Dry Practice Report #9: May 1 – 15

My first post of this year briefly discussed my goal of doing 3,650 minutes of dry practice in 2019. These posts are mostly for my own accountability. Here are my results to this point in the year:

January 1 – 11: 200 minutes, January 12-31: 140 minutes
February 1 to 15: 140 minutes, February 16 to 28: 130 minutes
March 1 to 15: 160 minutes, March 16 to 31: 160 minutes
April 1 – 15: 140 minutes, April 16-30: 160 minutes

May 1: 10 minutes, SHO presentation/trigger
May 2: 10 minutes, WHO presentation/trigger
May 3: 10 minutes, reloads
May 4: 10 minutes, SHO reloads
May 5: 0 minutes
May 6: 10 minutes, WHO reloads
May 7: 10 minutes, malfunctions
May 8: 0 minutes
May 9: 10 minutes, WHO malfunctions
May 10: 10 minutes, WHO presentation/trigger
May 11: 10 minutes, WHO presentation/trigger
May 12: 10 minutes, revolver trigger maintenance
May 13: 10 minutes, SHO malfunctions
May 14: 10 minutes, L/R barricades, 10 minutes revolver trigger maintenance
May 15: 10 minutes, unconventional shooting positions

Monthly Target: 310 minutes
Monthly to Date: 140 minutes
Cumulative Target:
1510 minutes
Cumulative to Date: 1,340 (22 hours, 20 minutes)

Focus Areas

This was a rough two-week period and it wasn’t as coherent as I would have liked. During this period I had to paint and pack my apartment in preparation for a interstate move. I also had to spend four days with 6+ hours in the car driving to and from work engagements. I had intended to maintain all the skills I’ve worked so far, but I didn’t quite get there. There were a few highlights that worked their way into my practice routines during this two-week period, though.

Sustainment & Reduced Light

I’ve worked on a lot of skills this year. Since I’ve dedicated a week or two (or more) to most of these skills, I want to refresh them periodically. This will probably be a trend over the next seven months: spending a few weeks with “new” skills, and dropping back to sustain “old” ones. I tried to hit all of the following, at least briefly: presentation, reloads, and malfunctions (two-handed, SHO, and WHO), barricade shooting, and unconventional shooting positions. I was also able to add a small additional element into these sessions.

The added element this time was “reduced” light. I’m choosing my words carefully because I wasn’t in total darkness and I’d hesitate to even call it “low light.” But, I closed the blind and turned all the lights off. This made my dry practice space darker than you’d expect. Though I didn’t need a flashlight (I’ll get to that soon), light was reduced enough that I could see the glow of my night sights.  I also had trouble seeing the dark-colored A-Zoom snap caps in the chamber and had to introduce tactile press-checks when ascertaining the status of my handgun.

Even a change as mild as this one required some modification to my techniques. If you haven’t done any practice in lowered lighting, you might consider it. Dry practice is the perfect venue for practicing such a skill, because I have yet to find a range that would turn out the lights for me.

SHO & WHO Reloads

I also worked some different techniques for one-handed reloads. I have been holding my pistol between my thighs/knees for years as I was trained to do in the military. This is kind of a clunky technique. It takes a lot of time, and introduces all kinds of chances to drop the gun or acquire a sub-optimal grasp. I am very open to updating my technique here. Recently I ran across a video detailing shoving the gun back into the holster (strong hand) or into the belt (weak hand). It seems to make sense, so I this is how I spent my SHO/WHO reload days.

I had a problem with SHO. I found that my cover garment garment would frequently fall back over the pistol while I grabbed my magazine. This was especially true in cooler weather when I frequently wear a Merino wool sweater. Unfortunately this isn’t addressed in the video; the shooter is using one hand to hold his cover garment well out of the way. If my hand is available to clear my cover garment, why not just do a two-handed reload? I found doing the full process with only one hand a bit more difficult than the demonstration.

I did not have this issue on my weak-hand side. I have a couple of theories. Because the gun is not the holster the butt is kicked out; it is possible that this is helping to hold up my cover garment. The other possibility is that my spare magazine (which is carried on my left side) is also helping to hold up the cover garment once its up and out of the way.

Further, I found another reason to really like this technique on my weak hand side. The butt of the gun is held mere inches from my spare magazine. Getting the magazine into the gun was much faster and more efficient than my old technique of holding the gun between my legs. I’m still trying various techniques and I’m open to suggestion if anyone has anything; the same goes for one-handed malfunction clearance.

Extra WHO Work

You’ll notice I spent five of these 15 days working WHO stuff. That’s because when I got to WHO malfunctio drills I wasn’t pleased with my performance and decided to spend a few additional days with WHO. Expect to see a full two-week WHO block coming up in the near future.

Speaking of the Future…

What else can you expect to see in the future? I mentioned early in this post that I moved. I moved from a one-bedroom, urban apartment to a freestanding house with two acres outside of a town of just 5,000 people. This has got me thinking a lot about my long gun skills, so you can probably expect to see at least one two week block, and day a week (or so) thereafter dedicated to long gun work.

Aside from that, I’m going to continue progressing with my EDC gun. I’ll continue to sustain skills, as well as working in low light and adding in movement. Since I have two country acres to play on now, my sessions may get a bit more interesting. Stay tuned!

If you aren’t dry practicing. . . why not? It’s not hard to find 10 minutes a day to dry practice. Take ten minutes you’d be spending vegging out on Instagram or in front of the TV and turn it into a tangible skill.

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Author: Justin

Justin Carroll is a former MARSOC Marine and veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Leaving service after eight years in the U.S. Marines, Justin continues his involvement with a variety of government agencies to this day. Justin began RevolverGuy.com in late 2016 with an simple idea: provide an source of high-quality information for revolver enthusiasts.

14 thoughts on “Dry Practice Report #9: May 1 – 15”

  1. Stray thoughts: In WHO, the gun is placed in the belt on support side, which is the same side where the garment is getting lifted to access your mag. I would think that you’re probably trapping the lifted garment a bit with your arm, as the magazine moves to the gun, so that would help eliminate the garment from draping over it again. You don’t get that benefit on SHO, because the garment doesn’t get lifted over the pistol (at least not much) when accessing the mag, and your arm actually traps it in place over the gun as you reach across for the mag. You might consider adding a step to tuck the garment behind the pistol after holstering SHO, to ease access once the mag is retrieved. Or, just know that garment removal will usually be required after getting the mag in hand.

    You’re several steps ahead of everyone else by practicing this with a cover garment. Lots of folks do this without, and don’t get the full value of the practice. Good work.

  2. “This has got me thinking a lot about my long gun skills…..”

    Speaking of which, any thought given to some content on revolver/carbine pairings?

    And congrats on the move!

    1. Thank you! I have thought about doing some rifle stuff, but judging by how mad people get about pictures of 1911s I don’t think they’d like my carbine very much…

      Once we get a little bit of breathing room on the backlog of gun/product reviews we owe manufacturers I wouldn’t mind reviewing some rifles. I will probably review my Scout rifle at some point and then maybe try to get a couple revolver-caliber lever guns in. I love the very old idea of carbine and handgun sharing a cartridge.

      Thank you again and thanks for the suggestion!

      1. “…. but judging by how mad people get about pictures of 1911s I don’t think they’d like my carbine very much…”

        Haha. Personally, I like the occasional detours into other types of firearms. But if there’s one thing I’ve never been accused of, it’s being “puritanical.” 🙂

        “…maybe try to get a couple revolver-caliber lever guns in. I love the very old idea of carbine and handgun sharing a cartridge.”

        Now that’s what I’m talking about. My .357 GP100 and Henry Big Boy Carbine were made for each other.

        1. If only Henry made a Big Boy Steel Carbine in 10mm – then I’d have one to go with my GP100!

          I do really adore those 16″ steel carbines. I reached out to them last summer and we never made anything happen, but I’ll but that on the list!

    2. Hammer, yes, I do carry a lever Rossi as a trunk gun. Not my preference, but try finding a .38 semi auto carbine! That way I can load it from what is on my belt already. This is because in Ohio I can’t carry a loaded rifle around.

      1. I recall telling Mike (many, many moons ago) I’d love a semi-auto carbine, similar in size and appearance to the M1 carbine, that fired .357 Magnum and fed from a 15 (or so) round magazine. But I can probably just keep dreaming about that one…

        1. Ruger just started shipping the PC40 carbine . . . I’d say that’s pretty close from a ballistic standpoint, and you could feed your 610 with the same stuff!

          Not the same panache or cosmetics, but from a functional standpoint, not bad.

          1. On the one hand I hear you; on the other 9mm and .357 are ballistically similar…

            I’m mostly kidding about wanting a 10mm carbine (if I really wanted one there’s always the Hi-Point!). Unlike my handguns, my collection of longarms is extremely well curated and with the house purchase, it’ll likely stay that way for a while!

    1. One of the big surprises with the Ruger PCC in 9mm was that velocities of some ammunition suffered in the longer gun—the powder burn was optimized for shorter barrels, and the longer tube just added drag, instead of boosting velocities. It seems there’s a niche for someone like Black Hills to develop some carbine-specific loads. Neat guns, just need better ammo for them to maximize the potential.

      1. Agreed. With the growing popularity of modern PCCs, it’s seems like some pistol caliber loads tailored for longer barrels would be well received.

        For “old school” PCCs, Hornady’s “Lever-Evolution” loads are pretty hard to beat.

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