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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a topic I wrestle with, and as far as I recall I haven't come across a dedicated thread on it on any of the forums I follow. For the purposes of this discussion, please assume there are no artificial magazine limitations in place; assume we all live in a free state, where G17s hold 17 rounds, etc.

So the question is, how critical is it to train with the exact gun you carry, or an identical second gun? Is it ok to go a "size" bigger, but otherwise have the same firing system and manual of arms? Or are handgun shooting skills so transferable from platform to platform that you can train and carry with two totally different guns?

Some examples to consider would be

  • Train with a Glock 17, carry a Glock 26
  • Train with a P226, carry a P2000sk (both DA/SA, very different ergos and sizes).
  • Train with a USP and carry a 1911
  • Train and carry the same pistol

Another consideration is the holster. It seems most people train with OWB holsters, but how many actually carry with them? Is it ok to use a nice big convenient OWB kydex holster but then carry further back on your hip with an IWB leather? Where is the line?

I don't think we will agree on a definitive answer, but I am curious to see what the majority opinions will be. I ask this because in most of the big-name training courses, I see lots of Glock 17/19s, and full size M&Ps, sometimes with lights and RDS, and OWB Kydex almost exclusively. I've never seen a big name training class where people are shooting subcompacts. But I am doubtful that all of those people are carrying their full-size guns every day.
 

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I train with what I carry, 1911 in a IWB holster, I have other guns for fun shoots but do most of my serious shooting with my carry gun.
 

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I train with what I carry and I train with what I shoot in competition. Different training. And i picked up a 22 Cal ISSI to emulate a Glock for both thypes of training.
 

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I carry IWB, i train the same way. I train with what i carry on a daily basis.
 

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I've never taken a training course. I do practice drawing, firing, moving, etc with my M&P9c in an IWB holster though.

I guess it really depends on the circumstance. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to train with an IWB holster if you have a restricted permit (and don't carry outside of the restrictions). For people who have "full carry" permits, then training with your carry weapon and how you normally carry would be best. Next best thing would probably be the same gun in a slightly different caliber. The third best thing would probably be a gun with the same features (safety, da/sa, etc). Something like a Glock 17 and an m&p9 maybe
 

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IMO It makes sense to train as much as you can with the same gun you carry.
In some occasions while carrying another gun for whatever the reasons (ie: light carry on a weeding or summer carry)
it doesn't hurt to get some degree of regular training with that one system too.
Only one him/herself can tell how efficiently one is going to respond under extreme stress on a fight.
It is definitely not the time to be thinking about anything like..where is my pistol? Where is the magazine release?
The other aspects of conditioning like learning to shoot while you run for cover, tactics, etc.... I think will stick naturally whatever the system,
but no matter the situation it must become 2nd nature. And that is only achieved through training and repetition with your carry firearm/s. Lots of it.

Like an old wise samurai said:
We fight at the Dojo and then we play a the battlefield.
 

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Train with what you carry and how you carry it. How you carry (OWB, IWB, shoulder rig, etc...) is a matter of personal preference. Each method has its pros and cons.

And no don't train with one model and carry another - a Glock 17 is different than a Glock 19 which is different than a Glock 36. If the G-36 is your every day carry gun of choice - that's what you train with. You want to master your choice of EDC and not have to fumble around with a different or unfamiliar make/model of gun when the SHTF.

Same goes for your holster. Don't train with an open-top IWB in the small of your back and carry with an OWB SERPA at the 3:00 position on your hip. Train with what you plan on using to carry your gun. Some people prefer one holster over another depending on the season and what they're wearing. Train appropriately for these differences.

Point being is you want to be one with the gun and its holster. Otherwise it's like going to take a piss when your back teeth are floating only to realize your dick is on your right thigh instead of where you've practiced pulling it out since were a kid... and next thing you know you're changing your clothes.
 

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I don't do any training. I have yet to take a formal training class.

And I don't call going to the range and standing and shooting paper "training".

As far as what I am able to do at the range I feel that I am comfortable shooting my edc carry choice, which is a 9c.

I carry it IWB or AIWB.


If I were to actually be able to train. I would train how I'd fight. Carrying IWB, with whatever clothing I would usually wear.

However I am unable to do this where I am able to shoot currently.

And don't foresee any training classes being taken in the near future.
 

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I just bought a Sig 1911-22. It fits my Crossbreed EDC holster which usually houses my EDC Kimber. I will begin training on the range with the Sig since it is a bit easier on my wallet! I still do all my dry practice manipulations (not quite, but almost daily) with the Kimber...
 

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You do need to train with your regular daily carry equipment. However, periodically training for building the skills to shoot well is a different mater. You can shoot a full size at the range to practice the fundamentals, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger squeeze, follow through etc. Those skills are transferable and make you a better shooter overall. But you also need to practice the other skills with the actual gun you are going to fight with regularly also. Drawing from concealment, the trigger squeeze on my small Kahr PM 9 that I sometimes carry is far from the M&P 9c that I carry most of the time, so I need to practice with that. And remember "SAFE" dry fire is a great way to practice. Draw stroke and trigger squeeze with "empty" gun makes for good practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok so everyone seems to agree to train with your carry gun. So why is it that all the classes I've seen, and particularly the high volume, big name classes that get national attention, all seem to be guys with full-size, OWB guns? I am pretty sure they aren't all carrying those. But these are guys with more training than I will likely ever get.

Maybe once you have that much training you are pretty much good with everything?
 

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A lot of guys go to training with full size rigs and OWB holsters because at many classes the round count is usually quite high, 200 - 300 rounds. That many rounds from a small carry gun can be brutal and drawing and reholstering from a IWB all day long can wreak havoc on shoulders etc. The idea of training is to learn skills that you can transfer to your carry scenario and that you can then practice in smaller increments with your actual carry gear. An example would be for an athlete to train with a safety belt and on foam before attempting to do some aerial flip etc. Learn the skill and then apply it. This is my .02 cents and how and why I train the way I do.
 

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I have taken a few formal classes and I was one of the few using a sub compact. There were quite a few people carrying iwb though. Many gun writers and instructors who say carry a full size are carrying a J frame most of the time. It's just not possible for people to carry a full size pistol everyday.
 

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Definitely train with what you carry. To give what I think is the prime example, back in the revolver days when police detectives carried snubbies, in many agencies it was common on qual day for them to show up with a four inch and qualify ( often just barely) then. Carry the snub ( which is much harder to shoot well). Many of these old timers would not have a passing qual score with the snub.
also the old cliche sweat in training so you won't bleed in combat. Train with whichever carry gun is the hardest for you to shoot well (let's say a smith J frame or baby glock) when you use larger heavier guns it will be even easier. My carries range from a beretta 25 auto glocks J&K frames 1911's. I practice and train with them all shooting out to 25 yards. Once you can easily and quickly shoot a six shot five inch group with a 25 auto at 25 yards everything closer seems super easy
 

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As long as it's the same system (ie: Glock, SIg DA/SA, 1911 etc) it should be fine. I wouldn't train with a Glock and then carry a SIG because that totally different controls, trigger etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I did the 8 hour, 300 round course all with my PPS. It was very tempting to switch to my backup gun halfway through the day, but I stuck with it. Didn't have as much fun as the guys shooting M&Ps.
 

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If I had my permit I would train with what I carried and train with my backup firearm.
 

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IMHO they run the Full size guns cause they got to look good! :)

I'm not sure, and I have not attended any classes... so I couldn't say. But I've watched and seen pictures of said classes, and you are correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think the main takeaway for me is that I want to start carrying a bigger gun. That seems to fix everything. In the past, I wouldn't consider a gun that was designed to hold more ammo than NYS allowed, but I am starting to come around. The full size grip and longer site radius are worth it even with the half/quarter full magazine.

I might be in the market for a P2000 or USPc.
 
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