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Old September 15, 2009, 12:40 AM   #26
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I can rent a .22 for free, if I can find ammo for it. The range never seems to have any (and usually won't permit outside ammo, but apparently make an exception for the .22 rental.)

Seems to me that dry fire practice gives you nearly everything that practicing with a .22 would give you, minus the target feedback?

Though if I could find some cheap rounds of any kind, I'd be thrilled. I guess I should start watching Walmart for .22lr
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Old September 15, 2009, 06:03 AM   #27
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I agree that a 22 allows a shooter to concentrate on all the important issues like grip, trigger control, breathing, stance etc without having to react to to sound and recoil.
I am also an avid long distance shooter who has used a 22lr to enhance all my shooting habits. The 22 lr was the best learning tool I have used. This with training , practice, practice.
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Old September 15, 2009, 11:56 AM   #28
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"If you learn to shoot with a 9mm or other bigger caliber weapon, you will develop bad habits. Everyone should learn with a .22."
It's a goofy and misleading blanket statement that fails to take a number of factors into accout, many of which have already been articulated here.

I tend to distrust anyone who makes such broad and opinionated claims.

The .22 does have its merits: low recoil, cheap and widely available ammunition, and many fine target guns are chambered for it.
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Old September 17, 2009, 07:02 AM   #29
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I agree it's a blanket statement that covers way too much ground.

On the other hand, there's still some truth in it - my first pistol was a .44 Magnum, and I developed some bad habits with it that I later had to unlearn. I would have been better off with a .22. I'm not saying everyone would be, just me.

I've taught a number of absolute beginners to shoot, mostly with a Ruger .357. I'd start them off with six empty primed cases so they could learn trigger pull without being distracted by all the commotion, moved them up to a case full of Bullseye with a wax bullet, which had lots of noise and flash and negligible recoil, and by the end of the day they were all shooting full-power .357, often better scores than mine. Not that I'm the greatest shooter... and they might have been just as good a shot had they started with full Magnum loads.

I had two people simply open their hand and drop the gun on the ground (dirt, fortunately) after their first shot with the .357; one of them swore she'd never touch a gun again, the other would, but she wouldn't shoot that particular gun again. The several who started with primed cases all loved shooting. Yes, sample size too small to make sweeping generalizations. But it's enough for me.
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Old September 17, 2009, 08:32 AM   #30
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TRX, that sounds like an optimal progression to me. I wish I could have learned that way.
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Old September 17, 2009, 11:41 AM   #31
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I started out with air/CO2 rifles and pistols as a small child and teenager. I didn't fire a real gun until the M16A2, 38 revolver and M1911A1 .45 in the military. The instructor's comments about my one ragged holes in targets never really registered with me until much later.
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Old September 17, 2009, 12:18 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Phoebe
"If you learn to shoot with a 9mm or other bigger caliber weapon..."
That's hilarious! It's like saying, "learning to drive a Civic or other sports car...."
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Old September 17, 2009, 03:57 PM   #33
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I see it a lot at the range

Some guy shooting a 9mm and his knuckles and whole hand are bleach white from holding onto that pistol grip so hard he has cut blood circulation off in his hand

People ask how I can shoot my 357 so accurately with the other question of doesn’t it kick a whole bunch

Actually I am barely holding it and the recoil will make it slip in my hand a little after it is fired and no the recoil of a 357 is nothing what so ever to me

I hold it pretty lose when I’m firing single action as a way to make some good groups at 25 yards

Double action almost the same but a little tighter only because of the trigger pull in double action mode

I see the same with people firing a rifle from a bench rest

They are holding on to it so hard I can see veins popping out on their foreheads LOL

Barely touch that rifle and never squeeze it against your shoulder so hard that you can see your heart beating in the scope

I tell them if you can see you heart beating shaking that scope reticule then your holding it too tight

It all has to do with the recoil they think they are going to experience when they fire the weapon in every case

With a 22 no recoil at all hardly so that is good practice

Get use to that then make yourself think that big pistol or rifle your going to shoot should be held just like that 22 pistol or rifle you have got use to firing

Sure you will have more recoil but use a shoulder pad and a good recoil pad on the rifle and it is nothing you will not get use to also

I remember I use to hold that old 357 black hawk I had so lose it would recoil the hammer into my thumb and made a welt and some times tore the skin off of it because that wood handle would slip a bunch

I could shot it so accurate off hand a lot of people could not make groups as good as I could with it at a hundred yards even when they were shooting a rifle off a bench

I guess the key words are getting use to that recoil the muzzle blast and practice makes perfect

Getting use to it means a guy sitting next to you can fire off his 300 WSM and you will not even flinch as you sight in on your own target

Without that you may find your hand losing all feeling from holding that grip so tight and cutting off that blood circulation and you could pop one of those veins in your forehead someday from holding that rifle in the same way LOL
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Old September 17, 2009, 11:05 PM   #34
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Little versus big

One plus for .22 is that the holes seem to be much smaller and further away from each other on the paper; compare them to say .45 size holes.

Using .22s I find myself improving my groups more quickly. Why? Because I am really trying/concentrating to get them to make one ragged hole. With a .45 it is much easier to "connect the dots" and produce one ragged hole. (Bigger dots, easier to make one hole! Smaller dots harder to make one hole.)

To the OP: in my mind it is not the cartridge as much as the size of the gun. You can take a .357 magnum round in an alloy small snubby that makes it a whole lot of no fun to shoot, but put that same round in a larger frame longer barreled gun and it seems like it really is nothing much; recoilly speaking of course!

Same holds true for most other calibers, especially since it seems that there has been a trend toward lighter, smaller, easier to conceal type handguns for awhile now. I don't know too many folks who enjoy extended practice sessions with their LCPs, Keltecs, lightweight alloy snubbies, etc... When I see people shooting box after box of ammo at the range, it is usually with duty/full size handguns.
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Old September 18, 2009, 05:29 PM   #35
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Dang! From the title "Bad Habits" I thought we were going to see some pics of nuns with guns!

I was going to say that I liked learning with a .38 with wadcutters because of the visual feedback. I could clearly see where every round hit, right out to 25 yards. Couldn't see where a .22 hit even at 10 yards.

But then I realized... I had actually been shooting for years before I ever got to try the .38 so I already knew what recoil and noise were. The biggest obstacle for SOME new shooters is not realizing ahead of time just how loud firing a handgun can be. Especially at an indoor range.

So, thinking it over, I think for people who are going to be nervous or frightened at that first shot - have them use a .22 outdoors.

If they are not going to be bothered by it, start them on any caliber.

The trouble lies in knowing ahead of time how they will react - so it can just be easier to start with the .22 then progress as fast as they are comfortable.
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Old September 18, 2009, 05:46 PM   #36
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Dang! From the title "Bad Habits" I thought we were going to see some pics of nuns with guns!
A little sloppy on the trigger discipline:

Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
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Old September 18, 2009, 10:09 PM   #37
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uhh... not quite what I had in mind.

But thanks for trying, Tom Servo!
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Old September 21, 2009, 12:18 PM   #38
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Hey, you can have it both ways: buy a centerfire gun that has a decent .22LR conversion kit.
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Old September 21, 2009, 01:46 PM   #39
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I agree, I had a really bad habit with shotguns because the first time I went clay shooting the guy I was going with forgot the 20 gauge and only had a 12 and I was only 10 myself. I also had the same thing with rifles from that day, I did shoot .22s that day but for my first day of shooting i shot a 357 mag,38 special,1911,glock 9,m9,m1 grand,.50 cal black powder rifle,ar-15,etc and regret it.
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Old September 21, 2009, 02:46 PM   #40
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I learned to shoot handguns at the age of 15 with a Browning Hi-Power. I went on to win or place in the junior division until I left for basic training at age 18.

I learned to shoot rifles with a Winchester pump .22 when I was 8 or 9. So I guess I did start on a .22, but it was not the caliber, but instruction from a Master class pistol marksman was what made me a decent pistol shot.

These days I do most of my practice with .22s or my TTC in 7.62x25mm which is nearly as cheap as .22lr match ammo or Hyper Velocity stuff.
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