Making training as realistic as possible

We have been talking about this in bits and pieces in various other threads but thought I might try to pull it all together in one place here.

I finally got around to getting a SIRT pistol and my martial arts coach came up with a way to bump up the realism for firearms dryfire training with it.

I had to start out riding the exercise bike as hard as I could so my heart rate was completely maxed out. As soon as I got off the bike he would attack me hand to hand or with a fake knife so I had to defend myself. He would then yell threat and I would have to turn and draw from concealment on a silhouette target 10 yards away and try to get several hits. With my heart and adrenaline pumping I found myself falling back on my old point shooting ways which always worked well for me when the only stress my body was experiencing was from a timer. But with my heart and adrenaline maxed out my hit rate was somewhere in the 40 to 50% range the first several tries and the shots that did hit were all over the target.

For the next several rounds I forced myself to find the front sight before shooting. I did not try getting a sight picture. Just made myself see the front sight on the target before pulling the trigger. My focus was somewhere between the sight and the target. Both were blurry. But my hit rate went into the 75% to 100% range and I could even do some failure to stop drills hitting the head with just a slight pause to more carefully aim the last shot. My groups were not great but significantly better than with the point shooting.

Think I will be focusing more on scenario and stress based training from now on. It is definitely helping my brain speed up and calm down.


I watch all the video’s that the USCCA have on their site and I know they use the stress vest to create adrenalin. I think you might be onto something here with getting the heart racing than have an event that would make you concentrate more on the front site and target. I am looking for a place in Florida to help with that kind of training. most of the places around my house are all indoor and 1 outdoor but all of them won’t let you pull from the holster so having a live scenario is very tough.


I’m fortunate in that my martial arts coach is also interested in firearm self defense. I think this kind of training is safer with laser dry fire training. Or better yet airsoft or simunitions if you can afford the extra safety gear.

Just doing sprints at the range right before shooting would be useful training. Though having my coach attack me really jumps up the adrenaline and heart rate even more than just the intense exercise.


I’m so glad more and more people start using this typo of training.
Basics are very important and no doubt range shooting from the line of the booth is the must all the time.
But once we start feeling confident and consistent with accuracy - that’s the moment to upgrade the training to the next level.

I like your method of getting tired to induce the stress. I’ve been doing similar thing by myself - whenever I’m at outdoor range, but instead of bike - I just run or do any exercise that raises my heart rate and blood pressure.
I’m attending classes where Instructors imitate crowd, they shout at students and push them all the time. Very realistic training. Adding time limitations or small targets to all those above make such training even harder and closer to reality.

What I’ve found with myself - speed is not important as accuracy. Forcing myself to be calm and lowering heart rate by proper breathing during stressful situations drastically helped me to hit the target. Yes, every move is learned and unconscious but once controlled without rush makes every shot to be a good shot.

So, as @Shamrock posted - such training is helping my brain speed up and calm down giving me more chances to be better prepared.


Nice going Boot! :rofl:
Sounds like you hit on what works for you!
Very PROUD of you. Keep it up.

No Step ona Sham!


The one thing I forgot to try is some of the box or triangular breathing before shooting. I wouldn’t have time to do a full cycle between exercise, attack and need to take a shot but just starting it might calm things down a little more.

Another thing I would have time to do is try and practice more with the alpha brain wave meditation technique. When you do enough of it you can enter the calmed state just by thinking about it. But it is hard to remember to do those things when someone is swinging a knife at you. Even a fake one.


I feel that is not an inappropriate label. I’m getting better but still have a long way to go. Just need my heart to keep ticking so I can keep getting a little better every day:)


I am taking this seriously, but when I read that line all I saw was this!


Dude take a Bow brother, You are LIGHT YEARS AHEAD of the pack!
Relax, I know it’s important. I get it but just know you are on your path!
Man, more people should have your zeal.
This is going to change your life my friend in a super positive way!
(If I may, just don’t be hard on yourself, your doing excellent!)
It’s not like they are Invading the country or anything! :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:



I applied and Interviewed today at these guy’s…
Came home and looked them up.
RUH ROE Look at the dudes finger…maybe I should rethink their offer. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Don’t need to go from one hokey firm to another…and shoot myself in the foot! (so to speak)


I really liked the Pink Panther movies when I was a kid. Especially these scenes. My son is also taking martial arts and occasionally ambushes me around the house. Keeps me on my toes and probably can count it as training as well:)


I’ve seen a lot of companies good and bad use really poor stock advertising photos and even poor videos and photos that they paid to have made.

The employees in these advertising departments and companies need to spend more time with the people doing the real work!


Like the old saying goes, “In a fight? Front Sight”.


I do tend to be more critical of myself then I am of others. But I’m not pushing for perfection. Just trying to get a little better every day.

It’s also a great way to try and get into and stay in shape. I’m not a big fan of working out but these drills are a fun challenge. So I get my work out and get to pick up some skills I hopefully never have to use for real🤞but that could come in very handy if I ever do need to use them.


I really like the way you guys train. We do as much of that kind of stuff as we can. The one that I had a hard time with was “Hey MF’er What’s Up!!!” as the lights go out. My eye’s just aren’t as fast as they used to be…


I agree :100: % with you on this. I mentioned in another thread about switching from “range ammo” to SD rounds for that very reason. I’m pretty well known at most ranges around me so I can practice a basic course of fire at my range. Sitting there doing dot torture drills has it’s place but I am shooting better for what my intentions are. I am not carrying my firearm for fun. I am carrying it to protect myself and the flock. Period fxcking dot.

So it seems to me that the more realistic I can make my training the better it is for me and mine.

This is my POV, do what makes sense for you (you is used as a generality).


My budget prevents me from practicing regularly with my SD ammo but I can definitely see the advantages of doing so. I do spend a little extra on my practice ammo to match the weight and velocity as closely as possible to my SD ammo. My first shots at the range are usually a non warmed up series of draws and firing with the mag of SD ammo that I have been carrying in the pistol. This lets me know if the gun, ammo and myself were good to go if I had needed to.

But I should do some more precise testing on the clock to see if there is a measurable difference between my performance with SD and practice ammo.


For me, it could be confirmation bias, but it feels different to me. SD ammo feels like it has more felt recoil.

I need to try matching the bullet weight and velocity for my SD and range rounds. That may be a cheaper way. Thanks for the idea.


With 9mm I definitely notice some differences when shooting 115 grain practice ammo and my 147gr SD ammo. So whenever possible I buy the 147gr practice ammo even though it costs a little more and can be harder to find. I haven’t noticed any differences between the two 147gr rounds except the SD rounds seem a little more accurate than some of the practice rounds. Though I haven’t tested this by shooting groups from a rest so it could just be a perception bias on my part.


I spend the extra money to buy the Sig 365 9mm matched FMJ and HP for my primary EDC. I’ve alternated FMJ and HP in the same magazine and cannot tell any difference shot to shot. I’m pretty sure Underwood and probably some others offer matched performance training and self defense ammo.