What Is Your Most Indispensable Piece of Training Gear?

When we train, we often use gear. Some gear is the actual gear that we are training to use – for example our carry pistol and the holster we carry it in. But there are many other pieces of gear we use because they allow us to more readily train realistically in a safe way.

Some pieces of training gear are certainly much more valuable than others. Some pieces of gear I can live without, others I cannot. Here are some examples of gear I have used:

Snap Caps / Dummy Rounds

Snap Caps and Dummy Rounds are invaluable for a number of training situations. They are great for Ball and Dummy simulating malfunctions, and they are crucial for practicing realistic reloads in dry-fire.

Blue Guns

Inert pistol trainers like blue guns are great for working on close quarters techniques and tactics. Being inert there is no projectile to worry about, and they are tough enough to stand up to hard use and abuse.

Targets

Targets aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about training gear, but whether you are at the range or practicing dry fire at home, having a target is key. Good targets add a lot to your training.

Trainer Knives

Training knives come in two varieties: non sharp replicas of real knives, and obviously fake stand-ins for real knives. The first group is great for working on knife access, especially in close quarters. The second type works well for practicing knife fighting skills. Both decrease the risk of a serious injury in training, as there is no good way to work on knife skills with live blades.

Focus Mitts and Shields

Focus mitts are excellent for working on striking accuracy and power. They can easily be moved to present different targets to your partner, and at the same time they allow you to work at full power without risking injury to your partner.

FIST Helmets

Protective gear like FIST Helmets allow for an improved level of realism in training. These protective helmets reduce the risk of serious injury when getting aggressive in a close quarters environment.

Mats

If you train any grappling art (like BJJ), you spend a lot of time on the mats. Systems that emphasize throwing (like Judo) are also very dependent on mats. Sure, you can train the same skills without them, but much more control is required and greater risk is involved.

Simunitions and Airsoft

Training firearms skills on live people with live guns is generally frowned upon. When a blue gun won’t do, an Airsoft or Sims gun can fill in the gap. They aren’t ideal for practicing multiple consecutive shots due to the reduced recoil, but they are great for scenario training.

These are a few training aids that I find valuable. If there is one I couldn’t do without it would probably be the snap caps, believe it or not. This is the one item I use almost every day, and it provides a multitude of options for training.

What training tools do you find invaluable? Is it one of these, or did I miss an important one? Please post a comment and let us know.

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Comments

  1. You missed my biggest 2. A shot timer and a log book.

    • Can’t believe I missed those, but I definitely agree that they are great training tools.

      While were at it we might as well add video cameras and partners to the list too.

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