Do you count rounds as you shoot?


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berettaprofessor
February 3, 2013, 03:03 PM
Just wondered how many others count rounds as they shoot or if my natural OCD is just showing its head?

And whether you do or don't, do you think it makes an ND more or less likely in terms of miscounting and having a round left after you thought it was done? I ask because today I thought I had a 10 round mag in a Beretta 84, finished 10 rounds, came out of stance, looked at the gun, and saw it hadn't locked back.

Sorry, I tried to search, since I would think this would be a common question, but couldn't find asked.

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Inebriated
February 3, 2013, 03:06 PM
I do when I'm just putting holes in paper.

And I think counting makes an ND more likely to happen, if you're completely going off your count and aren't following the 4 rules.

DMK
February 3, 2013, 03:10 PM
Only when shooting revolvers. With autos, I just shoot until the slide locks back.

Delawarean
February 3, 2013, 03:24 PM
I don't except with rimfires. I try not to dry fire those.

Bio-Chem
February 3, 2013, 03:37 PM
i always count. just habit. can't remember a time i've miscounted though

meanmrmustard
February 3, 2013, 03:48 PM
Probably not as much as I should.

joecil
February 3, 2013, 04:16 PM
Pretty much so even with autos. Just a habit I got into years ago so when it was required to have to change magazines in a hurry so you had it ready to go. Now I also keep track of how much I shoot through every gun since the day I bought then in a spreed sheet. I list the date, ammo type if factory or list the load if my loads, bullet type etc. I also keep notes on some things such as problems feed, accuracy etc if it occurs.

allaroundhunter
February 3, 2013, 04:21 PM
I sometimes do when shooting paper, but I think it makes an ND *more* likely. Someone might trust their counting more than they should and as a result won't follow the 4 rules... ND waiting to happen

When I am shooting a match I usually don't just because my focus is elsewhere. I can generally keep a pretty good idea of how many rounds I have fired so that I know when to change mags, but as far as trying to keep an exact count? Never.

beatledog7
February 3, 2013, 04:22 PM
Not consciously, but I always seem to know when I'm squeezing off the last round.

Esoxchaser
February 3, 2013, 04:30 PM
Yep. Always.

Onward Allusion
February 3, 2013, 04:51 PM
Always count rounds, but ALWAYS follow the 4's. Too easy to miss by one, especially with guns that don't lock back or revolvers.

5-SHOTS
February 3, 2013, 05:13 PM
I always count the rounds when shooting but I don't trust in this habit a bit to determinate if my gun is empty or not. For me it's just a training but it's too simple to go wrong.

TarDevil
February 3, 2013, 05:26 PM
I don't count individual shots, but use other means to keep my tally (number of magazines, boxes of ammo, etc). My OCD kicks in when trying to find brass... I'll spend days looking for the last one!

David E
February 3, 2013, 05:32 PM
It's silly to routinely count rounds as you shoot them. It clutters up your thoughts with inconsequential information.

If you're shooting a semi-auto and can't detect by feeling the different recoil impetus when the slide locks back, then you need to get to the point where you can.

md2lgyk
February 3, 2013, 05:46 PM
I'm a long time (30+ year) bullseye competitor. I've always counted my rounds. Helps me determine if my cadence is too slow, especially in the rapid fire stages.

ku4hx
February 3, 2013, 05:53 PM
Nope, never count rounds when I'm shooting. I keep mine in quart freezer bags so it'd be kind of pointless. We just shoot until we're tired, sweep up the cases and go get some ice cream. Counting rounds while shooting is like figuring gasoline mileage while driving.

I do keep up with primers though, and they are 100% present or accounted for.

Byrd666
February 3, 2013, 06:14 PM
Almost always. About the only time I don't is when I'm doing a speed fire on the target.

farm23
February 3, 2013, 06:28 PM
Not consciously but I know when the gun is going to be empty and am ready.

tightgroup tiger
February 3, 2013, 06:39 PM
I count subconscienely but I don't try to. I have been only putting 6 rounds in my semi-autos lately while practicing, I don't know why for sure, I guess after shooting revolvers for 30 yrs it just sounds natural to me.

Creature
February 3, 2013, 06:40 PM
I always count. It comes in handy when shooting various courses "on the clock" that require a reload...ie: shoot 7 from an 8, insert a new mag as the near empty drops and carry on shooting. Not having to release the slide manually can shave a few tenths of a second off my time.

I can also see how counting your rounds can also have benefits if shooting for your life.

bds
February 3, 2013, 06:41 PM
Do you count rounds as you shoot?
When shooting USPSA matches with 10 round magazines, I go through each stage in my head so that I change magazines before I run out between groups of targets to reduce stage times.

double-tap, double-tap, double-tap, double-tap ... move/change mag ... double-tap, double-tap, double-tap, double-tap, double-tap ... move/change mag ... etc.

Ankeny
February 3, 2013, 07:01 PM
Do you count rounds as you shoot? Nope. Unless I am shooting a USPSA classifier like "Can you Count".

Takem406
February 3, 2013, 07:14 PM
Why count? Where is the actual text book importance of this logic listed?

Between focusing on the threat, my front sight, trigger set, and not getting killed how am I supposed to count my shots?

My XDM holds a total of 17 rounds. My G27 holds 10. I carry a spare mag no matter what I carry. If I have my XDM I carry a total of 33 rounds.
If I carry my 27 I have 25 if I carry my Glock 22 mag.

If I practice reloads and I'm proficient in reloading whys it matter? If the slide locks back reload it.

17 rounds is a lot to count even just plinking. Even 10. I have a hard enough time counting outside of shooting let a lone while shooting.

I guess I prefer the KISS method to things, keep it simple stupid!

In God and Glock we Trust

browneu
February 3, 2013, 07:33 PM
I always count rounds. Otherwise when will you know when its ready for a magazine change?

My father in law doesn't count rounds and always continue to try to shoot with the slide locked back.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2

The Lone Haranguer
February 3, 2013, 07:41 PM
I know when I've run out when the slide locks back. ;)

Deer_Freak
February 3, 2013, 07:52 PM
I don't count but I always know when the gun is about empty. Even when shooting a rimfire I know when I am out of ammo.

dragon813gt
February 3, 2013, 08:03 PM
I always do. And it's actually a detriment to my revolver shooting. I'm trying to get rid of a flinch. If I don't count and I fire on a previously fired round I can see if I'm flinching. When I count I know when that round shows up and I anticipate it and am aware of it. Same with ball and dummy drills. I end up counting down the dummies since I can't safely load it with my eyes closed.


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M2 Carbine
February 3, 2013, 08:18 PM
No I don't usually count. I've got my mind on other things.

C0untZer0
February 3, 2013, 09:06 PM
I never did before but my Rohrbaugh R9 doesn't lock back on last shot and I don't want to dry fire it without a Snap Cap, so I've started to count.

newfalguy101
February 3, 2013, 09:10 PM
Much like many things I do, sometimes I do, others I dont

hAkron
February 3, 2013, 10:17 PM
I had a "get your head on straight!!" moment the other day at the range. I was shooting mostly 6 and 7 shot revolvers and counting off my shots. I switched to run a mag through a sig P6 that my buddy was having trouble getting a good group. After 6 shots I dumped the mag and pointed the pistol down toward the bench (though still down range.) It was at that moment I realized the slide wasn't back. My brain was still counting like a revolver. Had I not been following the rules of gun safety, who knows what could have happened. For a split second I was treating the pistol as though it was unloaded...or at least as unloaded as one can ever presume a gun might be.

ApacheCoTodd
February 3, 2013, 11:09 PM
Drives the boys nuts when I bust them not firing 10 uninterrupted rounds when they're test firing. I can be on the phone and note the string.

Seems down right odd to me to not know what you've fired. I don't even recall ever coming up surprised on full auto in the badlands hence my dumpin' mags with 1-3 rounds in them cause the time was right.

Also a great deal of my problem with alternative capacity 1911/M-9 mags. Messes me up remembering whether it's more than standard.

Sleasys14
February 3, 2013, 11:15 PM
When I was young and being taught how to use a firearm properly my dad wouldn't randomly test me by asking how many bullets were left. If I got it wrong the gun would be put up for the day. So it's permanently etched in my brain.


Sent from my MiPhone !

pat701
February 3, 2013, 11:15 PM
Yes i was taught to count rounds fired in the police academy.

Jurist
February 3, 2013, 11:23 PM
I count subconciously always have,don't know why but I do.

1SOW
February 3, 2013, 11:37 PM
Why count? Where is the actual text book importance of this logic listed?

As bds said, for competition to let the gun run dry and to have to change mags "when there is a target presented" costs wasted time. Mag changes are best done when on-the-move or when no target is presented.

The same would hold true in a gunfight. I don't care how fast you you are at changing mags. If you need to shoot, running dry at the wrong time could be a bad thing.

All this being said, if you are self defense situatuation, you probably won't have any idea how many shots you fired. If the opportunity presents itself, change mags.

pockets
February 4, 2013, 08:46 AM
No....I do not.
.

bannockburn
February 4, 2013, 10:06 AM
Slowfire target shooting-Yes
Revolvers-Yes
Informal plinking-Not very often

REPOMAN
February 4, 2013, 10:24 AM
FWIW.... I don't count as I shoot but I know when I'm empty.... All my semi autos have the last shot slide lock feature and the recoil feels different telling me that I'm out of ammo in that mag.
As for total shots fired @ range... I "re-cycle" 50 count boxes and trays to transport re-loads to the range so all I have to do is count the empties.... :D

HankR
February 4, 2013, 10:45 AM
.. rimfires. I try not to dry fire those.

Same here

ZeSpectre
February 4, 2013, 10:58 AM
I don't bother "counting-until-empty" but I do keep track of rounds fired per gun (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=700716) over the course of a year.

herkyguy
February 4, 2013, 12:16 PM
Yes, i try to always keep a count in my head if i'm shooting or my wife or friends or whomever. I want to know when my gun is empty or getting close. it's good training if you were ever in a position contemplating a quick reload or not.

I get mad at myself if i miscount.

I also either check that the slide is locked back or pull the trigger again with a revolver just to be on the safe side.

David E
February 4, 2013, 12:26 PM
I always count. It comes in handy when shooting various courses "on the clock" that require a reload...ie: shoot 7 from an 8, insert a new mag as the near empty drops and carry on shooting. Not having to release the slide manually can shave a few tenths of a second off my time.

You're shooting slower than you could doing it that way.

I can also see how counting your rounds can also have benefits if shooting for your life.

How? If I'm shooting for my life, I'm going to have far more important things to do than count my shots! You know, things like "front sight!" or "is he down?" or "is he out?" or "is he alone?" or.......

Counting my shots wouldn't make the top 1000 list of things to do in that situation.

David E
February 4, 2013, 12:32 PM
Yes, i try to always keep a count in my head....it's good training if you were ever in a position contemplating a quick reload or not.

If you're shooting up most of your ammo-in-gun, then a reload doesn't need to be "contemplated," it needs to be done!

I get mad at myself if i miscount.

So, under NO pressure at the practice range, you still miscount. Do you think you'll count more accurately when someone is actively trying to kill you?

I also either check that the slide is locked back...

You can't tell by feel when it locks back?

Fire_Moose
February 4, 2013, 12:34 PM
Wow I'm suprised by this thread.

In the words of Sterling Archer, "you're out! You fired 7 shots! Am I the only one who keeps track of that?!"

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

Drail
February 4, 2013, 12:59 PM
I learned to count rounds when I first started shooting IPSC/USPSA matches. You save a lot of time on reloads if you never shoot the gun empty and have the slide lock back. You want to do your reload when the magazine is empty but there is still a round in the chamber and the slide is forward. It takes a while to learn to always count the shots but it puts you ahead of the competition that does not count their shots. It is so ingrained now that anytime I hear shots fired (even on TV) I count them. It is a VERY GOOD habit to develop. David E., if you think this is a waste of time why do suppose people like Rob Leatham never shoot to slide lock and teach their students to reload before the gun is empty?

Chevelle SS
February 4, 2013, 01:01 PM
Depends on what it is. Model 66 yes, vz 58 no

tiamat
February 4, 2013, 02:00 PM
I do count shots, although I'm not sure when I started doing this or why. As to ND's, I would think counting has no bearing on it, as we all should be following proper safety rules, no? ;)

ATLDave
February 4, 2013, 02:37 PM
Nope. Part of what I'm trying to do on each shot is focus on THAT shot at THAT moment. Frankly, that kind of in-the-moment attention is probably the biggest reason I enjoy shooting.

As David E. suggests, it's not hard to feel a slide lock back. Nor is it difficult to have an awareness that you are near the end of a magazine without counting.

armedaccountant
February 4, 2013, 03:52 PM
I don't usually count when I am shooting handguns. It is a nice feeling when shooting a revolver and you squeeze the trigger on a spent round and the gun doesn't move at all. Let's me know how far I have come in overcoming a flinch since I first started shooting.

If I am at a public range and shooting bolt action rifles with a blind magazine that I have to work the bolt to remove every round I try and keep a loose mental track of how many I have left in the magazine versus the time until the range is next called cold, just so I don't have worry about working the bolt as many times to empty the rifle.

Teachu2
February 4, 2013, 04:01 PM
I do for myself and anyone I'm supervising. I never depend on the accuracy of my count (the four rules LWAYS apply) but it's so automatic at this point that I'm not even consciously doing it much of the time.

chrisb507
February 4, 2013, 05:04 PM
Only in two cases: 1) Shooting a rimfire or 2) As part of a class. I've taken two classes with multiple students that have guns with varying capacities. So between drills, someone may be at 15+ rounds, and someone might be out. If the drill is to shoot 3, and I only have 1 left, I need to know that ahead of the "exercise."

This thread got me thinking of this quote: "I know what youíre thinking: 'Did he fire six shots, or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, Iíve kinda lost track myself."

Grunt
February 4, 2013, 05:13 PM
On a firing range, counting rounds may work but it doesn't work so well when somebody is shooting back at you. Somehow the 6-9 round burst you thought you fired was in reality half the belt. Been there, done that so no, I don't bother counting rounds.

David E
February 4, 2013, 05:46 PM
I learned to count rounds when I first started shooting IPSC/USPSA matches.

What is your classification?

You save a lot of time on reloads if you never shoot the gun empty and have the slide lock back.

Not necessarily, but slide forward is preferred.

It takes a while to learn to always count the shots but it puts you ahead of the competition that does not count their shots.

Not true. You're cluttering your mind with superfluous information.

It is a VERY GOOD habit to develop.

Negative.

David E., if you think this is a waste of time why do suppose people like Rob Leatham never shoot to slide lock and teach their students to reload before the gun is empty?

You are assuming that Rob counts each shot because he teaches to reload with the slide forward. Slide forward on loaded chamber is preferable to slide locked back, as I acknowledged.

The typical USPSA stage requires 8 rds or less per position. If there are 4 paper targets, you engage each one with two shots. Where is the need to count anything on that first array? If you're running a single stack 1911, you move, you load. Ok, so the next position has a Texas Star, requiring 5 hits, one for each steel plate. But once you hit one, the star spins, making subsequent shots more difficult. Your gun holds 9, minus hits required, 5, = 4 spare shots. You don't count your shots as you go, you count misses if and when they happen. If I miss 4 times but still have two plates, I'm reloading NOW, when I want to, not when I have to. If I missed 4 and have one plate left, I'm going to apply the concentration that had been lacking previously, usually resulting in a hit. If 8 rds are needed at the next position, I know I have zero makeup shots on board, unless I do a double reload to give me one extra shot.

My way is faster and more accurate, as it frees up your mind to pay attention to the more important things, like hitting the target(s) with each shot.

Ankeny
February 4, 2013, 07:49 PM
It takes a while to learn to always count the shots but it puts you ahead of the competition that does not count their shots. David E. beat me to it. No need to count rounds. I shot Limited 10 and Production for years. In that game, it is best to program where the reloads take place. If you need to make up shots, do an extra reload when your feet are moving and get back on track.

Drail
February 4, 2013, 09:05 PM
Thank you so much for that explanation. I will stay off of your forum from now on.

mgmorden
February 4, 2013, 09:09 PM
Gotta agree with Ankeny and David E. I shoot Production in USPSA, and I see absolutely no benefit in counting shots - and a lot of hindrance. Your brain can only do so many things at once. Time spent counting shots is time diverted from transitions and aiming.

I break down arrays into groups. Some groups might only be 4 shots. As indicated they usually break down nicely into 8 shots, and if I have a particularly good reason to I might group 10 shots together. When shooting a stage I've got those pre-programmed groups in my head and I know after which targets I must reload.

For steel if its a large group (plate rack or star) then that becomes its own array, and no matter what after I leave that I'm reloading. For poppers or something thats mixed in with targets I'll have a basic "bail out" strategy. IE, if I miss more than twice on this group of poppers I need to reload before moving on to the rest of the targets in that group.

Sounds a bit complicated, but its far, far faster in one's head than counting shots.

David E
February 4, 2013, 09:19 PM
Thank you so much for that explanation. I will stay off of your forum from now on.

What, I disagree with you, explain why, offer a better way, am backed up by Ankeny (a Grandmaster, btw) and mgmorden and you're all bent out of shape?

Um.....ok.

Backpacker33
February 4, 2013, 10:12 PM
I s'pose it doesn't matter at all when plinking or practicing.
In competition, going to a surprise slide lock cost only time. Or prize money.
The department I worked for in the '80s had a fiend for a firearms trainer, and he grilled mercilessly knowing the round count. to be fair, I learned a lot from him.
I got into one bullet throwing match. During a brief pause in the festivities I realized I had absolutely NO idea how many rounds I'd fired, even though I had thought I was keeping count. Sooo, did a mag change to be sure I'd have a full mag to continue the fun. After action, I discovered I had 4 rounds left in a 15-rd mag.
If you are carrying for defense, I think it would be foolish to shoot to slide lock. It would happen while face to face with someone shooting at you. I doubt s/he would pause to let you reload. I wouldn't.

David E
February 5, 2013, 12:00 AM
If you are carrying for defense, I think it would be foolish to shoot to slide lock.

Explain, please, how counting your shots (even if you could do so accurately) when someone is actively trying to kill you, what you'd do when you knew you had your last round in the chamber and the deadly threat is not totally neutralized. Would you not fire that last, maybe fight-ending shot, or would you pause to do a slide forward reload? Just how fast is your reload from concealment? How much slower do you think a slidelock reload is?

It would happen while face to face with someone shooting at you. I doubt s/he would pause to let you reload. I wouldn't.

But we are both reloading. You're just doing yours sooner than me. Again, I don't see how your way (counting shots until the last round is chambered then reloading) is somehow better than shooting that last, possibly decisive shot, then doing a slidelock reload.

Let's say we are both equally skilled and both carry 1911's holding 8+1. You reload SOONER after firing 8, while I'll reload 18/100ths of a second later, after firing 9

Your 9th shot would be 1.5 seconds after my 9th shot, while my 10th shot is 1.68 seconds after your 9th. I put more rounds into the badguy faster than you.

But while you're counting each shot, I'm focusing on making good hits without needless distraction.

Teachu2
February 5, 2013, 12:44 AM
David E,
If you train to keep count, it becomes automatic - just like training for anything else. Keeping count isn't hard or mentally taxing, but it gives you valuable information that allows you to plan better. Reloads are faster if anticipated, especially from concealment. Reloading with cover beats doing it while running.

Of course, if you find it distracting and can't train that away, don't do it. Some folks do it naturally, some have to learn it, some never will.

I will say that if it's not second nature, you probably won't even be close to doing it under fire.

Dr.Rob
February 5, 2013, 12:52 AM
Someone long ago advised me NOT to count my shots when I started IDPA. HOWEVER, some stages in the shooting sports require you to keep count. Usually those stages are not stressed by running and distractions (think 'classifiers').

So no I don't, but yes I do.

David E
February 5, 2013, 01:23 AM
David E,
If you train to keep count, it becomes automatic - just like training for anything else.

I disagree i want my full attention on things that matter. What prominent trainer teaches his students to count every shot they fire, as they fire it, in a deadly confrontation?

Keeping count isn't hard or mentally taxing, but it gives you valuable information that allows you to plan better.

Ok, you're out in the open, no cover nearby and you're counting your shots. Your last shot is in the chamber, your threat is not yet out of the fight and is still actively trying to kill you. What is your "plan" at that point that counting your shots allowed you to incorporate?

Reloads are faster if anticipated, especially from concealment.

If I've shot one round or all my rounds I'm doing a reload.

Reloading with cover beats doing it while running.


Do you wheel a section of a brick wall around with you so you always have cover close by? You can't always get to cover, nor is it always a good idea. Cover is great when you can get it, but it shouldn't be your number one priority.

David E
February 5, 2013, 01:28 AM
HOWEVER, some stages in the shooting sports require you to keep count.

These do exist, but the ratio is about 1000 to 1.

Airbrush Artist
February 5, 2013, 10:23 PM
Im use to counting school kids getting off my Bus to cross ,so I count rounds and Kids auto-matically..

xXxplosive
February 5, 2013, 10:27 PM
Try to....most of the time.

Ankeny
February 5, 2013, 11:34 PM
What prominent trainer teaches his students to count every shot they fire, as they fire it, in a deadly confrontation? I know the answer to that question. But then again so do you. ;)

GLI45
February 6, 2013, 11:12 PM
Almost never count, though if I'm in a match I do plan my mag changes which are based on round count. But I do that before I start.

The Lone Haranguer
February 7, 2013, 10:18 AM
I doubt, in a self defense shooting, as opposed to standing there banging rounds off at the range, anyone can keep track of how many shots they fired. And to offer a bit of perhaps farfetched, "what-if" speculation, suppose the investigating LEOs ask you how many shots you fired but the actual number shown by the evidence is different. Everything you tell them from then on is going to be suspect. (This would be a good reason to make like a clam until you can get a lawyer there.)

otasan56
February 7, 2013, 11:36 AM
I always count. ;)

Bovice
February 7, 2013, 11:41 AM
Not unless it's IDPA and I know I'll need to do a tactical reload to make sure I can hit a disappearing target or if required rounds is close to the total number of rounds I'm carrying. CDP division requires counting rounds most of the time. SSR requires it all the time.

Other than that, I don't count rounds.

David E
February 7, 2013, 12:38 PM
Not unless it's IDPA....CDP division requires counting rounds most of the time. SSR requires it all the time.

That makes no sense whatsoever.

capcyclone
February 7, 2013, 06:05 PM
I'm purely a recreational shooter (not competitive) - so I do tend to count my shots, but not really sure why other than it's my OCD rearing its ugly head. Though I NEVER rely on my count either.

Given I'm not in a rush (competition) - I tend to be taking my time with most shots, etc.

When I'm at a range and practicing for CCW or HD, then no, I don't count shots.

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