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Old 03-15-2018, 11:28 PM
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Default Dry Fire Holster Practice

There are important safety rules to follow when practicing gun manipulations without live ammo. The problem is that somehow live ammo gets introduced before, during or after the practice and a negligent discharge occurs.

The use of a fake, colored plastic gun is about a safe as you can get. It is useful to a point, but they lack control features and realism that help with practice. The grip will likely be different, there are basically no sights, triggers are not functional or certainly not like your real gun, and the slide does not moves. I have a Beretta PX4 Blue Gun that has two mags that actually lock into a working mag stop/release, and that makes a huge difference. I weighted one of them to simulate a full mag and the other simulates an empty mag. I also added weight to the Blue Gun to make it closer to the real deal feel.

Dummy rounds can be used, but they are so close to real ammo that some people can get confused or careless. Besides, racking them out of the gun during manipulations means you have to hunt for them after each set and reload. Fairly realistic, but a bit of a pain. Also, depending on the quality of the dummy, they can wear out pretty quickly. That gets expensive.

A third alternative is to use your own gun but replace the barrel with a brightly colored plastic one. The gun cannot be loaded, and all the controls function normally, including safety, sights, mag insertion/release, slide racking, dry firing. This is particularly useful for practicing drawing from a holster. However, the slide will only lock back if you do it manually.

BLADE-TECH TRAINING BARREL | Brownells

I admit to using all three of these methods at different times, but the plastic barrel is my most often used method. I found that the barrel I bought needed a little fitting to work in my full size M&P, mainly scooping out the semi-circular part of the barrel lug a little deeper.

OK, lets go . . .
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:31 PM
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I use the cartridges I've taken out of the gun as targets for dry-fire practice. By knowing where they are, I also know where they are not.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:37 PM
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Sorry, I see they are backordered and for some other guns discontinued. Nuts.
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:16 AM
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I can't afford to go to the range as often as I'd like, plus there are some skills I work on that would, at best, be frowned upon at the range (i.e., one-handed drawing/reloading), so I do quite a bit of dry fire. Typically, a couple of minutes at the start of every day, and usually one or two longer sessions/week.

I have a very specific protocol I follow.

1. I have a designated room [*insert "safe space" joke*] that I do my dry fire practice in. ABSOLUTELY NO LIVE AMMO ALLOWED IN THIS ROOM WHEN PRACTICING! I use A-Zoom snap caps. The red color makes visual-checking easier. They're also good for reloading practice and, for semi-autos, malfunction clearing practice.

2. I've set up backstops to mitigate the risk of an errant round. I've also established lines of fire so that if an errant round was somehow able to penetrate completely through the backstops it would have to penetrate multiple walls to exit my abode. It's set up so that I can practice moving around the backstops.

3. Anytime I leave the room, the gun stays holstered. When I re-enter the room, I check to make sure I have no live ammo and only snap caps in my gun and reloads.

4. When I'm done and load my gun with live ammo, I do it outside my designated area. I also say out loud, "This gun is loaded," three times. It may seem silly, but it helps reset my brain.

5. Most importantly, I only do dry fire practice when I'm feeling awake and alert. If I'm feeling distracted or unable to focus, I don't practice that day. Or at least at that time.
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:49 AM
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4. When I'm done and load my gun with live ammo, I do it outside my designated area. I also say out loud, "This gun is loaded," three times. It may seem silly, but it helps reset my brain.
Doesn't sound silly to me.

I recall once instance where a police instructor teaching some silly "quick draw" nonsense had himself and his students pair off to draw "against" each other with dummy rounds. Which was dumb as hell. On the way out the door, after reloading with live ammo, the instructor challenged a student to one more round.

Student lost.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:33 AM
jframejoey jframejoey is offline
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WiseA thats nuts!
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:23 AM
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I've picked through a few cases like that, where instructors required students to point guns at each other and somebody wound up dead. To be honest, it's led me to believe that gun safety rules should be observed--where possible--even when "blue gun" surrogates or other training aids are used. Noting of course that sometimes that's not possible in some cases, like rolling-in-the-dirt LEO and violence nerd classes.

I hear a lot of people complain about "instructors" pointing blue guns right at them, but they always do so quietly and carefully, like they think I'm going to out them for being a wuss. One even had an "instructor", "teaching" (I'm at my monthly quota for sarcasti-quotes) another student on a live range, point a blue gun right at his (the 3rd party's) head, parallel to the firing line. To reiterate, using a blue gun, breaking Rule #2 and safe-direction practices, with live weapons and ammunition within arm's reach.

No, dude...you absolutely have a right to not be cool with that. Probly my biggest peeve: people that know better keeping their mouths shut because they're afraid of being impolite, or offending an "instructor".

Oh, and whoever the hell keeps doing idiot stuff like this:



needs to have their heads examined.
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:24 AM
Andy Lowry Andy Lowry is offline
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For revolvers, I use the red aluminum A-Zoom cartridges, which would be hard to confuse with live ammunition. For 1911s, I have dummies that I built using red coated bullets, that live in a black 7-round magazine. All my other magazines are stainless 8-round. The black one is kept in the same drawer as the competition holster and shot timer, whereas the "real" mags are in an ammo box, loaded. I'm not worried about getting confused.
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:56 AM
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I have a regular mag with a blue follower. I ground off the part of the follower that lifts the slide stop. As I work through a set of dummies (or live fire) the slide closes after firing the last round. Tap-Rack-Bang does not work (Type 1), requiring a reload next with a second mag. Simulates a non-existent or broken slide stop. Stimulates observation and critical thinking for the next manipulation.
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Old 03-16-2018, 12:33 PM
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A few years ago LEO instructor here killed his best friend during a training class.

They had just returned from lunch and hed forgotten to switch from live to dummy rounds.
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Old 03-16-2018, 12:55 PM
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EVERY day I walk my dog in the National forest here. I have a couple of areas that I pull my EDC and practice live fire.

Not any concern but proper handling of a loaded weapon.
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:28 PM
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I look at folks who can't figure out how to unload a firearm the same way I look at people who drive through a storefront because they can't figure out which pedal is the gas and which is the brake. And I've yet to see ammo leap off the table and insert itself in my gun when I practice. If it could do that, it could certainly open the door to the next room and enter also.

Some people shouldn't have guns and some shouldn't drive.
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:56 PM
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I EDC a M640 in a Biannchi 57 holster. If I swap my real firearm for a blue gun, in addition to the disadvantages listed above I am handling a real loaded firearm twice. Once to remove it from the holster, once to replace it. If I unload it when I remove it from the holster then I am handling a loaded weapon EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIMES whether I use it and snap caps or a blue gun. (This is in regards to OP on drawing from a holster and dry firing.)

I would not use a weapon capable of firing to practice techniques that involve even momentarily sweeping another person. BUT, if you have a long zip tie you could put it through the chamber (or A chamber if you have one of the more advanced models that have four to ten revolving chambers in a cylinder ;-)) so it could not chamber or fire a round. (Penny solution.)
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:11 PM
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Just pay attention. Go to a room with no ammo. Take dummy rds, practice to your hearts content. Then, if it is your carry piece, go load it up & put it away. can accidents happens sure, but 99% are from just not paying attention to safety details. NO LIVE AMMO in the room where you dry fire. Anytime I pick up or unholster a weapon I chamber check. Even if I just stepped out to go pee, come back & chamber check. I know it's unloaded, but if it is worth checking once, it is worth checking again.
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:32 PM
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Just pay attention. Go to a room with no ammo. Take dummy rds, practice to your hearts content. Then, if it is your carry piece, go load it up & put it away. can accidents happens sure, but 99% are from just not paying attention to safety details. NO LIVE AMMO in the room where you dry fire. Anytime I pick up or unholster a weapon I chamber check. Even if I just stepped out to go pee, come back & chamber check. I know it's unloaded, but if it is worth checking once, it is worth checking again.
I have a dedicated room where I practice dry fire .. NO AMMO IS ALLOWED !!! in that room at any time .. including me wearing my CC.. There is a shelf above the door way I will lay my CC when I go in the room that makes it out of sight of anyone seeing it .. I see no reason to press check a pistol you know is loaded everytime you pick it up !!
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:12 PM
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I have a dedicated room where I practice dry fire .. NO AMMO IS ALLOWED !!! in that room at any time .. including me wearing my CC.. There is a shelf above the door way I will lay my CC when I go in the room that makes it out of sight of anyone seeing it .. I see no reason to press check a pistol you know is loaded everytime you pick it up !!
Not what i meant. When ever I am handling supposed empty guns for practice, I check it everytime I pick it up. Better safe than sorry. When I load a pistol to carry or start a match, I never press check it.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:37 PM
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I've attached my Dry Practice Rules. Follow these and you will never harm anyone or put holes in any walls.

One of the very most important aspects of dry practice is never, and I mean NEVER, say, "Just one more time." That is the most likely time for a negligent discharge. Because, at the end, when you're done, is when you reload with live ammo. This is when complacency gets you. Whatever you do, never say, "Just one more time."
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Old 03-26-2018, 05:26 PM
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I've attached my Dry Practice Rules. Follow these and you will never harm anyone or put holes in any walls.

One of the very most important aspects of dry practice is never, and I mean NEVER, say, "Just one more time." That is the most likely time for a negligent discharge. Because, at the end, when you're done, is when you reload with live ammo. This is when complacency gets you. Whatever you do, never say, "Just one more time."
I think vocally saying practice has started and practice has ended is very important to set your frame of mind .. and only practicing in that one room and only that room is a must too !!
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