If you are like me, you don’t get to the range as often as you want or don’t have the cash to train. You can get some dry fire, magazine reloading, and draw training at home, but safety is always a major concern. There are several products out there to help you with this at home training that reinforces some important fundamental defensive handgun skills. These products can also help you master your trigger control and trigger reset, if you are having those issues. Although these are not the only products, these are some of the products I use in my inert training environment.
High Visibility Training Barrel:
I have purchased several Blade Tech training barrels, to assist in instructing with some training courses at a local range. These barrels are great to replace your live fire barrel for dry fire training and firearm manipulation. They come in numerous manufacture models. You can quickly identify that the firearm has a training barrel in place and since there is no chamber and the barrel is plastic, there is no way to load a live round. This is a great safety product to practice, drawing from your holster, dry fire and fully manipulate the slide.
If you are having a flinch issue, jerking the trigger issue or trigger reset issue, the high visibility training barrel is a good product to safely work those issues out. The barrel will also let you practice slide manipulation and magazine exchanges without worrying about a live round being chambered.
Training barrels are also great inexpensive product for moving around your home safely, while training with your weapon mounted light. You can safely manipulate the controls on your light while negotiating corners, hallways and rooms throughout your home. This will help you practice and gain the skills to move through your home in case of a defensive situation.
Dummy Rounds/Snap Caps:
Dummy rounds are a good safety training product if you want to practice reloads and clearing malfunctions. Dummy rounds will require you to be extremely vigilant that you don’t have live ammunition in the area, with your fully functional firearm. With dummy rounds you can manipulate all aspects of your fully functional firearm without the actual firing of live rounds. You can practice malfunction drills, reloading drills, dry fire drills, exc.
At the range, dummy rounds will also let you set up malfunctions in combination with live ammunition. Once again, since the dummy rounds have a dual purpose, it is very important to make sure live ammunition is not in the area of your inert training environment.
For maximum safety with the most function, the high visibility training barrel is the safest combination. You will only be limited in chambering a dummy round. Depending on the firearm and magazines you are using, you can mark your magazines with aftermarket colored pads or high visibility endplates. I like to change out the endplates on my dedicated Glock inert training magazines, to Glock training orange endplates. I do not use these magazines at the range. These are only on my inert dummy round magazines. If I use dummy rounds at the range, I use my standard carry magazines.