Upside/downside of pistol training with .22lr

I typically shoot and practice with a HK VP9 and Sig p365xl, both with green dot optics, around 50 rounds every week, concentrating on four or five basic skills and drills. A couple times a month I take Walther PPK/S .22 to practice point shooting since the sights are nearly useless anyway.

I’m hoping to score a Sig p322 soon to up my round count without breaking the bank. I’ll add the Romeo Zero I took off the p365 to mimic my sight picture similar to my carry pistols.

While the p322 doesn’t have identical manual of arms, trigger, grip, etc. I figure it’s close enough to add value to my range time at less than half the cost.

I also know that follow-up shots differ significantly between 9mm and .22lr.

Other than that, do many of you use .22lr for a high percentage of your practice time?


As a newbie few years ago I though that 22LR was a bad idea to practice if I was going to carry 9mm. Then Covid came and 22LR became the only not expensive live fire option. And that was a moment I changed my thinking.
What is the most important for fast and accurate hit? For me - good grip built when handgun is still in the holster and then proper trigger manipulation. And to master these even laser SIRT pistol is OK.
I started using SIRT and 22LR as my daily practice two years ago and I had been doing this practice these days.
I use 1911 22 Conversion kit to keep my firearm exactly the same as my 2011 EDC. The only difference is less recoil, but who cares about recoil? It’s not gonna change how do I build shooting fundamentals.

So when I’m practicing drills - I start at home with SIRT, then use my 1911-22 with live fire and finally use everything I learned with my EDC.


I like .22lr pistols for draw on target, then one shot. Lighter weight, hilarious the difference running my G17 in 9 compared to the .22 conversion kit, but the holster, trigger and sights are the same. Lack of recoil makes follow up shots not valuable training imo.
.22 is fun though, and inexpensive, and definitely better than not getting some trigger time.
I shoot weekly, and often pack a .22 pistol,rifle, or both.


I had a .22 conversion for my 1911s but don’t have 1911s anymore. Would love to have one for my Hi Power. Concerning recoil, the main issue I can think of is follow up shots with 22lr is considerably easier than 9mm.


Yes. The follow up shots with 22 are fast and easy. But that’s why we have to spend sometime with 9mm practice, don’t we? :wink:
With well built grip the muzzle rise is non existent with 9mm and that is not a concern anymore.

I know, this is much easier with 1911/2011 pistols. These are heavier and with 9mm ammo the muzzle flip is very easy to control. But like I mentioned - good grip can handle 9mm at any polymer handgun.


Yes, definitely much lighter recoil, but with a good grip I have found that I can shoot follow-up shots as quickly and accurately with my 9mm as I do with my .22LR. Practice and grip make a huge difference. I don’t normally practice more than 1 or 2 follow-up shots, though I will do strings of fire on multiple targets.


Which is a good reminder not to get so accustomed to .22 as to become slack in grip control. Same grip all the time.

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You won’t be if you do all live fire drills and dry fire practice with the same grip strength.

The big mistake people are doing is, when they adjust grasp to the current situation. It should never happen. The strength and technique must be consistent all the time and be independent of the platform and caliber.
If somebody practices with SIRT it should be the same pace, strength and technique as practicing with EDC. Otherwise the practice does nothing.