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!

Jerry Miculek Joins Team Hornady

Grand Island, NE – Hornady® Manufacturing is pleased to announce speed shooting legend Jerry Miculek has joined their team of sponsored shooters.

Miculek holds dozens of national and international handgun, rifle, and shotgun titles. He is one of the fastest revolver shooters in the world, capable of emptying a five-shot revolver in 0.57 seconds in a group the size of a playing card.

“Being a Team Hornady member provides broad spectrum access to shooting products that are second-to-none,” said Miculek. “Hornady pistol bullets are standard fare in competitive circuits because they work. And Hornady rifle products will be instrumental as I begin to enter more rifle competitions.”

Miculek holds a lengthy list of titles and awards, including:
• 20-time STEEL Challenge World Speed Shooting Revolver Division Champion

• 10-time IDPA Enhanced Service Revolver National Champion

• 8-time USPSA National Revolver Champion

• 8-time USPSA Multi-Gun Champion

• 4-time 2nd Chance Bowling Pin Champion

• 1997, 2007, 2011 World Shoot-Off Champion (The only person to ever win this title with a revolver.)

• Member of 9-time winning pro team at the Sportsmans Team Challenge

• 3-time Masters International Long Gun Champion

• 2-time ISPC World Revolver Champion

• 2-time Industry Masters Champion

He is the current titleholder in the following:
• USPSA National Revolver Champion

• IDPA National Revolver Champion

• IDPA World Revolver Champion

• Steel Challenge Revolver Challenge

• Member of the World Action Pistol Championship Team, Metallic Sight

And he is the world revolver speed shooting record holder, shooting:
• 8 shots in 1 second

• 6 shots-reload-6 shots in 2.99 seconds

• 6 shots, 2 on each of three targets, in 1 second

• 60 shots out of 10 revolvers in 17.2 seconds

• 5 shots in 57 hundredths of a second

“We are very pleased to add Jerry to our team,” added Neal Emery, Hornady® Communications Manager. “He is a phenomenal competitor, a genuine and approachable guy, and a great ambassador for the shooting sports.”

Miculek shoots in competitions approximately 150 days per year. He lives on a range by Princeton, Louisiana, with his wife, Kay Clark Miculek, who is also an accomplished professional shooter.

Founded in 1949, Hornady® Manufacturing Company is a family owned business headquartered in Grand Island, Nebraska. Proudly manufacturing products that are made in the USA, Hornady® Manufacturing is a world leader in bullet, ammunition, reloading tool and accessory design and manufacture.

For further information regarding Hornady® products, visit the company web site at Media members interested in Hornady® products for editorial review, should contact Neal Emery

Neal Emery, Communications Manager, Hornady® Manufacturing,

3 Gun Nation Pro Series Qualifier

Alright, so the 2013-2014 3 Gun Nation Pro Series Qualifier is in the bag. Different than your normal 3 Gun match, the stages of the 3GN Pro Series are designed and set-up with TV in mind. Targets are close, reactive and you have to be running at 100% to keep up with the rest of the shooters. Here’s the video.



Overall, I’m pretty happy with my performance. I had a small bobble loading the shotgun on one stage, and one pretty bad stage, but other than those two things, I felt I had a really solid match. I also wanted to use this as a learning experience so I know what to work on for the first event, which is on April 13th. My biggest weakness right now boils down to inexperience in 3 Gun, and it showed on stage 4 when I stuck with shooting a pistol to avoid having to load the shotgun. So, I’m going to keep working hard at loading my shotgun, get some shooting on the move practice with my rifle and be ready come April!


On a finishing note, I just want to say congratulations to Ravin Perry on an awesome match. I’ve shot with Ravin before on the pistol circuit, and he is definitely going to be somebody to watch for on the Series this year.

Tech Tuesday: XTI Sights from XS

Let’s take a preview at a new product that I’ll be using this year in 3-Gun; the Xpress Threat Interdiction(XTI) sights from XS Sight Systems.

XTI Back view

The XTI  sights are an angle mount iron sight designed to fit on the handguard of AR style rifles. The theory with behind he angled iron sights is to have an ultra close range option when you have a scope mounted on the the top of the rifle.  This let’s you have the wide open field of view of iron sights with only a quick twist of the rifle to get your eyes behind the irons.


XS developed these primarily for Tactical/LE use, since nobody was offering a similar sight with the proven low-light capability of the Big Dot system. But, when Jon Pastusek showed them to me last year at an event, I started really thinking about them for 3-gun. Since I’ll be shooting in Tac-Optics this year, a set up bac-up/angled sights should be handy any targets that are super close. I’ve always been a fan of XS Sights for  their speed at close range, so I think these should be a perfect fit for 3 gun. I’ll report more soon once I get my new handguards from Hogue so I can get them mounted.

Friday Tip-Off: Alternate Ammo Choices

We are living in interesting times no doubt. The shortage of guns, parts and ammo is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Unfortunately, we may not have access to our best/first choice of defensive ammo. So, I figured we could take a look at some alternative loads for the guns you probably already have that are hopefully a little more available than buckshot/JHP.


This is really where you have the most choices. As I’m writing this, MidwayUSA shows a few different #4 pheasant/turkey loads to be in stock. Are they going to be as effective as 00 buckshot? Not at any sort of distance, but if we’re talking 10 feet across the bedroom, I’d bet on getting the desired attitude adjustment. Again, we’re talking about substitutes for what you would normally use.


Handguns are a somewhat trickier, since your options tend to be FMJ or JHP in most service calibers. However, if available, I’d pick a high quality lead round nose or in appropriate calibers, a Semi-wadcutter over straight FMJ anyday. Hard cast lead will still deform and give at least some expansion, making a far better choice for defense than hardball. Jacketed Soft Point would also be a solid choice, though it’s only commonly available in revolver calibers.



Rifles are really tricky at this point, since there’s basically no ammo of any kind available. On the bright side, rifle rounds tend to be pretty universally effective. I try to stick with some sort of ballistic tip since I live inside a city and have over-penetraton concerns, but YMMV on that front.


Next week, we’ll talk about alternate training options while having to save ammo for matchs. Until Then, Train To Triumph!