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Shooting before the academy

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  • Shooting before the academy

    Hello

    I just purchased my first handgun (Ruger P95PR15). I'm a poor college student so I couldn't afford anything super nice. I got the gun to have fun with at the range and to become at least a little familiar with a handgun before I start the police academy in August 2009. Anyway my question is: With no professional training what types of bad habits might I unknowingly start that will be hard to break once I start firearms qualification in the academy?

    Thanks

    Jeff

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jjackson View Post
    With no professional training what types of bad habits might I unknowingly start that will be hard to break once I start firearms qualification in the academy?
    All of them.

    If you are going to shoot prior to the academy, have someone who know what they are doing (cop friend, NRA instructor etc.) teach you how to shoot.
    Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him

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    • #3
      I'd say the first bad habit will be your grip then all of the rest will come real quickly from there. The proper grip is the foundation of proper shooting.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jjackson View Post
        Hello

        With no professional training what types of bad habits might I unknowingly start that will be hard to break once I start firearms qualification in the academy?

        Thanks

        Jeff
        Lots of new shooters get so excited after their first range session, they gulp their drinks and dribble some on their shirt. But that's easy enough to fix later on.

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        • #5
          Well, I know the mistake I make every time I get a new gun. Hopefully I caught you before it's too late:

          The #1 mistake you are likely to make is: taking your gun to the range before you're completely familiar with the weapon (how to clean it/disassemble it, how all the parts work, and basic troubleshooting steps when stuff goes wrong). It really sucks if your gun jams on the range and you don't know what to do next.

          #2 will be the grip, like Rifleguy said.
          #3: you might not zero or use the sights properly.

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          • #6
            This is NOT a subsitute for having an instructor, but you can find a number of good tips in this little video with Todd Jarrett. They come rapid fire, so I suggest you go over it a number of times.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50-plo48

            There are also some good books out there, such as Combat Handgunnery by Massas Ayoob.

            You can improve some of your technique with dry-fire practice.

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            • #7
              +1 on dry firing. Also invest in a few snap caps. You can get them at cabelas for like $14.99. Great for practicing.

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              • #8
                I was told (never shot) to not do what you did... We get a week of firearms... 5 days of 8hrs, nothing but shooting. You will get plenty of practice in that week. Problem the instructors told us is that you will develop bad habits and not know how to correct it. It will be harder to adjust once its a habit.

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                • #9
                  Don't do anything.

                  If you want to go to the range and have fun, that's fine. But DO NOT do any repedetive "training" unless you have professional instruction.

                  Repetitions of poor technique will do nothing but ingrain habits that will have to be broken later. Dry firing without proper grip or stance WILL screw you up. Practicing mag changes without including all the "little details" will also screw you up.

                  If you are slated to attend the academy for a specific agency, then I suggest you contact their firearms training section and see what they can do for you. If you are just attending the academy in hopes of gaining employment after you graduate, then I would seek out local professional instruction or try to get in on one of the big schools (Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc.).

                  Be wary of "friends" who will help you out. More that once I have watched one friend teach another poor and unsafe techniques.
                  "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                  8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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                  • #10
                    To further what blackdog said...

                    when i was hired my dept actually had a firearms week of in-service training before we even got to the academy. this was to figure out if any of the new recruits would have any issues in the academy. everyone knows that recruits fail out on firearms or driving, not the legal or academics section of the academy. This enabled my dept to give the recruits some time on the range with their service weapons prior to getting out there in the academy. i suggest asking your Sgt. if there is the same program or at least talking to your range officers. good luck!

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                    • #11
                      What I observed in the academy was those that had not shot prior, learned the correct way and shot very accurately. If you are going to train prior have a professional instructor teach the correct way from the beginning. Also just because they are/were a cop or veteran does not mean they will teach you correctly.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jjackson View Post
                        Hello

                        I just purchased my first handgun (Ruger P95PR15). I'm a poor college student so I couldn't afford anything super nice. I got the gun to have fun with at the range and to become at least a little familiar with a handgun before I start the police academy in August 2009. Anyway my question is: With no professional training what types of bad habits might I unknowingly start that will be hard to break once I start firearms qualification in the academy?

                        Thanks

                        Jeff
                        I would have to agree with some of the other folks above. Learning fundementals, or how to actually shoot, on your own can encourage bad habits. Nothing can substitute for a good instructor. What you can do on your own is learn the nomenclature, or proper termenology of the pistol. Simply put, what the parts are called and how to properly clean and clear it. Other than that safety is paramount. Get into the habit of practicing the safety procedures. For example...what is the caliber of your pistol, what are the differences of ammo you can purchace, what is the range of the ammunition and foot Lbs of the ammo? For example there are many different typs of ammo for a .357 magnum hand gun. It will make a difference if you ever have to use it in a LE situation. You want to know the limitations of the pistol. I think the NRA website can provide information about these things.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Go buy a quality .22 LR system that mimics your duty pistol of choice. Even a browning buck mark or Ruger MK 3 will be fine. Practice your 7 fundementals. The NRA is a wealth of info. The most important will be trigger control. If you can press off a shot without trying to beat your trigger press you will be light years ahead of the game. Everything else can be thought about, but trigger press has to just happen.

                          People naturally flinch from loud noises and explosions, which a 9x19, 40 S&W, .45 acp mimic very well. A 22 LR pistol lets you practice with very little of either. If I had a time machine I would go back and tell all the recruits and in service I've trained to buy a .22 and about 50,000 rounds of ammo and practice, practice and practice for a decade. A .22 kit on a Glock has worked better than even dry fire for remedial training.

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                          • #14
                            thats gonna be my next purchase... the .22 kit for my G23. its just too expensive for me to keep shooting .40 as much as i am.

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                            • #15
                              Thank you everyone for your help.

                              Comment

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