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Thread: Does practice with a 22 pistol improve your defensive shooting skill?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Does practice with a 22 pistol improve your defensive shooting skill?

    Hi all. Here's my answer to the perennial question. I would love to hear yours. I hope you enjoy the video!

    HRF


  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
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    When I learned to shoot a handgun, it was with a double action revolver. I found that I learned more, and improved in my abilities more via dry firing than any live firing. Sight alignment and trigger control are essential and they are hard to master with the noise and recoil of the weapon distracting you. One knows exactly where the sights were when the hammer falls without the blast and recoil of live ammo. I am an old PPC shooter and know of no successful shooters who did not spend hours dry firing. To this day, if I am shooting poorly, a session dry firing helps.

    Not withstanding any of the above, any trigger time is better than none. Practice with inexpensive ammunition that is light in recoil is better than none, and probably better than overpractice with heavy recoiling ammo where one develops soreness, tendonitis or a flinch. Practice doesn't make perfect....perfect practice does.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Practice doesn't make perfect....perfect practice does.

    Took me years to figure out what that meant. When I starting getting shaky or slapping the trigger I pack up and go home.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    I fired over 10k rounds of .22 before getting a CF pistol. Time well spent. If you cannot group with a .22, you will do a lot worse with a CF.

    My opinion is far too many people use full power loads too soon in their training. I load mousephart loads for my fiancé so she can work her way up. Another good reason for a revolver.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    I fired over 10k rounds of .22 before getting a CF pistol. Time well spent. If you cannot group with a .22, you will do a lot worse with a CF.

    My opinion is far too many people use full power loads too soon in their training. I load mousephart loads for my fiancé so she can work her way up. Another good reason for a revolver.
    I agree. The question I was exploring in the video, however, is whether using a 22 pistol will help maintain/enhance defensive shooting skills for an experienced shooter. I completely agree that a rimfire is the best option for training a new shooter.

    HRF

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    I think any trigger time will help. The worst thing using a target. 22 is that they usually have a light trigger. It would be best to practice with what you will use in a SD situation.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    YES!

    A hand gun in 22 lr. as close to your chosen firearm as you can get will most certainly improve your skill. Dry firing in your guns where appropriate is an even bigger plus.

    As a matter of necessity I do revolvers .... besides two legged coyotes I also am concerned with apex predators. As a result I chose to use 44 Mag and later added a SRH in 480 Ruger. I also have 38/357 and 41 Mag revolvers but count the largest calibers as the “business” cartridges.

    For all my revolver work I rely on a K22 Smith & Wesson and run through my paces, switch up to centerfire and run up the power ladder with them. I never shoot the heavy stuff long enough to feel like I am beating myself up.

    I stopped shooting paper targets long ago. Instead I seek out reactionary targets. My favorite is the lowly golf ball, cheap .... mostly free, long lived with the larger calibers and plentiful.

    Let me debunk a favorite wive’s tale: If you train in DA .... you can defend in DA with the large calibers and stiff loads.


    Best regards

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 05-16-2018 at 09:56 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    "Does practice with a 22 pistol improve your defensive shooting skill?"

    It doesn't hurt.
    ..

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy

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    I enjoyed the video and the discussion that followed, nothing to add that wasn't already said.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master glockfan's Avatar
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    as for recoil management in fast action probably not that much, while you still can practice the fundamentals ,the basics regarding grip,stance,steady aiming, trigger control .....all those things you also want to master with the bigger bores as well .

    now,the .22 can't mimick the recoil of the larger calibers, consecutive shots with a .22 can't reproduce the energy felt through centerfire handguns , then in that regard the practice time invested into the real thing can't be substitued by the rimfire ; shooting fast and accurately is one thing with a ruger MK 22-45 ; it requires much more efforts as recoil and muzzle flip increases .simple math.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    That's more or less what I was saying in the conclusion to my video. There is definitely marksmanship value in practicing with the .22, but it can't replace practicing with your actual defensive pistol/ammunition.

    HRF

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Is recoil even noticed in defensive situations? I never notice recoil when shooting at critters.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  13. #13
    Boolit Master




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    Rimfire won't replicate the recoil or muzzle blast of the centerfire counterpart. It will aid and assist in gear (gun/holster) manipulation and clothing wear and selection. Most importantly it will help you to attain and maintain the fundamentals.

    If you are a shooter and not a handloader (sounds sickening I know) then a rimfire is a great option due to ammo cost.
    You can miss fast & you can miss a lot, but only hits count.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    NoZombies's Avatar
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    Having never fired a gun in a defensive situation (Thank God) I couldn't say for sure. It helps with the other shooting I do.
    Nozombies.com Practical Zombie Survival

    I collect all things .32. If you have something you don't need, please let me know!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Any real trigger time helps. If you have a .22 counterpart to your SD gun, even better. I personally think you will benefit most in the draw and first shot practice, as it's all different noise and recoil wise after that.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master sparkyv's Avatar
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    For a defensive situation, I don't think so, at least not for me. For target accuracy and trigger control then yes. And this from a guy who shoots a lot of .22LR; it's my favorite caliber.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkyv View Post
    For a defensive situation, I don't think so, at least not for me. For target accuracy and trigger control then yes. And this from a guy who shoots a lot of .22LR; it's my favorite caliber.
    That is more or less the conclusion I came to at the end of the video.

    HRF

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I take my heavy recoil in measured doses. Two cylinders full double action out of my Mountain Gun of bear loads and my fundamentals are frazzled if I go beyond that.

    I get the bulk of my trigger time from the lowly 22 lr in a k frame and switch up to light 44s in the MG and advance to higher loading. At the end I generally run one cylinder of the “good stuff” and call it good.

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 05-18-2018 at 10:06 AM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Considering the importance of a quick first round centershot, training with a 22 of the same model/characteristics as your defense gun is execelent practice. Agree with others here, still finish up with some quality practice eith full loads. Focus on QUALITY practice. See my siginature...
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    While I own my share of autoloaders, my 'go-to' guns are all revolvers and my favorite 'trainer' is a 4" S&W M17-4. Sights, trigger, and balance are the same as my 586 and sufficiently close to my Ruger MC. Don't shoot it as much these days 'cause I can load .38 Spls for less than I can buy .22s locally.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

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