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The Learning Curve: No Two Weapons Are Alike

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posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 07:06 PM
Many experts in the field of armed self defense will tell you that when you buy a gun, train with it. Train often, and train consistently.

Many people think that they can train with one weapon, and be proficient in another.

We'll take two different 9mm pistols. The reason for this will become apparent.

Both weapons I am highly proficient with. The Ruger SR9 and the Beretta M9.

Beretta M9A1:

Ruger SR9:

Both weapons are chambered in 9mm and both weapons are recoil operated semi-automatic.

That's where the similarities end.

The Beretta M9 is heavier, carries two rounds less than the SR9 and its design places its balance further back and below the shooters hand. it's open slide design makes the pistol more snappy. It is also wider and has an exposed, moving hammer.

The SR9 is a polymer pistol and the majority of its weight is spread across its stainless steel slide keeping the center of balance right above the shooters hand. It is striker fired and no exposed hammer.

All of these differences make both pistols idiosyncratic and each pistol will require a different method of trigger discipline, stance, and grip to fire accurately and effectively.

Every new pistol or rifle you buy is going to require some degree of training on it to build proficiency. Do NOT assume that just because you have fired .45 cal pistols before that you can switch to a different .45 cal design and be just as effective.

It is true that there are certain basics of marksmanship you want to follow. But even these must be tailored to the firearms you intend to own. From experience, I have had to spend a week studying the weapons I purchase, practicing with it, and learning its physical attributes and the physics of how it reacts to recoil forces before employing it into my defensive weapons repertoire. It didn't matter what caliber it was or whether it was a rifle, shotgun, or pistol. There is always a learning curve.

As always, Happy Shooting!
edit on pSun, 09 Nov 2014 23:54:00 -060020149America/Chicago2014-11-09T23:54:00-06:0030vx11 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 07:29 PM
a reply to: projectvxn

Good points. Not only should one train with their primary weapon exclusively, but use the same ammo, ideally the same lot. Buy you ammo in bulk so that you become thoroughly familiar with it, you firearm and your own confidence. Especially your own confidence. Anyone can plink at a range with ten different guns and ammunition.

posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 07:44 PM
a reply to: intrptr

I train with my defensive ammo.

But I practice marksmanship with any ammo that my weapons will eat. I try to keep it in the same bullet weight and powder load so as to not deviate too much from the physical effects of my defensive ammunition.

For .357 I use Magtech jacketed hollow points. In .38 spl I use Hornady Critical Defense.

posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 08:00 PM
a reply to: projectvxn

Whatever is "comfortable". The point being "comfortable".

I used to reload a lot and when I found the just right for the gun, I would purchase all the components in bulk and load a thousand rounds at a time to practice with.

Used to awe them at the range when I unloaded at clay pigeons on a bank at a hundred yards and popped each one once, one after the other in rapid succession without warming up.

I built a CAR 15 and loaded my own brand. Oh, the memories…

Of course it doesn't compare to today, many depend on their lives for getting it right (like you). Its not a plinking range over there.

posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 09:30 PM
My father gave me the same advice about a clutch on a car. No two are alike.

The same goes for a bow. You don't adapt to the poundage, you adapt to the construct.

posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 09:59 PM
a reply to: projectvxn

I agree with your approach. Too many times a dedicated target shooter will preach about every aspect of what makes a perfect bullet, gun or shooter. That attitude is fine and dandy for that crowd, but for the average person, that is a world away from where he or she will every want to be. If you want to train for defensive shooting, get any gun that suits you and any bullet you wanna buy, the cheaper the better. At less than nine feet where most police officers fire their weapons, the ability to handle the tension of the situation is the key, not whether you have hollow points, or target loads in the chamber of that auto, single-six or even shotgun. A defensive shooting course will be far better than hundreds of rounds and hours standing with the correct grip and posture at the range. A laser is you best friend and handling that weapon correctly and quickly is the key. But as an instinctive shooter since childhood, I'm extremely biased.

posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 11:42 PM
a reply to: Aliensun

This is why I preach comfort first!

If you are not comfortable with the weapon then it is useless to you in a fight.

To rephrase:

A firearm is a tool. An extension of you..Like another appendage. YOU are the weapon.

But if the firearm is not compatible with you then it isn't necessarily going to be useful to you because you won't want to train with it and you won't want to carry it.

For defensive training purposes I will use the ammo I intend to defend myself with. The reasons should be obvious. I expect the ammo to behave a certain way out of my firearm, and I expect the firearm to behave a certain way after I squeeze the trigger.

I can feel the difference when I don't use my standard defensive ammo. But I have been shooting for roughly 22 years and have put over a million rounds down range in that time, I have taken the time to study closely how that ammo will react, how it will affect the firearm I use and how it will affect me physically.

But these are not techniques to be used by people who only want to defend themselves. It won't matter to the average jane or joe whether that particular round creates minute vibration at exiting the muzzle due to the shape and thickness of the jacket around the lead core. What DOES matter is this: What type of ammo is good for training? What type of ammo is good for defense? What type of ammo is good for plinking and target shooting?

I teach martial arts in much the same way. Keep it simple. Keep it relaxed. Relaxation is the hardest thing you will ever have to teach anyone. Believe it or not.
edit on pSun, 09 Nov 2014 23:46:51 -060020149America/Chicago2014-11-09T23:46:51-06:0030vx11 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 11:43 PM

originally posted by: eisegesis
My father gave me the same advice about a clutch on a car. No two are alike.

The same goes for a bow. You don't adapt to the poundage, you adapt to the construct.

Indeed. There's a reason you have to tune bows.

Every single one will react to the person in a different manner and will affect the accuracy of the shooter and bow greatly.

posted on Nov, 10 2014 @ 12:18 PM
a reply to: Aliensun


I have to say I agree but disagree with your approach. To my mind there's most definitely a place for putting hundreds or even thousands of rounds downrange practicing that perfect grip and stance. How do you think we get to the point where we can engage in varying light conditions where it's nothing but stroboscopic flashes fleeting targets and your blood pressure so high it'd blow out the pressure gauge on an air compressor?

I had the unique pleasure of being introduced to a very very smart man once (not super sane but VERY smart in the ways of making the other poor bastard die for HIS COUNTRY).

In a nutshell I learned from this nutjob that the only type of practice that EVER leads to perfection is PERFECT PRACTICE! This is why I have milk jugs with varying levels of wet sand that I hold up like I intend to shoot the lil people running around on my tv.

I also tend to practice handgun with a convulsive grip for this reason also. (It's also why I have a 12 gauge as an HD gun NOT a pistol) I actively read crime stats and look at successful and unsuccessful defensive gun uses. Incidentally if people would pursue this type of research there'd be much less FUD running thick and consistently through the gun world at every level from basic knowledge to more advanced or niche topics.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 11:03 PM
Not much of a "gun nut" but I remember that Beretta model from having to do pier security years back when I was in the Navy. I seemed to be proficient enough with it in training, but found it painful to use after a few shots. Not from kickback though. I suppose they had the trigger weight somewhat high with the pistols being issued so it wouldn't fire unless you seriously meant it. (As a guy I'll admit I don't have much of a killer grip, I'd often resort to a "cheater bar" when wrenching things.) However when selecting your own firearm, I suspect trigger weight may be one of the important variables to be considered. It's likely some tradeoff between ease-of-use and the relative safety of the fiream.

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