Dear Michael:

Could you elaborate on your satisfaction with Convert-a-Pell for snubby practice? My research, which was confined to a cursory search of the internet, suggests that Convert-a-Pell is a disappointing training system.

On the positive side:


George C – Basehor, KS



Dear George:

Thank you for your question.

I read through the posts you were kind enough too sent along and I have no reason the doubt the reactions to the fellows who wrote them.

For me though, my experience has only been very positive – but I may be after different goals and using different criteria.

First, I am not looking for tack driver accuracy.  So much so that I use the Convert-A-Pell (CAP) in every class (5 to 10 guys per class / 1 class every 2 to 3 weeks / year round) without the barrel inserts. I use the CAPs to teach the shooters to recognize squib rounds and to STOP! shooting the instant they encounter one. In that capacity – as a safety training tool – the CAP’s are worth their weight in pure gold.

Second, when teaching shooter who have NEVER shot a gun before or trying to re-introduce someone who had a very un-pleasant experience with guns (anti-gun folks, victims, etc.,) I usually start them with the CAP rounds and then work them up to the magnum guns – Yes, .22 shorts! – By the time they are done shooting (the first class) they walking away thinking:

1) What was all the fuss about?!?

2) I can do this safely

3) That was a hell of a lot of fun! (.177’s and .22’s vs. reactive targets) and

4) When do I move up to the Mega-guns (.32’s and (maybe) .38’s with wad cutters?)

My goal in these classes obviously does not require pin-point accuracy – only fun guns that teach good safe FUNdamentals.

Third – Unlike all the other Primer Only Propelled (POP) rounds (rubber, plastic, wax, etc.) the CAP rounds are fun to load (a great intro to “real” reloading) easier to clean, and I don’t have to pick through the filthy down range bullet trap to pick out the spent “bullets” (Common with rubber and plastic POP rounds)

Forth – CAPs are a fun way (for me) to practice my fundamentals. I put in (roughly):

4 times as many hours on draw stroke practice,

3 times as many hours on dry fire drills

2 times as many hours on dummy round reloading exercises

And barely a few hours (cumulative) of live fire shooting a month

Subsequently CAP rounds let me do practical “fighting with a gun” training drills in my home and/or back yard without troubling the neighbors and without needing to drive to a range daily.

Literally – I shot yesterday for my department and was top shooter – All thanks to draw stroke pratice, dry fire training and improved hand strengthening tools – and with zero (0) live fire practice with the duty weapon (mid-sized GLOCK .40) – BTY, the last time I actually shot the duty handgun was 12 months ago

Two last observations regarding something I noted in the other fellows blog posts:

1) Do the primers move the brass sleeve forward after each shot – Sometimes, but in my experience it is about 1/10 of and inch after each cylinder, so all I do is touch check/press it before I reload the next cylinder.

2) Are the CAP’s accurate? In my 2-inch snub guns with GAMCO “round” rounds – Yes, very! I shoot them (almost daily) at 3 to 15 feet as part of my “draw stroke and fire” drills and more often than not I can cover the group (on a good day) with a dime and on a bad day, with a ½ dollar. That may not be good for target shooters but for someone teaching the use of a handgun as a lethal assault rescue tool when already under attack by an armed individual or violent group it’s excellent.

It is all perspective – I am no fan of “pure” target shooting because I make my living with a gun and I train (exercise, run, life weights, study the involved law, etc.) anticipating events occuring a different environment. For the range queen (can I say that?) the CAP may not be the tool they want, need or appreciate. For me and my goals, the CAP is an awesome tool in my training-to-stay-alive kit.

I hope that helps a little.