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.22 Conversion Kits=Dangerous Variation in Muscle Memory?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Ben86, Sep 9, 2008.

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  1. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    Hi I'm new here, this is my first thread. I've been a member of gunforums.com for a while but aparently it shut down. So, with my latest question in hand, I thought now would be a great time to to join this great looking forum.

    Anyway, I have been using a .22 conversion kit on my Glock 22 for quite some time now. It has brought me up from being a pistol novice to quite a competent shooter. Most of my training is whith the .22 conversion kit because of the dirt cheap cost of .22lr. However, due to the lack of recoil with the .22 conversion kit this causes me to be unpleasantly jarred back to reality when shooting my defensive calibers. This "surprise" has got me worried that maybe my practice with the .22 conversion kit is dangerous in that respect and may cause me to screw up if got forbid I had to use my handgun for protection.

    Am I right to be worried about the variation in muscle memory?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
  2. Aguila Blanca

    Aguila Blanca Member

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    I don't think you should be "worried" about it, but you certainly should keep in mind that it exists. Now that you are aware of it, you should make a practice of shooting enough of your self-defense ammo that you won't be surprised if you actually have to use for pistola for self defense.

    I shoot and carry 1911s. My solution was to buy an inexpensive receiver to put a .22 conversion on. That allows me to take the .22 plus a "real" 1911 to the range together. I don't even have to go through the relatively simple process of swapping uppers to shoot .45 after an afternoon of inexpensive, .22 caliber plinking.
     
  3. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    I'm certainly no expert. Just getting into IDPA.

    I use my Ciener .22 conversion unit to practice unholstering and engagement, but not "double taps". (That is, more than one round) As you noted, the lack of recoil doesn't make for realistic practice.

    However, for quick sight alignment with the same frame and trigger pull, I believe it's good practice for the first shot.

    I'll admit I don't use it as much as I thought I would. Reloading .45 ACP isn't that expensive, and there's nothing like the real thing for practice. :)
     
  4. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    The most accurate shot is going to be the one that "surprises" you when it goes off because you won't be anticipating or compensating for the recoil. If you can get that surprise every time you should be punching the X ring out.

    In a defense situation you are likely to be a little excited. Its unlikely you will even notice the recoil, muzzle blast (unlikely you'll have ear plugs) or the number of shots you shoot.
     
  5. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    I think the pucker factor is more relevant than anything else here.

    If you need to use your Glock 22 in self-defense, you'll be tight as a clam, have a Vader death grip on your gun, and be pulling the trigger until its all over. That's my guess at least.

    I'd still recommend shooting a decent amount of .40 S&W FMJ whenever you can, if for no other reason, because its more fun than .22LR. :)
     
  6. Disaster

    Disaster Member

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    Everything that happens after the trigger drops shouldn't effect the accuracy of your shot, so the recoil difference isn't something you should worry about. However, if you've developed poor grip, because of the lighter recoil, you might have feed issues (limp wrist) or problems recovering for second and third shots. You should try to use the same grip with the .22 that you do with the higher caliber.
     
  7. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Ben, your problem in training with a .22 conversion isn't muscle memory per se, but because you are training incorrectly. You are training to shoot a .22 and not training to shoot the larger caliber. In essence, you have gotten lazy in your grip and stance and have relaxed everything to be enough to handle the .22 which isn't enough for the larger bore.

    Shoot the .22 like you are shooting the larger caliber. That means having a much firmer grip than you are using for the .22, better locked joints, better or tighter body positioning, etc.

    This should greatly help in handling your 'surprise.'

    After a couple hundred thousand rounds, I have trouble being surprised anymore. I also shoot a lot better than when I used to get surprised. Interesting.

    Besides, the OP isn't being surprised by when the gun goes off. The trigger has the same break regardless of what is being fired. What he is finding surprising is the recoil difference and the lack of control experienced when firing the larger caliber that recoils more than the .22.
     
  8. Blues Brother

    Blues Brother Member

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    This is what I ALWAYS tell people I shoot with. My dad taught me that as a child when he taught me to shoot. Now, dont get me wrong, I am not claiming to be some competition quality shooter, but as far as range shooting and plinking goes, I can hold my own very well. Friends and family will shoot with me, and watch me and wonder how I can be so accurate. I tell them push with your right hand, pull with your left to stable the pistol, take a deep breath, let half of it out, set your sights on the target and slowly squeeze the trigger so even you dont know when its going to fire. that is how I shoot and how I try to teach friends and family.
     
  9. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    I think it may be correct that my grip has gotten "lazy" due to the practice with the .22. I'll start shooting it like it's a .40 and see if that helps. Thanks guys.
     
  10. Luis Leon

    Luis Leon Member

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    I'm a convert

    I shoot my conversion kit atop my CZ75b quite often. I practice magazine changes, 1-1-2-1-1 type of engagements on targets. Plain old accuracy drills, plinking cans, clay birds, double-taps on steel, etc. For me it hasn't affect my shooting of the same exact gun with my 9mm slide atop. All the fundamentals apply, the difference in recoil does not affect my accuracy with the 9mm. For me the .22 conversion kit has actually improved my shooting. I have the exact same pair of sights on both .22 and 9mm slide. My IDPA, 3-gun, and P.A.L. match scores have improved immensely from all the inexpensive practice I do with the .22 conversion kit. I don't believe it has had a detrimental effect on my shooting.

    best regards,

    Luis Leon

    P.S. Please no posts about the whimpy recoil of the nine.:uhoh:
     
  11. Navy joe

    Navy joe Member

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    Tailor your practice. I like to start a range session with a carry gun by shooting it as it came to the range as in out of the holster and pull the trigger, no reloading, no prep, just like you've been carrying it. That will show any deficiencies in your maintenance program, give you confidence it will work when you need it, give you a chance to get fresh carry ammo, and let you practice with the full-power ammo. After that initial mag or mag and reload you can run some .40 range ammo. When you get tired or sloppy switch to the .22 and use it to re-train the basics of sight and trigger control, run some drills that don't require recoil recovery such as draw and fire, long range accuracy or target transition drills. When you're done clean the gun and re-install the .40 top end. At that point I usually run a mag of carry ammo through it to review my lesson and ensure the gun works. I'd rather carry a slightly dirty gun that was function fired than a clean and untested one. At that point load up for the trip home.
     
  12. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Sounds like you don't shoot your "defensive" calibers enough.
     
  13. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

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    if you dont think too hard on it , you will not have a problem. after all people speak multiple languages and slip seemlessly between them. drive different cars and adjust to each one. practice till your muscles remember.
     
  14. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I love .22 kits. What I do is shoot as much full-size ammo as I can afford, THEN switch over to .22. I don't trade out for it completely. The fundamentals of shooting don't change with model or caliber, just always do it the same way.

    Use the hottest ammo you can for more recoil. (Stingers and Velocitors.)
     
  15. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    I have considered this as well, as most of my pistol practice is done on a Ruger MKIII. I would just make sure to occasionally put a box of real ammo downrange to refresh yourself. However, practicing with .22 is better than no practice.
     
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