Practice only with carry gun?


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breakingcontact
February 7, 2013, 04:06 PM
Is it best to practice with a gun that's easier to shoot well or practice with your carry gun?

What I'm getting at is...is it easier to transfer the skills over to the carry gun from a gun that's easier to learn on or is it best to just good with what you carry?

I try to stick with a "train to fight" mentality and want to shoot the gun I carry mostly. But sometimes I think of training on a different gun. Don't want to do myself a disservice and pick up habits that won't transfer over.

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ATLDave
February 7, 2013, 04:11 PM
That's not how learning works.

If shooting with easier guns didn't make you a better shooter, people wouldn't get to be better shots by shooting .22's.

Learning to see fast enough to track sights in recoil, change focus from target to front sight, transitioning between targets, etc., all have little or nothing to do with the specific gun, except that a heavy recoiling or uncomfortable gun may prevent you from EVER learning these things.

gossamer
February 7, 2013, 04:12 PM
Personally, I'm a "State Dependent Learning" kind of guy; I personally retain best when I practice in the conditions I'm most likely to perform under. Muscle memory being what it is, I try to dry fire or shoot at the range using the guns I'm most likely to be using in a defensive situation. For me, this means practicing with more than one since my HD is different from my CC. All that being said, I also put as many rounds through my 22 as my 45 or 357.

I'm sure others have their own reasons for doing differently, but this proves effective for me in other areas of my life besides firearms so I apply it there as well. YMMV

Spdracr39
February 7, 2013, 04:20 PM
I practice equally with all my guns ( when I can get ammo ) it helps to learn the difference between them and get more rounded training.

Teachu2
February 7, 2013, 04:24 PM
Most critical skills transfer over - just be sure to practice enough with every carry gun to maintain proficiency.

One reason I finally started to shoot Glocks was because I can carry nearly everywhere but at work. The only firearm on campus is a Glock. I thought it wise to become proficient with the only firearm that might be readily available in the highest-risk part of my daily routine. I realize that such a scenario is a long shot, but I'd rather be prepared than not.

breakingcontact
February 7, 2013, 04:25 PM
I'm basically talking a about a full size vs a sub compact. Both centerfire. Not talking about training w a 22 here.

Interesting question just popped up. Is one more likely to have to defend themselves on the street or at home? (All other things being equal)

Skribs
February 7, 2013, 04:36 PM
Personally, I don't own any firearms that are not at least somewhat optimal for self defense. If it doesn't fit into a defense strategy I have in mind, (i.e. I have one gun for pocket carry, another for OWB carry, another for HD), then I don't want it. If I do competition, it's action competition with my CC gear. If I practice, it's range time with one or more of my carry guns.

I see why people practice with a .22, but I just don't enjoy it and just don't see myself getting a .22 to practice with.

Teachu2
February 7, 2013, 04:39 PM
Is one more likely to have to defend themselves on the street or at home? (All other things being equal)

All other things are never equal.

Depends on where you work and live. I deal with at-risk youth at work, so I could have problems there, or in the parking lot, or following me home....

tarosean
February 7, 2013, 04:45 PM
I think it's best to train with every type of gun available. You see a lot of people complain about safeties. if you find yourself in a situation and that's all that's available for some reason, you better know how to use it.

I just got back from the range practicing timed shots with the following.
M&P45
Glock 17
BHP
92 Compact Type M
J frame
PPK
As you can see vastly different types of guns.

Sam1911
February 7, 2013, 04:52 PM
You'll never be as good with your carry gun as you COULD be with your carry gun if you do not concentrate on working the functions, recoil pattern, manual of arms, idiosyncrasies, etc. of THAT gun into your hands. You can learn and practice various skills with other guns, but to really be at your very best with the gun that might save your life takes dedication to that platform.

Now, this may apply mostly to a relatively high level of proficiency, and less to someone working on their basic skills. You'd have to do a pretty honest self-assessment about your own proficiency to be able to decide if you've attained a level of skill where shooting other kinds of guns extensively will diminish your high level of tactile familiarity with your carry weapon.

None of us know whether the challenge we face will require a higher level of skill to prevail than we possess. In many shootings, good enough is sufficient, and in many others even "GREAT" skills wouldn't have been. There are no easy answers to this.

Personally, I do not shoot only one handgun. I know it takes a significant amount of practice time (and ammo) to get back to my previous (or expected) level of proficiency with one gun when I shift platforms from something else I've been campaigning. I admit to accepting that my "good enough" with my chosen carry gun (which may or may not be my competition gun I'm shooting a lot at the moment) will be all I've got to give if the need ever arises.

breakingcontact
February 7, 2013, 05:02 PM
Now, this may apply mostly to a relatively high level of proficiency, and less to someone working on their basic skills. You'd have to do a pretty honest self-assessment about your own proficiency to be able to decide if you've attained a level of skill where shooting other kinds of guns extensively will diminish your high level of tactile familiarity with your carry weapon.

...

Personally, I do not shoot only one handgun. I know it takes a significant amount of practice time (and ammo) to get back to my previous (or expected) level of proficiency with one gun when I shift platforms from something else I've been campaigning. I admit to accepting that my "good enough" with my chosen carry gun (which may or may not be my competition gun I'm shooting a lot at the moment) will be all I've got to give if the need ever arises.

Well said.

I'm beginning to get "good". Far from great.

Trying to avoid any self-imposed stumbling blocks in my training towards proficiency.

Going to shoot IDPA match again soon. My carry gun is 8+1. Disadvantage for the sport of IDPA but shooting it is better training for me.

madsend81
February 7, 2013, 05:23 PM
I've seen quite a bit of improvement in my shooting abilities by practicing with my .22. The lighter weight of the .22 is harder to hold still, so practicing with that helps my arm muscles learn to settle down. When I move to the heavier full caliber arms, because I've practiced with the .22, the gun doesn't move around as much and it's easier to hold the sights on the target.

Yes, you don't learn how to handle recoil of the full size with the .22, so for that you will have to practice on your full-sized firearm.

Practice with multiple firearms. The .22's and other smaller calibers will help you with accuracy and other shooting fundamentals. The full-size will familiarize yourself with that particular action and recoil recovery.

ku4hx
February 7, 2013, 05:52 PM
I've been practicing with multiple guns for many years ... 40 at least. I can't speak for others, but switching from one to the other has never been a problem. That includes, revolvers, semi autos (all action and trigger types) rifles and shotguns. For me it was like riding a bicycle in that they all operate in a similar basic fashion: align sights, squeeze trigger, listen for the bang and follow through. I believe it has to do with what some people call muscle memory and what seems to be a stable pathway in the brain. Just seems that way.

That being said, I know shooters who do have problem switching from a Glock to a single action only with safety and back to Glock again.

I guess it just comes down to aptitude and concentration (getting "in the zone" as it were), but you gotta do what works for you.

Sam1911
February 7, 2013, 07:02 PM
I guess it just comes down to aptitude and concentration (getting "in the zone" as it were), but you gotta do what works for you.
And, I'll add, a healthy understanding of what level you're operating at. I can pick up 'most any gun and shoot well enough to compete "respectably" with it, but I can't pick up one of even my own guns which is different from the gun I've been shooting most, and expect to shoot anywhere near my top level until I've gotten it "back in my hands" for a while.

It is totally possible for a shooter to be able to manipulate lots of different guns competently. Safely, with understanding of their functions, and with good accuracy. I do not believe it is possible for a shooter to RUN many different guns simultaneously at their own potential for maximum speed and accuracy.

If you're shooting bullseyes on a "square range" this probably isn't noticeable. A "10" is a "10." If you're shooting against a timer, testing your speed and smoothness of drawing, pointing, sighting, trigger control, recovery, transition, etc. you're going to see a significant difference between gun types.

Skribs
February 7, 2013, 07:17 PM
Sam, I'd wager your "good enough" with a gun you've never touched before is far better than my best with any of mine.

beatledog7
February 7, 2013, 07:46 PM
Shooting is like any other motor skill: driving a car, playing the guitar, knitting...

The more you do it, and the more variety in the category with which you do it, the better you will be. With that comes greater ability to do what you do with an implement you've never held before.

A guitar master can play well on any decent instrument, but he will always have favorites on which he feels he plays best. It's the same with race car drivers, who could drive well in each other's cars but prefer their own, and knitters, who can use any needles but will have a pair they like best.

A truly accomplished shooter applies a set of skills to whatever firearm is in his hands, and can make it work well because he understands the principles in play and how to apply them. He will still have preferred guns, of course, which he shoots best, either in reality or in his own mind.

I, for example, can shoot just about any gun with equal mediocrity.

coolluke01
February 7, 2013, 07:52 PM
This is one thing I appreciate about Glock's. From full size to subcompact they all feel the same. I shoot most with my G34, but carry a G26. They are mechanically the same gun.

Training with your carry gun is a must. I would question why you would carry a gun that you don't enjoy shooting? Requirements for a carry gun should be 1. Shootable 2. Reliable 3. Carry-able. In that order. These are not women's shoes we are talking about. Fashion should NEVER come before function!

I think my G26 is my favorite gun. I shoot the G34 more for competition so it gets shot much more. Find a gun that you will not only be able to carry a lot but also shoot a lot.

Skribs
February 7, 2013, 08:01 PM
Coolluke, while I agree reliability is a prime issue, shootability is not always the biggest factor. Look at the LCP...it's not chosen by people because of its shootability.

coolluke01
February 7, 2013, 08:08 PM
I own one (LCP) and after shooting it I will never carry it! It's a terrible SD gun and should only be considered when deep concealment or other factors limit the ability to carry a better gun.

bill3424
February 7, 2013, 08:19 PM
I practice with everything I own. It's like driving different cars. If you always drove an automatic car, you'd be screwed if you had to drive stick in an emergency.:eek:

tarosean
February 7, 2013, 08:29 PM
This is one thing I appreciate about Glock's. From full size to subcompact they all feel the same. I shoot most with my G34, but carry a G26. They are mechanically the same gun.

And if you didn't have a glock in your hands?

Sam1911
February 7, 2013, 08:33 PM
If you always drove an automatic car, you'd be screwed if you had to drive stick in an emergency.Well, that's the other argument -- that you never know what gun you'd have to grab in an emergency. I find that to be a bit off the mark, though. You have SOME gun or guns that you are more likely to have with you in a defensive shooting than any other random gun.

Of course you should be familiar with every gun you can get your hands on and develop enough familiarity to make it work -- at which point you'd need to rely on your basic funadamental skills to achieve the best speed and accuracy you're able under the circumstances.

But when the question specifies A carry gun, then you can say with some certainty that we're discussing proficiency with A gun you are, by far, most likely to have in hand in that setting. And yes, to achieve best mastery of THAT gun, you need to concentrate on THAT gun.


...

Look, we're talking about your defensive gun. The one you may find yourself with in the fight of your life. When a race driver is preparing for the RACE of his life he doesn't go spend a lot of time behind the wheel of a Peterbilt, a Cessna, and a 10-speed bike. He concentrates on that one (set of) car(s) so they operate as an extention of his body and will.

guyfromohio
February 7, 2013, 08:43 PM
"Practicing" with your carry gun is prudent. But that doesn't preclude shooting all if the others.

BYJO4
February 7, 2013, 08:52 PM
Practice enables you to shoot any handgun better. As long as you shoot your carry gun every few months to maintain familiarity, I would shoot anything I wanted to for practice.

coolluke01
February 7, 2013, 08:59 PM
And if you didn't have a glock in your hands?


I can shoot just about any gun well I believe. But as was pointed out, this is not the purpose of the OP's question.

9mmepiphany
February 8, 2013, 01:17 AM
My experience mirrors Sams'

I teach clients with a wide variety of handguns...everything from a SIG DA/SA to a Glock or a revolver...and try to stay somewhat proficient with all of them. Fundamental skills allow me to shoot most of them well, but I noticed long ago that it takes some dedicated work to re-gain a feel for the trigger...which is the most important factor in shooting accurately and quickly.

Static accuracy is fairly simple, but the trigger control to shoot at anything approaching 4/shots/sec into 3" takes quite a bit of effort until I get familiar with the trigger

Bovice
February 8, 2013, 01:27 AM
I disagree a good deal with the philosophy of shooting "easier to shoot" guns and calling it good in terms of your carry pistol skills.

What the majority of those who carry actually tote around are small pocket pistols or subcompacts. They practice with their full-size or larger handguns, and can't hit for crap with their carry pistols. Case in point, I saw a guy after an IDPA match (match shot using a modded G34) shoot his M&P shield, and he couldn't hardly keep the shots on an IDPA cardboard target at 10 yards. He said "it's just a belly gun, I'd never shoot it any distance anyway." Who are you? A fortune teller? You know ahead of time what distance you'll have to shoot?

To me, that's unacceptable. You should be proficient to at least 15, in my mind. There's no replacement for real trigger time. Don't make that mistake.

Sheepdog1968
February 8, 2013, 02:40 AM
I don't think the actual shooting is the problem. The issues I see are around where, how does a safety operate. Where is the mag release a fraction of an inch is a miss on some.

Bobson
February 8, 2013, 02:57 AM
This is one thing I appreciate about Glock's. From full size to subcompact they all feel the same. And if you didn't have a glock in your hands?
I've never really understood this, but it comes up somewhat regularly. What are we assuming here? That there's a chance I'm going to pick up some random gun off the ground and not understand how to use it? The odds of that happening seem ridiculously low - comparable to being hit by lightning or something - unless you're in a combat environment, where there are as many firearms on the ground as bodies, and I don't think that's what we're discussing here.

In other words, if I make it a point to never carry anything but a G19, it seems remarkably unlikely that I'll find a different gun in my hands at a critical moment.

tarosean
February 8, 2013, 10:20 AM
The odds of that happening seem ridiculously low - comparable to being hit by lightning or something - unless you're in a combat environment, where there are as many firearms on the ground as bodies, and I don't think that's what we're discussing here.

How many of the conversations on the board are based around ridiculously low probabilities?
We have about the same percentage of chance of being struck by lightning as we do using our HD/SD weapons in a confrontation period.
I remember a study (FBI) where most bad guys get tunnel vision on the barrel of your gun when in a gun fight. Either disabling the weapon or your hands, arm. The reason many people train for weak hand drills, etc. The strange gun comes about from hand to hand combat with the bad guy and you ending up with their gun. Not bodies and guns laying around.
Sure the probabilities are low. I'll still CHL every day, train and hopefully never need it.

Sam1911
February 8, 2013, 10:43 AM
Ok, so the probability of needing a gun at all is low.

The probability of having to grab some unknown or "found" gun is exceedingly rare -- within that subset of already very low probability situations. Multiplicities of rarity, if you will.

That's the point that makes the "better train with everything just in case" argument void. You should know how to operate as many weapons as you're likely to run across in your region. You should TRAIN WITH the ONE (or few) weapon(s) you are actually likely to have on you or near at hand for defensive purposes.

breakingcontact
February 8, 2013, 11:53 AM
You should TRAIN WITH the ONE (or few) weapon(s) you are actually likely to have on you or near at hand for defensive purposes.

This is what I'm thinking.

However, there comes the question of, on the street defense, versus home defense.

Suppose I should just setup a shotgun for home defense.

Skribs
February 8, 2013, 12:01 PM
Hmmm...I guess this would be an argument for the 1911 in a "1911 vs Glock" debate. If you're used to the pick-up-and-shoot style of the Glock (like I am, except not specifically a Glock) you will probably take a minute to shoot if you have to pick up a 1911. If you are used to a 1911 and pick up a Glock, you just go to swipe the safety and hit nothing, and then point and shoot like you would normally do.

Of course, like Sam said, it's not that likely that you will A) need a gun, B) not have yours available, AND C) have another gun available that is of a different configuration.

If we're talking about practicing with .22 vs. 9 (or whatever your carry is), it was actually brought up in a thread a while back to start off your practice with your hardest-recoiling gun (or in this case, pistol). It's the same principle as batters weighting their bats when they're on deck. If you shoot buffalo bore .44 magnum loads at the start of your range trip, then those .357 magnums will feel like nothing after that.

Suppose I should just setup a shotgun for home defense.

Not a bad idea. But train with both the shotgun and the pistol. Don't just say "oh it's a shotgun, I don't have to aim." I think that's why some people on this forum prefer a pistol for SD, they can focus more on the one weapon platform they'll use for HD and CCW.

P-Dog
February 8, 2013, 12:26 PM
It's a matter of percentages. Like any skill, practicing with a variety of weapons increases your skills in ... a variety weapons. You strengthen "generalized" skills that apply across the board to all firearms or all firearms of a specific class. So there is nothing wrong with training with a variety. But if you want to strengthen skills, muscle memory, gross and fine motor movements with a specific weapon you must ALSO dedicate specific training time to that specific weapon.

breakingcontact
February 8, 2013, 12:26 PM
Not a bad idea. But train with both the shotgun and the pistol. Don't just say "oh it's a shotgun, I don't have to aim." I think that's why some people on this forum prefer a pistol for SD, they can focus more on the one weapon platform they'll use for HD and CCW.

I suppose I view the CCW gun as a compromise. Small/light at the expense of capacity/power.

While at home you have better options, whether that's a full size handgun or a shotgun.

Skribs
February 8, 2013, 12:33 PM
I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just stating that if you use both, train with both. Otherwise you'd be better off with just one.

Sam1911
February 8, 2013, 12:42 PM
I suppose I view the CCW gun as a compromise. Small/light at the expense of capacity/power.

While at home you have better options, whether that's a full size handgun or a shotgun.
That's one I can't quite make up my mind about. I've had spirited debates with quite respected (and accomplished) friends regarding the absolute values of handguns vs. shotguns and/or vs. carbines for home defense or other defensive situations where one has the ability to reasonably arm themselves with the long gun.

In my home I do not have to resort to "merely" a 1911 or other handgun to mount a defense.

However, I shoot at least 100:1, and maybe 1,000:1 rounds handgun:long-gun. I practice every single week defensive shooting skills with handguns plus shooting matches with them, often several times a month. And that is where my proficiency (even bordering on "mastery," not to flatter myself) lies. A rifle or shotgun is a more "powerful" more "capable" gun than a service-style sidearm -- no question. But if I am simply more in command of shot placement, speed, manipulations, maneuvering, use of cover, reloads, transitions, etc., etc., with the handgun because I use it so very often, what level of firepower or other benefits from using a long-gun do I have to anticipate before the long-gun is MY better choice for home defense?

We can't argue that it is easier to hit with a long gun, because for me at distances that exist within my home, it absolutely is not. (And I have the timer results to prove it.)

We can't argue that those long guns are faster to aim and shoot, because for me, they are not.

We can't argue that it is easier to make follow-up shots with a long gun, because for me at distances that exist within my home, it absolutely is not. (And I have the timer results to prove it.)

We can't argue that they are easier to manipulate and move with inside a structure, because that's clearly untrue. (I'm familiar with properly using long-guns inside structures. Handguns are still clearly superior in that regard.)

So it seems to come down to "firepower" and "overpenetration" as the big factors in favor of the long-gun and I'm just not sure that really sells it for me.

That said...I still have the M500 under the bed. :confused:

Roadking Rider
February 8, 2013, 12:47 PM
One of the resons all my pistols have the 1911 grip angle. Changing from one to the other is no big deal.

Skribs
February 8, 2013, 12:54 PM
I'd also argue that with a shotgun you get 8-26 follow-up shots a lot faster than with a pistol ;) But that's more in line with your firepower comment.

I would argue that what is better in theory isn't what always is better for everyone. For example, I think a rifle is better in theory, but the only range nearby that I like is an indoor range (shotgun/pistol only) so I can actually practice with my shotgun. I think rifles and shotguns are better than a pistol, but that doesn't mean they are better for you. Pistol + Training > Rifle + Call of Duty any day of the week.

breakingcontact
February 8, 2013, 03:11 PM
That makes sense. Whatever a person trains the most with is very often their best choice.

TimboKhan
February 8, 2013, 11:06 PM
I am in agreeance with Sam and 9mmE. I am not a total expert with a handgun by any stretch, but I am above average at shooting handguns and I have shot a lot of them. I have found that very rarely am I flummoxed by some different pistol or rifle or even shotgun.

Train with what you fight with is a fine philosophy, and if you were taking a training class, then I absolutely would agree, and I certainly am not advocating not training with your main gun at all. What I am advocating is that this idea can be taken to far, for no real gain. I shoot thousands of .22 a year, and I can tell you right now that I am a better shooter because of that. If all I shot was my fighting guns, then I would be a much less competent shooter if for no other reason than expense. I am of the opinion that practicing the fundamentals is far more important than just training what you fight with, because the fundamentals can be transferred to a lot of different types of guns with no real effort necessary.

Incidentally, this is why I don't buy into the Glock grip angle hype, and why I often roll my eyes when the vast number of trigger experts complain whenever they shoot something with a less than an ideal trigger. For all the things that really good shooters do to personalize their guns the thing that gets overlooked is that they can also generally pick up just about anything and shoot it well.

breakingcontact
February 9, 2013, 11:08 PM
Shot IDPA with my Shield today...I need to "practice with my carry gun" more.

And by practice more I mean to acquire accuracy AND speed. I think I'm better off at the local range doing drills to improve my speed while retaining accuracy.

IDPA isn't all that "tactical" and it may not be "training" but it is a reality check. I can make nice tight groups at the range. But firing one handed, weak handed, around obstacles, advancing/retreating and while trying to do it all quickly is a whole different beast.

Very humbling to shoot with some of these really good shooters. No excuses, I just need to practice more.

tomrkba
February 9, 2013, 11:15 PM
One school of thought is to practice exclusively with one gun.

I do not subscribe to that notion at all. It certainly would not have made me a good shooter. I try to shoot a range of guns across a range of actions. This has taught me trigger control, which is the primary skill necessary to be able to shoot any handgun well.

9mmepiphany
February 10, 2013, 12:43 AM
I think I'm better off at the local range doing drills to improve my speed while retaining accuracy.

IDPA isn't all that "tactical" and it may not be "training" but it is a reality check.
It is really useful as a self test to see if you skills hold up under pressure.

Hint: You can only shoot a quickly as you can see your sights, if you try to shoot faster than you can see your sights on target, you are just spraying-n-praying. Learn to see your sights faster and shorten the lag between seeing them and pressing the shot off...no, that doesn't mean jerking on the trigger

PedalBiker
February 10, 2013, 12:56 AM
If you don't carry on your belt all the time which gun you train with the most is secondary to the fact that you may not have any of them when you need them.

I'm in that camp. My wife doesn't like guns, so often they are not nearby. The time it takes to get to my nearest is 10x the time it would take to swipe the P354 vs down for the SR9c.

I shoot with all of mine, especially the ones I carry, but I'm no expert with any of them. I hope to die never having used any of them for self defense. I hope to be good enough if the time comes. In between I live my life working hard and being a dad and letting God deal with what I can't.

breakingcontact
February 10, 2013, 02:53 AM
"Hint: You can only shoot a quickly as you can see your sights, if you try to shoot faster than you can see your sights on target, you are just spraying-n-praying. Learn to see your sights faster and shorten the lag between seeing them and pressing the shot off...no, that doesn't mean jerking on the trigger"

I think my trigger pull was fine. But I think I needed to let my sight picture "settle" more. I was shooting when it was good enough and I was getting hits but not center of mass all the time. I need to slow down that extra percentage of a second and get a good sight picture reestablished, not just a good enough sight picture.

JohnBiltz
February 10, 2013, 03:22 AM
I shoot my carry gun. That's it. I'm a lot more interested being good with what I carry than in being well rounded, I'm not an operator. I'm a guy who carries. If I'm in a situation its pretty unlikely I'm going to be shooting anything else.

9mmepiphany
February 10, 2013, 04:23 AM
But I think I needed to let my sight picture "settle" more. I was shooting when it was good enough and I was getting hits but not center of mass all the time. I need to slow down that extra percentage of a second and get a good sight picture reestablished, not just a good enough sight picture.
I don't want to take this thread too far afield...you can start a new thread if you'd like to discuss it further. Let me just add:

1. if your shots are high, you're not waiting for the sights to return
2. if your shots are low or off to the sides, it is your grip or arm geometry

breakingcontact
February 10, 2013, 04:55 AM
Definitely a wide ranging discussion. Will probably start a new thread tomorrow on improving speed while maintaining accuracy.

On this original topic though: I shoot my carry gun at the range better than my full size gun. I think its due to the better trigger.

However, in "competition" at IDPA, I shot my carry gun worse than my full size gun. The bigger/heavier/longer/easier to grip gun gave me a score in the middle of my class whereas with my small carry gun I was near the bottom of my class. Pretty frustrated over this, going from nice tight groups at the range to not doing as well as I did (with the full size) at IDPA.

But, that's the reality and im not going back to the full size for IDPA to get better scores. Then for me it would be even more about the game and even farther away from any level of training for my tactics.

harrygunner
February 10, 2013, 03:30 PM
Consider what will be going on in your head when the "event" happens. I imagine there will be a lot to deal with, making transitioning firearm skills a disadvantage.

One might be able to transition skills at the range, but when someone is about to take your life, do you want to be thinking about:

- Which gun am I carrying today?
- Where is it on my body?
- How do I grip this gun?
- Is this one SA or DA?
- Where do I place my finger pad on the trigger of this gun?

I chose to train with my carry gun so that muscle memory handles the fundamentals while I deal with the details of that "event".

Airbrush Artist
February 10, 2013, 03:36 PM
I knew a friend who practied Playing Ping Pong with a Coke Bottle ,He could not be beat until ya give him a Flat Ping Pong paddle.to play with ,Nuff said ..true story..If You want to get better at something Practice with what You use.. I have played a guitar since I was 11 years old hand Me a Banjo or Mandolin. ...I can't play a note

9mmepiphany
February 10, 2013, 03:36 PM
But, that's the reality and im not going back to the full size for IDPA to get better scores. Then for me it would be even more about the game and even farther away from any level of training for my tactics.
The other avenue would be to make a larger gun your regular carry.

I have carried a Glock 19, M&P9 FS and a SIG 220 as both CCW and IDPA guns. It is just a matter of a good holster and belt and paying a little attention to how I dress...of course, I'm not in Austin either

breakingcontact
February 10, 2013, 04:09 PM
I may eventually move to a compact for EDC. Right now I'm just focusing on carrying consistently and that is easier to do with the smaller gun. Not going to change gun I carry to better at IDPA if it causes me to carry less.

Definitely get the advantages of a compact/full size carry gun though, may get there eventually.

CZguy
February 10, 2013, 05:34 PM
Definitely get the advantages of a compact/full size carry gun though, may get there eventually.

As soon as they pass open carry in my state, I'll definitely carry a full size service pistol.

But as to the original topic. I've met many people at my local range who ask the same question.

I look at it kind of like trying to play golf with one club. There are are many different tools that all do a similar, and yet different job. I shoot several different types of firearms and I always finish up a range session putting a couple of magazines through my daily carry gun.

Personally I can remember to use a clutch when driving my truck, and just put the car in drive. Even under stress. But I can understand some people getting confused. I guess that it comes down to a personal choice.

breakingcontact
February 10, 2013, 06:07 PM
I'd argue that under normal circumstances, I could drive about any car equally as well. But have whenever I drive a friends car, although I position the seat/mirrors/steering wheel, if the situation became less than ideal, I don't see how I wouldnt react more slowly and less accurately than I would with my own car that I have a "feel" for.

Its really subjective though. I know some guys "rotate" carry guns. To me that's a terrible idea and sounds like its more about keeping things interesting and fun than keeping things consistent. I know they would have the retort: different gun for different situation/time of year etc...

Definitely looking to practice with what I carry. Although as mentioned previously then there's that whole home defense question. I don't see how I could grab my carry gun at home instead of a full size with a mounted flashlight.

Sam1911
February 10, 2013, 06:48 PM
Personally I can remember to use a clutch when driving my truck, and just put the car in drive. Even under stress. But I can understand some people getting confused. I guess that it comes down to a personal choice.

Great analogy, and to continue it -- I've driven primarily stick for many years, with a fair bit of automatic thrown int. And I have absolutely slammed the (non-existent) clutch to the floor in surprise situations in automatic transmission vehicles.

Sure, when everything's going great and I have time to address issues in a normal fashion. When pushed beyond that "normal" frame, I've seen myself apply learned reactions that aren't appropriate for the device being used.

9mmepiphany
February 10, 2013, 06:59 PM
I may eventually move to a compact for EDC. Right now I'm just focusing on carrying consistently and that is easier to do with the smaller gun. Not going to change gun I carry to better at IDPA if it causes me to carry less.

Definitely get the advantages of a compact/full size carry gun though, may get there eventually.
While I understand the reasoning, it really is approaching it from the less advantageous side.

You should always carry the gun which you shoot the best with. You can make allowances for concealability, but you you need to weigh the trade offs as you shrink the size of what you decide to carry. If you standard of accuracy at speed is 2" at 7 yards with a full size gun and you can only hold 4" with a compact at the same speed, that might be acceptable. If you are going from an acceptable 2" to 8", it is much less so.

I started carrying with a 1911, carrying IWB in a Milt Sparks Summer Special and my first compromise was going to a Commander, and then a Star PD, for less weight. As my technique improved, I found that I could get better results with a SIG 228 or Glock G19. With more practice, I could go down in size to a Kahr P9 or a Springfield EMP. I've carried smaller guns, but the compromise in accuracy at speed was just too great.

There is also ability with different platforms. My Kahr replaced my S&W M-642 when I found I could shoot it faster and more accurately...to say nothing of it's flatter profile and the additional rounds

breakingcontact
February 10, 2013, 08:08 PM
I agree you should carry what you shoot best. However, carrying something at all is most important. I don't see myself carrying a full sized gun. Compact perhaps. More importantly I *think* once I get what I *think* is a grip issue figured out ill be acceptably good with the Shield (accurate and fast) and have a gun I'm able to shoot well and will nearly always carry.

Evolving tactics and such.

splattergun
February 10, 2013, 10:41 PM
Train with all your guns. Period.

9mmepiphany
February 10, 2013, 11:16 PM
acceptably good with the Shield (accurate and fast) and have a gun I'm able to shoot well and will nearly always carry.

Oh, I thought you were talking about a much smaller gun.

The Shield is very shootable. The only thing you'd be giving up in IDPA competition would be magazine capacity. Starting with 7+1 will just mean you'll get more magazine change practice

breakingcontact
February 10, 2013, 11:45 PM
Should have been more clear about that. Agree the Shield is very shootable, im just trying to learn to shoot it faster. Thinking about it...after this thread...although the trigger is better in my shield, its the sight picture that dropped my score w the Shield, not the trigger.

Full size is heavier so it gets back/stays on target better. That I knew but now considering my grip, the full size simply has more to grip. Fills my hands much better.

Cannot wait to get to the range and begin to apply what I'm learning here. Know I won't improve drastically in one session, but deductively sorting out what needs improvement should be very productive.

9mmepiphany
February 11, 2013, 12:21 AM
Try blacking out the dots on the rear sight

breakingcontact
February 11, 2013, 01:57 AM
Funny you mentioned that. I have them blacked out and painted the front florescent red/orange. I like the sight set up a lot.

Appreciate all the help. I'm going to focus primarily on improving my grip pressure. Will post here or start a new thread after I get to the range.

S&W M&P Shield is a wonderful gun. Look forward to shooting it as well as possible.

Inebriated
February 11, 2013, 02:20 AM
Shooting with speed and accuracy comes with practice. It's like playing guitar. You don't start out playing at speed... you play slow, and make sure you're hitting the right notes, and then you build up that speed at a rate that allows you to consistently play the correct notes.

Same with shooting. Take it slow. Make sure that when you draw, you're getting a firing grip on the gun, and when you come up to grip with your support hand, that it's going exactly where it should. Make sure that you're putting your finger in the same spot on the trigger, every time. Make sure that you're getting a consistent sight picture, and you get that sight picture before you press the trigger. After the gun recoils, you let out until the trigger resets.

One thing that really does help, is to get a shot timer. Set it for however many seconds you think will be a challenge, and give yourself about an 8" target. When the timer goes off, you draw and fire. When that get's easy to do within the time limit, try for two shots. When that get's easy, extend the range, or try for three shots..

ATLDave
February 11, 2013, 11:19 AM
Question: Do Formula One drivers avoid driving street cars?

Sam1911
February 11, 2013, 11:42 AM
No, but they don't train intensively with them either. Sort of like how you might only train for defensive shooting with your Glock or Shield or whatever, but you still might occasionally plink at tin cans with the kids and their .22s.

Deltaboy
February 11, 2013, 11:56 AM
90% of all my shooting is 22 OR air gun to keep cost down. So I say vote to shoot what you want.

Sam1911
February 11, 2013, 12:00 PM
Well, we certainly must make allowances that there are reasons we may not be able to shoot our carry guns predominately or to the extent that would instill in us our best mastery of those weapons.

However, the OP asked what is "best." It's fine to say that you enjoy shooting other guns, or that .22s and airguns are cheaper. But those aren't really answers to the question of what would produce a high level of mastery with one's carry weapon.

Of course "shoot what you want," but that isn't what the OP asked.

Kind of like asking your doctor what foods will make you healthiest but getting the answer that pork rinds are cheaper than vegetables and ice cream is a lot of fun so you should just eat what you like.

ATLDave
February 11, 2013, 12:26 PM
No, but they don't train intensively with them either. Sort of like how you might only train for defensive shooting with your Glock or Shield or whatever, but you still might occasionally plink at tin cans with the kids and their .22s.

Well, they're driving their regular cars 6-7 days a week, which would certainly count as "intensive training," at least in terms of quantity, when it comes to shooting.

Seems like there are really two separate analyses. One is whether taking rounds away from shooting a particular weapon will make running that particular weapon a little less effective. The answer to that may be yes, particularly if you're talking about running it at a very high level (as you surely are).

The second question is whether shooting with another weapon will somehow make you worse with another. With rare exception, the answer to that is very likely "no." Just as driving their street cars does not degrade the performance of the track driving of F1 drivers, shooting something other than the carry gun seems unlikely to degrade the carry gun - unless you are now eschewing the carry gun at the range. But that's the first question, not the second.

So if the OP's question is whether he should shoot his carry gun less, the answer is "no." (Unless it's so unpleasant to shoot that more reps makes for a flinch.) If the question is whether it's OK to ALSO shoot other guns, the answer is probably "yes."

breakingcontact
February 11, 2013, 12:53 PM
I definitely agree its good and fun to shoot other guns. We "practice" with all of our guns. I should have said..."training" with the carry gun. I'm trying to get past practicing to training. I've been practicing. Its got me up to this level. A recreational gun enthusiast would be moderately impressed with my accuracy. But get me out there with the high level IDPA shooters and I'm a novice.

Until I can get to the range again need to dry fire. Simulate recoil and getting back on target I suppose.

9mmepiphany
February 11, 2013, 07:06 PM
Question: Do Formula One drivers avoid driving street cars?
Well, they're driving their regular cars 6-7 days a week, which would certainly count as "intensive training," at least in terms of quantity
Actually they don't.

They seldom drive during the season, they usually have drivers who get them to and from the tracks...it save them from getting lost or having to park the car

Just pointing out that this isn't a great example

ATLDave
February 12, 2013, 11:41 AM
OK, fair enough. Let's pick other sports.

It's not unsual for golf pros to swing weighted clubs as they practice (which are thoroughly unlike their playing clubs), to say nothing of the constant comparison they do of hitting one model or variation of one club or another. And that's a sport where tiny gradations of force and timing are required.

Changes in kinesthetic feedback can accelerate learning.

mikey98e
February 12, 2013, 12:09 PM
I shoot weekly at my gun club and put a couple of magiznes through my 9mm carry gun before I target shoot the .22s.
-mike

Sam1911
February 12, 2013, 01:16 PM
OK, fair enough. Let's pick other sports.

It's not unsual for golf pros to swing weighted clubs as they practice (which are thoroughly unlike their playing clubs), to say nothing of the constant comparison they do of hitting one model or variation of one club or another. And that's a sport where tiny gradations of force and timing are required.

Changes in kinesthetic feedback can accelerate learning.
I have no idea if that is true, but if so then the skill set certainly is not clearly analogous to pistol shooting.

I'll agree to one caveat, which is that shooting a lot of DA revolver -- with its heavier, longer, trigger pull -- does wonders for my auto pistol shooting. Trigger control and sight picture are much better for the effort put in with the wheelguns.

HOWEVER, those benefits are offset by a greatly diminished general facility with the auto, in the short term. While the trigger control is good, and my ability to see and maintain a proper sight picture is improved, my natural index, timing, draw, and lots of other facets of the shooting function are thrown completely off by using a different firearm.

It STILL takes ~1,000 rounds of solid practice to transition back to my normal weapon and be really "ON" with that gun.

So this is not the same thing as taking a few swings with a weighted bat before stepping up to home plate. More like playing bass guitar and then picking up a mandolin.

It may be worth a switch as a kind of exercise regimen to improve a part of your skill set, but it isn't something you just switch seamlessly between.

ATLDave
February 12, 2013, 02:26 PM
Sam, I don't doubt your personal experience. But are you seriously saying that if you practice on Tuesday and shoot, 100 rounds with your game gun, then 100 with another gun, then 100 again with your game gun, you will be a worse shooter on Thursday than if you'd only shot the 200 gamer gun rounds on Tuesday?

If so, you are a finely-tuned machine indeed. And that may be that!

Sam1911
February 12, 2013, 03:15 PM
Well, I can't answer that exactly as that's not how I do what I do.

I know that if I shoot my 629 for a month or two I'll be pretty well on top of it and the gun will come up naturally and put shots where I want at what I consider to be my normal speed and accuracy. I can reload without fumbling and remember when I need to reload without getting the "click-click" reminder! :o

If the next week I bring out the xDM or 1911, my draw feels awkward and I get errant shots wandering around the target if I push myself to duplicate the speed and fluidity I had attained with the 629. That speed and fluidity (what I call having it "in my hands" or being able to "run" the gun) does come back, but it takes serious time.

Switch off to the 1911, or a CZ, or whatever and it starts over again.

What would happen if I just shot a random assortment of guns each week, I'm not sure, but I wouldn't stake my competition game on it. (Maybe my life, though! ;))

And that might not be the same result as if I practiced in a dedicated fashion with just two distinctly different guns.

It is certainly a complex question, but I don't think there is any validity to the idea that shooting a variety of guns makes you a better shot, and certainly none to the idea that shooting a variety of guns prepares you to be at your best if you have to draw your carry gun tomorrow.

ATLDave
February 12, 2013, 03:23 PM
Thoughtful, as always, Sam.

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