5 Tips for improving your skills during the ammo shortage.

Ammo can be real hard to find right now and it isn’t cheap when it’s found. But that doesn’t mean you can’t improve as a shooter or shouldn’t train. Here are 5 money saving tips to keep you improving your shooting skills when ammo supplies are tight(plus 2 bonus tips!).


Dry fire can mean anything from actually dry firing your gun; simply working on trigger control, to any related skill that can be practiced WITHOUT live ammo in the gun. Draw practice, reloads, target transitions, grip , stance etc all can be practiced with no actual live fire required. Its free and only takes effort on your part. Even when ammo isn’t insanely priced, this should be part of your routine whether you are a competitor or concealed carrier.

Pistol, shot timer, Reduced size ipsc target
These 3 items and some effort can pay back huge dividends in progress. Reduced size targets make training in your home more realistic and effective.


Now is a great time to seek out books  from the experts to help expand your approach to training. Taking a course from a subject matter expert is optimal, but when budgets are tight, reading up on the subject is great bang for your buck. Ben stoeger and Ron Avery have excellent books that are worth checking out. 

Whether its reading up on how to get the right grip, planning out a solid training program, or ways to work on the right mindset, there is so much to be gained with minimal effort here.


No more bill drills or mag dumps!

Choose drills that are low on actual rounds expended, that work multiple skills together. 

For example draw, shoot 2, reload, shoot 2, transition to another target, and shoot 2 more. For only 6 rounds, you are working the draw, grip, sight alignment, recoil control, reloads, reacquiring your grip, and target transitions. Changing up the distances to each target( wider apart or further away from each other) adds even more layers to the drill. 

Choosing drills that verify the skills you have been practicing in dry fire will help keep you on track. 



Having a plan of what drills you will shoot, what range props you’ll need, and how much ammo you will shoot will save time at the range and keep you focused. Greater focus makes you more effective. Write out a checklist of drills you plan to shoot, record Par times and scores, and don’t get caught up chasing a certain standard on just one drill. It can be easy to blow through extra ammo trying to get that one drill perfect. Don’t fall into this trap. Stick to the plan to maximize your training time( and ammo!)

Sneaking some snap caps randomly into your mags is a great way to work on malfunction drills.
Record your scores/ times on drills to track progress but don’t get caught up trying to be perfect.


Any one of these tips will help you save money while improving your skills. But putting them all together is the most effective way to improve when ammo budgets are tight. Reading up on what dryfire drills to do, that are low round count, practicing them at home, then planning out your range day to verify these skills can really maximize the dollars spent/ skills grown ratio. 


Take a class:

This is not the cheapest option. But, It can very well be the most cost effective in the long run. Getting good, hands on instruction from a professional can save you countless hours( and rounds) in practice. There is alot that we must do on our own, but a reputable instructor can help set you on the right track so that you can make the most of your own training time.

Don’t expend all of your ammo:

This is more of a general tip but…With the way this year is going, we likely aren’t out of the woods on this ammo shortage. Always try to keep some ammo on hand in reserve. You never know when you might need it.

If you have any tips or favorite drills of your own, feel free to comment below or contact me at brent@hammerarmament.com so we can spread the good word.

Shoot straight and stay safe.