Recently, getting ammo has not been exactly easy. Or Cheap. Even if you are like a lot of shooters and stockpiled up ammo, you still have to shot it to keep your skills and to improve. I am not a fan of not shooting because you won’t have it anymore. Even when getting ammo is tough, skills have to be maintained. But, there is no need to waste precious ammo when you don’t have to. A lot can be done in a day with just a few rounds. So, to me, there is not real reason to destroy or damage perfectly serviceable ammo when you don’t need to.
For a long time people training for clearing weapon malfunctions like the double feed, would set the drill up using live ammo. Now, I understand doing this since its convenient but I never really did see what it would hurt to take a few extra seconds and use dummy rounds. Not just dummies made from live round components either.
Often, practicing this drill on the range or training classes can be very hard on the ammo. Not always, but enough to matter when ammo is already hard to get. Using the plastic dummy rounds, you get the same function as live rounds, its safer and its not really slower.
The drill can be set up with the dummies, and the new mag can have live ammo in it. So you can work them into the drill. You save the few precious, precious live rounds and you have easily ID’ed dummies that do not look like live rounds. This way, there is not change of confusing dummies that look real under low light conditions or confusion or any of the other thousand ways things like this love to go wrong.
Dry fire practice and ruining these drills inside are a lot safer as well. Other then it takes a little more time to go fetch your dummy rounds for a drill, I can think of no good reason not to use them. They act the same as live rounds, feed the same and everything. And they are easy to ID and recognize as dummy rounds and safe. I keep two mags for training and dry runs indoors. Both mags are marked and for dummy round use only.
Other then saving money ( and those few rounds will add up if you do train alot) you can just never have too much safety. I feel this is self evident to anyone with any intelligence enough to not vote for obama.
The dummies can be used in all the most popular calibers and other then popped primers and case head separation and bullet set back. You can do a lot with them. You can also use them for reloading drills. I like to practice reloading and inserting the mag with a dummy in it to get the feel of a round being chambered and the look and feel of seeing a round ejected on a tap/rack / bang drill. It just adds more reality to it for me. I have no idea if it really benefits, but it does keep it more interesting for me and that helps me want to devote time to these drills when I am indoors. Otherwise I would maybe keep repeating what I like to do instead of what I need to spend time practicing.
I also use them for side arms as well as rifles. Clearing a “stove pipe” with a nice rounded dummy is a lot easier then a real empty brass case that may tear my hand up when there is just no need in it.
These plastic/polymer dummies are cheap and tough enough to last a long time. I pay less then 80 cents a piece for these dummy satey rounds and I feel they are worth it. They are safer, cheaper and do not cost me money in screwing up live rounds when I want to practice drills that would other wise deform a live round that could have went toward marksmanship improvement.