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Old April 26, 2013, 01:59 PM   #1
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Training or Practice?

Any different when you are training and when you practice. To me it's basically the same. Haven't looked each word up but when I'm shooting my Glock gen 4 22 I feel I'm doing both but have seen others state they're doing only one. Confuses me, can someone enlighten me?
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Old April 26, 2013, 02:55 PM   #2
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In my mind they're about the same thing as well.

Everyone has different goals ...with handguns / some shooters want "bulls eye accuracy" at 25 yds / some shooters want "tactical accuracy" in their drills / some shooters want to improve their speed - out of holster to 1st shot, reload drills and split times .../ some guys want to work on better trigger control using a big revoler in double action....or all of the above..

some guys just want to be able to fire 5 shots reasonably quickly( say in under 10 sec ) and hit a 7" circle consistently ...

Learning each step in the process ( trigger control, how to draw a gun from a holster safely, when does your off hand go out to meet the gun as it comes up and out of holster, where do you hold the gun as you drop a mag and reload (muzzle up, on same plane as when you're firing, etc), what grip to use, thumb position on semi-auto vs a revolver, how much strength in your off hand.../ and you can think of a dozen or more little things in the stance, grip etc that someone wants to work on.

So in general, what I want to do is set goals for a range session:

a. say improve my draw - gun position as it comes up and I start firing - say my par time is 3.0 sec out of holster to 1st shot...can I do it 100% at 9 Ft, 12', 15'....30' / should I drop my par to 2.8 sec ..or 2.6 sec...etc...

so I may run that drill in and out of holster ( and 1 shot ) each distance...3 times ( if I miss at a distance --- I go back to the previous distance and do it over, then move on ....until I run the drill clean ( 3 shots at each distance from 9' - 30' under my par time and 100% on target for tactical accuracy ( like the A section on an SJH target).

I may run that drill with my primary practice gun (say a 1911 in 9mm )...then I may run it with my primary carry gun (say a 1911 in .45 acp)...then I may run the same drill with an N frame S&W 4" in .357 mag...

That's Practice ...with a goal ...and I'm Training...

My target in these drills might be the blank side of a T-2 target ( 8 1/2" by 12" or so ), or an IPSC A zone , or a SJH A zone.../ or maybe I tape an 8" by 8" piece of paper on a silhouette target to try and tighten up my shots...

Maybe the course of fire my buddies and I run one evening a week to draw from holster - 2 shots - reload - 1 shot in under 6 sec. So my practice that week ...was working on one aspect of that course of fire.
I might repeat my drills ( draw - 1 shot - reload - 1 shot )...and I want to keep my draw speed up that I worked on before ...but I also want to keep that reload split time down to 2.5 sec or less ....

and everybody should set their own par times ( I'm 63, have some arthritis in my hands, poor eyes, so I know I'm slower than one of my kids in their 30's with good hands and good eyes). But to me, its about taking some aspect of your shooting that you think is weak ...and practice it / break down the steps / maybe ask a buddy for advice, etc....and then develop a plan to work on it.
Just putting up a target at 30 Feet....and slow firing 100 rounds at it may be fun ....but if you don't have a goal's just ammo downrange. Now maybe that's all ok ....if you're having trouble with a trigger reset on a new gun or something.../ not everything has to be run to a timer, to be good practice.

But that's my perspective.

Last edited by BigJimP; April 26, 2013 at 03:02 PM.
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Old April 26, 2013, 03:13 PM   #3
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Implicitly, training and practice are basically the same thing. It's the idea of reinforcing skills through repetition.

However, at least for me, and several others I know, the difference is more of a mindset. Practice, for me, implies target practice. It means I'm going to the range, I'm going to set up a target, and shoot at it a whole bunch.

Training, on the other hand, is working multiple skills, both alone and together. Transitioning between target, drawing, point shooting, weak hand and one handed shooting, reloads, malfunction clearing, etc.

I realize that my definition isn't completely correct, but it's how I personally look at things. Practice is fine if I just want to have fun shooting at stuff. But training is what I do if I want to get better.

Really, it's a matter of semantics. I'm well aware that they are similar in function, but for me it's a matter of mindset and content.
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Old April 26, 2013, 06:11 PM   #4
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Training is more a general term. It may include tactics and strategy as well as technique. It may also include NEW techniques, tactics, and strategy to be learned.

Practice usually only involves technique and to an extent tactics. But it usually is over things one has been exposed to already and not new information.

I practice my shooting technique and I train to learn new methods of shooting as well as my current techniques.

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Old April 26, 2013, 08:23 PM   #5
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Well, for whatever its worth, in my mind, training is the learning experience. That is, a novice shooter is trained in the fundamentals of shooting, usually by another person.

Practice is the exercise of that knowledge.

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Old April 26, 2013, 10:19 PM   #6
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Doesn't matter what you call it. What matters is whether you do it.

Once you know how, what matters is rounds downrange.
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Old April 26, 2013, 11:24 PM   #7
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Shooting can be training, practice, for utility, or just plain recreation. Some of it depends on what the shooter is doing, some on how the shooter is doing it, and some on the shooter's mindset during the activity.

In my opinion, it can all be training (or at least it can all have some training value) if the shooter always approaches it with the proper mindset and imposes at least some structure on the activity.

That could be as simple as keeping track of one's shooting performance and the circumstances of each situation, making a genuine effort to determine why one range visit/hunting trip/plinking outing yielded better results than another and finally making use of the lessons learned the next time one shoots.
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Old April 27, 2013, 06:23 PM   #8
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There both the same in that your improving your skills but for me Training is more toward improving my self defense skills and practice is putting holes in paper to improve my grouping and work on loads.
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Old April 29, 2013, 08:12 AM   #9
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Training is the lesson of ..

specific routine for using / deploying a firearm from an instructor,
training is your personal recitation of what you were taught, till it is a "rote" routine.
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Old April 30, 2013, 01:24 PM   #10
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Training and qualification are very different, (at least in a civil tort.) I suppose you can practise your training. An example of practise may be shooting on a static line at a twenty five foot target. Training may be something like standing in front of a target at 7 yds and then you draw, move and shoot or move, draw and shoot or draw, shoot move, stand facing left or right and turn draw and shoot... You get what I mean. I know people despise this reference but action shooting like IDPA/USPSA is more training than what most people do at the range, (yes I do mean tactics! If you follow the basic premise of IDPA and use cover, tactical reload, multiple targets, movement...) You don't have to game it when you do action shooting. Use a real gun and holster and sharpen your skill set.
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Old April 30, 2013, 09:45 PM   #11
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Training is the initial instruction. Practice is the continuance of what you learned. IMO.
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Old April 30, 2013, 10:46 PM   #12
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The problem with that view is that every technique we are taught, someone, at some point, had to learn on their own to begin with. That is, someone had to train themselves to do it first before anyone else had figured it out.

That tells us that it is possible for us to train ourselves. If it weren't, any technique that hasn't been known for all time could have never been learned.
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Old April 30, 2013, 10:53 PM   #13
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I have taken an interest in trying Bullseye pistol shooting with my GP100, so at home I have been training my stance and dry firing for trigger control, next step is to take that training to the range and apply it to practicing and see how much difference it made. I want to get the slow firing down.
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Old May 1, 2013, 07:05 AM   #14
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Training is the process of bringing a person to an agreed standard of proficiency by practice and instruction.

As an example from the Gunsite home page:
Gunsite offers firearms training to elite military personnel, law enforcement officers and free citizens of the US.
Gunsite will give you the training if you give them the dollars. To maintain or improve your proficiency, it's up to you to practice what you've learned once you leave.

If you're watching a classroom video then you're in training.

If you're reading a book on shooting fundamentals then you're in training.

If you're sitting in a classroom listening to a firearms instructor then you're in training.

If you're on the range with an instructor being instructed then you're in training.

If you're on the range attempting to maintain or improve your proficiency at things you've previously learned, then you're practicing.

Training consists of both practice and instruction.
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Old May 1, 2013, 10:18 AM   #15
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I always thought of Training as being trained in new skills and Practice as practicing those skills.
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Old May 1, 2013, 10:26 AM   #16
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Implicitly, training and practice are basically the same thing. It's the idea of reinforcing skills through repetition.
However, practice without training will likely constitute reinforcing bad habits.

Training involves instruct in ways to do things. Practice is repetion to make those ways automatic.
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