Are you really training or practicing?

I got into a conversation on the Maryland shooters forum about whether target shooting was really training or is it practice.

I believe that one must effectively train in order to use a weapon but standing on a firing line shooting at paper is not necessarily training to me. It’s target practice.

My personal opinion is that when I train I am simulating the real thing in as much as possible. Elevating the anxiety to the point that the Oh Sh*t factor evolves is training to me. Now, if I was doing transition drills under time, I’m elevating the anxiety levels but is it really training when no one is shooting back.

When we trained with, i would boldly say, one of the most highly trained SWAT teams in the USA I really had an eye opener when we ran dry through building search after building search. Then elevating it to live fire at targets in the rooms. The real pucker factor came when the opfor was in the building waiting to shoot at us with sims. Short of using real ammo, this was training at the 90-95% level. You had to revert back to everything you learned.

If you look at some last police shootings there are a couple where the officer didn’t return fire because he was waiting for the whistle to blow. Yea, that whistle after you hear,” the line is loaded and ready”.

Now, how does this relate to EP. You need to somehow incorporate AOP’s in your in service training. Come up with realistic scenarios that will simulate realistic possibilities. Otherwise you will always be chasing down the sniper that doesn’t exist, when in actuality the guy who won’t let go during a handshake will surface and you’re stuck there with one thumb in your mouth and the other in your anal pore ready to switch.

1 comment

  1. Cali

    On this note, yesterday I went to the range, with PG. Shooting handguns, I had a horrid day. My groups were tight, but about 2-3 inches low. Now the range we went to sux, closest distance is 25 feet, so no real warm up. I couldn't get my game together…..

    So today, i decided to cut paper in the back yard. Its amazing what a pellet gun and a box stuffed with newspapers can do for you. After proper BZO, I was nailing grapes at 30 yards (air rifle, scoped). After a few hundred more rounds (and a few more beers) I was hitting can tabs at the same distance. All the while, dealing with 90 degree weather and 30000% humidity.

    Now cutting paper isn't really training, but it is a great training aid. I plan many more days, in the backyard, plinking stuff. Its cheap, easy and legal. And to aid things more, I'm probably going to invest in a semi auto (realistic replica) air pistol. Last time I checked, 1000 rounds of .556 was around $300 and 1000 rounds of .40 was about $200. a few thousand pellets runs me about $20. One of the basic fundamentals, trigger pull…… And the ease of walking into my Columbia, MD backyard and shooting all afternoon, makes that worth my while.

    And who knows, I might start cutting paper while moving, laying prone, standing on my head…. whatever the day brings me. Now do I rely on cutting paper to save my life, NO. But to take care of the hiccups that come along, it's great. The same reason I wear my holster everyday (to get used to the the difference) or suddenly draw and aim at an imaginary baddy (cleared weapon, of course), train me to deal with the unexpected.

    Every situation, moment, in life is there to teach us something new. True students will learn…..

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