Friday Tip-Off: Alternative Training with a .22

Last week we talked about some different choices for self-defense ammo in today’s tough market, this week we’ll focus on using a .22LR to fill in some live-fire training.


Now, let’s make a distinction before we start going too deep into the subject. There are two types of .22s. The first category is what I call “.22 Analogs” such as a TSG-22 or 2211 conversion kit from Tactical Solutions and anything else that closely simulates a centerfire cousin. The second choice would be a dedicated .22, like a Ruger MkIII

While an awesome gun for competition, there are better choices for cross-training for centerfire.

While an awesome gun for competition, there are better choices for cross-training for centerfire.

or 10/22. As a general rule of thumb, the dedicated .22s have a tendency to be more reliable than a conversion kit, but of course won’t fit your normal gear, which is an important consideration when you are substituting a .22 for normal centerfire practice.


I’ve found that the best ways to use a .22 for a training substitute tend to involve short drills that focus heavily on accuracy, rather than speed. The primary reason being is that many people don’t have any problem controlling the massive recoil that a .22 produces and you can start to develop a bad habit of “double-taps”, simply because the gun doesn’t recoil enough to throw off your sight picture. Something simple, like 2-3 boxes with a single target (I plan to make a video about this soon) to practice being ready to shoot when you step into a position is where a .22 is best applied. Personally, I don’t even spend much time practicing draws and reloads with a .22, since those are both easy to practice in dry-fire with your true competition set-up.


Another great use for a .22 in your training is shooting groups. While shooting slow-fire groups is a boring and mundane task, it will be well worth the gains. Something that I’ve learned over my career is that you can never hurt yourself by becoming a more accurate shooter. With the low recoil and blast, you can really see any error in your trigger pull and where it might be happening. For a short time, I was shooting 200-250 rounds of slow fire groups at 25 yards everyday. It’s not quite as easy for me to do so now since I’m not working at an indoor range anymore, but I do plan to start shooting 5, 10-shot groups every time I go to practice, and I challenge you to do the same!


I’ll work on a few video tips next week and let ya’ll know what I come up with! Until then, Train To Triumph!

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