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Pot-stirring nest-poker!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
PREFACE: OK, I know some nitwits are going to feel compelled to make generally useless, pithy remarks like "as much as you can get" and "you can never have enough." Maybe we can limit those, though that's probably naive to think. :D:

Like most here, I have no .MIL or LE background or training -- not that either are particularly advanced, but at least those folks have had the opportunity to put thousands of rounds "down range," which doesn't hurt.

What would be considered a *reasonable* amount or number of training classes per year, plus how many rounds expended at training or during practice? Is "range time" worth the ammo -- i.e. just standing there hitting steel or punching holes in paper? What TYPE of training / classes would you recommend? How many times per month should you practice what you've been taught at said classes, and how many rounds per month would you consider a "minimum" when practicing -- noting a significant distinction between "Training" and "Practice."

I have my notions in my head, but I'd be interested in hearing what others have to say. Without going into detail, I would say that attending at least ONE training course PER YEAR -- meaning a "REAL" course, and not just standing around and getting some "trigger-time," is the absolute, bare minimum to even hope to be mediocre and semi-proficient with a weapon. I would also say that everyone should practice what they've been trained at least once per MONTH with, I would say, a bare minimum of 50 rounds at each monthly practice.

Any less, and I think you're asking for trouble, or may have an overdeveloped sense of confidence in your abilities.

That would be my personal assessment as to what is required to have any hope of "holding your own" in any real-life threat situation where you need to use a gun.

Thoughts from the more competent among us?
 

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I would say enough to make you proficient with the handgun. Proficient being able to safely load and unload the firearm, clean it, handle it (finger off the trigger and only point it at something you're willing to destroy), the laws that apply to you (and if you have to use it). The ability to accurately hit the target from 5-10 yards. As for rounds and range time whatever you feel comfortable with. No point in having it if you can't hit the broadside of a barn.
 

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Deo iuvante
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So, you're talking about civilian self-defense training? Or civilian militia training?

If we're just talking a pistol, I'd say an initial 16 hours of 1 on 1 or small group training, and then about an hour per month after that.

If you're talking something like militia training, involving more weapons and group movement, then a much longer initial training and about two weeks per year upkeep.
 

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Pot-stirring nest-poker!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would say enough to make you proficient with the handgun. Proficient being able to safely load and unload the firearm, clean it, handle it (finger off the trigger and only point it at something you're willing to destroy), the laws that apply to you (and if you have to use it). The ability to accurately hit the target from 5-10 yards. As for rounds and range time whatever you feel comfortable with. No point in having it if you can't hit the broadside of a barn.
What about moving with a weapon in a defensive or offensive situation? What about proper use of cover and concealment? What about training in "real-world" scenarios where you're under pressure or perhaps even injured an can't use your dominant hand? How about night and low-light training? What if your "target" is moving and firing back at you?

Would you consider any of those worthwhile training for?
 

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Volunteer Firearms Training Or Government Mandated? ...

If volunteer training then as much as one needs to obtain and maintain an excellent to outstanding skill level with that firearm. All skills including legal, historical, general knowledge, specific trouble shooting and gun smithing skills, plus general and specific knowledge and experience on the time and place for the use of lethal force. And that is just the beginning.

How high should the bar be? As high as practical. Everybody is different. Some have no business touching a firearm. Some show enough potential to become quite highly trained indeed. A few should and do become true professionals including military police and private law abiding citizens. But ... it should all be voluntary. Government should have zero say so.
 

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Pot-stirring nest-poker!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So, you're talking about civilian self-defense training? Or civilian militia training?

If we're just talking a pistol, I'd say an initial 16 hours of 1 on 1 or small group training, and then about an hour per month after that.

If you're talking something like militia training, involving more weapons and group movement, then a much longer initial training and about two weeks per year upkeep.
No, I'm talking about training for the possibility of finding yourself in the center of an active-shooter situation, or rounding a corner and being suddenly confronted by a gang of thugs, or being startled awake at night in your home by a group of armed meth-heads breaking into your house. Or being carjacked by someone who doesn't care if he leaves you behind in an expanding pool of your own blood.

Definitely not talking about "Militia" training.

That said, I'd very much like to include the thought that is prevalent on these forums -- training for a potential SHTF / WROL world, which would probably take some "militia" concepts into consideration.

For those with little or no training, all the guns and ammo in the world will be of little use. They may THINK they "have it covered", but will soon find themselves on the receiving end of a surprise they would rather not experience.
 

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Garbage Collector
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One tool I recommend is airsoft guns, get the models that replicate your actual firearms. It allows training in non traditional locations, such as in your home.
Also provides the ability to do dynamic training against other humans.

Treat it as a tool and not a game, the quickest way to find out your tactics suck is getting stung by a 430 fps plastic bb.

As far as live weapons, take a class or two per year, range time once a month or every other month.

Also train in defensive tactics/weapons retention skills, having a gun is good - keeping your gun in a close in fight is better.
 

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Pot-stirring nest-poker!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One tool I recommend is airsoft guns, get the models that replicate your actual firearms. It allows training in non traditional locations, such as in your home.
Also provides the ability to do dynamic training against other humans.

Treat it as a tool and not a game, the quickest way to find out your tactics suck is getting stung by a 430 fps plastic bb.

As far as live weapons, take a class or two per year, range time once a month or every other month.

Also train in defensive tactics/weapons retention skills, having a gun is good - keeping your gun in a close in fight is better.
Thanks Doc. That's just the kind of feedback I was hoping to get. Good info.
 

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No, I'm talking about training for the possibility of finding yourself in the center of an active-shooter situation, or rounding a corner and being suddenly confronted by a gang of thugs, or being startled awake at night in your home by a group of armed meth-heads breaking into your house. Or being carjacked by someone who doesn't care if he leaves you behind in an expanding pool of your own blood.

Definitely not talking about "Militia" training.

That said, I'd very much like to include the thought that is prevalent on these forums -- training for a potential SHTF / WROL world, which would probably take some "militia" concepts into consideration.

For those with little or no training, all the guns and ammo in the world will be of little use. They may THINK they "have it covered", but will soon find themselves on the receiving end of a surprise they would rather not experience.
Physical training should be emphasized prior to the above your mentioning.

I know some may consider Military trained folks as not having " advanced" training, but they would be incorrect OVERALL, because they haven't served, or served primarily as combat service support.

Not too mention OJT.

Training here is part of every day life.
 

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Garbage Collector
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So, my thoughts on training naked slathered in peanut butter are on track? :thumb:

If it puts rounds on target, more power to you, lol.

The people I have had hardest time getting into custody have been buck nekkid, no clothes to grab onto makes it a little harder to get them down and in cuffs.
 

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Minimum:

1. At least one annual course that offers you more advanced skills & proficiency.

2. Once every month or two at your local range, where you can devote at least some of that time to improving upon previously learned drills, concepts, & skills. And devote the rest of the time to the fundamentals of marksmanship. You can exact more actual training proficiency out of 20 deliberately exercised and well-aimed rifle shots than you can by shredding cardboard with 200 rounds of rapid fire. Make every single round count for score... no matter what you are doing. Set yourself some performance standards and then ruthlessly enforce them.

3. Back up the range time / instructional time with as much dry fire & dry manipulation as your schedule can handle. Ideally, every single day, but at least once a week. Draw stroke & presentation, grip, trigger pull, aiming, marksmanship breathing drills, clearing a weapon, stances (to include not really having the opportunity to get into one), follow through, use of sling, use of tactical light, night time iterations of whatever you do in daylight, malfunction drills, failure drills, reloading, reloading one handed, movement drills (forward, rear, lateral), use of cover, use of unsupported or supported positions, non-standard firing positions, weapon retention drills, combatives while armed, target discrimination, dry fire force on force, weak hand shooting, vehicular drills, home defense drills, CCW dress critique in front of a mirror, etc. You don't have to go all Travis Bickle Taxi Driver, but he was actually on the right path...



4. Did I mention dry fire?

5. PT. Do physical training. Strength, cardio, flexibility. Do it regularly. Especially work on forearm and grip strength for handling pistols. It's easier to practice gun handling when you're in better shape.

There's a LOT you can do without firing a round. Some drills obviously require a partner. But if you only practice a few things by yourself (draw/presentation, dry fire, malfunctions, reloading, re-holstering) for even 5 minutes a day... you'll be ahead of 90% of the nominally armed population. If you routinely practice the same things in the dark (both with and without a light), you'll be ahead of 99%.

Actual live fire ability is a perishable skill, just like anything else requiring practice. But it doesn't take long to get back in the saddle after a hiatus. Unless you just waste the range time burning ammo and making noise. If you are training hard, with a plan, standards, and goals... 100 rounds of deliberate executed handgun drills should be tiring. If you are blasting off more than 200 rounds per hour or two handgun session, you are likely just wasting valuable practice time. It's fun to do, but doesn't make you better.
 

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So I'd say, go to at least one handgun course, beyond beginner class. Dry fire drills every day, holster drills, malfunction drills, tap rack bangs, mag changes drawing and moving. Do these until you can do them without thinking, then do it some more.

Take a rifle course. Do the same with the rifle, learn a rifle to pistol transition and practice that too.

Don't take a combo class your first year, take classes to train specifics. I would shoot around 500-1000 rounds of each pistol and rifle in classes. Then monthly fire 100 rounds of each, practicing the drills that you learned in the courses. Not just blowing through ammo. I would also take at least half of your rifle rounds shooting beyond 100m every month. This is somewhere around 2k rounds of pistol and rifle a year. For the first year, you could focus only on pistol and the second on rifle. Do you have any prior experience in shooting? If not I would have you take a basic handling and safety course first, get some shooting and basic marksmanship. Don't go into your first class with nothing to build on. Most courses are pretty close range and just bullet hosing. To run 3-400 rounds a day is a good pace for a class, more than that and I really feel diminishing returns.

After the first year or two of training only pistol and rifle I would branch out to specialties like shotgun, long range, cqb, patrolling, ECT.


Things to buy:

Pistol, mags (training and carry), good kydex owb holster, good iwb holster, mag pouches (can't go wrong with blade-tech) don't skimp on gear, because you will be training with what you carry. Good belt!

Rifle, optic, mags (training and fighting), chest rig/battle belt or both. I like around 8 mags to carry on my body, maybe more, depends. I use both, 4 on my chest, 4 on belt, I only carry two pistol mags on belt on my rig. You can run just the belt our the chest rig in a rifle class.

Other things that are good to buy:
IFAK (blow out med kit), electronic hearing protection, good shooting glasses, gloves for running the rifle. Personal gear is well personal, get good glasses and hearing protection, you can use this for both training and real life. Also don't forget dummy rounds. Take your training mags and mix in dummy rounds a few days before going to the range, that way you forget what you loaded and it's a lot more effective, they also work well for dry firing and trigger control drills.


Let me know if you have any questions, I probably forgot something or other. Seriously you should be doing 100 times more dry firing then shooting, dry firing, practicing the fundamentals is what will save the day, when you can preform the action without thinking is when you are proficient with your arms. Being combat accurate is different from being a bullseye shooter, training to fire fast and accurately is a lot different then trying to hit a paper target, training for the former is what you will accomplish with time and practice, lots of practice.

You could also choose to take an NRA or Appleseed course or two in there to get really good fundamentals of marksmanship down.
 

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If you want to be truly proficient then train, train, train. Muscle memory from repetition.
Can't remember who gave the advice that when you get a carry pistol to always handle it. Pick it up, hold it, aim it, put it on the desk, pick it up, put it down, rinse repeat.
Just to be intimate with it. You should not have to fumble around with a weapon. All its functions should be unconscious to you. Wher the safety is, where the mag release is, where the trigger breaks.
 

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Gettin There
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One small thing that can help training if you are at a range where you have lanes is just to sidestep right once and then back left and so forth and so on while shooting. It teaches you to get off of the X and to move while shooting.

When I go to shoot my pistol I shoot at least 50 rounds with about 5-10 being one hand left handed for me. I figure that if something were to happen I would mainly be using a 2 hand right hand style of shooting, but something may go wrong so I practice for that as well.

When you are home you can practice one handed manipulation of the weapon with snap caps in.

One thing I want to implement in my training but haven't yet is the dot torture drill.
 

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Minimum:

1. At least one annual course that offers you more advanced skills & proficiency.

2. Once every month or two at your local range, where you can devote at least some of that time to improving upon previously learned drills, concepts, & skills. And devote the rest of the time to the fundamentals of marksmanship. You can exact more actual training proficiency out of 20 deliberately exercised and well-aimed rifle shots than you can by shredding cardboard with 200 rounds of rapid fire. Make every single round count for score... no matter what you are doing. Set yourself some performance standards and then ruthlessly enforce them.

3. Back up the range time / instructional time with as much dry fire & dry manipulation as your schedule can handle. Ideally, every single day, but at least once a week. Draw stroke & presentation, grip, trigger pull, aiming, marksmanship breathing drills, clearing a weapon, stances (to include not really having the opportunity to get into one), follow through, use of sling, use of tactical light, night time iterations of whatever you do in daylight, malfunction drills, failure drills, reloading, reloading one handed, movement drills (forward, rear, lateral), use of cover, use of unsupported or supported positions, non-standard firing positions, weapon retention drills, combatives while armed, target discrimination, dry fire force on force, weak hand shooting, vehicular drills, home defense drills, CCW dress critique in front of a mirror, etc. You don't have to go all Travis Bickle Taxi Driver, but he was actually on the right path...



4. Did I mention dry fire?

5. PT. Do physical training. Strength, cardio, flexibility. Do it regularly. Especially work on forearm and grip strength for handling pistols. It's easier to practice gun handling when you're in better shape.

There's a LOT you can do without firing a round. Some drills obviously require a partner. But if you only practice a few things by yourself (draw/presentation, dry fire, malfunctions, reloading, re-holstering) for even 5 minutes a day... you'll be ahead of 90% of the nominally armed population. If you routinely practice the same things in the dark (both with and without a light), you'll be ahead of 99%.

Actual live fire ability is a perishable skill, just like anything else requiring practice. But it doesn't take long to get back in the saddle after a hiatus. Unless you just waste the range time burning ammo and making noise. If you are training hard, with a plan, standards, and goals... 100 rounds of deliberate executed handgun drills should be tiring. If you are blasting off more than 200 rounds per hour or two handgun session, you are likely just wasting valuable practice time. It's fun to do, but doesn't make you better.



You saved me LOTS of typing!

If I could thank you 2x I would
 

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What about moving with a weapon in a defensive or offensive situation? What about proper use of cover and concealment? What about training in "real-world" scenarios where you're under pressure or perhaps even injured an can't use your dominant hand? How about night and low-light training? What if your "target" is moving and firing back at you?

Would you consider any of those worthwhile training for?
Personally I think that type of training is definitely worthwhile and have some of that training. I think if you are going to conceal carry all of that training should be part of the deal. But just for Joe Shmoe that wants to own a firearm and keep it in his house I would say no. I would recommend they take that type of training but I would think it should be mandatory.
 
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