Subcaliber Training

Michael Bane has an article on training with smallbore and “even airsoft guns.” I can tell you from personal experience that shooting air guns will make you a better all around shooter, and these days there’s a lot of air gun sports.   You have Action Airgun which use airsoft guns, and is a good substitute for IPSC/IDPA.  You can even compete online with this.   You also have 10 meter competition.   Then you have what I do, which is air gun silhouette.  All of them are worthwhile, and will translate to other types of shooting. Back to Michael:

The fundamentals teach us to how to control a firearm…as we add more recoil, nothing should change. In a personal defense situation, or even when the buzzer goes off in a match, you will likely not notice the recoil, the noise or the blast, and if your fundamentals are sound the bullet will go where you intended it to go.

My experience has been that a shooter who goes back to his/her duty or competition gun after a session training with .22s discovers the more powerful gun has less recoil than before (especially if that shooter has practiced extensively with full power ammo in the primary gun). Of course, the recoil didn’t miraculously go away…rather, subcaliber practice (after appropriate visualization and dry-fire) has allowed the shooter’s attention to be focused on controlling the gun through the application of the fundamentals rather than becoming fixated on the recoil, noise and flash.

Yep.  Due to the ammo shortage, and sky high prices, I am shooting larger caliber pistols hardly at all, and am shooting almost entirely smallbore and air pistols.  When, on that rare occasion, I do go to the range to shoot the Glock, my groups are tighter than they’ve ever been.  You also can’t beat range availability for air guns.  If you have a basement, you have a range.  You can shoot every day, and it costs pennies.

6 Responses to “Subcaliber Training”

  1. Laughingdog says:

    You hardly need a basement for that. All you really need is a long hallway. Living near the ocean, basements don’t really exist around here. Plus, when the only hallway long enough in your home is the entry hallway, that’s some fantastic encouragement to not take a shot that you aren’t certain will at least hit the pellet trap.

  2. Sebastian says:

    True. I’ve done it in my kitchen. Worked great until my sights were off and I missed the target by two inches and shot my stove. I plan on replacing the stove, but my little indoor range lasts until I get a new stove. I wouldn’t risk doing that in a kitchen I’m not planning to replace.

    Then there’s the mysterious hole in my Rubbermaid filing crate. I swore I couldn’t possibly have hit that with a pellet, since it would have been way off. But to find out I shot it again, and sure enough, the hole was identical looking. I would have had to be a foot off to hit that!

    So now I kind of minimize my shooting indoors.

  3. Graumagus says:

    I really need to get me a reloading rig. Damn near have to take out a loan to feed my .45, and my .44 magnum is pretty much staying in the safe lately.

  4. Sebastian says:

    It’s well worth the investment if you shoot a lot, but it’s a whole new level of gun nuttiness, and you’ll sink a lot of money into it, all the while convincing yourself that it’s paying for itself :)

    But at these ammo prices, even a nice progressive rig will pay for itself in short order, especially if you scrounge brass. Cast your own bullets from scrap lead (wheel weights are a favorite) and you can save even more.

  5. R. Franz says:

    I was completely sold on the action airgun set until i read the price.

    any “economy” (cheapskate) alternatives?

    how did your files hold up?

  6. Sebastian says:

    Actually, I don’t do action airgun, so I didn’t look at the price. Talk to Caleb if you’re interested in that. Air gun silhouette is cheap, by comparison.