Solid basics are the foundation of good shooting, regardless your background without a firm footing in solid shooting basics you are destined to be a mediocre shooter forever. This is something that is quite simply a fact, regardless your opinion. Part of solid basics is regular training, this can be accomplished in several ways. Primarily you should train with your regular carry weapon, and do so as much as possible. Try to avoid switching your carry weapons around, there are numerous reasons for this and I will put an article together on this shortly.
The purpose of this article is to explain the benefit of a training gun or training barrel for your carry gun. Regular training takes several forms, among those are training with live ammunition (preferably the same size and load as your carry ammunition), training with a .22 version of your gun or using a .22 barrel in it, airsoft and or bb gun versions, laser designators and using a training gun, training barrel or dummy rounds with consistent dry fire practice added in. Many times people will state that you can practice dry firing perfectly without any of these additions or modifications, and while this is generally true of some individuals it is not for the average shooter. I have personally had to many SD’s (Stupid Discharges) to recommend regular dry fire practice without utilizing an inexpensive training barrel. A training gun will allow you to show others how they work, how to grip and with some even how to press the trigger properly. A training barrel on the other hand allows you to work on that nagging flinch or your slappy finger without running the risk of harming those you love.
Obviously this will not work for everyone because they do not make them for all firearms, or some firearms have pinned barrels or are simply to difficult to take apart quickly for a little practice. However, if you have a Glock (non single stack) or Sig (most models) this will work quite effectively for you. Remove the Glock barrel and replace it with this tool, once this is inserted in the firearm you cannot chamber a round. I have attempted multiple times to chamber a round and am quite unable to do so. Dummy rounds can be easily lost and without solid safety habits it is possible to mix up your magazines as well. Be careful, always be careful. When I prepare to do some dry fire practice I always place the firearm to be used on the bed, check its status twice, removing ALL live ammunition from the room and proceed with practice. I have seen far too many people shoot their televisions, walls and more with a “cleared” firearm to ever simply assume it is cleared.
Regardless ones perception of their skills I also tend to get quite bitchy around individuals who do not treat a firearm with the respect it deserves, just as I get around people who use my tools (whether it is a $4 hammer or $2000 firearm) without considering their surroundings. I have personally carried every day of my life for the past decade and change and have not yet had a major accident. I have had SD’s just as anyone with real trigger time has had. However, because I follow the two most important rules of firearms ownership I have yet to harm anyone else. What are those rules you say, (some of you NRA nuts are probably thinking, just two?) its simple really – Loaded or not, keep your finger off the trigger. Loaded or not, always ensure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction. You can forget one of these rules and still maintain safe habits but you must always remember at least one and preferably two or you will eventually harm someone. As I tell my young daughter who is far more conscientious of her actions than many adults I know, All guns are always loaded. Remember this simple phrase and you will almost never have an issue.
There are many viewpoints in this regards, however, I as someone who is a shooter and has been shooting actively for over three decades refuse to be around anyone who acts in a manner that undermines my safety or the safety of those around me. This being said I have and do actively train in scenarios which call for the occasional sweep of another individual, because however, I and those around me practice trigger control as a method of safety we have yet to have a serious incident. I can guarantee one thing, the second you let your guard down you will end up with a hole in your wall, door, television, self or someone else. Always, always respect the safety of others first and self second and above all, respect your tools!
This being said, the use of a training gun (rubber gun), training barrel or dummy round is a significant, cost effective tool for individuals who like myself cannot afford to shoot thousands of rounds a month. While I do shoot a large amount monthly as compared to many others, I am still not able to shoot nearly as much as I would prefer. As a result I fall back on my use of training barrels and dummy ammo to assist me in safely dry firing my firearms. Regardless of what some may believe, my young daughter and son are far more important to me than their feelings with regards to this. While I welcome firearms into my home especially when strapped to individuals I trust and enjoy being around, the very second someone begins to handle them in a potentially dangerous manner, I get a bit perturbed as it were. Wouldn’t you?
I personally prefer the 5.11 Training Barrel, found here. For training guns I have found several approaches though the old standby of the Blue Gun works well. And for training rounds, dummy rounds I use the following A-Zoom or Tipton snap caps/dummy rounds. There are ways to make your own as well, however, I would suggest just spending a couple of bucks and buying 15 or 20 of them, you will find they are quite nice for many training situations.You may find other better approaches and if so, share them with me, I love new ideas especially when it comes to being able to better defend my loved ones and self.
Remember to check out the raffle that is currently in process, go to the linked article and follow the readily available directions. Additionally check out the Amazon store as you may find other great items that myself and others have tested quite thoroughly and recommend highly.
Free the mind and the body will follow.