Practicing in volume

Tam’s most recent gun school post (linked a couple of posts down) contains a really great piece of advice roughly paraphrased as “gun school is a bad time to find out your gun sucks”. For game shooters, replace “gun school” with “a match”. The point being that if you’re going to do any serious amount of shooting, you need to know that your gun and magazines can hold up to it.

Before I started competing, a “high volume” practice session was 150-200 rounds. When I started getting serious about improving my gun handling skills, 200 rounds became “the minimum practice session”. The point of shooting in volume is to reinforce training, but also to make sure you identify kinks in your gun before you go to gun school. The moral of the study is that more shooting is usually better than less shooting. As long as you’re not reinforcing bad habits, that is.

Witness the Bersa at Tam’s class. While it’s a reasonable defensive pistol, it’s not well know for its durability in extended practice sessions, making it a less than ideal gun for a medium round count class (500 rounds). Shoot your guns, people – train good habits and shoot as much as you can, as often as you can.


  1. I first took a course with Mas Ayoob – the LFI-1 thing – and his recommendation was always, “buy a gun, and run 200 rds through it. Did it work? Did it hiccup?” Then, after finding carry ammo, run another 500 rounds through it… Did it work? Did it hiccup?”

    Good advice…

  2. Nothing like finding out two hours into an Appleseed that your dad’s idea of cleaning his .22 consists of “You have to clean them? I thought you just put more rounds through it.” Turns out 40 years of gak really jams things up.

  3. >For game shooters, replace “gun school” with “a match”.

    i disagree. for most of us, that’s where we will find out. and the $20 we blew in match fees finding out is cheap compared to finding out on the street.

  4. +1 on ammo supply. Now, I don’t exactly buy ammo at the drop of a hat – but my range day this week burnt up 350 rounds, which given the local stores’ policies on ammo (2 or 3 box limit if they have any) was the month’s worth of ammo accumulation; not to mention that plus range fees was close on $100 for 2 hrs of banging away at paper.

    Of course, that *finally* put me over 1K rounds downrange out of the gun that I’ve owned since, um, march. I need to get out more 🙂

  5. When I said “match”, I meant “major match”, not a club level match. Club level matches are just competitive practice.

  6. To be fair, the Bersa wasn’t there lone enough to break; the shooter had some serious weapon-familiarity and manipulation issues.

  7. My bro was a firearms instructor. He likes the Bersa, but at the same time he doesn’t shoot it a lot.
    We never had a conversation about why, but if I had to hazard a guess, I suspect part of it might be he thinks it isn’t supposed to be used for an intensive amount of shooting on the level of what folks like he, Caleb, Tam, and other serious gun enthusiasts do with their primary pistol.

    I like it too, though if I was going to shell out the bucks for special training I’d go there with a pistol that is regularly used by people that shoot the daylights out of their guns.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: