What's better? Trigger time or caliber potency?

What's better? Trigger time or caliber potency?

This is a discussion on What's better? Trigger time or caliber potency? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I beg a question of the assembled forumites in an effort to guide future purchases and examine my own approach. Is it better to Practice ...

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Thread: What's better? Trigger time or caliber potency?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    What's better? Trigger time or caliber potency?

    I beg a question of the assembled forumites in an effort to guide future purchases and examine my own approach.

    Is it better to

    Practice fire a large quantity of a caliber that's not as well suited to self defense

    Or

    Practice fire a lesser quantity of a caliber better suited to self defense

    The reason I ask is that I believe shot placement trumps bore size, but even at that I wholeheartedly agree that a more powerful caliber will be a more effective tool than a less powerful caliber.

    This is why I'm attracted to 9x19. You can do lots of practice with the actual cartridge/load you would be firing in a real altercation. .45 ACP is great and so is .40 S&W, but for the price of one box of .45 I can often get two boxes of 9mm.

    Even if you can afford a better caliber you can always afford a larger quantity of a lesser caliber.

    OTOH why should you limit yourself this way when you know there are better tools to be had for the same money? Is the inherent power of these catridges worth not getting as much practice time in? Many very knowledgeable people inform me that no handgun I own is truly adequate for self defense, and I can't really say they are wrong (or right either).

    Am I right in thinking extra range time will develop better significantly better shot placement and better skills that will make up for the perceived lack of power, or is it better to have less trigger time but have a better tool?

    Who's better armed? The shooter who carries 9x19 and has put 10,000 rounds down range out of that gun, or the shooter who carries .45 ACP and has put 5,000 rounds downrange out of that gun?

    Or am I beating a dead horse yet again? I don't mean to debate the relative effectiveness of various calibers, I'm just curious what everyone thinks about practice time vs. a better tool.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    Who's better armed? The shooter who carries 9x19 and has put 10,000 rounds down range out of that gun, or the shooter who carries .45 ACP and has put 5,000 rounds downrange out of that gun?
    The shooter who carries .45 ACP and has put 10,000 rounds downrange out of that gun....
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Let's say you have a weapon and you want to be good so you practice all the time. But you've never been correctly trained. Is 10,000 rds down range with flawed skills better than 5,000 rds down range to fine tune a properly instilled technique?

    Quality, not quantity. I would also submit that thousands of rounds downrange from a static position under no pressure (even if it's a time pressure) serves NO GOOD at all. I'd feel better running four IDPA courses of fire where I expended a max of 18 rds per stage (or per string) and I was operating under pressure and forced to use proper TACTICS than I would drilling useless holes in paper all day long.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Fair Enough ExSoldier, but let's keep in mind Mozambique drills, point shooting, and other skills can only be developed with lots and lots of actual firing and practice.

    I'm only using this one example, this one facet, in isolation for complete clarity of what I mean.

    I believe using a skill in any kind of way helps no matter what you are doing, regardless if it's shooting or learning how to speak French. Static targets is about all most of us have constant access to. It's better to do something than nothing.

    Also keep in mind that the kind of training you're talking about would get most of us banned from our firing ranges if we attempted it.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Wink Don't just stand there...DO something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    Fair Enough ExSoldier, but let's keep in mind Mozambique drills, point shooting, and other skills can only be developed with lots and lots of actual firing and practice.

    I'm only using this one example, this one facet, in isolation for complete clarity of what I mean.

    I believe using a skill in any kind of way helps no matter what you are doing, regardless if it's shooting or learning how to speak French. Static targets is about all most of us have constant access to. It's better to do something than nothing.

    Also keep in mind that the kind of training you're talking about would get most of us banned from our firing ranges if we attempted it.
    You wouldn't get banned from a range if you were practicing with a sanctioned IDPA club during a match. I'll bet AND you'd be learning and reinforcing good tactical skills and sharpening your marksmanship as well. I would disagree that reinforcing poor skills is bewtter than doing nothing at all. It just means there will be more to "unlearn" later assuming of course that your poor skills don't get you killed first. I'll bet if you check with IDPA you'll find a club nearby. http://www.idpa.com/
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Let me rephrase more bluntly:

    How precisely is learning how to hold a X" grouping at X number of yards a poor skill?

    How is learning how to deal with recoil a poor skill?

    How is learning to clear a malfunction a poor skill?

    Do you see what I mean? How precisely does one learn these things better without lots of repeated static fire?

    If anything I think you'd get killed not correcting a problem like your wrist constantly breaking up or not knowing what to do if there was a misfire.

  7. #7
    Member Array SSKC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumper
    The shooter who carries .45 ACP and has put 10,000 rounds downrange out of that gun....
    Rats! You beat me to it! ;)

    In a non-answer, I'd have to say: it depends. For a brand new shooter, I'd say take 1,000 rounds of 9mm over 500 rounds of .45. Once one has a good grasp of the fundamentals and some experience, proficiency can probably be maintained with fewer rounds down range, which would negate some of the smaller caliber savings.

    You're an educator, right? Make it a word problem. If Rambo shoots once a week, and saves $10 per session by shooting a smaller caliber, how much will he save in a year? Maybe the savings would be enough to pay for a course with a quality instructor. On the other hand, if the savings go for post-practice beer, might as well keep your weight down and shoot a .45.

    I usually shoot 150-200 rounds per week, plus a few sessions of dry firing. I don't think twice the shooting would make a big difference. I could probably stay proficient with fewer rounds down range and more dry firing, if the cost were prohibitive. I would probably approach your issue by guesstimating the minimum amount of actual ammo required to maintain proficiency, then go with the largest caliber that I could afford.

    Big help, huh? Well, good luck with the decision, anyway.

    SSKC

  8. #8
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    There are different skill sets to defend yourself with a firearm, usually taught by experienced shooters who have done it for a living. The normal run of the mill guy is not able to attend most of these because of work, family or expense. What can be done is to dryfire in your own home, that is a poor mans trigger job. This will enforce motor skills and train you how to squeeze and not jerk the trigger over time. It will save money. As Euclidean has pointed out other skills can be picked up a little at a time going to the range. Always have a training plan when shooting at the range. It may be simply how fast can I get back on target after a shot. There will be a savings in money and time and after awhile your skill set will pick up. IDPA does seem like a way to increase your defensive skill levels. One more item, these guys on the forum are well experienced shooters having done so for 10 or 20 years, they started out the same way, a few shots at a time.
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    May the splinters never point the wrong way.
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Thumbs up By All Means...Be BLUNT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    Let me rephrase more bluntly:

    How precisely is learning how to hold a X" grouping at X number of yards a poor skill?

    How is learning how to deal with recoil a poor skill?

    How is learning to clear a malfunction a poor skill?

    Do you see what I mean? How precisely does one learn these things better without lots of repeated static fire?

    If anything I think you'd get killed not correcting a problem like your wrist constantly breaking up or not knowing what to do if there was a misfire.
    If you're a novice and you do indeed practice those skills once you've correctly learned how to do them that's fine. But it won't help you a bit to clear a jam, or put all your rounds in the X if you can't do it in weird uncomfortable positions under pressure or on the move. Extreme pressure (like where you might have the perception that your neck is on the line) has a way of turning your arm muscles into noodles and just take your breath away. You'd better be able to reload on the run without taking your eyes off the target or at night by feel.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier762
    I would also submit that thousands of rounds downrange from a static position under no pressure (even if it's a time pressure) serves NO GOOD at all.
    You are assuming that the person has bad habits that he would be reenforcing. I would agree with you that it may not be the same firing on a fixed range with no movement vs a popup range with movement, but to say it does "no good at all" is simply not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier762
    I'd feel better running four IDPA courses of fire where I expended a max of 18 rds per stage (or per string) and I was operating under pressure and forced to use proper TACTICS than I would drilling useless holes in paper all day long.
    Sounds like IDPA works well for you, at least you like it. There are people, however, that don't want to (or don't have the time to) participate in IDPA matches and would rather spend their time on a range or in training. You are not necessarily any more prepared for a face to face shooting situation than they are. You may be, but then again you may not be....
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Red face 100% Correct...Sorry Euclidean; Bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by Bumper
    You are assuming that the person has bad habits that he would be reenforcing. I would agree with you that it may not be the same firing on a fixed range with no movement vs a popup range with movement, but to say it does "no good at all" is simply not true.
    You know, now that I think about it, I was doing regular target shooting (aside from qualifying for the army and competing in post combat competitions) before I discovered first IPSC and later IDPA, for about 10 years. All that time I had a CCW permit and was actively carrying.

    So, Bumper and Euclidean, I do apologize.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier762
    You know, now that I think about it, I was doing regular target shooting (aside from qualifying for the army and competing in post combat competitions) before I discovered first IPSC and later IDPA, for about 10 years. All that time I had a CCW permit and was actively carrying.

    So, Bumper and Euclidean, I do apologize.
    That's exactly what I was thinking about. I learned to shoot in the boondocks. The military and police academy improved on it on msotly static ranges but some popups and mechanical targets. I don't profess to be the best shot around but I can generally hit what I am shooting at. More important, IMHO, is mindset and getting over the mental struggle of a shoot/don't shoot situation. Again, that's an opinion since I have never actually had to shoot anyone (and hope I never do).

    And, ExSoldier, no apology is necessary for me....
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    One week of training repeated 52 times???

    fifty two weeks of training, done one week at a time???

    Caliber and number of rounds fired are secondary to a daily practice of the color codes or OODA.

    Six Ps.

    Would much rather have someone on my six that understood things like 'distract, disrupt, disable , destroy', than someone that shot 100 rounds a month, just to be shooting.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  14. #14
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    Spend $35 on a blue gun (which doesn't shoot anything) that matches whichever carry gun you have. You can get in some extremely valuable practice time in your own living room and even better in you garage with your heavy punching bag for no further cost at all.

    Spend 5-10 minutes once or twice a day with the blue gun. You can practice things that are relatively dangerous with a live firearm safely with it. For example, you may need to draw and fire sometime after being pushed over. Fall on your back, kick with your feet and draw. It's a dangerous thing to practice with a live firearm but perfectly safe with a blue gun.

    Also, buy and airsoft. You can get in a LOT of cheap safe marksmanship practice with one. You can even bring in a "bad guy" for some neat force-on-force training. FFKG (Feet, Fists, Knife Gun) produces a neat video entitled "Legitimate Training with Airsoft." I like it and recommend it highly.

    Chuck
    When it's time to stomp cockroaches, you don't want to be wearing your fuzzy bunny slippers.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Back to the cost of ammo and 10k though a 9 or 5k though a 45 ...

    Simple roll your own cost goes down quite a bit and you can shoot a lot of either calibers ...

    Rolled 600 45's out in a few hours last night boy i need a progressive

    Probley roll another 400 45's tonight then i need more bullets counting i got them tuesday im doing all right got 1k 9 mm to rould plus 38 super and 1k of 38 sp :RockOn mi
    Last edited by Bud White; March 19th, 2005 at 07:51 AM. Reason: Becus hooke on fonics didnt wok for me

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