Training On a Budget

Ammo is expensive and harder to come by lately.  Things will and are settling down, but we are one nut job away from the gun grabbers pushing a national gun control campaign again.  If that happens, you will see the supply dry up again.  So all that being said, what can you do to keep up your training but not break the bank? 

Dry fire is one thing you can do for sure.  Another is having a clear cut plan as to what you will work on during your range session.  Plinking is great fun.  As a matter of fact, a couple weeks ago we were out at the old family farm (junk yard) spending some quality time with loved ones and that’s what we did.  Blast pop cans with shotguns, shoot bricks with S&W 500’s, and put holes in a car hood.  All good fun, but not specific training.  This is a short blog on my part.  The following is a 100 round range drill created by Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch Inc.  It is an example of training on a budget.  Look it over and print it out to take to the range.  It gives you a little bit of everything to practice and only requires 100 rds.  After that you’ll see my dry fire schedule.  Take a look at it and see if you find anything in there you’d like to copy.  My schedule is pretty involved and takes some time.  Maybe scale it back a bit or spread it out some and don’t do bolt gun work if you don’t shoot bolt action rifles a lot. 


100 rounds of practice

Clint has come up with a simple drill to maintain skill needed for self-defense.

  • Targets

Standard white paper plates and a 3” X 5” index card at 15 yards for all exercises will be used. Stack dinner plates one above the other with the index card placed above the top dinner plate.

  • Marksmanship

Shoot well not fast

  1. From the ready position fire 10 singles on chosen target.
  2. From the ready position fire 5 sighted doubles.

(Practice your trigger reset.)

  • Loading

Put one round in your handgun, fire, when the gun goes empty keep the muzzle on the target and reload.

An empty gun is not bad luck; it’s simply a reality of being in a fight.

Keep the gun between you and the target and reload. Do this drill 10 times.

  • Non-Compliant Threats

From the ready position fire 2 shots on the center plate and 1 shot on the card. Do this 2 times.

Fire 3 shots on the center plate and 1 on the card. Do this 2 times.

Fire 2 shots on the center plate, 2 shots on the lower plate and 1 shot on the card. Do this 1 time.

Slow down for your head shots. “Remember the head is not a smaller target, it’s just different.”

  • Drawing

Practice our drawing stroke smoothly, speed comes with practice. Fast is spelled SMOOOOTH.

With an UNLOADED firearm draw 10 to 15 times correctly, and smoothly, following through to include a sight picture and hammer fall. (Remember your dry fire practice rules.)

Load, draw and fire 10 singles, holstering between shots. Remember safety on and finger straight while holstering.

While drawing take one step back and fire 1 shot. Do this 10 times.

Remember: M & M. “Maximize the distance, minimize the threat.

  • Malfunctions

“Fights and family vacations have something in common, they rarely come out the way they were planned.”

Leave the magazine unseated with one in the chamber and fire when ready.

Stick a piece of brass in the top of the ejection port.

Set up a double feed.

The response is always the same, when the gun does not fire. Tap the magazine. Rack the slide harder and attempt to fire. If it still doesn’t work, remove the magazine and place under your strong hand little finger. Rack the slide 3 times and reload the gun and fire if you have a valid target.

Run variations 5 times and after clearing, fire 1 shot to complete the cycle of operation in your head. Go slow and do it correctly. You have 21 rounds for this portion.

  • Strong and Support Hand

Fire 5 shots strong hand only from the ready position, carefully transfer the gun to your support hand and fire 5 shots.

Go slowly and carefully, speed and skill will come with time – and practice.

Depending on your skill level lessen the distance if you’re not hitting the target. Only hits count!! Beginners should start at 5 yards and move back as skill increases.

Jeremy’s Dry Fire Schedule

Sunday – Bolt gun

100 rds prone

25 rds sitting

25 rds kneeling

25 rds standing

Monday – Pistol

100 rds trigger control

10 rds of that brass on front sight

Tuesday – Pistol

100 holster presentations

25 using line drill from open (see * below for explanation)

25 open

25 cover shirt

25 cover jacket

Wednesday – Pistol

50 reloads

50 malfunction drills

50 trigger control

Thursday – Pistol

25 weak hand draws

25 weak hand reloads

50 weak hand dry fire

25 weak hand malfunction drills

Friday – AK

100 trigger control

50 reloads

25 malfunction drills

Saturday – AK

50 trigger control

50 weak hand trigger control

25 reloads

25 weak hand reloads

Wanted to finish out this blog with some notes and thoughts to leave you with.  First, where a blue gun can be used, USE ONE!  I really don’t want you to have a boom when you shouldn’t.  Second, if you aren’t comfortable with the drill, don’t do it.  I will be posting a few videos to go over some of the details about the different drills, but if you still aren’t sure then please call me or shoot me an email.  I am here to help.  Third, remember the 4 rules.  I see people doing goofy ninja drills sometimes and their gun is pointed at things I would hate to see a bullet punch through.  If you want a big hole in your body other than the ones God gave you then go to a piercing shop and have them do it.  Fourth, it’s a good idea to do the live fire stuff with a buddy.  Train as much as you can.  You never know when you’ll need it.  I can promise you that you will not rise to the occasion.  You will fall back on your training, so you’d better have put the time in. 

*The line drill requires you to be standing in an open doorway in your house somewhere.  A blue gun is a really good idea for this.  Even with a blue gun, be aware of your target and beyond.  To set this up you’ll want to place a strip of tape just below chest height across the doorway and a strip of tape just above shoulder height across the doorway.  The point is to draw your pistol and drive it through the opening you have created without breaking the tape.  If you break the lower tape you are bowling with the gun and if you break the upper you are casting or fishing with the gun.