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Updated on July 1, 2013
Time are tough right now. Unless you’re an LEO or in the military, finding ammo for practice and training is well nigh impossible. You name it—9mm, .223 and .40—it can’t be found. Here’s a few suggestions to help keep your firearm skills sharp while we weather this ammo drought.
I took a two-hour sporting clays class earlier this month and had a blast. I’ve never really had any instruction on wing shooting and those two short hours helped me bust more clays than I did before. Is it tactical? Probably not. Is it fun? Oh yeah. Next time, I’ll shoot a round with my Mossberg 930SPX just to get in a little bit of loading practice and work on those popper/flying clay pigeon combo targets that are so common in 3 Gun.
In a similar vein, why not take some time and get reacquainted with your rifle? No, not the AR-15 that has enough stuff hanging off its rails to decorate a Hanukkah bush. I’m talking a RIFLE, a bolt-action or semi-auto gun in a major caliber (bigger than .223) that can reach out and touch someone beyond where your M4gery can reach. After all, you’ll want to find out whether you need to update your rifle with something like a cheek protector or new sling NOW, not when you really need to make the shot. Besides that, the slow pace of a precision rifle work means you won’t burn through your precious ammo supply at a fast rate. Also, you can find hunting calibers (.30-06, .243, 7mm and so on) right now, even if the more common calibers are all gone from the store shelves.
Sure, there’s dry fire practice. Dry fire practice can be very good for things like quick reloads and finding out the best location for all your daily carry items. Dry fire practice is also very good for getting rid of any latent tendency to jerk the trigger (and I let you know how good when I get rid of mine…). But caveat emptor: Repeating a mistake in dry fire over and over again means you’ll repeat that mistake over and over again with real ammo.
Airsoft is another option for practicing without ammo. You can find gas or electric action airsoft guns that feel and work just like most common semi-automatic pistols and rifles. This means you can practice with all those accessories you bought, like holsters and mag pouches, but you do not have to wear ear protection while doing so. Again, it’s not the same as real ammo, but it sure beats sitting around waiting for your back-ordered .45 to show up.
Those are just two suggestions. What else are YOU doing to get through this current ammo shortage?
Guest author Kevin Creighton is the voice behind Misfires and Light Strikes: An Arizona Gun Blog. He describes himself as fitting in with Gun Culture 2.0 and continues to expand his firearm knowledge on and off the range. You can follow him at @ExurbanKevin.