Ammunition gets expensive. Especially when you blow through hundreds of a rounds in a single day.
The Diamondback Training Team cadre of instructors often times like to stay and train after whatever class we just taught was departed. This is every Saturday, and several weekday courses as well. The good news is, we get a lot of opportunity to train. The downside is, we can seriously deplete our ammunition inventory in a quick fast hurry. As instructors, we kind of chuckle at the shooters who complain about shooting 300 rounds of ammo in an eight hour course, because it “goes so fast.” Really. We can burn up 300 rounds of ammo in about 30 minutes – IF – we didn’t ration out our ammo and our time. It’s not about quantity, it’s all about quality and making your time, and shots, count.
However, before I get into cost-effective ways to maximize your ammo inventories and range time, I want to start off by saying I am not a big fan of just making noise. By that, I mean I intentionally avoid going out to the range just to burn up ammo. I hate it, actually. Ammo isn’t cheap, and time wasted cannot be recovered. I don’t care to waste either. Also, shooting just to make noise is counterproductive, as it’s far too easy to begin eroding fundamental skills. Train like you mean it, and mean it when you train.
Lately, when my instructor cadre is training at the end of the day, I’ve begun using just a single box of 50 rounds of ammo. Then, with that single box of ammo, I set out to stretch that box of ammo over an entire training session. Generally, I’ll have two or three techniques I plan to train. I may be working reload drills, so magazines have only a few rounds in each. Then, with a minimal amount of banging, I’m focusing on honing my reloading skill set. I may be working malfunction clearance drills, or off hand drills, or failure to stop drills, or designated head shot/hostage taker drills, or just smoothing out my concealed carry draw. The point is, with a clear game plan and a dose of self-control, I can get in plenty of highly beneficial and effective training without burning through hundreds and hundreds of rounds of ammo.
I also like to mix in dry practice training to reduce or eliminate range and ammo expense. I tell my students all the time to commit to dry practice training. Drawing from concealment, in dry practice, is an outstanding and inexpensive way to develop that skill set. Malfunction clearances and reload drills are also easily performed with ZERO round count and $0.00 invested on the range. It takes only the commitment of time and dedication.
So the next time you’re thinking of how to make your training budget stretch as far as possible, consider some highly effective “training on the cheap” alternatives.
And remember, practice does not make perfect. It makes permanent. If you practice crap, you will become a crap master. Perfect practice makes perfect. Train, even on the cheap, perfectly. And accept nothing less from yourself. You and you alone are responsible for your own defensive handgun skill set.
Contact me with any questions or training on the cheap ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe, and stay trained.