Earlier this year, I wrote about the struggles of finding ammo and shooting at ranges when COVID was in full force. Fast forward almost a year and now ammo is even more of a struggle to find than it was last year. For a large number of shooters, the mindset has changed from training to hoarding ammo because of the state of the gun industry. Over the last three months, I have seen the majority of public ranges almost completely empty as a result of the ammo crunch. It’s still extremely important to get out and shoot to shake the rust off every few months. Let’s dive into a few shooting drills that are great low round count training for concealed carriers.
2 Reload 1 Drill
Now, the vast majority of you are probably scratching your heads because you’ve heard of the 1 reload 1 drill. Now that ammo is scarce, I have seen a number of people go through 1 to 2 boxes of ammo just doing this drill to keep their skills fresh. The 1 reload 1 drill is effective at practicing reloads and putting your sight picture back on target. The biggest issue with this drill is the fact you never focus on trigger rest and a follow-up shot. The simple truth is you can do a 1 reload 1 drill dry firing at home with snap caps in your underwear instead of focusing on that at the range.
A while back, I switched from the 1 reload 1 drill to 2 reload 1 drill just to incorporate recoil management and trigger reset. In a self-defense situation, you’ll have more than 1 round in the magazine, so it’s more important to look at recoil management along with reacquiring your target after the first shot. In terms of round count, it doesn’t break the bank and you can get a full 16 sets out of a single box of training ammo. That one extra round still lets you practice drawing from a holster and reloading but also lets you practice the basic trigger fundamentals as well. We all have our own preferences when training at the range, but I highly suggest you guys give this drill a shot when you’re at the range next time.
Dot Torture 2 Reload 2 Drill
The Dot Torture 2 Reload 2 drill is rapidly becoming my favorite drill for the COVID ammo shortage. A regular dot torture drill will help develop cadence and accuracy along with target transitions. If you decide to adopt this for a low round count drill, it really does work almost everything we need when thinking about a balanced concealed carry drill.
With this drill, you can do roughly 12 and a half drills with just a single box of training ammo. Rather than loading up a full magazine and emptying it into a paper target. Working a well-rounded drill will give you way more value than a quick magazine dump without practicing any skills. Typical Dot Torture drills have 3-4 circles per line. In most cases, I use a 3 circle dot drill so I will fire one round into the first two circles, then perform a slide lock reload and fire the last two rounds into the last circle. If you haven’t a condensed dot torture drill out, I definitely encourage you to try it out to see how you perform.
Modified Baer Solutions Standards Drill
During regular times, one of my all-time favorite drills is the Baer Solutions Standards drill. This drill makes shooters fire accurately with a time limit and then introduces a slide lock reload with the final shots inside a smaller circular target. In normal times, this would be a 13 round drill with a slide lock reload but for the last few months, I have done this same drill with just 5 rounds. I really enjoy this shortened version because you can throttle the speed up or down to challenge yourself with the same level of difficulty as the regular drill.
I just gave you a few modified drills I will use at the range to maximize growth with the least amount of ammo possible. There are a number of drills that people love and I really hope some of you guys will adapt drills to make them ammo friendly in today’s climate.
It’s Important To Shoot Despite The Cost
Listen, I 100% understand how rough it is in the streets right now when it comes to ammo. Ammo is the highest I’ve ever seen in my lifetime and there hasn’t been a bigger boom in the gun industry than the one we are currently in. Ammo is almost impossible to find at stores but there are still shipments coming into various big box stores like Sportsman’s Warehouse. I was checking out one of their local stores in my area and they had 9mm on the shelf for pre-COVID prices. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the absolute worst feeling having to shell out double for training ammo, but it’s important to do to keep up your skills.
I get how painful it is, but the cost of ammo doesn’t change the obligation we have to train and be proficient if we decide to walk out the door every morning with a firearm on our body. Training and dry fire practice are the two easiest ways to stay proficient and keep your skills sharp. Having the ability to take a shooting class is great but with ammo the way it is, it may not be plausible for some. Regardless of your financial situation currently, it’s not a bad option to take a box or two out every couple of months and brush up on your skills
Let me know what you guys have been doing to keep sharp during COVID and the ammo crunch. Are you guys doing more dry firing or still trying to get to the range on a semi-regular basis? Let me know in the comments below and let’s figure out ways to maximize our ammo usage with drills. If you have questions about carrying concealed or anything else, feel free to shoot me a message on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.