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

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Rangemaster Dry Practice Routine

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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.

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