Every shooter should be using dummy rounds in the course of their training. No, I am not insulting you! The “dummy round” is essentially an inert cartridge. It is simply an empty casing with a plastic or rubber bullet, no primer, and no gunpowder. The perfect and safe training aid. For that reason, most (if not all) firearms instructors will immediately implement the use of “dummy rounds” in their training.
Take a moment to consider your basic shooting skills. Have you ever noticed, or ever been told, you have an anticipation issue? As a result, your shooting accuracy is being effected. Perhaps, you noticed you could improve weapons handling skills while dealing with malfunctions. For these reasons, and many others like them, you should be using dummy rounds in your training.
Firearms instructors know the value of training with dummy rounds. They will load your magazines and randomly load in one or more of these training cartridges. As a result, you will be able to see the anticipation movement when it happens, or be forced to clear a weapon malfunction. Most Know the value of these inexpensive training aids, yet so very few actually continue to train with them. When I have asked why this is happening, I’ve been told, “I will know where they are in my magazines.” I have a fix for this!
You will need the following equipment:
- A box of cartridges – also referred to as “bullets”
- Dummy rounds (the number used is completely up to you)
- An empty firearm (Exercise is designed for the semi-automatic handgun)
- An empty magazine
- Complete duty rig (Gun Belt, Holster, and Magazine Pouch)
- Eye and Ear Protection
- Oh yeah, let’s not forget the need for a shooting range. Please do not do this at home!
Try this simple technique for working with dummy rounds (At The Range):
- First, with your empty firearm secured in its holster, remove the magazines from your weapon and your magazine pouch.
- Dump the cartridges into the box they came in and add your dummy rounds.
- Close the box and shake the box so as to mix up the live cartridges with the dummy rounds.
- Keeping the box closed, lay out the number of magazines you are going to load on the table/bench in front of you.
- Now (this is the important part) close your eyes
- Open the box and begin loading your magazines. Be sure to load them with the ammunition properly seated and facing the correct direction. In other words, do not load the ammo in backwards.
- Remember, your eyes are CLOSED!
- Once all of your magazines are loaded, and with your EYES CLOSED, place the magazines back into your magazine pouch and insert the magazine back into your holstered firearm. (NOTE: if your range rules prohibit you from inserting the magazine into the weapon like this, simply place the magazine into your pocket until you are on the line and can load the firearm.)
- Keeping the firearm pointed down range, and with your finger off of the trigger, focus completely on the target, remove the magazine from your pocket and load your weapon.
You are now ready to begin shooting drills and you will be surprised when you encounter a dummy round, just like you would if someone else loaded your magazines for you.