Reduced Ammo Range Session

So here we are again with no ammo on the shelves and the near future looking dim for availability. When you’ve been shooting a while you understand why the old timers would always say “buy it cheap, stack it deep”. Generally I’ve done a decent job of this, my rule was always to have a years worth of ammo on hand. Then if things got thin I would reduce consumption until able to resupply.

2020 though… well, this shortage is way worse than any I have seen before. Primers are selling at ammo costs on the open trading market, loaded ammo is 2-4x pre pandemic prices. And I shot a lot more in March -May than normal.

So what are we to do? Well there’s plenty of ideas around about what a low round count session looks like. What drills have the most bang for your buck, what skills you can test without burning up a lot of rounds. What I would like to do here though is to be a little more creative, use WAY LESS ammo, and get WAY MORE reps.

Let’s look at a productive method for using dry fire on the range.

The basic outline is this:

  1. Run the COF live , record time and score
  2. Run the COF dry focusing on certain sections each run using the prev time as a PAR and reducing it as you go
  3. Run the COF live again, note improvement

I’m using my same gun equipped with a Dry Fire Mag. For this practice, as proof of concept, we kept the skill set limited and the course of fire small. I’ve decided to work here on movement and a tiny popper at the end as I really need to work on coming into position for tight shots more.

My first run was 6.80 with 2 C on the middle array if I remember correctly (next time I’ll write it down!)


So with the miss on steel at the end I decide to set PAR to 6.50 seconds. I focus on foot speed leaving the last piece of paper and getting a good hit once I enter the box. We run this several times and as we improve we gradually reduce the PAR time.

Then we run it again with live ammo. You can hear the PAR here was set to 6.00 seconds and I think I came in just under at 5.90

Total round count? 19 rounds. But easily 300 trigger presses and easily observed improvement on a skill.  Obviously you can use creativity and take this concept into several other skills, short focused practices or larger COF. The only caution is that as with any dry practice we must be diligent and strict with ourselves. Use realistic grip pressure and call every shot.

Shawn Lupka

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