My Own “Quest for Master Class”

After Caleb was right about the revolver you think I would have learned to listen to him. I still had some trepidation about his latest idea to improve my shooting abilities: lots and lots of rimfire. I can’t quite put a finger on why I hesitated, it makes sense to shoot a lot with something that won’t cause me to flinch in order to improve my accuracy.  There seems to be some stigma around shooting .22LR that comes from spending too much time behind a range booth counter: I don’t want to be the little girl shooting the .22.  I will be though, and I have overcome my pride and accepted the fact.  

To start I will be shooting Dot Torture twice a day, three times a week with a .22.  What would compel me to voluntarily subject myself to Dot Torture six times a week?  Well, I made a little deal with Caleb: If I make ESP Master times with a .22LR by mid-July Gun Nuts will supply me with a pair of Smith & Wesson M&P JGs.  Which are not only totally awesome firearms but happen to match the pink Spyderco knife SamFromWades bought me for Christmas.

This is a lofty goal, since my current classifier score stands at 226 seconds with a Smith & Wesson M&P9 Pro: 10 seconds below SSP Marksman and 26 seconds below ESP Marksman.  My goal is to be able to classify Marksman in SSP with the M&P Pro 40 Caleb has me shooting in 2 months, which should leave me shooting the .22 pretty quickly.

What I’m most interested to see is how my times with the M&P contrast to my times with the .22.  If I break down my most recent classifier scores by stage: 58.8 seconds for Stage 1, 50.92 seconds for Stage 2 and 116.28 seconds for Stage 3, it becomes apparent that the 20 yard shots are my current weak spot.  Shooting Dot Torture with the .22 should prove extremely beneficial to my accuracy, if nothing else.  I’m hoping to shave a lot of time off of that Stage 3 score by shooting Dot Torture until I can do it clean at 20 yards.  Easy?  No, but easy isn’t what I’m going for.

I’m excited to have begun my own “Quest for Master Class“, and I hope Gun Nuts readers will join me in my pursuit.

19 thoughts on “My Own “Quest for Master Class””

  1. The vast majority of my shooting for the past two years has been with .22s.

    I’m hoarding all my centerfire ammo.

  2. Interesting goal, I’ve also convinced myself that it would add value to shoot .22. I also shoot an M&P and I’ve been thinking about getting a .22 pistol. My biggest concern is how different the trigger pull is between my main gun and a .22 pistol.

    Have you picked out a .22 you will be using yet and how similar is the trigger?

    1. I’ll be using my Smith & Wesson 622 (look for an article later this week with some more information on this particular little pistol), it has a much lighter trigger pull than the M&P as SA target guns are wont to do.

  3. I LOVE .22!

    While my wife was in vet school and I was sinking my hard earned $$ into her rent, books, and the Univ. of Wisconsin (Go Badgers! Though they lost the Rose Bowl!!), I had no choice but to shoot mountains of .22.

    I’ve rebuilt my Advantage Arms kit a few times and if I can get a TacSol unit would be interested in running them head-to-head. Anyway, I’ve blogged a fair bit about the Advantage Arms unit and how I’ve used it – mainly for “press-outs”, refining the draw, and magazine changes…

    While a lot of folks don’t like .22 for transitions and splits, I found that if I forced myself to pull the trigger faster on the .22, that skill would transfer over to the larger calibers – I guess I was more brazen with the trigger control.

    1. A lot of people mentioned, and I seriously considered a kit for my Kimber. However, I had the 622 laying around and I know it to be extremely reliable for a .22 so I figured I would run with that.

  4. I have no qualms with burning through tons of .22LR at the local range; my K-22 and 22/45 both live in my range bag full time.

    The kind of range yahoos who’d think “oh, the little girl is shooting rimfire” are welcome to do so if they want; I’ve seen their targets, they sure shouldn’t be laughing at anybody.

    1. Tam: “oh, the little girl is shooting rimfire”

      … should read …

      “oh, the little girl is actually becoming a better shooter”

      Using a .22 is an outstanding way to learn and tweak *some* of the skills involved in serious pistol shooting. Someone capable of hitting what she aims at with a .22 beats the crap out of a guy who shoots a .45 but can’t hit a damn thing with it.

      (and thanks for the shout out, ChrisB!)

    2. I have found that if I am feeling down about my shooting abilities a walk down the line tends to help.

      Having read (and enjoyed) Todd’s post I find it prudent to emphasize the fact that I plan to mix both .22 and centerfire training. The .22 is primarily to help my marksmanship and does not serve as a replacement for the M&P.

  5. My biggest concern is how different the trigger pull is between my main gun and a .22 pistol.

    I’ve noticed one thing in regards to this… Enos, in his book describes how a shooters vision should ideally dictate their “triggering”. With this in mind, the goal, or role, of a .22 trainer is to force you to develop the visual acuity of lining up the shot and letting your eyes dictate the tempo.

    If you find a firearm with a similar trigger, that is ideal, but if you don’t and are forced to switch platforms, that is ok too – the benefits still transfer…

  6. Dot torture is a pretty harsh test, too. For whatever reason, I shoot right around the SSP SS/EX line, and I fail dot torture pretty much on the first circle.

  7. I personally found shooting a ton of .22 fantastic for learning to track the front site through the entire shot and recovery. Really helped my accuracy and speed on my fullsize, since I now spend lest time hunting for the front sight before and after a shot.

  8. I just had a look at that Dot Torture link. I think the Torture is trying to remember how to shoot each dot! 😛

  9. Love practising with .22, never diss it. Its all about appropriate tools for the lessons you are trying to learn.

    I have a metal Airsoft 226 that I use to practice draw and press out, indoors in the garage.

    I have a .22 conversion kit for my 226, I can easily put 500 rds through it on session practicing draw, press out and trigger control. Then swap the kit out (in the cleaning room of course…) and put 50rds of 9mm through the regular kit.

    My one piece of advice would be never leave the range having fired .22 as the last caliber it will mess you up for the first n rounds of full caliber. Thats why I shoot a mag/box of 9mm at the end

  10. I’ve had a .22 conversion kit for my glock 22 for about 12 years, and before that always had a Ruger .22 to use for practice. In a good year I burned through 100,000 rounds and about 1/2 that was in form of .22 for practice.

    I only shoot to the point of diminishing return, and that has varied from 45min to 3hr. of constant shooting. With a .22 I can burn a box of 500 in one session and not feel like I wasted time. Going 500 .45 rounds in one session is grueling. So the .22 lets me practice more and practice makes perfect.

    Lately I’ve been shooting more 70mm (camera lens) so would probably only last 100 rounds of .45 before seeing diminishing returns so shooting .22 from my converted glock 22 would be a better use of my time.

    Gene

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