Re: Practice clearing a stoppage
Good advice, Tranter.
Lot's of people practice with handguns that rarely if ever have a stoppage. To enforce immediate action into a habit they must perform drills.
This is the method I recommend for training:
First, practice immediate action drills on a dry weapon to instill the necessary muscle movements to perform the task. Correct form takes priority over speed. Focus should be on keeping weapon up and pointed downrange, keeping eyes on threat except to observe ejection port when slide is racked, and not breaking from cover or failing to use cover during the drill (if you're training with cover).
Second, during live fire, have random magazines loaded with a randomly placed "dummy round" or empty cartridge. The results will not lie.
An advanced drill I learned at work:
We used to place 5 ten round mags and our sidearm in front of the targets beside a track. Some of the mags had a dummy round inside.
Run a lap around the track carrying a heavy block in each hand. (This increases heart rate by running. Holding the block swells the forearms/tightens tendons and helps replicate the loss of precision motor skill in the hands.)
After each lap completed, load and fire a mag, unload and drop sidearm to hit next lap with your blocks.
During live fire it's a struggle to keep rounds in the A-zone. Clearing a failure to fire is pretty hard too. Count your score, subtract from your time, the numbers don't lie.
This drill makes you all around a stronger shooter.
Never say die!
"A nation who forgets its defenders is soon forgotten itself."
"A good shot must necessarily be a good man since the essence of good marksmanship is self-control and self-control is the essential quality of a good man." – Theodore Roosevelt