Training on a budget
I wanted to share a few training tips based on some stuff we've been working on at the range. I'm lucky to have access to an indoor range and a large supply of photo targets, but what we've been doing would work anywhere there's a place to shoot. You are limited only by your imagination.
First, we downloaded life sized pictures of different weapons and other stuff. Got cameras, cell phones, badges, knives, pepperspray, a grenade, a Glock, a .38 snub. All available free from your local internet. Made a bunch of copies (all available free from your employer:image035: ) Old boxes cut into a T make a head and shoulders to hang an old t-shirt over. A piece of plain paper attached under the shirt approximates the chest area. The cut out objects can be attached to the shirts, or to plain paper or cardboard targets to make GG or BG targets. Paper targets can be folded in half to make targets taking cover or stacked to make hostage situations. I imagine a quick trip to the dollar store could also provide realistic props, too.
We ran some drills to simulate a hold up at our shop and test our carry gear. We learned a few lessons. First SAFETY. This is not paper punching on a square range practice so maintain high awareness. Next, we found we were shooting fast at the photo targets becaused we recognized them as hostile. We mix them up now by occasionally adding no-shoot props to the known hostiles. We found a similar occurence with the paper targets because of the visible holes. The later shooters would shoot based on the fact that they saw the targets had been previously shot up. The t-shrts also hide holes better. We also downloaded faces (from the Dept. of Corrections website, Death Row inmates) to mix up the recognition factor. We worked on our communication, something I think is essential if you're training for a gunfight with multiple GG's around. In some of the scenarios we use the "behind the counter gun" a shotgun that sits loaded but never gets much use. All are familiar with it now. We also did some dropped-gun-pick-up-drills, using random guns from the shop. The drill leaves a gun on the floor, usually unloaded with a loaded mag or speedloader nearby, sometimes jammed or stovepiped. The best was with a moving target with a knife made by running the target from the end of the range back towards the shooter. Moving starts when you pick up the gun. Side note, we're working on a target that will fall when hit in the vital area, set up for the head, heart or hips. Not perfected yet...
The last drill reminded us of something we should all consider...You CANNOT miss fast enough to win a gunfight, and gunfights do not get won by fast loud noises. Hits are the only thing that maters. Not all of our shooters were good shooters, and when they went too fast, they missed, jerked shots off targets, fumbled reloads, etc. Slow and steady at first. Don't practice bad habits for the sake of speed.
Thank you all for sticking with this long post. Long and quiet day at work. As allways, comments or ideas are welcome.
I'd like to add roll your own. You can shoot a lot more for the money if you handload.
I wish I had access to a range like yours. I have to shoot at a Forest service range but I do have access to lots of boxes and old t shirts. Thanks i'll give it a try next weekend.
Iím new to the forum, so forgive me if this post duplicates issues youíve already covered.
Affordable training and an ongoing regimen of defensive shooting skills practice are topics Iíve been interested in for quite some time. Specifically, Iíve been interested in what folks who have recently obtained a permit could do, inexpensively, to learn and practice defensive shooting skills.
A while back, some friends and I started a local group focused on skills development and stage monthly shoots to facilitate this. Although several of us shoot in IDPA and IPSC competitions, the shoots our group holds are distinctly not competitions. They are focused on sharing our knowledge with others in our group and gaining from the knowledge others in our group care to share.
Several of us have attended some of the nationally known defensive shooting schools, and use these shoots to practice what we have learned and to share what we have learned with others.
We usually have two courses of fire. The first is generally a skills drill aimed at reinforcing a specific shooting skill. Last month we ran a drill that required you to shoot, reload, and manipulate the slide, all without using your non-dominant hand. Prior to the drill we lined everyone up (about 20 of us) and ran the group through practicing one-handed techniques dry. We made sure everyone was unloaded and all ammo safely stowed before doing this.
The second course of fire we usually run is an open-ended scenario that presents a tactical problem and requires decision making. The props used are usually changed around from shooter to shooter and no two people are presented with exactly the same problem. Last month we set up a scenario that had you visiting your doctor with your non-dominant arm in a sling. When you got there, you walked in on a drug robbery and had to solve the problem using only your dominant hand.
Often, folks solve the tactical scenarios by getting themselves out of harmís way without firing a shot. This is an entirely valid solution.
Once the problem is solved the shooter typically performs a tactical reload and a threat scan before holstering (we run a hot range, because life is a hot range). If they forget to top off their gun, they get to start the next exercise with a down-loaded gun. When they do the threat scan we have some of the bystanders hold threat props like plastic guns and knives. When the shooter sees these, he has to call them out. We started doing this because, when we first did threat scans, folks would go through the motions, but not really look.
Are any of you doing anything along these lines? If you are, would you be willing to share your experiences?
Sorry about the long rambling post. Thanks for bearing with me.
I hope nobody gets ansy during the threat scanning. "Camera... flashlight...GUN!!" BANG BANG
Just a comment about how we do scans, safety is our foremost concern. Our shooters must keep their muzzles within a 180-degree arc centered downrange. They must, however, look over each shoulder in order to scan for threats that may be behind them, while maintaining muzzle discipline.
In the ten years or so that I’ve been running organized shooting events I’ve only had to disqualify a shooter for unsafe acts once, and that was for breach of muzzle discipline.
We try to keep our events fun, and yes we do joke about some of the things the “peanut gallery” uses for threat indicators when the scans are done. However, we take the safety of our shooters very seriously.