Definitions: Training, Instruction, Practice

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From Merriam-Webster

develop, development

  • to set forth or make clear by degrees or in detail
  • to make visible or manifest
  • to work out the possibilities
  • to create or produce especially by deliberate effort over time
  • to make active or promote the growth of
  • to make available or usable


  • progress, advance in the process of time
  • a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result
  • a series of actions or operations conducing to an end; especially: a continuous operation or treatment


  • a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession, or job
  • the process by which an athlete prepares for competition by exercising, practicing, etc.
  • the act, process, or method of one that trains
  • the skill, knowledge, or experience acquired by one that trains
  • the state of being trained


  • to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient
  • to train by repeated exercises
  • to be professionally engaged in


  • direction calling for compliance
  • the action, practice, or profession of teaching
  • instructions (plural), an outline or manual of technical procedure


  • the action or process of educating or of being educated; also: a stage of such a process
  • the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process a person of little education
  • the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools

[from the concept that the tutor conveys the student through examinations]

  • a private tutor hired a coach to help her daughter prepare for the test
  • one who instructs or trains; especially one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport

Simulators For Training?

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A primary flaw of simulators like the Weaponeer were/are there aren’t enough of them around in routine use to make an actual difference. The Army’s EST 2000 suffers the same problem. Dry practice remains the best “simulator” based on availability and price, but only if you can get people to actually do it regularly and care enough to pay attention when they do.

Improvements via training require regular, programmed, on-going sessions. Instruction serves as an introduction, and may be adequate for tasks/skills that aren’t time-critical, but this ceases to be training after ideas are introduced.

Even lousy physical fitness programs commonly found in military and police PT use recognize that about 3-6 sessions each week are needed for improvement. Skill development for tasks that must be trained – like shooting – are no different.

The Weaponeer could have accomplished the designer’s intent if trainees used it 3-6 sessions a week for the duration of basic training. Instead, recruits get shuttled through it once so the Drill Sergeant can check a block and that’s it.

Weaponeer: A US Army Rifle Simulator from a Bygone Era

Rangemaster Dry Practice Routine



Tom Givens of Rangemaster Firearms Training Services has a history of instructing and training effective shooting and self defense. His students have been involved in several dozens of shootings over the years and have been highly successful.

One of his best bits of advice is maintaining regular practice. Here is his approach to keeping this up.

Rangemaster Dry Practice
by Tom Givens

When the flag flies, the amount of practice you’ve done may not be nearly as important as how recent your last practice was. The easiest way to ensure you’ve had RECENT practice is to engage in dry fire exercises at home on a frequent basis. Here is a suggested dry fire practice regimen that takes only a few minutes to complete. We suggest this routine two or three times per week.

Drill #1
Draw to the ready. Draw like you mean business! Remember that the gun should be low enough for you to see the hands and waistline of an assailant, your trigger finger straight. Do this 10 times.

Drill #2
Draw to the ready, once. From the ready, bring the gun up to the eye/target line, get a quick sight picture, and get the slack out of the trigger, but do not press. Do this 10 times.

Drill #3
Draw to the ready, once. From the ready, present to the target and press off a good hit, quickly. Do this 10 times.

Drill #4
From the holster, present to the target, get a quick sight picture, and get the slack out of the trigger, but do not press. Do this 10 times.

Drill #5
From the holster, present to the target and press off a good hit. Do this 10 times.

Drill #6
From the ready, gun in dominant hand only. Present to the target and press off a good hit. Do this 10 times.

Drill #7
Same as Drill #6 above, but with the non-dominant hand only. Do this 10 times.

Drill #8
Start at ready, slide locked open on empty magazine. Have a magazine in your pouch, with at least one dummy round in it. Do an emergency reload. Do this 5 times.

Clear the gun, put your dry practice target away. Out loud, say to yourself, “This session is over.” Leave the dry fire area. Clear the gun again. Some minutes later, in a different room, load the gun and say to yourself out loud, “this gun is now loaded.”

Then holster the gun on your person or put it in its proper storage location. Be serious about safety. When a session is over, IT IS OVER. Put the gear away and be done, period.

Single Mom Shoots at Home, Makes Olympics

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Next time some gun owner complains about the expense or time commitment to shoot, slap him upside the head with this:


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