Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

50 Round Practice

Normally when I go to practice by myself I will only take one box of ammo with me. With those fifty rounds, and a structured list of techniques to practice, I get the maximum benefit out of the ammo and time spent on the range. Yes there are times when I get to the range with friends and we shoot a lot, but I truly believe I benefit the most from my short private sessions.

When I get to the range I unload my weapon and practice dry, presenting my weapon from the holster and getting that one perfect trigger press. Then I’ll do the same thing while stepping left, right, or to the rear. Once I’m feeling pretty good about that I’ll start with live fire, repeating the same drills, and only shooting fifteen rounds.

My next drills focus on empty reloads. Again I practice reloading dry, starting with an empty magazine and the slide locked to the rear, performing every action necessary, stopping just short of firing a round after completing the reload. Then, I do it again, only this time setting the pistol up with a round in the chamber, an empty mag, and reloading while moving. After doing this fifteen times I’ve fired a total of thirty rounds.

To finish out my fifty round session I set up a target at about 3 yards, with a small steel plate at about twelve yards. I draw, move, fire two rounds on the cardboard, then stop, simulating the use of cover, and fire a surgical shot at the steel plate. My goal here is to perform the drill as quickly as possible, but at a speed that guarantees there are no bad shots. Learning to regulate your speed, which produces predictable results, is an important skill. The seventh time I run this drill, which requires three shots, I’m pretending to reload my pistol because I don’t have anymore ammo, and I don’t want to stand there holding a pistol with the slide locked to the rear – a clear indicator to anyone watching that you are out of ammunition. Pretend to reload it and bluff. This may buy you the time you need to do something which is a lot better than nothing.

This is just one version of my fifty round practice sessions. Other variations include malfunction clearances, ground fighting skills, and low-light techniques. As with any practice it’s not the number of rounds you fire, but the amount of mental repetitions performed. By including dry practice in with your live fire drills you’re performing the repetitions necessary to actually learn, and then getting feedback on your performance from the live fire drills.

When you practice focus on the fundamentals – moving, communication, shooting, using cover, and manipulating your weapons. The goal is to be able to apply these skills under any conditions, and without prior notice. This takes time and discipline.


September 19, 2010 - Posted by | Auto Pistol, General Training

1 Comment »

  1. Great Article! One of my favorites, and I’ll be putting the advise here into practice for sure.

    Comment by M. Ray | November 21, 2011 | Reply

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