference niches). I'm bringing 50 rounds of Fiocchi 124gr JHP, 75 rounds of defensive JHP (50 rounds of 124gr XTP Hornady American Gunner, 25 rounds of 115gr Hornady Critical Defense), and 100 rounds of 115gr FMJ (1 box of Federal, 1 box of S&B).

The 1911SC is being returned to my carry/HD selection as I shoot CZs and 1911s better than anything else. I'm returning to it coming from DA first shot/DAO pistols for defense previously, so it needs some re-familiarization time. You see, I don't shoot as much as I used to, and my 2 most used carry/HD guns are usually the first to come to the range (and get the most ammo) so it wasn't shot as much as other guns the past few years. It is shooting 10 rounds of Magtech 185gr JHP .45+P, 20 rounds of 185gr XTP Hornady American Gunner, 50 rounds of Fiocchi 230gr JHP, and 50 rounds of Magtech 230gr FMC. I already know it is reliable as it used to be one of my carry/HD guns, but I need some refamiliarization.

The S&W M&P40c is brand new and getting its first range trip. I need to see if it is reliable enough to become one of my defensive guns. I'm bringing 100 rounds of some old Federal 180gr JHP (I may bump it to 150 rounds, or buy a box of FMJ before I go).

The Rossi 461 was bought to be a defensive gun, but due to issues with my 2" Rossi 461 I have never really trusted either the 2" which gave me trouble or this 3" (nor have I shot the 3" much). It is getting one box of S&B 158gr FMJ .357mag.


If I had fewer guns I felt the need to test or familiarize myself with, I might just take two defensive guns and a couple guns for fun. The defensive guns would get 100-200 rounds each and the fun guns would get 50-100. Other times, I might just take one or two guns (at least one will always be one of my defensive guns), at which time each gun may get more rounds (sometimes significantly more rounds).


What do I start with? I don't really have a "system", I start with whatever I'm in the mood for when I get there usually. Which I spend the most time with is usually a 9mm (cheaper ammo) and when I had a .22 handgun I did shoot it a lot (when it came with me) due to cheaper ammo so I usually had more of it.
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Old June 24, 2017, 11:00 PM   #10
Reader850
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I take fewer now. Like JoeSix said, less to clean. I had a hand-wrist injury, so I shoot my most serious gun(s) first. When my hand begins to tire or my wrist begins to ache, I switch to the .22.
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Old June 24, 2017, 11:11 PM   #11
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I don't feel like I make any progress switching back and forth between guns. For the last year or so I only shoot my EDC.
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Old June 25, 2017, 07:15 AM   #12
papa_spaceflight
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I feel like I should have more experience under my belt before I commit to carrying everyday, but that's definitely my end goal. I'm trying to determine if there's a way to carry one of the firearms I already have comfortably. They both shoot really well and are very reliable. Plus I'm not sure I'll have the money any time soon to make another purchase.
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Old June 25, 2017, 09:15 AM   #13
raimius
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What are you training for?

For "practical" shooting, I'd recommend focusing on (in order)
1. Safety (if you don't know the Four Rules by heart and practice them, you are unsafe and need more instruction before handling life firearms)
2. Marksmanship (I'll call my "standard" a 3-4in group at 7yds for pistol, at whatever pace you like).
3. Increasing speed (while still maintaining a 6-8in group)
4. Malfunction/reload drills
5. Movement
6. Tactical considerations.

For 1, 2, 5 and 6, a .22LR is a GREAT tool.
For 3 and 4, you would want a gun you plan on carrying.
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Old June 25, 2017, 10:00 AM   #14
Don Fischer
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If it were me, I'd probably ignore my own advice. Just really getting going you should take one gun and maybe a half box of ammo. You go out and shoot lots of ammo at one time, even with just one gun and you likely not learn a lot. All you'd do is re-enforce bad habit's. With three guns, you'll learn even less. My though is it's best to take one gun and learn to shoot it first then you can apply what you learned to the other gun's. I normally only take three with me but I've also been shooting over 50 yrs, makes a difference. Had a friend that has passed, he had a bunch of gun and never really learned how to shoot any of then, it's more than a loud bang and recoil.

The best place to start would be the 22 for me. You can practice shooting without the help of recoil and noise. I'd take at least two box's of ammo for the 22. Eliminate recoil and noise and you stay in the game longer. As your shooting improve's, you should add a center fire to the practice but keep to a half box of ammo for them or maybe even less. There is a reason training gun's are called that and they are generally 22's! No recoil, no noise and learning fundamental's!

I should add one more thing. If you don't seem to be doing well, quit right there and get some help in the fundamentals. When your not doing well it usually means you need practice on some part of or all the fundamentals. Don't continue shooting and reinforcing the wrong you are doing! If it's a decent range and a lot of people there aks for help. Let the range master point you to the right help, maybe he'll take the time to work with you.

Last edited by Don Fischer; June 25, 2017 at 10:07 AM.
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Old June 25, 2017, 12:10 PM   #15
scroadkill
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IMO shooting .22 helps with learning to hold the gun steady while working the trigger, also fun for target transitions. Its also fun to just go shoot w/o any real purpose in mind.

my advice for new gun owner headed to the range? hmm.... go through the various forums and find a few drills that sound fun u can do at your range. measure your scores. next visit shoot same drills and compare. add two more drills and measure score. next visit shoot same drills and compare to your previous set. take a friend and make a competition out of it. make it fun and challenging.
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Old June 25, 2017, 12:22 PM   #16
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I did not become a good handgun shot until I practiced Bullseye with my High Standard Victor-my 10th handgun. My personal experience is that shooting the 22 target style is how to master the fundamentals-sight picture, breath and trigger control, stance, etc. The lower cost of 22 ammunition makes practice less expensive, only drawback is you must find what brand your gun prefers
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Old June 27, 2017, 12:22 PM   #17
chaim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papa_spaceflight
I feel like I should have more experience under my belt before I commit to carrying everyday, but that's definitely my end goal. I'm trying to determine if there's a way to carry one of the firearms I already have comfortably. They both shoot really well and are very reliable. Plus I'm not sure I'll have the money any time soon to make another purchase.
I don't carry much myself. I live in a state where I cannot carry, so I can only carry when visiting states where I can use my UT non-resident CCW permit (a few times a month). You will probably start using one for home defense before you carry. You are right, you shouldn't do either until you are proficient and pretty comfortable with the gun you will use for carry and HD.

As for being able to carry a full sized gun, plenty of people do. For years medium frame revolvers were a fairly common carry gun. Get a good quality gun belt (they are thicker and sturdier than a standard belt) and a good holster. If your S&W 64 is a 3" it will be terrific for carry, a 4" is quite doable. A polymer M&P, even the full size, shouldn't be too tough with a good belt and holster as it is fairly light despite its size. While you are learning your guns, maybe get a good gun belt and a cheap (but not too cheap) IWB and OWB (pancake is probably best for OWB) for one of your guns and practice (with the gun unloaded) to see which style you like best. Once you decide, you can start researching specific holsters of the style you choose. Then, once you have more training and are ready to carry you will have the equipment you need.
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Old June 28, 2017, 02:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
The range I go to most often limits you to 4 guns per range trip.
Then find another range!
That's why I joined a hunt club with a range. Range membership only. I don't do babysitter (supervised) ranges well.
Handguns, rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, I might have 8 or more. But then too a range trip is usually several hours of shooting for me.

OP, take them all. You will more than likely shoot the 22 more just as a factor of economy. But enjoy, and keep familiar with the others as well.
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Old June 28, 2017, 07:34 PM   #19
lee n. field
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papa_spaceflight View Post
I'm relatively new to shooting. Received my first gun (S&W model 64) last year as a gift. Recently I made my first purchase (S&W M&P 2.0 9mm), and I also gun I'm borrowing for target practice (walther p22).

The question is, where do I start? When I go to the range should I warm up with the .22 and then switch to one of the others? Should I spend lots of time practicing with just the .22? Or should I spend my time with one of the larger calibers? Which is the best way to focus my time to improve my shooting?

Thanks for all the help. The firing line has been a wealth of knowledge in my first steps of gun ownership.
Take a class if you can, that includes instruction on details of grip and stance, sighting and trigger control.

Use the .22 for cheap practice to get those fundamentals down.

3 guns is not a lot to bring to the range.
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Old June 29, 2017, 05:02 PM   #20
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I'd dig out that Model 64 at home and get some dry fire under your belt. Practice a good smooth trigger pull while keeping your sights lined up on target. Make sure your gun is empty and have at it while watching tv. I think you'll see results at the range.
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Old June 29, 2017, 10:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papa_spaceflight
I'm relatively new to shooting. Received my first gun (S&W model 64) last year as a gift. Recently I made my first purchase (S&W M&P 2.0 9mm), and I also gun I'm borrowing for target practice (walther p22).

The question is, where do I start? When I go to the range should I warm up with the .22 and then switch to one of the others? Should I spend lots of time practicing with just the .22? Or should I spend my time with one of the larger calibers? Which is the best way to focus my time to improve my shooting?
Quote:
Originally Posted by papa_spaceflight
I feel like I should have more experience under my belt before I commit to carrying everyday, but that's definitely my end goal.
if your goal is to eventually carry start out cold with the gun you plan to carry. Take that one every time you go. The time spent with the 22, or other guns is fun but irrelevant to the goal of carry although it doesn't hurt to shoot them too. The more you practice with your carry gun, the more proficient you will be when you take a professional defensive firearm class and the more you can focus on the instruction or advanced techniques you will learn in the class cause you wont be wasting your time worrying about the gun or accuracy.
Starting out cold with your primary gun is a great way to measure your progress.... IMO.
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Old June 29, 2017, 11:01 PM   #22
chaim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapshooter
Then find another range!
That's why I joined a hunt club with a range. Range membership only. I don't do babysitter (supervised) ranges well.
Handguns, rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, I might have 8 or more. But then too a range trip is usually several hours of shooting for me.
It isn't my favorite range. It gets some, umm, "sketchy" individuals at times and the number of bullet holes where there shouldn't be (including, until recently, in the dividers between two of the lanes) is kind of scary. I use it the most (out of any other one range) because it is closest, but if you add the others together I probably use all other ranges combined a little more than this one (there are 3 other ranges I often use). Even when I use the others (with one exception) I usually only bring 2-4 guns just to spend enough time with each.

The exception is an outdoor range about an hour away. When I go there, I usually bring 2-4 handguns and 2-4 rifles. I also bring enough ammo that I am, like you, spending several hours there. I pretty much make a morning or afternoon out of it.

Last edited by chaim; June 29, 2017 at 11:08 PM.
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Old June 30, 2017, 12:02 PM   #23
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Quote:
It isn't my favorite range. It gets some, umm, "sketchy" individuals at times and the number of bullet holes where there shouldn't be (including, until recently, in the dividers between two of the lanes) is kind of scary.
Wow, at an indoor range! That right there would keep me away for good.
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Old June 30, 2017, 08:27 PM   #24
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I usually have 4 to 6 guns with me. This includes my car gun. This week I had 7. .45 1911, 9mm 1911, 642 revolver, 586 revolver, .22 Henry and a Citori in 12 ga. I didn't use the shotgun but shot the others. Didn't shoot the LC9.
So many guns, so little time.
Life is good.
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Old June 30, 2017, 09:43 PM   #25
James K
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In general, it is not a good idea to be known to have a lot of guns; we would like to believe that all our friends at the range are honest, and most are. But...

I think 3-4 guns is about the maximum on any given range trip, not only for security but also because if you try to shoot more than that in a couple of hours, you are just blasting away, which is not really a lot of fun. Of course, if anyone asks, those are the only guns you own. Telling the world that you have a hundred guns at home may not be a wise idea.

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