How to Maximize Your Training During the Ammo Shortage

posted on May 9, 2021

A few rounds of ammunition, your EDC handgun and a simple target can be enough to help you incrementally improve your skills.

Visiting a couple of local firearm emporiums, the startling lack of ammunition for sale was really driven home. While I was in one shop, a couple stuck their heads in the door and asked if there was any 9 mm or shotgun ammunition for sale. Nope. I knew that the demand for guns and ammo has stripped shelves bare, but seeing the extent of the demand-driven shortages in person was nevertheless shocking.

Ammunition shortages impact your ability to practice and, I fear, will harmfully impact the training business in a big way. After all, how can you go to a shooting class if you have no ammunition, or the trainer can’t provide it?

While I have no idea when the current situation will improve, I’m going to assume it isn’t much better by the time you read this, so let’s resolve to make every shot count. Dry practice can help keep your skills up. I’ve covered that in my last couple of columns, so now let’s talk about making our range time as meaningful as possible.

While doing a mag dump is great fun, you’re missing an opportunity to learn something by carefully firing each shot. Work on precision and accuracy first, then increase the distance. Next, work on doing all that right, but quicker. Talk yourself through every shot: “Front sight, presssssss, front sight.” You can also perform this drill with micro-red-dot-equipped handguns.

Here’s the Drill
A sample pistol drill you might try using a 5-inch circle for a target, starting from a low-ready, muzzle-depressed position:

3 yards One perfect shot, no time limit. If your shot is in the circle, move back. If not, repeat.

7 yards One perfect shot, no time limit. Move back or repeat as necessary.

10 yards One perfect shot, no time limit. Move back or repeat as necessary.

15 yards One perfect shot, no time limit. Repeat if necessary.

Now repeat the entire sequence, 3 to 15 yards, shooting as quickly as you can, but as slowly as you must. As we like to say, take your time, fast.

Once you have mastered this drill you can challenge yourself further by going to a smaller target.

There you have it: An eight-shot (maybe) drill that you can utilize when ammo is in short supply. Concentrate on a perfect sight picture, focusing on the front sight, carefully pressing the trigger straight to the rear and following through. And, keep up your dry practice.


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