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Old January 11, 2017, 05:40 PM   #1
BigMikey76
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Is this backward, or is it smart?

A buddy of mine was telling me about his training methods. He doesn't do regular high round count training with his carry gun - a six shot .357. Instead, on his monthly range trips, he runs 2 cylinders of hot .357 through the gun, but he carries it with .38 special JHPs in it. His logic is that if he can handle it fine at the range with the heavier load and use that time to train against flinching, etc., then, if he ever has to defend himself with it, he will be in a better position to shoot effectively because his carry ammo is easier to handle than what he uses for practice. Part of his logic is that it will, in theory, help to balance out the negative effects of adrenaline, as well as giving him the psychological advantage of added confidence.

Of course, many folks recommend the opposite - higher round count practice with cheaper, lighter loads, then carry the more expensive harder hitting stuff.

What are your thoughts? Is there merit to this method? Do the advantages he claims make sense, or is this concept full of holes?
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Old January 11, 2017, 05:48 PM   #2
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I support the idea that you carry what you are proficient with. If hot 357 loads put you under your personal threshold for accurate, controlled shooting then out of an abundance of caution, I agree with your friend. Generally speaking, if you shoot 357 good, you will likely shoot 38 better ( out of the same gun).
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Old January 11, 2017, 05:53 PM   #3
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Not an expert,but thro experience....I'm more accurate shooting .357 out of the revolver than I am shooting 38s. 38's are always low and rigght.
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Old January 11, 2017, 05:54 PM   #4
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I would just practice and carry the 38 Special JHP and be done with it. Maybe use a +P 38 load but at self defense distances what difference is there?
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Old January 11, 2017, 06:10 PM   #5
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I believe that -MANY- of us, myself included, tend to not necessarily over think, but far too often wish to come to some definite conclusions where definite conclusions cannot possibly (and accurately) be reached.

To this particular scenario, what seems to me is that:

--absolutely EVERY defense situation is going to be some crazy and fast occurrence of events that can never be "foretold"

--practice, mind set and one's ability to keep the panic to as much a minimum as possible is the best answer and trumps all of our best plans and theories and ideas of which method of practice is "best"

Is his method good or counterproductive, that is the question, and my best answer is "boy, I don't know!" but at the same time, I do believe that his being aware that he may at some point defend himself with a handgun, CARRIES a handgun and actually does live fire on some regular basis is far, far more important on the details of his ammo and his method of practice.

Just how it seems to me.
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Old January 11, 2017, 06:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
--absolutely EVERY defense situation is going to be some crazy and fast occurrence of events that can never be "foretold"
I've got no first hand knowledge but I'd bet the above is correct.

And I DO think we overthink these things. IMhO hitting the target is the number one consideration that trumps all the others by a lot.

I'd go with the most 'effective' round I could handle. Is the harder hitting .357 magnum round more 'effective'? It would be hard to argue that the milder .38 special loads are 'more effective'. So, if I could handle the harder hitting rounds then that's what I'd use.

That said, I've stated many times I can't handle 158 grain .357 magnum rounds out of an LCR so if that was my carry I'd be limited to 125 grain .357 magnum ammo.
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Old January 11, 2017, 10:31 PM   #7
john in jax
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I think he needs to practice with .38s if he is loading .38s for EDC. .357s may have totally different POI.
It may not make a difference at 3-5 yards but he may not have luxury of being that close. What if he might have to put rounds on target a 10 or 15 yards.
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Old January 11, 2017, 10:47 PM   #8
Model12Win
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Bill Jordan, the greatest officer to ever live, recommended to train with .38s and to carry .357 magnums.

Your buddy is doing it backward methinks.
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Old January 12, 2017, 01:53 AM   #9
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Well, just 12 rounds of practice? No one handed shooting? No drawing practice? No low light practice? Just 12 shots? No reloading practice?

It's better than nothing but I don't feel he will even keep his skills sharp with such a small amount of practice.

I'd prefer he use .38s and go through at least 50 rounds each time while practicing skills.

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Old January 12, 2017, 05:50 AM   #10
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How much proficiency can you achieve in half a dozen rounds (or less!) per month?

He probably spends more time parking at the range than firing that revolver.

I think it's counterproductive. Not because he's firing magnum loads, but because he's barely firing his pistol at all.
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Old January 12, 2017, 07:03 AM   #11
Nathan
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Lots of truths in this thread.

The only thing I might add is that I believe I perform how I practice minus some factor for stress.

Shooting 357's has a negative effect for me when I look at the shot timer. Fast shooting, IMO, is about getting the shot to shot timing down. So, significantly different loads would cause me to be way off when shooting fast.
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Old January 12, 2017, 08:54 AM   #12
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Train as you will fight.

If cost precludes shooting a bunch of full house .357 ammo, and that's what you want to carry, roll your own practice ammo.

If you are going carry .38+p, practice with that.

I think the +p 38's would be faster to reload (shorter cases make for more clearance) ..... but I don't carry a wheelgun, so I have not tested that much.

I do think that a dozen rounds hardly qualifies as Practice.
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Old January 12, 2017, 10:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
His logic is that if he can handle it fine at the range with the heavier load and use that time to train against flinching
I believe that a lot of live fire with a hotter round would do more to encourage developing a flinch reaction than help prevent it.

A flinch is in effect sort of a training scar and a side effect to the heavy recoil and loud blast.

Techniques to curing a flinch involve dry firing and/or doubling up on hearing protection while shooting a milder load until you stop flinching, then you work up to the carry load again.

What training with a hot round will do is help you learn to manage recoil and follow through to a repeatable sight picture through strong stance and grip technique. That you can't effectively practice with dry fire or very light loads.

Last edited by DMK; January 12, 2017 at 10:34 AM.
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Old January 12, 2017, 10:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
I do think that a dozen rounds hardly qualifies as Practice.
I would certainly agree. Shooting what you carry is good advice, but doing drills with a less potent round and finishing with full house is a far better solution than shooting a handful of full house rounds and calling it good. Being comfortable and proficient requires more than a handful of rounds a month in my opinion.
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Old January 12, 2017, 11:18 AM   #15
stephen426
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I think trigger time is important as is practicing drawing your weapon. There are laser training aids called LaserLyte that allow for trigger time without wasting ammo and does not require going to the range. This allows for training with the actual weapon you are carrying with identical points of aim and trigger pulls.

I believe that the most important aspects of training is getting your weapon into play and acquiring your target quickly. Most ranges do not allow drawing from concealment so that is best done at home (obviously with an unloaded weapon).

Another training tool is using Airsoft guns. Try and get one that closely matches your carry weapon. There are lots of Airsoft revolvers on this site I found. I used to practice a lot with Airsoft by going from low ready and bringing up the gun as quickly as possible and firing as soon as I was on target. I got to the point that the gun became and extension of my hand and was able to shoot 2 inch groups from about 15 feet away in under 1 second from low ready.

Obviously these training aids ignore recoil and muzzle blast, but if you are able to get your weapon into play quickly and your muscle memory allows you to get on target, your opponent will be hit before you even feel the effect of the muzzle blast and recoil. Adrenaline will kick in and hopefully muscle memory takes over. That is why practice is so important, especially practicing with what you carry.

At most self defense distances, absolute marksmanship usually takes a back seat to rapid weapon deployment and getting hits on target quickly. The above is just my opinion and thankfully I have never been forced to use my gun in self defense. I did draw my weapon on someone who approached my car very suddenly and aggressively once. This was at 2 am in the morning in a Taco Bell parking lot. To make a long story short, I drew the gun from my center console (which I had practiced multiple times), and had the gun in my hand before he even reached my window (my hands were on the steering wheel when he started moving). It was like time slowed down and I even had the presence of mind to not point the gun right at him (for fear of a gun grab or pushing the gun down to where I would have to shoot through the door). The guy saw I had my gun out and mumbled something about he was drunk and screwing around. I guess seeing my gun had a sobering effect on him and he split. I had 3 other people in the car and they freaked out about how fast I was able to draw my gun. I estimate it was easily under 2 seconds from the time he started moving from the hood of my car to my driver side window.

Train well and train often. Almost any training is better than no training!
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Old January 14, 2017, 06:47 PM   #16
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he must be a Master shooter. no need to test himself against the clock on a regular basis. no need to run drills and log results, or shoot behind cover, shoot while moving, do reloads on the clock....

i go thru about 300 rounds in a practice session. various drills as well as going thru the IDPA classifier once or twice.

but if he's good with 1/2 a box of shooting, good for him. it's his neck on the line.
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Old January 15, 2017, 12:19 PM   #17
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He's far more likely to develop a flinch and other poor shooting habits that will carry over, whether he thinks it will or not, using hot .357's than he will practicing with his carry ammo.
"...Bill Jordan..." Where'd you see that?
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Old January 17, 2017, 01:04 AM   #18
BigMikey76
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Thanks for the replies, folks. I pretty much felt the same way when he told me about this. Like most guys who have been doing something a certain way for a long time, he probably won't be all that open to hearing how his methods are problematic, but you have all given me some good points to bring to him.
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Old January 17, 2017, 08:34 AM   #19
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There will be a million opinions about his training regimen (I don't personally think it's optimal) but I will point out one thing:

In a violent encounter, 'violence of action' often carries the day over superior numbers and tactics, and violence of action is greatly influenced by your level of confidence. If he's devised a training regimen that makes him confident in his shooting, it's at least accomplished one important thing.


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Old January 17, 2017, 12:48 PM   #20
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Just to remind myself what it's like, I took my SP-101 out last weekend and shot some hot 158gr .357s out of it. The Ruger is no lightweight and I have Houge grips on it, but I would not want to shoot a bunch of those for regular practice. A whole lot of blast and snap. I stopped after three cylinders to avoid developing a flinch. It just didn't seem productive.

+P 9mm out of my S&W Shield and 230gr 45ACP in my lightweight Colt CCO were a breeze compared that.
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Old January 17, 2017, 12:51 PM   #21
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If he's devised a training regimen that makes him confident in his shooting, it's at least accomplished one important thing.
That's a good point. Ability and confidence reinforce each other.

You can't use either one most effectively without the other.
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Old January 20, 2017, 12:25 PM   #22
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I'm not necessarily with the "only carry what you shoot at the range" crowd, but for a carry weapon, that's where I'd *want* a .357...
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Old January 22, 2017, 08:45 AM   #23
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You play like you train.

BTW, for bipedal self-defense, in the rare occasions I carry, and even rarer when I carry a .357 Mag revolver, it's always loaded the FBI load for bipedal self-defense.
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