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  Tactical Firearms Training  

Training Log Book vs. Shooting Log Book

Is there a difference?

By Gordon W. Gray



Log books have been used for decades by Precision Shooters to track the performance of their rifle and ammunition, and to discover tiny variances between "book data" and their own combo of rifle-scope-ammo, a precision rifleman (sniper) uses a Rifle Data Book to document every shoot they make -- whether zeroing or practice firing -- log in each shot, continually updating and reassessing their performance with their rifle.

Indeed, you should have a separate Data Book for each rifle you own.  For the past two decades I can trace back every round fired through my assigned sniper rifle at work.  How many rounds have gone through your barrel? Check the Data Book. How is your bullet's trajectory affected when the temperature drops of 40 degrees? Check the Data Book. Is this ‘lot’ of ammunition firing the same as the previous lot? Check the Data Book. Cumulatively, this book becomes a history of your rifle, and a diagnostic tool to analyze your shooting performance, enabling you to trace your growth and find fundamental problems that may require training emphasis.

Should Data Books only be keep for rifles?  I think not.  Every shooter owes it to themselves to keep notes on every weapon they own.  In the long run the little extra time it takes to document at a bare minimum the number of rounds fired will be a benefit in the long run.  Not every round is the same.  Do you shoot a less expensive round for training verse what you carry on-duty or for home defense.  Have you changed bullet weights or the type of bullet (hollow point vs. ball), etc?  Every round you fire you should know the difference.

However, what I’d like to discuss further is not just a book to log every shot but the importance to log every training.  I wish I had developed a log book that documented all the firearms training I’ve done over the years.  We all have good intentions about documenting our training, but few of us have a decent system in place.  Pilot’s long every flight hour, without it, it’s impossible to obtain any sort of credit for the costly investment they make advancing their aviation pursuits.  A skydiver keeps a log of every jump.  Lacking a jump log as proof of experience, nobody would want to be party to the more advanced formations they participate in.  Those that workout keep a journal to track their personal progress in that area.  Yet, for all the training that we do in the various areas of the tactical arena, the only proof of training that actually occurred is often in the form of a certificate issued by the course director.  What about every shot you’ve fired, or the ten minute dry firing session, or afternoon spend honing your tactical skills with friends while engaging each other with Airsoft?  They are small but important pieces to the overall training puzzle, certainly.  

Gray Ops has developed a training log page to assist you in tracking and documenting every training session you participate in no matter what type of training you’ve participated in.

Examples of Training Log Books:

These are pages from a class I attended where I cut out the targets to assist with the documentation.



New rifle, documenting barrel break-in and shot placement.





You don’t have to go out and purchase a fancy already printed log book.  I actually have found many of these to include pages you will never use.  Making your own book can be as simple as using a small binder (any size) or spiral-ring 3x5 note tablet is effortless and easy to carry.

The most important thought I’d like to leave our readers with is to document something, not matter how small or detailed you get.  In the long run, some day down the road if challenged as to what type of training you’ve done over the years you can fall back on your documentation, it just might save you a lot of explaining when challenged later in life.

Gray Ops Training Log Book Page

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