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Decline
11-28-2011, 06:53 PM
I hear a lot of folks in magazines and podcasts etc saying they get a lot of value out of practicing their self-defense shooting with a smaller caliber via a .22 conversion kit, a Glock or XD of a smaller caliber than the Glock/XD you carry or .38 in your .357.

My question is: is this really a good idea? I carry a .357 revolver. .38 is cheap and has half the felt recoil of the .357. That's great except the mellow recoil makes follow up shots drastically diffrent than the magnum load. Am I wasting time and money with .38 practice or do the honed skills transfer to the .357 seamlessly?

rkbartley
11-29-2011, 11:32 AM
Excellent question. I love plinking with a .22 and guess it does help keep sight alignment, ect. sharp...but I understand what you are saying. For instance, the trigger on my .22 is quite light compared to my HK or derringer (both somewhere around 12 lbs) so I don't consider "plinking" with the .22 as a replacement for practice with either of the other....it is just that, plinking for fun. Looking forward to others perspectives.

rkb

Jim Trueblood
11-29-2011, 12:59 PM
Yes, it's a very good idea. :encouragement:

I do it all the time, especially with my lightweight snubbies (13-15 oz). I'll shoot 50 .38 range-loads, really concentrating on fundamentals, followed by 20 rounds of .38 +P or +P+. The more perfect I become with the range-loads, the better I get with the full-power loads.

The 7 fundamentals of shooting are the 7 fundamentals of shooting, no matter what Handgun / Caliber / Load you're using.
Stance, Grip, Sight Alignment, Sight Picture, Trigger Control, Breathing, and Follow-Through are all easier to master when using lighter-loads for a lot of practice. It's also much easier to zero-in on where mistakes are being made as the lighter-loads greatly reduce felt recoil which reduces mental stress.

Professional shooters shoot thousands of reduced-power loads in practice every week. I'm pretty sure Jerry Miculek can hit what he's aiming at no matter what handgun caliber or load he's using. http://www.jerrymiculek.com/

Does that mean you don't practice with your self-defense loads? Of course not. Use .38 Special range-loads to save money, save your hand, and make shooting more fun, but most of all use them to become a Master of the fundamentals. Your skill with a .357, as well as any other handgun, will get better and better as you strive for perfection in fundamentals.

There's an old saying, "Practice Doesn't Make Perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect."


Good Luck,

Jim
http://americansheepdog.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=1805&d=1301583381 (http://americansheepdog.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=1805&d=1301583381)

Bebo
11-29-2011, 05:30 PM
anyone can shoot a gun, but shooting is a mental sport not simply hardware ... I believe that shooting prepares and trains the mind for the ability to shoot be it tactical shooting or simply plinking. The difference between pulling the trigger and praying, and pulling the trigger and knowing what to do next is training and practice. it does not matter what you practice with, gun, knife, bow and arrow, pellet gun .. all about training the mind... just my humble opinion.

Decline
11-29-2011, 11:14 PM
Thanks for the great advice! I will start practicing with .38 and work in .357 at the end of my sessions.

Rossi
11-30-2011, 11:06 PM
Interesting thread.

Yes, I practice with the .22 allot. For me, it was important to get a .22 the general size and weight of the normal carry gun. I don't have conversion kits, but I would assume those would be best of all..... the real weight and size of your carry sidearm.

Anyway, I don't like to dry-file, so a real trigger pull is important. Also, the carry holster is a level 2 security SERPA. Virtually no pressure is needed for the release, but it's important to drift the index finger smoothly for the clean lift out and the safety released correctly for the full presentation.

Having suffered some injuries recently, I have been practicing shorter presentations which are important in confined areas where full arm lengths can't be used.

Rossi

Eccentric
12-01-2011, 02:12 AM
anyone can shoot a gun, but shooting is a mental sport not simply hardware ... I believe that shooting prepares and trains the mind for the ability to shoot be it tactical shooting or simply plinking. The difference between pulling the trigger and praying, and pulling the trigger and knowing what to do next is training and practice. it does not matter what you practice with, gun, knife, bow and arrow, pellet gun .. all about training the mind... just my humble opinion.

I agree and also rotate with all mine to keep the feel familiar, second nature.

NWFFT
12-02-2011, 06:12 PM
All of the above ideas and suggestions are excellent...but we need to remember that if we are not training in a "realistic" environment and in the context of what is plausible...our training is not making us better. Training with a .22 is fine as long as we add our EDC and train with realism in mind.

Sgt T
12-02-2011, 11:54 PM
I believe that sub-caliber training is extremely important to your overall training plan. So is dry practice. I have recently had several folks at the range ask if dry practice was bad for their firearm. Most modern centerfire handguns will not be damaged by dry practice. Just like using sub-caliber or conversions, dry practice lets you focus on fundamentals without excessive muzzle blast, recoil, etc. The nice thing about the conversions is that you can use your carry gun's lower, getting the same grip angle and trigger management. During a emergency you will most likely not even notice the recoil of your full power defensive ammo. However, if you have a good foundation in correct fundamentals you will increase your likelyhood of effective hits on your target.

Jim Trueblood
12-03-2011, 11:54 AM
Useful thread with good points by all.:thumbsup: