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VA – TRAINING – Surviving The Ammo Shortage

The current ammunition crunch has not only restricted factory ammo availability, but has also resulted in a significant shortage of primers and component bullets for reloaders. Unfortunately, this product shortage is projected to last well into 2021. This has put a serious crimp into practice regimes and has resulted in many shooters limiting themselves to dry firing in the living room. That’s better than nothing, but it doesn’t duplicate match conditions like responding to the BEEP, rapid gun handling, reloading, movement, foot position and equipment management. That can be tough to do in the living room, but it’s easy on a range and with just a fraction of the ammunition one would expend during their normal practice sessions. Call it “Dry Match Practice” instead of just “Dry Firing Practice.” Savvy shooters will duplicate match conditions by wearing their full match gear—holster, ammo carriers, ear and eye protection (and a cover garment if shooting IDPA) just like they would in a match. Use targets appropriate for the discipline, and old pasted practice targets work fine. A timer should also be incorporated. This can be set on delay and shooter activated, or better yet have a shooting partner call out the Range Commands and activate it. Keep things as realistic as possible. That starts with setting up targets on one’s normal practice range. An active range is important because some live rounds will need to be fired, although far fewer than in normal practice sessions. Multiple targets are important to allow for practicing movement and transitions. Three or four targets, spaced three to five yards apart, should be set up if range conditions allow it. Shooting boxes and fault lines are standard in action shooting and shooters can easily duplicate those with nothing more than a white Styrofoam cup or plate to mark each position. Before beginning “dry” practice, some live rounds should be fired to get the shooter into their normal rhythm. It’s also advisable to end every practice session with live firing. That’s important to stay real and it doesn’t take a lot of ammunition to do it. One magazine or a couple of revolver cylinders worth at the beginning and end will suffice. They can be fired static or moving. After the beginning rounds, the stages can be run with dry firing.  [full article]

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